Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41
  1. #1
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Question Boston: Firetruck parts not correct

    Boston Globe Staff / December 16, 2009:

    The report, prepared by Boston police homicide investigators, points to guidelines issued in 2006 by the National Transportation Safety Board that said such adjustments are “a dangerous practice that can have serious consequences.’’

    The decreased braking power contributed to the massive brake failure Jan. 9, when Ladder 26 barreled down a steep hill and slammed into an apartment building, killing Lieutenant Kevin M. Kelley, the report said.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...ct_police_say/

    1. They did not mention why the parts were “unsuitable’" that the contractor [not firefighters] installed, not approved by the mfg. or what?

    2. They also neglected to mention if Lt. Kelley was wearing his NTSB/NFPA approved/required seat-belt or not? If so, his tragic death possibly would not have occurred, as I think the original story said that "Lt. Kelley was ejected through the windshield"?


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    292

    Default

    When the Firehouse USA Boston shows were on I seen nobody wearing a seatbelt, but then again on that show they were mentioning a lot that their rigs were not reliable.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1OLDTIMER
    1. They did not mention why the parts were “unsuitable’" that the contractor [not firefighters] installed, not approved by the mfg. or what?
    Maybe you need to read page 2 of the story. It says what was “insufficient", and that someone installed smaller brake chambers than what should have been installed.

    I hate to say it, but this is what happens when you farm out fire equipment to repair shops. They either do it themselves as cheaply as possible, not qualified, or farm them out to a 2nd/3rd party shops, that shouldn't be even driving them, much less working on them.

    To throw into the mix, Firefighters that are also unqualified or certified to work on them, or know how the brakes should and do work as a whole. They had a problem with the brakes, and with that, they covered it up by making slack adjustments, that should have never been done. They should have either taken it back to who did the brake work, or found someone else more qualified and experienced with brakes on fire trucks.

    What happened was a tragedy, to say the least. Hopefully they learned from it, and other departments will think about who does their maintenance.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    So a poorly maintained truck with crappy brakes being operated by a driver with no seatbelt. This is like watching a train wreck.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Default

    I think the original "beef" here was that unqualified firefighter's were maintaining the vehicles...yes/no? There are many, many depts. that do not have, or cannot afford to have certified, qualified mechanics on staff...for each make of apparatus they own. Therefore they have no other choice than to "farm-out" all major repair work...yes/no?

    Again, only my opinion as I wasn't there, but I think maybe that Lt. Kelley was not wearing his seat belt as required [or should be] by the NFPA standards, and his tragic death was caused by his ejection through the windshield upon sudden contact with the wall...yes/no? Reason for my conclusion is that, not one word has been mentioned concerning this by anyone.

  6. #6
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    357

    Default

    Correction nmfire, according to the article it would be a poorly maintained truck with crappy brakes being operated by a poorly trained driver. Lt. Kelly would have been the officer on the truck that wasn't wearing his seat belt and by default the crew most likely wasn't either.

    Was it a perfect storm that brought all these events into alignment that allowed this event to occur? Most likely it was a case of luck running out on business as usual. Boston Fire made mistakes regarding preventative maintenance, qualified mechanics and using contractors that were also not qualified. I think that point is pretty clear.

    Now, how many of us can confidently state that all our apparatus are maintained by EVT certified mechanics and that anything contracted out is done by qualified contractors? I can't and I'm willing to assume that many of us are in the same situation. My question is how do we get the people that perform the work on apparatus to meet these certifications? If a FD, that has a fleet maintained by the same mechanics that work on the entire city fleet, offers to pay for the certification, training, etc to get a mechanic brought up to speed can't get it done what do you do? The FD understands the need but the city officials in charge of maintenance don't feel it is a priority. While not stated, the view is it won't happen here. It also doesn't help that the trash trucks generate revenue while the FD doesn't. What the hell do you do to get it done?

    I have not been following this closely but what constitutes a poor drivers training program? I already know part of the answer regarding NFPA recommendations. While NFPA is not mandated it is viewed as the standard, especially when you go court. Just because you have a program that meets the NFPA standard does it mean that your drivers are adequately trained?

