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Thread: Traffic vests or not?

  1. #1
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    Default Traffic vests or not?

    More and more departments are making vests mandatory for the roadway. Does yours? Yes or no, and please explain the reasons or studies, ect...

    No? Not "all" believe the vest is more helpful than turnouts or even helps at all. I'm noticing a school of thought that believes your bunker gear reflective stripes are equivalent or actually better. others even think that traffic vests are hoopla and some believe that the concern to get everyone in a vest during a non -MVA/MVC scenario can even interfere with getting things done.

    Yes? Many do believe in vests and even wear them at structure fires, when they shut down highways and at car fires with their air packs on. some wear them almost every time they get off of the rig.

    Discuss...


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    Personally....

    If the people on the road driving don't see a giant fire engine with its lights on they probably won't see a vest.

    Anyways....
    The general rule on them is wear them anytime you're working in the road unless doing extrication and its getting in the way or doing any fire suppression... So I'm going to keep wearing mine

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    Quote Originally Posted by BW21 View Post
    Personally....

    If the people on the road driving don't see a giant fire engine with its lights on they probably won't see a vest.

    Anyways....
    The general rule on them is wear them anytime you're working in the road unless doing extrication and its getting in the way or doing any fire suppression... So I'm going to keep wearing mine
    Understood, thanks for the opinion. Sounds like decent common sense approaches.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firehouse_Chick View Post
    More and more departments are making vests mandatory for the roadway. Does yours? Yes or no, and please explain the reasons or studies, ect...

    No? Not "all" believe the vest is more helpful than turnouts or even helps at all. I'm noticing a school of thought that believes your bunker gear reflective stripes are equivalent or actually better. others even think that traffic vests are hoopla and some believe that the concern to get everyone in a vest during a non -MVA/MVC scenario can even interfere with getting things done.

    Yes? Many do believe in vests and even wear them at structure fires, when they shut down highways and at car fires with their air packs on. some wear them almost every time they get off of the rig.

    Discuss...

    You got to be s hi ting me Crow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    You got to be ****ting me Crow.
    I don't get it ^^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    You got to be s hi ting me Crow.
    LVFD, where in NYC did you work EMS?

    I'm thinking of going to John Jay in the future for EMS.

    (I don't mean to go off topic, anyone else, please let me know your thoughts about vests and why).
    Last edited by Firehouse_Chick; 12-18-2010 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    My career FD requires either the vest or turnout coat on every call that is not a fire response.

    If it is a fire response or you will be wearing SCBA the vest is not required.


    My volly FD has the same guidelines.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Forum Member Blulakr's Avatar
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    State of California requires them for everybody on highway incidents unless you're directly involved with fire suppression or extrication. I've noticed that highway patrol officers often don't bother with them even though they are also required to use them.

    Personally I think they help make you visible. I'm a big guy and for me they are a P.I.T.A. With turnouts on they just aren't big enough. The velcro comes loose and they fall off
    My wise and profound comments and opinions are mine alone and are in no way associated with any other individual or group.

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Yes they are worn for incidents on the road when not wearing an SCBA. There is no good reason not to.

    I personally have my own personal Hi-Vis ANSI Class III jacket that I wear in the fall/winter/spring if I'm on the bus or otherwise not needing turnout gear. It far exceeds the specs of the vest and and keeps me warm. It's damn sexy too.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default vests

    Every department that I know of in Alabama is required to wear them on every accident on major roads. Unless fire supression is going on. To my knowlege this is required by DOT regulations..... Its the law

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Yes they are worn for incidents on the road when not wearing an SCBA. There is no good reason not to.

    I personally have my own personal Hi-Vis ANSI Class III jacket that I wear in the fall/winter/spring if I'm on the bus or otherwise not needing turnout gear. It far exceeds the specs of the vest and and keeps me warm. It's damn sexy too.
    This makes sense^^^

    A large part of why I started the thread is because I've seen posters on here state that when it comes to the roadway, a reflective vest should be worn at all times on the roadway because turnouts "alone" do not provide the same visibility.

