1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Right. So I guess they shouldn't be allowed to mow the lawn when they go home since driving the lawn mower is too dangerous.
    Why do you have to always go to ridiculous extremes? Tell me what mowing the lawn at his parent's house has to do with municipal liability. Come on I'll wait. All the years I mowed the lawn at my parent's house I did it as a FAMILY member, not as a member of the FD's Explorer troop.

    Try a little harder to come up with an argument that comes close to making sense.

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    I understand that and I don't want to be in that position either. It would be my *** since I'm the officer in charge of the Explorers and I run their drills. So I'm not saying all this so easily because it won't be my problem. It will be. My point is that supervised training with a tool like this is perfectly safe and places them in no danger at all. I know because I'm supervising it and I know the other adults who will be helping me are of the same mindset as me. It is controlled. It is safe. It is a good learning experience. It is fun. There is NOTHING they can do to hurt themselves short of going kamakazi into the pond and hanging on while it sinks to the bottom. I can think of a hundred things they are allowed to do that are much more likely to result in injury than this. And many of them are things you all who are against this think they should do.

    If operating this glorified golf cart around the back yard during supervised training is dangerous for your kids, I would seriously start looking into replacement supervision.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I understand that and I don't want to be in that position either. It would be my *** since I'm the officer in charge of the Explorers and I run their drills. So I'm not saying all this so easily because it won't be my problem. It will be. My point is that supervised training with a tool like this is perfectly safe and places them in no danger at all. I know because I'm supervising it and I know the other adults who will be helping me are of the same mindset as me. It is controlled. It is safe. It is a good learning experience. It is fun. There is NOTHING they can do to hurt themselves short of going kamakazi into the pond and hanging on while it sinks to the bottom. I can think of a hundred things they are allowed to do that are much more likely to result in injury than this. And many of them are things you all who are against this think they should do.

    If operating this glorified golf cart around the back yard during supervised training is dangerous for your kids, I would seriously start looking into replacement supervision.
    I have been very clear in what I think they should do. No hot zone activities. No live fire training. No use of scba other than safe environment training. No emergency response, whether in their POV OR a fire department vehicle. These programs are educational, not augmentation. Are we clear now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I understand that and I don't want to be in that position either. It would be my *** since I'm the officer in charge of the Explorers and I run their drills. So I'm not saying all this so easily because it won't be my problem. It will be. My point is that supervised training with a tool like this is perfectly safe and places them in no danger at all. I know because I'm supervising it and I know the other adults who will be helping me are of the same mindset as me. It is controlled. It is safe. It is a good learning experience. It is fun. There is NOTHING they can do to hurt themselves short of going kamakazi into the pond and hanging on while it sinks to the bottom. I can think of a hundred things they are allowed to do that are much more likely to result in injury than this. And many of them are things you all who are against this think they should do.

    If operating this glorified golf cart around the back yard during supervised training is dangerous for your kids, I would seriously start looking into replacement supervision.
    That's good that you obviously take the steps to keep your people safe. Like I said not everywhere is so lucky to have someone like that. Those are the places that will have bad s*** happen.

    A little off topic from the FD but I saw a doozie in the warehouse I worked at one night. We used battery operated lift carts to drive around and build our pallets. The "supervisor" was standing on the pallet with a new guy driving. He was beaking off to other workers an isle over trying to look like a big shot for the new fella. This newbie took a corner the wrong way, crashed into a pallet and ended up injuring himself and bozo the supervisor. So it happens on vehicles you would think are the least likely to cause any real injuries.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I have been very clear in what I think they should do. No hot zone activities. No live fire training. No use of scba other than safe environment training. No emergency response, whether in their POV OR a fire department vehicle. These programs are educational, not augmentation. Are we clear now?
    You're clear. Too bad none of that has anything to do with this. This is not about live fire. It isn't about SCBA. It isn't about hot/warm/cold zones, it isn't about lights or sirens. It isn't about augmenting staff problems. You completely ignored and provided NO RESPONSE to anything I said. I can only assume that to mean you don't have anything useful to add so are resorting to unrelated issues. Try again.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvfdff33 View Post
    That's good that you obviously take the steps to keep your people safe. Like I said not everywhere is so lucky to have someone like that. Those are the places that will have bad s*** happen.
    I take a lot of pride and put a lot of effort into our Explorer program. It takes a lot of time and it is one of my major duties as a LT. I have a great bunch of guys that help out with the drills and make it possible. I have the support and backing of all the other officers up to and including the chief. The rank and file of the department are accepting and encouraging of the program and its members. And we have core of great kids that are eager to participate and are an indispensable asset at incidents. Of course we can operate with out them, but when they are there, they are an active part of the operations within their scope of practice.