    What do you feel constitutes a good drivers training program? What training should the operators receive? Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO) training, pump operations (as applicable), demonstrating the ability to operate the truck and in aspects that it involves, annual recertification, requirement to operate the apparatus X number times between certifications, etc?

    What I'm aiming for is trying to figure out how to turn this tragic event into something that all of us can benefit from. My point is that how Boston Fire was operating at the time of this event is probably similar to how many departments operate. What can we do to evoke a change that will make a difference? Many of the departments in the fire service face these challenges of equipment maintenance, qualified mechanics and qualified operators. The department should be able to change the operators training from within within a relatively short span of time. How do we address the maintenance and mechanics?

    Looking for a constructive debate. I'll also play the devils advocate if needed.

    Thank you,
    Walt
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

  7. #7
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Default

    FFWALT: I think your comments and observations cover nearly everything that needs to be stated.
    What do you feel constitutes a good drivers training program? What training should the operators receive? Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator (CEVO) training, pump operations (as applicable), demonstrating the ability to operate the truck and in aspects that it involves, annual recertification, requirement to operate the apparatus X number times between certifications, etc?

    What I'm aiming for is trying to figure out how to turn this tragic event into something that all of us can benefit from.
    1. A "good drivers training program" has been an issue with the fire service for ever...with the exception of large metro areas that are able to afford "assigned" operators that go through an extensive OJT training program. Think of all the volunteer depts. that "whoever gets to the station first...drives." Not ideal , but with dwindling resources in attracting new vols., and extensively training them to operate a $ half-million piece of equipment under emergency driving conditions, is quite a requirement...especially since many have not driven anything other than a lousy mini crossover. I wonder how many fatal accidents [to firemen] that occurred only a few years ago, when the equipment did not have all the NFPA / NTSB "safety" equipment of today, i.e., disc/anti-lock air-brakes, radial tires, air bags, everyone rode in the open without 4-doors, no seat-belts, and no lousy tops on the truck cabs? Complacency today comes to mind...yes/no?

    2. Everyday you can read something on SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY of F/F, and the mfgrs. have been required by NFPA / NTSB [since the early '70's] to build-in all this which has raised the price considerably...but still people refuse to wear the [required] SEAT-BELTS. I don't think anyone enjoys wearing them, as they are uncomfortable, difficult to harness with gear on, and of course not macho. But, they are required whenever the vehicle is in motion, and the risk of being ejected and/or killed is very high without them.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    So of Can. / N. of Mexico
    Posts
    869

    Default Ladder 26 Accident

    After reading many articles about this tragic accident it appears to be what most accidents end up being, a combination of three or four things that have gone wrong at the same time.
    15 year old truck that has been "rode hard and put away wet" with poor maintenance, steepest hill in Boston, driver who pumps the air brakes reducing air capacity and reducing braking power. Driver who shifts trans to neutral (WTF) so no engine braking and no retarder engagement with the rear wheels. Lt. probably not wearing seat belt.

    Hopefully people learn from these kinds of tragedies!

  9. #9
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Chastise me if you dare, but the bottom line is there, and why Lt. Kelley lost his life.

    Everything concerning this accident points directly to the brakes, or the lack of them. You have brake material that was installed that didn't meet the criteria of the manufacturer or the weight of the rig. You have parts that were installed that did not or were not able to do the job as originally spec'ed and installed by the manufacturer.

    If you're going after driver error, then you need to realize that his pumping of the brakes, was or might of been a panic mode, because the brakes didn't do what they were supposed to do (see above). If the brakes were 100% spot on, he (probably) wouldn't have needed to pump them to stop. As well, would of had 100% control of the speed and control of the rig.

    Whether the Lt. was wearing a seat belt or not, is a moot point, to a degree. He should have been buckled in.

    If it wasn't for the improper brake work that was done, the FF's would have had no reason to make any adjustments to the brakes.

