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Everyone Goes Home just released a new seatbelt PSA. It's already been posted at least once on the Fire Engineering Community site. It still fascinates me that we need to have this conversation...that we haven't just done the right thing and started buckling up. It's such a simple thing. It can be a hassle, yes--if you've never "practiced" donning what you need to don while wearing the seatbelt or prior to clicking in.

 

No department or fire company is perfect. But the men and women riding shotgun in front of the truck must impress upon its passengers that the truck cannot leave until everyone is belted in. I include myself and my company in this. We're all less than perfect when it comes to seatbelts. But, day after day we read about apparatus collisions. We hear about firefighters dying en route to their stations or the scene in collisions. Why wouldn't we take that extra step and just click it?

 

The video is below. Take a look at it. Have you ever used these excuses? If so, it's time to stop.

 

Chris Mc Loone, Associate Editor

 

 

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Comment by Todd Jennings on March 9, 2011 at 3:32pm

This is becoming a very difficult topic.  But it should not be.  All we have to do is buckle up.  It is not that hard.  As the officer on the truck it is your responsibility to make sure that everyone is buckled up.  But also it is your responsibility to buckle up, so just do it.  There a policies out there that departments put out for this, but they dont enforce it.  WHY?  If you make a few examples then this may change.  I would rather write someone up then attend someones funeral.  PLEASE JUST BUCKLE UP

Todd Jenninsg

Comment by Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equip on March 1, 2011 at 2:16pm

Paul--

 

That's an excellent point and it should be part of any apparatus operator safety program. Any good safety program will have a combination of reasonable speed, belted occupants, and a sound operator training program that includes an EVOC certification. When the March issue of Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment comes out, make sure you check out Bob Barraclough's last column. He touches on several apparatus safety items.

 

Don't forget defensive driving skills either. It's hard enough for us to drive these rigs, get them to the scene safetly and then get them back to the station in addition to keeping an eye out for other drivers, including, in some cases, other apparatus.

 

Before you leave the station, make sure everyone is belted in. En route, talk to your chauffer and tell him to slow it down if he is getting too fast. Call your intersections so other responding companies whose path you may cross know where you are. Get there, and get back, and when you are backing in, don't forget your spotters.

 

Chris Mc Loone

Associate Editor

Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Magazine

Comment by Paul Schewene on March 1, 2011 at 1:26pm

This is another way to increase safety...

 

Two words...

 

SLOW DOWN...

 

When a fire apparatus exceeds the posted speed limit, or goes out of the normal flow of traffic, the risk goes up exponentially.


When the lights go on and the siren goes on... WHAM... up goes the risk.  You couldn't make it more risky, than if you painted a big bullseye on it and dared the world to hit you or run you off the road.

 

If you let your driver get you into a position where those seat belts become necessary... you've already screwed up, and that screw up, with or without seat belts, could end with someone else's name added to the memorial.

 

We took guys off the tailboards years back, when I was still young in the business.  Firefighters still died en route to and from scenes and trainings.   We started mandating seat belts... firefighters still die.

 

Maybe it's time we looked more at the damn gas pedal, than anything else in the response phase.  Because if there's one object that can get you into a world of hurt, more than any other thing... it's pushing that itty bitty pedal a little too far, or a little too aggressively.

 

The speed limit or LOWER, is plenty fast enough.  Another 5 or 10 seconds in response won't hurt your outcome nearly as bad, as NOT MAKING IT AT ALL.

 

That's hard to impart when the bell's ringing, or the fire siren's blaring, and you're all fired up to get to the scene and do your thing.   Every kid in this business gets siren-itis.  It might even be part of what GETS us into the business, and gets us interested as youngsters.  God knows I had my bouts of it... and a few times, they resulted in close calls, and yes, I got hurt once as a youngster because I got ahead of my wheels on that 10-speed bike of mine in a response and crashed. 


Even then,the road rash didn't cause me to wake up.

 

What DID, was ma

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