    I make every effort to have their drills be as hands on and active as I can within the scope of my rules, the law, BSA regulations, and common sense. That includes operating power tools, using hand tools, deploying and operating hose lines, and setting up water supply. TIC, gas meters, ventilation, etc etc etc. We do not have the money to give them all department physicals required to go on air so they do not do that for drills or calls. They can wear the packs for drills, just not on air. We are also trying to do training with our neighboring department's junior once in a while.

    Incidents are a little different. They are not allowed to operate power tools at incidents and obviously they are not allowed in any IDLH atmosphere or to take part in structural firefighting, car fires, etc. Brush fires however, they are can go to town on and they do!

    http://www.nmvfc.org/explorers. Check it out. You'll even find pictures of them loading a patient onto the GATOR for a woodland S&R drill!

    Matt
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I take a lot of pride and put a lot of effort into our Explorer program. It takes a lot of time and it is one of my major duties as a LT. I have a great bunch of guys that help out with the drills and make it possible. I have the support and backing of all the other officers up to and including the chief. The rank and file of the department are accepting and encouraging of the program and its members. And we have core of great kids that are eager to participate and are an indispensable asset at incidents. Of course we can operate with out them, but when they are there, they are an active part of the operations within their scope of practice.

    I make every effort to have their drills be as hands on and active as I can within the scope of my rules, the law, BSA regulations, and common sense. That includes operating power tools, using hand tools, deploying and operating hose lines, and setting up water supply. TIC, gas meters, ventilation, etc etc etc. We do not have the money to give them all department physicals required to go on air so they do not do that for drills or calls. They can wear the packs for drills, just not on air. We are also trying to do training with our neighboring department's junior once in a while.

    Incidents are a little different. They are not allowed to operate power tools at incidents and obviously they are not allowed in any IDLH atmosphere or to take part in structural firefighting, car fires, etc. Brush fires however, they are can go to town on and they do!

    http://www.nmvfc.org/explorers. Check it out. You'll even find pictures of them loading a patient onto the GATOR for a woodland S&R drill!

    Matt
    Looks like you got a good operation going on there. Keep it up.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I don't think your department or city's vehicle insurance is going to have anything to do with it. These are not vehicles. They are power tools with seats.
    The fire department to the north of us has a Polaris that they use as a grass fire unit. My husband is on that department and I happen to know that not a single one of the Explorers is allowed to drive it.
    The Polaris has lights, sirens, pump and tank. Its trailered to all fires behind one of the grass trucks. So if that is considered a tool then I think every department should have one
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvfdff33 View Post
    Looks like you got a good operation going on there. Keep it up.
    I agree! What state are you in?? I loved the webpage!!
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    I would say no, for one reason.

    Putting aside the argument of vehicle vs. tool, my reason for saying no is because it is off road driving.

    Yes, the explorer may drive a pov to school and work, but that doesn't prepare them for negotiating hills and other such angles that may get them in trouble, or roll them over. Add a water tank to that ATV and it raises the rollover potential. Off road is a different kind of driving with it's own pitfalls.

    With this added liability of being a minor, I would advise against it.

    Now with that said, any firefighters should be trained in the off road use of the ATV and get to know it's handling characteristics to be safe. Just because you hit 18 years of age and have the title of firefighter doesn't exempt you from the danger.

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    First to the OP, I have to agree with the majority here in that Explorers should NOT drive any fire apparatus at all.




    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    I don't consider things like a john deere gator or a polaris ranger to be "Apparatus". Those are tools.