    I'm not changing my views from my original post, but pointing where the blame belongs.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  10. #10
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    357

    Default

    1OLDTIMER, since I belong to a combination department with a very small FT staff can you, or anyone else, explain to me how OJT in the larger metro areas that you referenced occur? My knee jerk reaction would be to assume that using OJT is the same as the departments that whoever gets there first drives. I would like to believe that is not the case so please enlighten me.

    FIREMECH1, I can agree with your point of view and that is why I asked for suggestions on how to get EVT mechanics for those departments that don't have them. Most can't afford, or justify, a FT fire mechanic. A FT emergency services (FD & PD) mechanic might be an option but getting EVT for cruisers is very simple if they have some ASE certifications already. EVT for trucks, pumps, etc is much more in depth. How do we make that happen?

    I respectfully disagree with your views on the seat belt. Considering the need to get FF's buckled up nation wide and the number of civilian fatalities we have all seen resulting from MVA's where they would have lived had they been buckled in it is not a moot point. The accident reconstruction team may be able to conclusively say that wearing a seat belt wouldn't have made a difference and occasionally that is is the case. From a fire service standpoint, he should have been buckled in and by default that contributed to his death. By default I mean then when the use of seat belts goes up the corresponding deaths go down.

    Walt.
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,952

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FFWALT View Post
    1OLDTIMER, since I belong to a combination department with a very small FT staff can you, or anyone else, explain to me how OJT in the larger metro areas that you referenced occur? My knee jerk reaction would be to assume that using OJT is the same as the departments that whoever gets there first drives. I would like to believe that is not the case so please enlighten me.
    I can't speak to what each department does, but it's my understanding that FDNY for example, sends their firefighters who are becoming drivers to a "chauffer school" at their training facility for extensive training before they start working as a driver in their company.

    Some others may not follow suit, but provide training on a more individualized basis while on-duty in the person's normal position. The "trainee" will be taken out for some form of "driver's training" during the shift. The "trainee" may also get to drive when the company returns from a call or goes out on an errand or other non-emergent detail.

    As far as I know, most utilize a system in which companies have a "regular" driver assigned in some fashion rather than having constant change in that position.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,821

    Lightbulb Really, seatbelt use is not a COD.

    I'm with FIREMECH 1 here. While Lt. Kelly may have survived the accident if he was belted, the accident happened due to a the brakes. We can be certain if the accident did not occur, he would be with us today, we cannot be as certain regarding the seatbelt. This is in no way condoning not using seatbelts, but using grown up logic on this issue.

  13. #13
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Default

    FFWALT:
    1OLDTIMER, since I belong to a combination department with a very small FT staff can you, or anyone else, explain to me how OJT in the larger metro areas that you referenced occur? My knee jerk reaction would be to assume that using OJT is the same as the departments that whoever gets there first drives. I would like to believe that is not the case so please enlighten me.
    Come on now FFWALT: First the potential driver should have a Class B-CDL...I know that is not required for most fire apparatus operators, and just because you have a CDL does NOT in any shape or form, mean that you can [actually] drive said rig. The OJT is in conjunction with the CDL instruction. Look at how most professional trucking companies select their operators, whether is a cement mixer, bob-rail or T/T. First have their CDL [usually Class-A], then they spend a few weeks in OJT with a seasoned driver.

    [QUOTE- FFWALT] Everything concerning this accident points directly to the brakes, or the lack of them. You have brake material that was installed that didn't meet the criteria of the manufacturer or the weight of the rig. You have parts that were installed that did not or were not able to do the job as originally spec'ed and installed by the manufacturer.
    [/QUOTE]

    How many brake chamber/cylinder, pad/shoe mfgs. do you suppose there are today? Not very many, and when custom [unlike commercial chassis] apparatus mfgrs. design, create a rig, they use the least expensive they can find...unless of course this is spelled-out to the tee in the buyers specs. Have you ever looked very closely at a custom chassis drive-train/brakes, etc? I know this for a fact that many "grind-off" all of the commercial part numbers on the items that could be cross-matched...so yes, you guessed it...you have to special order the parts from custom mfgr.

