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Thread: Be Right… Be Bright!

  1. #1
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    Default Be Right… Be Bright!

    I don't know the crew from Rock Falls, IL fire department but I'm proud of them. I came upon some crash scene images on the Internet the other day of a recent Rock Falls crash scene.

    What impressed me was their use of hi-visibility vests. In every shot, every firefighter is vested. That's the way it should be.

    Remember, turnout gear IS NOT compliant with the Federal MUTCD requirement for high visibility apparel. Be Right… Be Bright.
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    I personally don't rely on a vest, too many morons that can't even see the big red trucks with the flashy lights. I like PHYSICAL barricades, like the truck, or shutting down lanes or even the whole road.
    I also see dept.s that everyone is running around in a vest, nowhere near a road, on a fire scene. I think too many people rely on the vest and not situational awareness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I personally don't rely on a vest, too many morons that can't even see the big red trucks with the flashy lights. I like PHYSICAL barricades, like the truck, or shutting down lanes or even the whole road.
    I also see dept.s that everyone is running around in a vest, nowhere near a road, on a fire scene. I think too many people rely on the vest and not situational awareness.
    You make some really good points. How about situational awareness PLUS the vests? Certainly can't hurt.

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    I also preach SA, blocking, proper scene lighting, and reducing the amount of emergency lights in use, but what does the vest hurt? If we're operating near traffic, even a man-down call on the shoulder of the highway, we have ours on.
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    Vests, cones, BRT's with warning lights on blocking traffic, squad cars on the scene and people still tried to go around the trucks, through the cones, into the scene. I actually had to stand out at the edge of the cones and direct people to stay out of the scene.

    At another incident we had the road closed due to flooding and were allowing one car at a time to pass through straddling the center line. I had traffic stopped, and had a Litebox flashlight in my one hand and a radio in the other when a lady tried to drive around me. I stopped her, and turned back to watch the traffic come through the water when she bumped me with her car trying to get by me. I admit I was rather unprofessional at this point but I raised the Litebox over my head and said something like "Golly Gee Wilikers Ma'am, unless you would like to see this flashlight come flying through your windshield I advise you to wait your turn." Okay, maybe it was less polite than that but she got the point and waited her turn.

    People need to see us and we need to see them, it is that simple, or should be. The problem is bad attitudes, distractions, and the stress of their day get in the way of common sense and we are an inconvenience to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    when she bumped me with her car trying to get by me.
    Kudos to you for even an "unprofessional" verbal response. I don't think I would be that, well, calm probably isn't the right word to describe it.... I have a feeling that if that happened to me, the driver would be getting arrested and would have a highly damaged car to boot.

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    If my 80,000# truck, the 45,000# squad, the state patrol or the hi-way helper can't prevent a vehicle from coming through the accident scene, a day-glo vest sure in the hell isn't going to help.
    So let's be completely honest, the main reason we where such items is if we don't, the weasels that run the city workman's comp will use any dirty trick available to absolve the city from any liability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    So let's be completely honest, the main reason we where such items is if we don't, the weasels that run the city workman's comp will use any dirty trick available to absolve the city from any liability.
    Although the risk management folks might have some influence on it, I require my personnel to wear theirs because there are going to be times that we have to operate in an area that isn't protected by the apparatus (going across the street to check hazards, getting equipment out of the compartments, etc). It's just too easy to don the vest and provide an additional level of protection.
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    We are now supposed to wear vests if we are workin "near" the road. Before long we'll be required to wear them in the parking lot getting in and out of our cars. It's starting to get rediculous. Personnally, I'd prefer a 30mm cannon on scene rather than vests.

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    I had one firefighter suggest that we should be issued 'spike strips'! Maybe that would fix some of our challenges.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    I had one firefighter suggest that we should be issued 'spike strips'! Maybe that would fix some of our challenges.
    Now THAT'S an idea I can get on board with!! But so many times I see reports of cars flying out of control in to scenes, or drunk or distracted drivers just plowing into trucks without even braking. Vests won't do any good in those situations. But they are useful for Fill the Boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmoore View Post
    I had one firefighter suggest that we should be issued 'spike strips'! Maybe that would fix some of our challenges.
    HAHAHAHA I like that idea too, although the 30mm canon has its merits too! Personally I have considered finding myself a Ferret Scout Car with the twin Brownings and painting it up as a 1st Responder/Chief's Buggy and using it for traffic control. Unfortuntately some of our LEO friends may think differently. That being said, in the Victoria BC area over the past three years there have been at least 2 instances where either fire emergency personnel or highway traffic control personnel have had to dive over barricades or into ditches to avoid being struck by stupid, impatient, ignorant... (and any other adjective) persons who refuse to stop or slow down. One of those TC persons was killed because of such a driver. AND for what? "I had to get to the airport..." or whatever other buggered reason you can think of.

    We are required to wear hi-viz vests when working traffic control - its a WCB thing, and ya they are clumsy to wear when wrapped up in bunker gear, but there it is. Its the rule. Failure to wear it will result in a "No-Claim" response from WCB. Oh and probably a ticket for non-compliance too.
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