1. #1
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    Default Do you stop traffic when backing into the firehouse?

    Gor those who back into their firehouses, do you have firefighters hop off the truck and stop traffic?

    my chief has us doing this, as does my boss at work, and I think it's a dangerous practice. His answer was to wear an orange traffic vest

    my thinking is I would rather some driver who isn't paying attention hit the nice steel vehicle that I am sitting instead of a firefighter or EMT wearing an orange safety vest. plus if another driver doesn't see the big truck with all it's lights on, are they really going to see someone who is trying to get them to stop?

    anyone else have any thoughts on the topic?
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    ive seen plenty of videos of FDNY firefighters doing it both incoming and outgoing from the station.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n7h9-v38mE :40sec in.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRRbA...eature=related right at the beginning you can see members headed out to stop traffic and people.

    I dont disagree that it might be dangerous to stop traffic, but every aspect of the job is dangerous for us. Although i think that it would be safer to have someone standing in the road letting people know exactly what your trying to get them to do rather than just have them see the truck backing in. At this point they might go around the truck and hit someone in the oncoming lane, but if your standing there waving at them to stop, its more likely that they will. But there are people out there who dont give a damn and will still drive right around anyways. Do what you can to stay safe, but dont lose your job over something that alot of other people do every day.

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    Are you kidding? I look so good, the traffic comes to a screeching halt!







    We have the firefighter jump out always as a backer to make sure the driver doesn't hit anything. That being said, in some of the houses, on busy streets they also watch for the occaisonal idiot who will try and pass between the engine/truck and the station. A couple of the houses, the truck has to pull all the way across the street just to get lined up for the narrow doorways.
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    we do. Use the truck to block traffic, traffic stops. We get out, make sure so no tries to drive around or no pedestrians dart behind the truck and we back it in.

    I know the fire service has killed people backing into quarters, so I think its important to do it.

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    We walk the rigs out, I am not to concerned with the traffic....its the people walking in front. I would rather a car hit the rig then me. The people walking by though, we make sure to stop them until we are out.
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    Depends on how many trucks we roll. We are lucky enough that our station sits far enough off of the road and the apron is wide enough that when one engine returns from a call we are able to back a it in without being in the road. If we roll more than one truck, we when return home, we will block the road with one truck while the other backs into the bay.

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    our approach doesnt not require this ........and we akways use a spotter when backing up ........
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    Here on the city dept, trucks coming into the station activate a flashing red light about 50 m back from the station on each side. Traffic must stop. They still use a spotter to back the trucks in however.

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    We have the officer/crew chief jump out and be the backer any time the vehicle is moving backwards.

    We don't have to stop traffic because our station is off of a dead end and we have a long tarmac in front of the station.
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    we jump out when backing in.


    I know a few ghetto houses that use axes when they back.... to ward off pesky drivers
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    Exclamation

    Most of our houses are now drive through, but a few still have to back into the house.

    Our members wear the traffic vests and also have a hand held STOP sign, on one side and ALTO on the other.

    They use this along with the ememrgency lights on the apparatus to help stop vehicles from running through. Every now and then there is an idiot who tries to go around the rig from behind torward the curb. Once an idiot did this and hit the hydrant on the curb and into a steel utility pole!!!

    Members must be aware of oncomming traffic at all times and never turn your back to them!!

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    Two of our 3 stations require backing into quarters. One has a long driveway, so there is no problem there.

    The other is rifght on the street. the apron is only 6 or 7 feet. The road is narrow enough so that when the rig sets up to back in, it completely blocks the road.

    If I am in the car and following the rig, I'll run "interference" for them and block the lane of travel I am in.
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    Whether you need to pull into the street depends on what apparatus you are in (turning radius), which hole you're backing it into (why can't we be in the center?) and what direction of travel you're coming from. If traffic is crazy, I'll step out into the street. Otherwise, the red lights usually do the trick.

    We use a back-up person returning to the station, but I've always thought any engineer who couldn't back a truck into a hole bigger than him using a painted line as a guide shouldn't be driving.

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    We have two stations. The station on the east side of town is in a residential area and they rarely have to stop traffic.

    We might as well keep the rigs parked at the curb if we didn't stop traffic at the downtown station.

    I do what Gonz said and block traffic with my car when the rigs are backing in. All members directing\stopping traffic wear ANSI Class II vests.
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    My Vollie dept, flips the lights on and has spotters.

    Paid - We have the right of way...after aircraft. Also post spotters.

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    our sops state that all firefighters jump off the rig to spot the driver back. with vest on or turnout coat. when we return to the station we are suppose to stand in the street to stop traffic. that is what the safety officer tells us. however after jumping and dodging cars for a few weeks.(eight lanes of traffic 4 in each direction) the capt told us screw that and just stand on the sidewalks to block the people walking. he stated he would rather take the write up then having us get hit by a car.

    We do have a traffic light that we change when pulling up to the firehouse with a remote. however cars still run the light. So we pull up on the sidewalk to drop off the firefighters. At least once a day the truck almost gets hit when backing in.

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    Yes, we have a guy or two get off the truck. Didn't do it a few times and had some cars pass around the engines. Stopped the cars and asked what they thought they were doing.....the drivers replied they did not know what the fire trucks were doing and since they were stopping in the middle of the road, they would just pass on the side.

    Drivers of cars aren't mind readers. They don't know what the big truck in front of them is doing. So, we stop, let guys off, then pull forward and do our "back in".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Drivers of cars aren't mind readers. They don't know what the big truck in front of them is doing. So, we stop, let guys off, then pull forward and do our "back in".
    Exactly! That's one thing I try to teach new guys about every part of fire department operations... We may do something every single shift, but the citizens around us are probably seeing it for the very first time.

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