View Poll Results: Do you think riding the tailboard should be allowed?

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  • Yes. The position should be allowed.

    35 32.11%
  • No. It is too dangerous.

    72 66.06%
  • The what?

    2 1.83%
  1. #1
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    Default Riding the tailboard.

    How many would like to be able to ride the tailboard (for the older FFs "again")?
    Last edited by Acklan; 03-25-2010 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    I rode the tailboard once... it was on our quick attack rescue for a medical (cardiac arrest) that involved the father of a member of my group. I was ordered to go with the Rescue, and since it had a 2 man cab, I had to ride the tailboard.

    I lost a $100+ pair of Corning Optics Serengeti Driver sunglasses and thought I was going to die.
    The Rescue hit a good sized bump in the road.. and I went airborne, almost coming out of the saferty harness. the travel distance was about a mile, and it was terrifying (of course, the adrenaline rush of dealing with one of your own had a lot to do with it).

    I would have to say no.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-26-2010 at 08:13 AM. Reason: additional thoughts
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    How many would like to be able to ride the tailboard (for the older FFs "again)?
    I had a chance to ride for about 12 hours back in 1998. The only reserve in the fleet left was a tailboard rig. Pretty fun, but riding through the ghetto at night being the only one back there would give me the heeebeee-geeebeees!!!

    Then the Ops Chief found out we were riding tailboard, and that came to a screeching hault!

  4. #4
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    I guess I'd try it once just to say that I did. But I definitely wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis.

  5. #5
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    Default Tail Board

    I had to ride the tail board for four years.....had a few close calls of being thrown off. There were "NO" straps to hold you on.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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    I hate to say it, but I don't think my knees could handle it - or if I would subject them to it again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I hate to say it, but I don't think my knees could handle it - or if I would subject them to it again.
    At least you still have knees.

    I rode the tailboard in the '70s up to about '83.

    Let's just say... it was an adventure.

    I saw alot of guys lose their grip or slip off. I fell once and that was enough.

    You know you're having a bad day when you hit the pavement after falling off a Big Red Truck moving at 30 mph.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  8. #8
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    I rode for 4 yrs and was the very last to ride. normally we had 2 on the tailboard and one morning, while the cook was at the store in the pickup, we had a vehicle fire at the Mcdonalds in my district when everything went to hadeez. I was strapped onto the rear handrail when I could hear airbrakes approaching. I looked around to see a concrete truck (rear unloader w/pump on the front bumper) approaching a bit too fast and I start to try to unbuckle and the strap won't open. I started to panic. I even tried to climb up the back wall. When the truck got stopped I could step from the tailboard right to the bumper on the truck. As I looked backwards over the hood I could see the driver laughing, I thought I was going to be crushed at the least. When we backed into the station my Captain realized there was something wrong with me. They got me back in his office and got me calmed down enough to talk. The Chief came out and I explained it to him. A police officer came out I explained it to him and he visited the concrete company and the driver was fired on the spot. We were already off the tailboard at the other station and had our engine on order to take us off the tailboard. Until it came the Chief ran a backup engine to get us off the tailboard
    Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down? (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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    We operated engines with tailboards up to early 80s. On a summer evening, nothing better than to feel the wind in your face, in the winter, nothing worse. For nostalgia sake, i miss those days. From a common sense point of view, thank the Good Lord they are gone.

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    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  11. #11
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    Yes. Call me what you want, but it worked for us.

    0 injuries from back step riding.
    2 injuries from guys stepping out of enclosed cabs.

    Would I want to ride 5 miles on the back step? Nope. Course, my response area is 1 sq mile so that is not much of an issue.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  12. #12
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    Rode back there once or twice, but never on a response. Our old engine (Ward LaFrance Fireball) had seats at the back of the cab. No belts, just five seats. They were no fun on a response either, especially in foul weather or a north country winter.

    The new engine came in after the no tailboard edict had arrived.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  13. #13
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    I rode the step for a few years. I enjoyed it.

    Then we got belts and had to wear em, not as much fun, but still fun.

    While we had no injuries from riding the back step, amazing since they were riding long before "zerol tolerance" if you know what I mean.

    I would say there's no going back.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Yes. Call me what you want, but it worked for us.

    0 injuries from back step riding.
    2 injuries from guys stepping out of enclosed cabs.

