1. #1
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    Default SOP for traffic safety vests

    Was wondering if anyone has come up with an SOP for the new federal law inregards to the traffic safety vests. Anyone willing to share? Thanks
    Lilyogi

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    I imagine we'll all be writing them within the next couple weeks. Let me know when you get yours done!
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Shouldn't need a new sop since it is a Federal law. Do most of you guys have a SOP saying that to some extent all federal state and local laws pertaining to a situation will be followed.

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    If it was as easy as saying we'd follow all the laws, we wouldn't need any SOPs at all. Seems not all of my firefighters & ems people know specific laws so we need to tell them what we expect in different situations.

    No, I don't have a SOP for wearing of the safety vests yet, but I will have soon.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Yog, this ones simple, you wear one. With that said, my question is; Will DOT stripping on your bunker gear cover this law?

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    I've heard that they're reviewing the law and striping on bunkers but so far it doesn't meet the intent of the law. I'm sure the color of the coats themselves don't fare well in the daytime so we may have to change our bunker coats to green or orange?
    It's really not a bad idea to be seen. It'll just take some getting used to and the cost isn't so bad, either. We probably should have had these things years ago.
    And I guess the easiest sop would be to say that if your feet are on the street, the vest is on your back.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    If you're looking for more information on this rule, ResponderSafety.com is about the best resource I've found. It seems like somewhere on the site they have a sample procedure, but I can't remember right off-hand.

    There are a lot of changes that are likely to come with this law. First and foremost being the issue of wearing a vest while fighting fire. We all know that wearing a polyester vest isn't the best thing to be doing, but apparently the people who actually wrote the law didn't know that was a bad idea. So, several fire service groups are working on the changes that need to take place.

    Bunker gear will not work to suffice the requirements for two reasons. First, color of the material is not the high-visibility orange or yellow. Second is that the carbon and smoke deposits that's left on our gear after a fire greatly diminish the visibility of both the material and the reflective striping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jboczek View Post
    And I guess the easiest sop would be to say that if your feet are on the street, the vest is on your back.
    If your feet are on the street, the vest is on your chest rhymes better..

    The firefighting aspect of this is what has bothered me since I heard about this law. Sure, take it off for structure fires..but what about car fires on the interstate? Am I going to be violating a federal law if I don't wear my vest while fighting a car fire? I've HEARD that the law says that when firefighting operations are over, the vest must be on but not during them, but I'm not sure how true that is.

    I know the vests are needed. But the law was written by people who don't know firefighting operations. It needs looked at!
    DJ

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    If I remember right, Willow Springs has great Powerpoint regarding the MUTCD standards in addition to the use of vests. We've had an SOG in place for over a year regarding use of vests, but now needs to be adjusted to meet current standards.

    As for the concern of use on fire scenes, there are vests made of fire retardant materials out there for about $40+ not including screen printing. If you can look behind the fire retardant properties and want a very good deal, go with the Illinois Dept. of Corrections inmate fabrication department. They have a level II breakaway vest for about $28 and $14 for one time screen setup charge and $1 per print charge. You can't touch a screen printed vest anywhere for that price.

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    respondersafety.com has the powerpoint presentation for download. Gives some excellent reasons to get on board.

    It was too early this morning to worry about rhyming.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    There is not and will not ever be firefighting turnout gear that meets the ANSI 107 Class II standard. It is not possible. Even if someone did feel compelled to make a coat like that, the first time you actually wear it into a fire, its done. Not gonna happen. So you can pretty much write off any hope of our gear being acceptable for this. That being said, the only way to do it is to wear a vest that meets ANSI 107 Class II requirements. Also remember that the ANSI 207 "Public Safety Vest" does not meet the requirements.

