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Aurora Theater Killings – The Problem with Prevention

July 21, 2012

The fire department had recently implemented new roadway safety procedures including the use of signage and parking fire trucks to block the rescuer’s work area. The police department thought this new practice was problematic and unneeded. They sent their administrative officers over to the fire department to state that opinion. We listened to their argument – and made no change.

One sunny morning several weeks later a city road crew was filling pot holes on a four-lane roadway. The work crew was progressing down the road just beyond a thirty degree turn in the roadway. *Bob was shoveling black asphalt from the back of the dump truck bed as the car rounded the turn.

Nobody knows if Bob saw the car before it struck him. The dump truck’s tail gate was about mid-chest high and the car slammed him into it – killing him instantly.

The city administrators implemented strict usage of signage after this tragedy, but Bob was still dead – and the police administration never again mentioned their opposition to the fire department’s new safety procedures.

So, what’s the point of this story and what does it have to do with the Aurora Theater killings?

Prevention was the only way that we could’ve saved Bob and it’s the only way we could have saved those killed in the Aurora Theater.

So, what’s the problem with prevention?

Prevention is invisible and invisible doesn’t get attention. There are few awards, if any, given out for prevention efforts. No media attention. No glamour. No hero recognition.

The experts will weigh in on this tragedy and changes will be made. Hopefully, there will be good changes. Unfortunately, changes won’t bring back the twelve lost lives, nor did they bring back Bob.

*The name Bob is fictitious, but the story is true.

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