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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    Default High Visibility: Who Needs to be Vested and When?

    Okay. A trash truck dumped its' burning load in the roadway and your crew is on scene. You are the engine company officer.

    Of all the responders (PD, FD, Tow, Trucking Company, etc) who would come to this type of incident in your jurisdiction, who needs to be "vested" while they are feet-on-the-street?
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Here,ANYONE who is not engaged in ACTIVE Fire supression. In this instance the road would be shut down until supression operations concluded. By the way,that job STINKS! T.c.

  3. #3
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    Hi

    I agree with Rescue101, all but those actively firefighting will be in Hi-vis vests, road closed or not vests will be worn.

    Jon

  4. #4
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Our FD is religious with the vests, except when actually fighting the fire.

    The police and EMS are not consistent at all. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It's just not something their leadership has enforced.

    In fact, I'm betting we are the only ones with an actual roadway incident SOP in the immediate area.
    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."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  5. #5
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    So would you wear them during extrication, how about during a large flammable liquid spill?

  6. #6
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    Cool My Understanding of the Law.....

    My understanding of the law is that all personnel are exempt if they fall under the following categories:

    Firefighters are exempt from the requirements to wear high-visibility safety gear when responding to accidents or fires on a federal highway right-of-way. Approved safety vests don't meet the requirements for resistance to heat and flame necessary for fire-fighting gear.
    Of all the responders (PD, FD, Tow, Trucking Company, etc) who would come to this type of incident in your jurisdiction, who needs to be "vested" while they are feet-on-the-street?
    Short answer, all but FD since we're actively involved with Fire Attack/FF Operations. Especially PD since none of their clothing has reflective trim which is mandatory under this Regulation. I understand why they don't it makes an easier target to hit, I get it.

    As far as the question about a large flammable liquid spill, that falls under the fires section. The extrication would fall under the accidents section.

    This is right from the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration's) website:
    The interim final rule allowed firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in emergency operations that directly expose them to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials to wear retroreflective turn-out gear that is specified and regulated by other organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association.
    NFPA states that full PPE's should be worn while operating at Fires, HazMats and Traffic Collisions so per the wording from FHWA's website as long as the FFs and Crews are wearing their Turnout Pants, Turnout Jacket, Helmet and such they're still following the Regulation. Compare the reflective material on the Hi-Vis Vests to our Turnout Gear, I'm pretty sure we're covered by more reflective material on our Gear.

    Again, take this as my understanding. I may be wrong, my suggestion is to follow your Departments SOPs.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 10-30-2010 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Forgot to answer this question...
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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  7. #7
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    Hi

    A hi vis vest is part of our standard PPE for extrication or any incident on the highway.

    If it were to involve a large flammable liquid spill we would also be wearing them unless we were in SCBA of required to wear any other extra PPE for the incident Gas Tight suites etc

    Depending on the incident we wear the correct PPE for the Risk, which may be no hi-vis in the hot zone.

    Jon

  8. #8
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    Mikeyboy : Where did you get this excerpt from?
    "Firefighters are exempt from the requirements to wear high-visibility safety gear when responding to accidents or fires on a federal highway right-of-way. Approved safety vests don't meet the requirements for resistance to heat and flame necessary for fire-fighting gear."

  9. #9
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    In this scenario it looks like we would close the entire road, and in that case you don't need the vests at all. As the incident starts to wind down and any traffic starts the everyone on scene needs to wear vests.
    I haven't done any actual tests but we are outside firghting a car fire, I don't really think the vests are going to melt. I personally wouldn't take the time to take the vest off.

  10. #10
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    Cool

    The first quote is from doing a search for "Standards for High Visibility Safety Vests." When eHow's link shows click on it or just go to http://www.ehow.com/about_6170297_st...ety-vests.html. Look under "Exemptions."

    The second quote is from Mr. Moore.

    The third quote comes from the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration's) website. Enter http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/policy.htm and check under "Worker Visibility Final Rule."
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy View Post
    NFPA states that full PPE's should be worn while operating at Fires, HazMats and Traffic Collisions so per the wording from FHWA's website as long as the FFs and Crews are wearing their Turnout Pants, Turnout Jacket, Helmet and such they're still following the Regulation. Compare the reflective material on the Hi-Vis Vests to our Turnout Gear, I'm pretty sure we're covered by more reflective material on our Gear.
    In a nutshell, you're taking two different standards meant for two different things and sticking them together to get the result you want.

    The amount of reflective material isn't necessarily the issue- it's the way it's arranged. Look at a Class II vest front and back, then look at your turnout coat's reflective material. See the difference?

    That's why you need a vest unless ACTIVE FIREFIGHTING (wet stuff on red stuff) is taking place. Your turnout gear is not and never was meant to make you more visible to moving traffic- otherwise it would look like the vest! And unless your gear has never been in a structure fire, claiming that its reflective material is as good as the reflective of a Class II vest is a stretch at the very least.

    If the highway construction workers in my area who never leave their work zone that is protected by miles of 8000lb Jersey barriers have to wear one, what makes you think that you can get away without it?

    I won't be surprised if (federal) PSOB benefits start getting denied for responders struck by traffic who weren't wearing a vest when (federal standards) required- maybe even their private life insurance too. Not at all. Don't do that to your family- stop trying to play fast and loose with the standards just because you don't like it, and wear your vest!
    Last edited by emt161; 12-11-2010 at 09:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    As far as me wearing my Vest, I will wear it as my SOP states..... In my district, Law Enforcement (PD and the MPs) close the road anyways so not a HUGE issue.

    Using (2) standards to get what I want, nope... I posted what the Feds came-up with, so I'm not the one who has (2) Standards.

    Also, the description of the reflective material actually came from the "Standards of Reflective Vests" that is listed in my post earlier. Check it out if you disagree with the comment....

    If the highway construction workers in my area who never leave their work zone that is protected by miles of 8000lb Jersey barriers have to wear one, what makes you think that you can get away without it?
    Ahhhh, because the Federal Regulation actually states when the Vests do not have to be worn. Educate yourself and you'll find out..... That's what makes me think I can get away without it. I have educated myself, my Crew and my Management. It is obvious to me that you have not read the Regulation for yourself. I can tell that by your "wet stuff on the red stuff" comment. Your comment about the reflective striping on our Turnouts is incorrect also. Hey, by the way do you know what gear we use? Nope..... Didn't think so, so don't make ignorant comments like this.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 12-13-2010 at 09:28 PM.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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