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  1. #21
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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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.
    Who do the parents or family have to blame though for the lawn mower? Nobody but themselves. With an FD owned Ranger that opens up a whole bunch of people that they point the finger at for allowing their child to operate this vehicle ultimately resulting in them being injured or God forbid killed.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-22-2008 at 04:43 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    This my friends is an example of an EXCELLENT post by Brother FWDbuff.

    Honestly, most of you need to look at what you have explorers for. Are they there to learn and experience firefighting? OR are you simply lieing to yourself and using them to augment inadequate adult staffing?

    The intent of these programs is EDUCATION, not augmentation of your staffing. Placing these youth in harms way is not the intent.

    To answer the original poster. NO, explorers should not be driving any FD vehicle...EVER. And saying a Polaris Ranger is a tool and not a vehicle is silly beyond all belief. Do you ride on it? Is it powered? Golly sounds like a vehicle to me.
    I agree. However, I would not be surprised if the explorers here were allowed to drive golf carts or something of that nature during a large event. It has yet to happen though, so perhaps it never will. And in my opinion, it should stay that way.
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  3. #23
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    My whole point is that it isn't dangerous if we're talking about supervised training. Would someone please tell me how a teenager (who is allowed to drive a 7,000lb SUV to school in the morning) is in some kind of danger learning how to operate a John Deere gator or Polaris Ranger in the back yard?? What are you expecting too happen?

    I'm all for keeping the kids safe but geez, lets be a little realistic here.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #24
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    Default Explorers and Probationary One old Guy's Opinion

    In our Volunteer Dept., No one is permitted to operate mobile equipment with less than 5 years in the department. This would pretty much eliminate all of our members until they are at least 23. Long ago we recognized that the adrenalin rush was a problem for many young firefighters. When this condition gets in the way of rational decisions, the drivers seat is no place for that person. I understand this question was directed toward operating off road 4 wheelers, and I believe this same condition should apply. I have been present on too many serious injuries that occur to young operators, who seem to have a mind set that they are invinceable. Broken legs, punctured lungs and serious back injuries are among the routine things we get called for when a "Young Hot Dog" gets carried away with speed and adrenalin on the trails of the A.N.F. The search group or recovery operation can not afford to come to an instant halt when one of your own gets injured while working on a job. In addition, our department requires the completion of operators safety training on a defined course for all of our off road equipment. the simple fact that you have your own 4-wheeler does not make you qualified to operate the department's equipment.

  5. #25
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    My whole point is that it isn't dangerous if we're talking about supervised training. Would someone please tell me how a teenager (who is allowed to drive a 7,000lb SUV to school in the morning) is in some kind of danger learning how to operate a John Deere gator or Polaris Ranger in the back yard?? What are you expecting too happen?

    I'm all for keeping the kids safe but geez, lets be a little realistic here.
    Any vehicle can be dangerous,regardless if it's supervised or not. But supervised training never goes wrong does it??

    While you may operate your training in a way it wouldn't, other dept's may not. I've seen those "supervisors" who say, oh well I'm gonna take a break for a second, you just stick around here and practice. Bang, next thing you know someone is on the ground.

    IMO this isn't so much about them not being able to operate because they are not difficult to run. It's more so a liability and parent's coming and saying you let my child operate this and now little Johnny is in the hospital with busted bones. That would be my whole deal with it all.
    Last edited by ndvfdff33; 11-22-2008 at 06:28 PM.
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  6. #26
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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.

  7. #27
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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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.

  8. #28
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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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?

  9. #29
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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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

  10. #30
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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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.

  11. #31
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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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
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  12. #32
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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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

  13. #33
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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
    Jami Sue

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  14. #34
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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!!
    Jami Sue

    facebook.com/firechick337

    Live each day as if it were your last!

    Ember Lou loves all of her firefighter families!

    GFFD forever!!

    Gorham-Fayette Fire Explorers Rock!!

  15. #35
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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.

  16. #36
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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.

  17. #37
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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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.

  18. #38
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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.

  19. #39
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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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