    Would I want to ride 5 miles on the back step? Nope. Course, my response area is 1 sq mile so that is not much of an issue.

    Ditto

    I rode for about 12-14 years and I guess we were pressing our luck, but all of our injuries were from the jumpseat area, never the back step. We also had "subway straps" which were great for holding on.

    Tactically, I also thought it was better. You definitely had your job assignment. No ifs, ands, or who go out of the crewcab first got the nozzle. Since all our lines come off the rear (no crosslays), the man positioned by one of the outboard locations had the knob. Center backstep personnel were hydrant, jump seats had F/E, search with the only (2) SCBA!

    Ah the good old (cold!!!) days. Some of my best memories.......

  15. #15
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    I rode the tailboard "in the day" when I was younger. Our runs could be out to 5-10 miles over rural roads. Not sure why we didn't get someone hurt or worse. Done that... not again.

    J Yonkin

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    Rode tailboard for the first 2 years or so.

    Was it a good idea? Hell no! But it was the way things were done, and it's one of those things that never should never be done again.

    But it did look damn cool.

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    I'll stick with the comfort of a closed cab. Riding an open cab in rain and snow sucked. Forget about having to stand and hold on.

    As for re-instating things from the past; I'd like to see bunker gear go away and be back in a pull-ups and a long coat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    I had a chance to ride for about 12 hours back in 1998. The only reserve in the fleet left was a tailboard rig. Pretty fun, but riding through the ghetto at night being the only one back there would give me the heeebeee-geeebeees!!!

    Then the Ops Chief found out we were riding tailboard, and that came to a screeching hault!
    Even when we had engines where we rode the tailboard, except for laying line, NOBODY rode back there alone. The more modern Seagraves had a nice wide tailboard and a reasonable suspension, but our reserve engine was a 50's era Mac pumper that was one hell of a wild ride (HOLD ON TIGHT!).

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    Lightbulb

    When I was a kid in a small midwestern town the volunteers would ride four guys on the tailboard of the 1953 chevy with the front mount pump. Since it was a rural fire dept. they road miles back there. Don't know if anyone got hurt but the shop keepers, mailman, butchers, etc took a big risk riding back there.

    I can remember seeing rigs with a windshield mounted at the rear of the hose bed for the tailboard riders.

    I can also remember seeing Chicago fireman riding standing on the side of tiller ladders hanging on to the side of the ladder sections because the tractor was a two seat Cornbinder cab over.

    I think the Fire Service has moved on and understands there are better ways of doing the Job!

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    Regularly? Of course not.

    But yeah, I'd like to try it once. Hell, I jumped out of a plane and dove off a cliff. Why not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The 52nd View Post
    As for re-instating things from the past; I'd like to see bunker gear go away and be back in a pull-ups and a long coat.
    Absolutely!!!!
    Just a typical moronic, childish, idiotic munchkin.

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    I rode on the back step once heading back to the staging area (2 miles down a dirt road) Took 3 days to get the dirt out of my teeth and hair lol so Nope never again.

  23. #23
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    The first parade I took part in as a new vollie firefighter was the last time we rode outside the rig for any reason.8 guys in the hose bed,4 on the midships pump station and two on either side hanging onto the climbing steps leading to the hose bed.Board of Trustees did not like seeing that on the local news.
    The only story I've heard from the days before the department had rigs with enclosed cab and enough seating for 6 involved someone not noticing that the station lawn mower was underneath the rig as it pulled out on a call and dragged the machine to the closest RR crossing where it dislodged.
    Now,I've ridden outside a Nissan XTerra trying to stop some robbers once,but I do not recommend it for the thrill seekers as the risk of injury is great.
    Nah,there're seats inside where it's warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.Call me a wuss but that's where I'll ride to the calls.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by The 52nd View Post
    As for re-instating things from the past; I'd like to see bunker gear go away and be back in a pull-ups and a long coat.
    funny. We finally went to bunkers in 2003. had the old 3/4 boots and long coats up til then. A big unprotected gap in the protective envelope right in the diaryair (and nads!) got your attention quick though!

  25. #25
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    Not only did I ride the rear step of a hose wagon but the side running boards of the trailer of the tractor drawn aerial ladder trucks.

    In fact unless you were the driver, officer or even the tillerman on the truck, these were the only place to ride until the newer rides started to come in back in the 1970's.


    How about it Harve, remember that Brother???


    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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