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First off I want to thank everyone for the kind words I received at this years FDIC.
Ever onward!
At this years FDIC I was moderator of Round Table "Off Line".
One of the questions I posed to the esteemed panel was "We continually hear of firefighter injured and/or killed in vehicular accidents because they were not wearing their seat belts. Should the office be held responsible for this and to what extent?".
We had a good discussion there and I hope we have a similar good discussion here? So, what do you think?

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Comment by Skip Coleman on August 8, 2011 at 8:39am
I could not agree more.
Comment by Mike France on April 19, 2011 at 8:50am

I really believe that we need to educate our service on this topic , last year there was a video from Denver FD , which we used also to educate the FF's here . it followed the step by step process for the FF.

Well , we did because our Commissioner's went to a conference in October of last year and that was big issue , it was brought back to me deal with , We chiefs were mandated from day one to wear seatbelts in our Chief vehicles [ we had to sign the policy]. So it made sense to have one for the FF's. , I added into the Policy that we would follow the NFPA standard also , with removing all loose equipment from the cabs and mounted Helmet holders.


Comment by Skip Coleman on April 19, 2011 at 8:36am
Thanks guys. Both good comments. In Toledo, we established a policy in the late 1980's, probably around 1989. We had a hard time gaining compliance. I know we had a kid fall out of a rig pulling out of the station on a fire run. He broke his wrist. I believe we charged him with a Safety Violation but can't remember if the officer was charged also.
I'm suprised that both of your departments only recently established policies.
Comment by Jack Wesson on April 19, 2011 at 8:13am

I brought this issue up at the Board meeting and the Chief balked at it, so like any good Commissioner i did some research, and locally only one fire dept here has a policy, But i would say yes the officer of the Engine is responcible and also the FF, both should be given a verbal and if the issue comes up you have paperwork to go back , I myself would also hold the Chief accountable also . This really is a no brainer to save lives esp. those of our FF's.

 As a Former NYSP we were mandated to wear seatbelts while in Troop cars , Barrack Sgt's were held accountable if the Trooper did not wear their seatbelt.



Comment by Mike France on April 18, 2011 at 7:34pm

We instituted a seat belt policy this year, we made it mandatory for all to wear them, in the Policy the officer is responcible to ensure all have their seat belts on before the engine leaves. The biggest hurdle we faced was convincing the firefighters that it was for their safety. In any case I as Chief am responcible in the end , But the line Officers first get a verbal , second the Firefighter is given a verbal, to date i have only given 2 verbal warnings To get our point across , I had the training chief present a powerpoint presentation, what i did was take the LODD  from 2010 and present them to the membership, second thru our insurance company we used their on line training program .

Not the best approach but so far the Officers and FF's are adhering to the Policy.


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