More and more attention is being paid these days to the use of seatbelts in emergency vehicles. Let me preface this by saying I am all for the use of seat belts! I use mine every time I get in the truck. Iím number one! It doesnít do anybody, any good to be on scene in less than five minutes if we donít survive the trip there.
That being said, with all of the attention focused on firefighters surviving accidents because of wearing seat belts, where is the study on why emergency vehicles are being involved in such an increase in sever accidents? Aggressive driving is what seems to me to be killing more and more emergency workers.
Letís face the facts. Until new technology is developed (i.e. pack harnesses and mounts that can act as a seat belt while strapped into the truck), seat belts hamper the ability of a firefighter to be geared up and ready to go in under the 5 minutes granted to be on scene. Seat belts hamper the paramedicís ability to perform CPR, start lines, and perform general patient care to a trauma victim. Yes, all of these issues take a back seat (pardon the pun) to me staying safe in the vehicle to do my job. But if our driver/operators slow down a little, and start to operate in a defensive mode when they hit the red lights and sirens, instead of thinking itís the worldís obligation to get out of their way, maybe weíll safe some lives and insurance premiums by not rolling the trucks to begin with.