    They've stated that the reflective materials on jackets or bunker gear do not meet the same reflective standards as vests and therefore are not as safe. Are they really not as safe? Studies or points of reference? I don't know enough to disagree, however, common sense seems to be what NM said and what fyred said regarding wearing a bunker jacket OR vest.

    I'm just curious to know if a vest is really safer than the reflective material on turnouts or other jackets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blulakr View Post
    State of California requires them for everybody on highway incidents unless you're directly involved with fire suppression or extrication. I've noticed that highway patrol officers often don't bother with them even though they are also required to use them.

    Personally I think they help make you visible. I'm a big guy and for me they are a P.I.T.A. With turnouts on they just aren't big enough. The velcro comes loose and they fall off
    I agree and will expand with....

    I think they are actually a Federal DOT requirement now. Bottom line for me, I have seen it myself, person with vest in low light has better visibility than someone in just turnouts. The ANSI 207 vests are for FD use, they do not require them for fire or threat of fire. They are for the people in the road "not involved with" fire suppression. If someone gets hit and doesn't have it on, the people involved (OIC,Chief etc) up to the municipal elected officials will be in court to explain why they were not being used.

    Arguing about it will get you no where fast, just suck it up and cover your butt and the people above you so we all go home after the call. The people above you in rank might want to have a home to go to afterward and not have some lawyer take it away from them because you did not feel like putting on a vest to meet a federal / state law.

  13. #13
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firehouse_Chick View Post
    I'm just curious to know if a vest is really safer than the reflective material on turnouts or other jackets.
    The reflective material on bunker gear is not designed or intended for roadway safety. It is for seeing eachother at night. And once you go in a fire, that reflective material is compromised making it even more worthless for traffic safety.

    The standards governing the traffic vests that we are required to wear are far far far greater than what is on our gear. It isn't just reflective striping. It is also the florescent color of the vest. The standards require X square inches of hi-vis color such as the neon green and orange that you've seen plus a certain square inches of retroreflective striping and all of this has requirements for front, back, and side visibility.

    The vests have to be either ANSI 107 Class II or ANSI 207. The 207 standard is the "public safety vest" and it has some features like breakaway fasteners and side enclosures that won't interfere with belt mounted stuff like guns. The jacket like I have is ANSI 107 Class III which is the highest you can get. The Class III rating is because it is 360 degree with sleeves hi-visibility and reflective material.

    The "law" is a federal DOT requirement. It's touchy because it is an unfunded mandate with no enforcement. There is no way to actually enforce it, however it is required and for good reason.

    People who argue tooth and nail against wearing vests on the road suffer from a typical fire service mentality... "Hundreds of years of tradition uninhibited by progress." Younger people take it to it much easier. I thought traffic vests were really cool when I was a teenager in the department so I'm a big proponent of it now.

    Class II Vest


    Class III in the form of a jacket


    207 Public Safety Vest


    FF Coat
    Last edited by nmfire; 12-18-2010 at 02:28 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The reflective material on bunker gear is not designed or intended for roadway safety. It is for seeing eachother at night. And once you go in a fire, that reflective material is compromised making it even more worthless for traffic safety.

    The standards governing the traffic vests that we are required to wear are far far far greater than what is on our gear. It isn't just reflective striping. It is also the florescent color of the vest. The standards require X square inches of hi-vis color such as the neon green and orange that you've seen plus a certain square inches of retrospective striping and all of this has requirements for front, back, and side visibility.

    The vests have to be either ANSI 107 Class II or ANSI 207. The 207 standard is the "public safety vest" and it has some features like breakaway fasteners and side enclosures that won't interfere with belt mounted stuff like guns. The jacket like I have is ANSI 107 Class III which is the highest you can get. The Class III rating is because it is 360 degree with sleeves hi-visibility and reflective material.

    The "law" is a federal DOT requirement. It's touchy because it is an unfunded mandate with no enforcement. There is no way to actually enforce it, however it is required and for good reason.

    People who argue tooth and nail against wearing vests on the road suffer from a typical fire service mentality... "Hundreds of years of tradition uninhibited by progress." Younger people take it to it much easier. I thought traffic vests were really cool when I was a teenager in the department so I'm a big proponent of it now.

    thanks NM for all of the info. That's good enough for me

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    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
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    No we do not wear them. Mainly because they are inconvenient. Constantly taking them on and off is not practical.