    I don't have a problem with a licensed explorer/junior driving a small apparatus (SUV or car) in a non-emergency mode for non-emergency things. There is nothing any different about that than driving from home to the station. We don't allow it anyway but if it were up to, I would allow it. Explorers/juniors should not be a substitute for adult drivers at calls and they obviously should not be driving large apparatus except for training, which is completely prohibited by state law here anyway.
    Where I disagree is an explorer driving ANYTHING associated with the FD. Even if driving non-emergency for non-emergent things, if the FD's logo is on that equipment, no kid, cadet, or Explorer should be in the operator's seat. Even in training situations an Explorer should NOT be driving, there are just too many chances of problems, even in a controlled environment.

    Training with the Jaws, throwing ladders, handeling hoses, etc all have potential for injury, but typically an advisor is right there to intervene if there is a problem, that can't happen with another person driving. Even in driver's ed, the instructor has a brake to intervene with a student driving, I haven't seen that feature on any fire apparatus (truck, FD car, or ATV).

    Explorers should ONLY be observers on a fire scene. An Explorer program is there to give someone a taste of the job to help a kid make a decision about a career. They should not be utilized as members of the FD. While each post is different and some Explorers can do more in some places, the primary role of an explorer is an observer. Explorers are not training programs and training firefighters is the role of the fire department, not a post. There is absolutely NO reason that an Explorer should be driving anything until they are a sworn member of a FD and have been properly trained as a firefighter and are no longer an explorer.
    Last edited by jccrabby3084; 11-23-2008 at 09:33 PM.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Heh, I built the entire department website and now that you mention it, I don't think it actually says Connecticut in there anywhere!

    Crabby, obviously we have differing opinion on what an Explorer post should be doing. I completely disagree with "observer only" but at least you posted with some thought.
    Last edited by nmfire; 11-23-2008 at 09:35 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    From BSA Exploring Webiste:

    Fire and Emergency Services Exploring: Safety Issues

    * Explorers may not be substituted for trained personnel.
    * Explorers must be equipped with personal protective equipment that is appropriate for the activity being done.
    * Explorers may be mobilized only as a post, with required leadership. Explorers are not on call as individuals.
    * Explorers who ride on apparatus or other department vehicles must be seated and must wear a seat belt.
    * Explorers may not drive department vehicles.
    * Explorers may not climb aerial ladders.
    * Explorers may not climb ground ladders that exceed 35 feet in length, or not supported against a structure.
    * Explorers may not enter or perform ventilation procedures on a burning structure.
    * Explorers may not use any tools or gloves on energized electrical equipment.
    * Explorers may not operate cutting torches
    * Explorers may not operate hydraulic rescue tools or equipment.
    * Explorers may not handle life nets.
    * Exceptions: Using an official training facility, the use of aerial ladders with the appropriate safety equipment, and entering a controlled burn building is approved.

    From good ole Webster's:

    vehicle

    1 a: an inert medium (as a syrup) in which a medicinally active agent is administered b: any of various media acting usually as solvents, carriers, or binders for active ingredients or pigments2: an agent of transmission : carrier3: a medium through which something is expressed, achieved, or displayed ; especially : a work created especially to display the talents of a particular performer4: a means of carrying or transporting something : as a: motor vehicle b: a piece of mechanized equipment

    Rather general isn't it?

    With the above information I'd say no they cannot drive the gator. Or use hydraulic rescue tools.

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    This depends a lot on your state laws. At a previous career in another state noone under 18 was allowed to operate any power equipment. We had a cardboard crusher there. They were not even allowed to press the start button on it or even start the freight elevator. In our current state, for the size of ATV we have, anyone 16 and older can ride. Therefore any Jr. 16 or older can use it and they do, but our Board requires all users to under go a certified training course to use it. It is kind of ridiculous but that is what they say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Crabby, obviously we have differing opinion on what an Explorer post should be doing. I completely disagree with "observer only" but at least you posted with some thought.

