Garage Door Safety LEDs
By EMS Deputy Chief Lukas Jenkins
March 24, 2019

WHC is in the process of installing LED safety systems to all apparatus bay doors.

The safety systems act as a traffic light advising apparatus drivers when it is safe to proceed across the door threshold. The LED light strips flash red when the bay door is in motion, then turn solid green when it is safe to proceed across the door threshold.

The simple red & green LEDs solve any difficulties involved with bay door visibility when responding to or returning from 911 calls (height of the door, perspective, small view in mirrors, and overhanging ladder stick).

WHC EMS also utilizes spotters as part of the backing standard operating procedure (SOP), which includes backing into apparatus bays. The LED bay door safety light systems provide another layer of situational awareness and safety to the process. Spotters are important even when backing into apparatus bays for two reasons 1) backing is always dangerous (but cannot always be avoided) and can cause serious damage to the apparatus, the building, or fatal injuries to emergency responders or the public if not done safely 2) connecting the Plymovent (exhaust capture) hose is paramount in the fight against cancer in emergency service workers as diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen. The fine diesel exhaust (nano)particulates are small enough to enter the bloodstream through the lungs, studies have shown links with increased risk of heart attacks and obesity among many other negative health effects.