    We already have plenty of reflective material between the turnouts, truck/engine, lights. We cannot prevent every situation. It's a dangerous job. We need to take responsibility where we are on the roadway and no vest will effect the outcome of walking out in front of traffic.

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    I have one I keep on my barn coat pretty much all year - especially during hunting season.....some people look at me funny if I run to the store etc, but oh well!

    Here too, if you respond to a highway that receives federal funding it is required.....even the NYS Troopers are wearing them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    The reflective material on bunker gear is not designed or intended for roadway safety. It is for seeing eachother at night. And once you go in a fire, that reflective material is compromised making it even more worthless for traffic safety.

    The standards governing the traffic vests that we are required to wear are far far far greater than what is on our gear. It isn't just reflective striping. It is also the florescent color of the vest. The standards require X square inches of hi-vis color such as the neon green and orange that you've seen plus a certain square inches of retroreflective striping and all of this has requirements for front, back, and side visibility.

    The vests have to be either ANSI 107 Class II or ANSI 207. The 207 standard is the "public safety vest" and it has some features like breakaway fasteners and side enclosures that won't interfere with belt mounted stuff like guns. The jacket like I have is ANSI 107 Class III which is the highest you can get. The Class III rating is because it is 360 degree with sleeves hi-visibility and reflective material.

    The "law" is a federal DOT requirement. It's touchy because it is an unfunded mandate with no enforcement. There is no way to actually enforce it, however it is required and for good reason.

    People who argue tooth and nail against wearing vests on the road suffer from a typical fire service mentality... "Hundreds of years of tradition uninhibited by progress." Younger people take it to it much easier. I thought traffic vests were really cool when I was a teenager in the department so I'm a big proponent of it now.
    That very well covers everthing I could have said, except for one thing. We wear yellow vests, not orange. Why? Because the construction barrels are orange and some people do aim for them. Don't look like a barrel!

    The vest does not take the place of watching out for your own ***. I've seen firefighters wander around the interstate like it's their front yard, and wonder why they get reprimanded. They just don't get the danger.

    You can tell which of us work in road construction. We're the ones who peek around the corner of the engine before walking out. Just in case. Always always always keep an eye on traffic, NO MATTER WHAT TRAFFIC CONTROL MEASURES ARE IN PLACE. Road closed means nothing to some people.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKDRAFT View Post
    No we do not wear them. Mainly because they are inconvenient.
    When one of you gets plastered and the feds deny PSOB benefits because you weren't taking federally mandated precautions on a roadway, go with that. I'm honestly curious how it will pan out.

    Don't believe me? Life insurance companies have been known to deny payment to beneficiaries of MVA fatalities who weren't wearing a seatbelt. What makes you think the federal government will be more forgiving?

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    Inconvenient or not, why not use a tool that may help save your life and limb?

    Ironically, the first firefighter killed in a highway incident after the law went into effect was wearing a vest...

    We generally wear them. Not all MVA situations require full turnouts, but anybody in the road should be protected.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    When one of you gets plastered and the feds deny PSOB benefits because you weren't taking federally mandated precautions on a roadway, go with that. I'm honestly curious how it will pan out.

    Don't believe me? Life insurance companies have been known to deny payment to beneficiaries of MVA fatalities who weren't wearing a seatbelt. What makes you think the federal government will be more forgiving?
    We just had our life insurance rep at our firehouse, and it is amazing the requirments one has to have,all the records ,and basicly all the "ducks" that have to be in a row before they even think about paying anyone any money for any LODD.Not to mention all the investagations that will be done after a death. That incident/scene will be pick apart more ways than most people can think of. Wether it be in a house or on a highway. So many many things I for one never thought about. Always assuming if something tragic happens to one of the other guys or myself, that we would just be covered and our families would be taken care of. It was a huge eye opener for me, and the things i do now, and the things i let the other members do under me. To think something as simple as just wearing a vest stopped a family from getting benifits after a loved one died......
    Fire scenes: A well organized cluster F......
    These are my veiws and opinions.....Im just saying

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