    I understand that posts are run differently. I started out on a post for the same dept I got hired on and that is a career dept. Explorers can do a ride along and go on calls, carry bags and equipment, but that is the extent of it. On a fire, they will either stay with the rig or sit with the Battalion when he arrives on scene. They get to experience life in a firehouse, the job of a firefighter and what the job entails. It is their decision whether they want to pursue the career or not, we are not there to turn out future firefighters, but to show them a taste of the job to see if it is something they want to pursue later in life. The majority of our explorers do and many have ended up on the same dept.

    For training we give our explorers the same type of training we do, sans live fire. We do ladder work, hose handeling, jaws, saws etc. We don't have to have explorers on a fire scene for them to "learn" the job, they will learn the job like any other firefighter who didn't go the explorer route. They will have a better idea of terminology, tools and uses and tactics, but they don't have to be learning this on fire scenes. We have several firefighters who never seen a real fire before coming on the dept, but because of the training, they knew what to do. There is no reason to rush explorers through such training.

    I understand, since becoming a member here, many volly depts have explorer or cadet posts and use them as a platform to turn out future vollies. Fine. They may help on scene by being gophers or rehab etc, I don't have a problem there. However, there is nothing so important on a fire scene that explorers need to be there and being used as a firefighter. There is no reason to teach an explorer how to drive an apparatus, this is all stuff that comes with training as an ACTUAL firefighter. I don't think any explorer should be in the operator's seat of any apparatus with a FD logo on it.

    In this case, the question was posed about an ATV and from my understanding, and ATV with a water tank and possibly pump. Right there, the ATV is no longer a regular ATV, by a fire apparatus. A 16 y/o could operate an ATV, but how many have such equipment outfitted on it? We have too often heard about LODDs because of tanker/ tender rollovers because of the inexperience of the driver or going too fast etc. There is no reason to teach such operations to kids who are just trying to decide what career path they want to go down. Let them wait until they become an actual firefighter before worrying about letting them drive.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    It is quite obvious that the majority of the posts around are not run to BSA guidlines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
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    I find it funny that some recommend at least 19 to drive a Ranger. I know several 18 year olds driving pumpers and ambulances right this second. If you can drive a hummer for the army at 18, you can probably drive a Ranger.
    Last edited by TNFF319; 11-26-2008 at 02:42 PM.
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    Fire and Emergency Services Exploring: Safety Issues

    There are some issues and hazards specific to Fire and Emergency Services Explorer programs that must be considered when organizing a post. These issues are fairly unique compared with other types of Explorer posts, being a direct result of the post's affiliation with the department and the potential for hazards.

    Before engaging in any training activity or direct operational activities with the department, Exploring and/or department officials should investigate the legalities of Explorers participating in such activities. Most states have child labor laws that define what minors under the age of 18 may and may not participate in. Even though the individual may not be an actual member or employee of the department, these regulations may still apply. The following is a general list of guidelines that should be used for the formation of a post Explorer safety policy. As with any program, extremes of temperature, humidity, and other atmospheric conditions should be considered during any activity.

    One issue that requires particular attention is what the Fire and Emergency Services Explorer will be allowed to do at the emergency scene. Many departments allow Explorers to respond on the apparatus with trained personnel. A solid policy must be established as to what the Explorer may and may not do once he or she arrives on the scene.

    All policies must fit with departmental regulations, Learning for Life regulations, and state laws. All of these issues should be resolved in the post bylaws before Fire and Emergency Services Explorer activities begin. If you have any questions about the safety of an activity not listed, contact your local Learning for Life office.

    * Explorers may not be substituted for trained personnel.
    * Explorers must be equipped with personal protective equipment that is appropriate for the activity being done.
    * Explorers may be mobilized only as a post, with required leadership. Explorers are not on call as individuals.
    * Explorers who ride on apparatus or other department vehicles must be seated and must wear a seat belt.
    * Explorers may not drive department vehicles.
    * Explorers may not climb aerial ladders.
    * Explorers may not climb ground ladders that exceed 35 feet in length, or not supported against a structure.
    * Explorers may not enter or perform ventilation procedures on a burning structure.
    * Explorers may not use any tools or gloves on energized electrical equipment.
    * Explorers may not operate cutting torches
    * Explorers may not operate hydraulic rescue tools or equipment.
    * Explorers may not handle life nets.
    * Exceptions: Using an official training facility, the use of aerial ladders with the appropriate safety equipment, and entering a controlled burn building is approved.

    http://www.learning-for-life.org/exploring/fire/
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    I find it funny that some recommend at least 19 to drive a Ranger. I know several 18 year olds driving pumpers and ambulances right this second. If you can drive a hummer for the army at 18, you can probably drive a Ranger.