    As I said before, the original "beef" here was because F/F's were doing maintenance, and IF LT. KELLEY HAD BEEN WEARING HIS SEAT RESTRANT...WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION.

  14. #14
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    357

    Default

    1OLDTIMER, two things. The second quote you attributed to me was actually from FIREMECH1 who had posted before me.

    Second, there's a reason I stated a knee jerk reaction. That is the first thing you do without thinking. Like I said, I wanted to know what large metro departments do. I didn't know that some have an actual drivers type academy, that's why I asked to be enlightened.

    Regarding the CDL, it is not required at all in Nebraska for emergency vehicles. When I listed the components of a good drivers program that is one thing I left out, the training drives with a qualified driver once the FF has reached that level in training on the apparatus. On our department you can qualify on a grass rig after being on the department for 2 years. There is a six month time frame before you can check out on the next level (tankers, then engines, etc) to help people gain some experience.

    Does anyone have input on my questions of how to get EVT certified mechanics?

    Merry Christmas from Iraq.
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

  15. #15
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1OLDTIMER
    FFWALT:
    [QUOTE- FM1 ] Everything concerning this accident points directly to the brakes, or the lack of them. You have brake material that was installed that didn't meet the criteria of the manufacturer or the weight of the rig. You have parts that were installed that did not or were not able to do the job as originally spec'ed and installed by the manufacturer.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1OLDTIMER
    How many brake chamber/cylinder, pad/shoe mfgs. do you suppose there are today? Not very many, and when custom [unlike commercial chassis] apparatus mfgrs. design, create a rig, they use the least expensive they can find...unless of course this is spelled-out to the tee in the buyers specs. Have you ever looked very closely at a custom chassis drive-train/brakes, etc? I know this for a fact that many "grind-off" all of the commercial part numbers on the items that could be cross-matched...so yes, you guessed it...you have to special order the parts from custom mfgr.
    You have got to be kidding me. Are you stoned, drunk, or just plain stupid??? It is REQUIRED by NTSB that all major parts of the braking system be plainly marked with a date code, manufacturer code, and part number, and something else (brain fart). There's a reason for that, and I'll let you figure it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1oldtimer
    As I said before, the original "beef" here was because F/F's were doing maintenance,
    Wrong again sunshine. There is no "beef" because of the FF's doing the maintenance. They did what they thought was the right thing to do after a second/third party shop just did brake work that INSTALLED SUBPAR BRAKING MATERIAL AND PARTS THAT WERE NOT DESIGNED FOR THAT RIG. What part of that escapes your blind eyes, and dumb brain. Yes, I am hot on this subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1oldtimer
    IF LT. KELLEY HAD BEEN WEARING HIS SEAT RESTRANT...WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION.
    Unless you have the Ultimate degree in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and a crystal ball, you are way off base. With the force that they hit the building, and if Lt. Kelley was wearing his seat belt, you can't say that a piece of equipment flying forward from behind, couldn't of en trialed him from behind, right to his skull, killing him.

    @ FFWALT.... I'm short on time right now due to the snow storm coming in. I'll give you some info on Omaha's fire training and what not that you need. That's where I am working as a mechanic.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  16. #16
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Red face

    FFWALT:
    Does anyone have input on my questions of how to get EVT certified mechanics?
    I am truly sorry now that I brought this subject up, but I am sure FIREMECH1 can provide you with ALL the answers to your question(s). He appears to be an EXPERT on nearly everything there is on fire equipment operation from mechanical, legal issues, name calling and above all...safety. F.H. should consider having him in one of their columns to enlighten all of us stupid, dumb, no count, w/blind eyes idiots.