    This law is absolutely moronic. A bunch of incompetent but well-meaning idiots got locked in a room and came up with this blanket policy that is nearly impossible to follow. They gave the police a huge exception to the rule for nearly all their day-to-day business. The only time they need to wear one is while directing traffic. The fire service got nothing. The doofuses that made this rule are fully aware it is impossible for us to follow this rule. They freely acknowledge that it is impossible for us to follow this rule. And when the fire service said to them "so what are we supposed to do if this new law is impossible", their response was a blank stare into space followed by a lot of "umm uh ah um well that's the rule. I'm serious. I watched an hour long webcast put on by these DOT people and that is what they said.

    As for what we're doing... we're putting two vests on each truck which will cover all the people handling traffic control duties. They are directly exposed to traffic and should absolutely have these vests on. However, I will not make someone extinguishing a car fire or doing an extrication put on a vest. That is more of a hazard than the traffic. The DOT can go screw off and concentrate on filling pot holes rather than telling us how to do our jobs they know nothing about.
    Last edited by nmfire; 11-08-2008 at 12:22 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I'm going to have to side with nmfire here. First off most case studies were done on dot workers. I fully agree that traffic control, plus we have a spotter, and will go as far as anyone not working directly with the incendent. With the stupid drivers it is just not going to make a difference, if they can't see the big red trucks, and support rigs with light bars going, then how are they going to see a little yellow vest, but something needs to be done. How about mandatory prison time for any violation, that should open some eyes. I personally would like to carry a paint ball gun to mark cars for later tickets.

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    Yogi,
    We are in the process of writing up an SOP too. We should have the same one for all of MABAS 43 I beleive since we all cover for one another at times.
    I know we won't be wearing them if there is any fire involved since the vests are nylon. However we will still have one on the Pump Operator and have the cones out and be using our rigs to block the scene effectively. More and more people are being hit at scenes due to drivers not paying attention due to them talking on their cell phones or rubber necking at the engines and FFs doing their jobs. In any case the vests will make us stand out more than just having turnout gesr on, especially since ours are black.

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    I have written an SOP for our department. It states that once extinguishment has been completed the vests have to be donned. Those not participating in extinguishment will have them on the whole time. Sounds good Batt1RIFD. Let me know when you have it and I would love to get a copy. Thanks
    Lilyogi

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    We got a newbe! Welcome Bat1. While I got you guy's online; Div 31 took Possession of an air truck a couple of months ago, been wanting to get up to show you guy’s. Yog we have it stored at our station, so we are only what, with lights and sirens maybe 20 min out. Big fire, training, dive team, we can supply all the air you need, also has 2-300ft reels, plus a distribution box and an additional 1200ft of hose for supplied air, this is kind of unique in that it will allow you to get 600ft from the air source. It’s a MABAS asset so you might want to put on your cards. If you want me to bring it up to show, send me an email. I know everyone has bottles, but after a big call, who wants to baby sit the compressor for a couple of hours.

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    Respondersafety.com does have a vest SOP template. It's only like 2 pages. I think it is what our district is going to use.
    http://respondersafety.com/Training/Downloads.aspx (go down to Model Vest SOP).

    Also, on the front page is the modification made to the law for FF's performing activities where a vest should NOT be worn.
    The success of a fire department depends on the willingness of its members to put aside their differences and work for the benefit of the dept/community.

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    Default Home page tag?

    Wasn't there just a piece on the Firehouse home page within the last week or two saying that the fire service was going to be exempt from the vest rules somehow?

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    No, you're not exempt. It was the worst headline in journalism history, possibly upending "Dewey Defeats Truman" in stupidity. The fact that such a demonstration of incompetence was front-page on FH.com made my irony alarm explode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDean867 View Post
    Wasn't there just a piece on the Firehouse home page within the last week or two saying that the fire service was going to be exempt from the vest rules somehow?
    The modification to the rule states that we can forego the vest when engaged in firefighting or hazmat duties that make them more of a danger. So if you are packed up on a line for a car fire or dealing with leaking fluids, you don't need the vest because you need other PPE.

    If you're not engaged in the fire supression or hazmat operation, then you still need the vest on.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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