    Apples to oranges regarding driving in the Army. There are many rules, regulations and training involved with the military and some kids driving a fire apparatus. The rules and regulations regarding explorers has been posted here twice and while some posts do things different, the general rules still should be followed. Just because someone is of legal driving age, doesn't mean they can, nor should be able to drive a fire apparatus, especially an explorer who isn't even a sworn member of a FD. It is one thing if a person is 18 and a sworm member of a fire department, then it is up to the department of how they operate.

    And since you bring up the military, you could go back to the years' old debate about a soldier under 21 being able to drink. They can fight and die for the country, but they can't have a beer if under 21, not legally. So in the same sense, just because an explorer may be of driving age and have a license, doesn't mean they should drive a fire apparatus either. I have also never seen a dept with stricter rules about operating vehicles than set forth by the military.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspradio2215 View Post
    the question came up last night at our dept. drill/meeting, "should explorers be allowed to drive apparatus?" the apparatus in question was a Polaris Ranger. Does anyone have any Dept SOGs regarding this, or is there some sort of law governing this? looking for any assistance. thanks in advance!
    Ours is prety clear 21 on any class B or greater apparatus or 18 on something driven on an emergency scene, like an ATV or boat. As always responsibility and character play heavily into the qualification process in addition to skill.
    Totally Unacceptable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    If you can drive a hummer for the army at 18, you can probably drive a Ranger.
    This isn't the same at all. That 18 y/o soldier is doing that because it's an occupational requirement they are able to drive. It is NOT an occupational requirement for an 18 y/o, or younger, explorer to drive that Ranger. Heck it's not even an occupation.

    Besides, most military's put their soldiers through the paces when they go on driver training for any vehicle. I know up here north of the border, our driving courses go pretty in depth when we learn a vehicle. We have to go on a course just to drive a military owned golf cart. I would expect the training standards would be much the same in the US.
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    i'd like to thank everyone for their response. It appears that the BSA guidelines cover it all. We decided at our safety committee meeting to deny the driving. Thanks again to lex and spiper. Just for back-up, do you know where I can find the penalties for any violations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mspradio2215 View Post
    i'd like to thank everyone for their response. It appears that the BSA guidelines cover it all. We decided at our safety committee meeting to deny the driving. Thanks again to lex and spiper. Just for back-up, do you know where I can find the penalties for any violations?
    I don't know of any "penalties". Yes, the guidelines spell it all out very simply. As for penalties - I guess that's in your own hands. You have to weigh the risk of someone being injured. Try asking the BSA's and your department's insurance companies how much they'd cover in the event of an incident occuring in which an Explorer was behind the wheel... I'm willing to bet half of my MVA settlement money that it'd be next to nothing - IMO, that would be your penalty should someone become injured.

    The BSA relies on you as the leader to make sure their guidelines are followed. As to what they'd do if they found out we were doing more than what their guidelines say, I'm assuming they'd take our charter away from us... what else can they do?
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    Only City employees can drive City vehicles.

    Explorers are not City employees. Even if they were, we don't and wouldn't allow it.
    Jason Knecht
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Only City employees can drive City vehicles.

    Explorers are not City employees. Even if they were, we don't and wouldn't allow it.
    Aww! Come on dickey! You know I can take HR-1 out without a problem!

    *Crosses Fingers that no dents or scratches would be applied....*

    :P

    I totally agree, however, no explorer, regardless of age, should be allowed to drive a department vehicle. Hell, teens can barely handle cars at times, how the hell would they be able to handle a multi-hundred-thousand dollar vehicle.

    Just doesn't make sense.
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