Bedford County Firefighters Take Refresher Courses

Bedford Co, VA- Firefighters and emergency medical crews in Bedford County will take a refresher course on how to drive emergency vehicles on Saturday.

The course follows two separate roll-over crashes involving fire trucks from two different Bedford County fire companies. The first crash was last December when Bedford Fire Department was responding to a call on Peaks Road. The second was in July when a Forest Fire Department truck went airborne before landing in front of New London Steakhouse. In both cases, the passenger side rear tire left the road causing the driver to lose control.

First responders are being asked to review policy, procedures, and laws, while others will complete a driving course.

"We want to make sure that we're being proactive and trying to do the best for our community and for our responders. Rollover accidents and accidents are the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities annually and we want to make sure we're being proactive and making sure we're keeping our personnel safe," said Deputy Chief of Bedford Co. Fire and Rescue Marci Stone.

The drivers were not charged in either crashes. Some firefighters were injured both times, but they all recovered. This was not the case back in 2010 in Rocky Mount, when two firefighters were killed in a crash. This week, a Franklin County jury found the driver of the SUV that hit that fire truck culpable in a civil trial.

Part of Saturday's training in Bedford County will focus on how emergency drivers can react to drivers on the road.