    You have got to be kidding me. Are you stoned, drunk, or just plain stupid??? It is REQUIRED by NTSB that all major parts of the braking system be plainly marked with a date code, manufacturer code, and part number, and something else (brain fart). There's a reason for that, and I'll let you figure it out.
    I explained that, but you are too busy to READ, EXACTLY what I said. Here is what I said, some [FIRE equip mfgrs.] "grind-off" all of the commercial part numbers on the items that could be cross-matched. Meaning that the part NUMBERS have been replaced by the FIRE mfgr. numbers! I did not say as you insinuated, that all NTSB part nos. were removed, only the original mfg. nos. so that one MUST buy the same lousy part from them. You can buy at almost any truck dealership...the EXACT replacement part...if you could find it...but they don't have a cross-ref. of every FIRE equip. mfg. OWN no's. I bet you THINK that every FIRE equip. mfgr. makes their OWN brake systems. Give me a break Einstein! This is FACT, whether or not you think so or not is not the problem...that it is yours, super-mech!

    I learned long ago that..."an expert can be anyone over 100 miles from home, with a briefcase full of B.S."
    Last edited by 1OLDTIMER; 12-24-2009 at 12:33 PM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    1OLDTIMER... my apologies for the name calling.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  18. #18
    Forum Member 1OLDTIMER's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USAF 389th SAC
    Posts
    255

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    1OLDTIMER... my apologies for the name calling.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

    FM1
    Accepted, and thanks for the "Have a Merry Christmas"...but I don't celebrate Christmas, however if you do...I surely hope you have one...

    Later......................... ..................

  19. #19
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FFWALT
    Does anyone have input on my questions of how to get EVT certified mechanics?
    I wish I had a cut and dry answer to your question, but I don't.

    From reading posts on here, and on another EVT site, it's either easy or impossible.

    Just as every FD out there has differences, so does the need of who works on the rigs. Most big city career dept's have mechanics that are either on the FD payroll, or the City payroll. Or a company/organization that is qualified to work on them.

    On Volly dept's, I've seen them use the FF's as mechanics, use an outside source, or are in agreement with a city, to have their rigs inspected and worked on.

    If your mechanics are working for or under the city payroll or FD payroll, then you can request at some level, that they should be EVT certified. For that to happen, will depend on whether the City or FD has the funds to make that happen. Or, be willing to reimburse the mechanics that pass the test(s), or split the cost, of getting the materials needed, and the cost of the tests, to make it happen.

    Just as everything else is more expensive with dealing with fire equipment and rigs, it's also more expensive to be EVT certified compared to being ASE certified. Anybody working on a fire apparatus should be ASE/Heavy Truck/bus certified as a minimum.

    Only question I have for you, is who works on your rigs right now, and how is it set up.

    I tried staying away from this, because there are too many options a FD can have for the maintenance end of things.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  20. #20
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    357

    Default

    The most of the work is done by the city shops who have three mechanics. The newest one has some ASE certifications because he just came out of the commercial sector. The FD has offered to pay for the training, testing and travel to get at least one EVT certified. No takers. The shop supervisor doesn't think it's a priority and we haven't been able to convince the city manager it's a good idea in order to have it say get it done. Partially the shops is still under the mind set of the previous city manager that made sanitation trucks a priority because they were the only part of the city fleet that brought in revenue.

    Before I deployed I was one the city safety committee and tried working it that way. Got the list of training needed and did all the research. Even tried to bring PD on board and they were happy with the idea but of course the new mechanic had almost, if not all, of the ASE to meet EVT requirements for cruisers.

    We'll keep pushing and I'll be back on the safety committee when I get back from deployment and will continue the fight. The Chief Officers are on board with wanting EVT certifications. Tried everything we can think of and are getting no where. Just looking for some new ammo for the fight. I also understand that if there is a difference of views between departments the city manager can mediate, or mandate, what happens for resolution if needed.

    I'm wanting to hear anything you guys think might work.

    Thanks,
    Walt.
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. When does a firetruck...not look like a firetruck?
    By NJFFSA16 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 05-26-2005, 01:48 AM
  2. South Boston powerplant fire
    By dfdex1 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-04-2002, 06:58 AM
  3. South Boston -Power plant
    By NJFFSA16 in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-02-2002, 12:03 AM
  4. URGENT- Parts Recall
    By NJFFSA16 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-06-2002, 07:07 PM
  5. Replies: 96
    Last Post: 03-29-2001, 09:43 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts