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  1. #1
    daysleeper47
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Riding the Tailstep?

    Hey Guys and Girls,
    I was reading the article about a Mack CF crash and it said that a fireman was riding the tailstep. How many of you have ridden the tailstep and would you want to do it just once more...for the sake of tradition? I know it is quite unsafe.

    I do agree that that the Firefighters involved in the crash should have received some sort of finacial settlement for the accident, but I am only asking why they were riding the tailstep.
    Here is the article I am refering to: http://www.firehouse.com/news/2000/10/10_mack.html

    I am not here to argue whether or not riding the tailboard should be illegal or notJust curious if yo uhave done it or woul like to if you haven't. Thanks folks,


    ------------------
    Joe
    Daysleeper47
    "When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."

    [This message has been edited by daysleeper47 (edited November 05, 2000).]

  2. #2
    391HD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Whether legal or not, it all boils down to choice and money. Life is full of choices. If you choose to ride the tailboard(step), yet were told not to, or that it is illegal, then hey, it's your own fault when you fall off.
    The same for seatbelts.
    The same applies for one who smokes cigarettes.
    Don't think for a minute that they're concerned about your life.
    No, no, no! It cost some insurance company(s) somewhere lots of money, so that's why you're not supposed to do that stuff.


  3. #3
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Tailstep...tailboard, same thing.

    And not so much ILLEGAL as really HIGH LIABILITY. Maybe there is OSHA regulations against it...but that's administrative rules and fines, not something you'll be hauled before a real judge for. NFPA are standards, not laws or regulations.

    After Pirsch was put out of business in a product liability lawsuit in the mid-80s from someone who slipped while holding a chrome hand-hold, the industry started tightening up their standards. They stopped building rear steps you could ride...and soon moved to fully enclosed cabs to minimize their liability.


  4. #4
    FireFJayT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    I am amzed at anyone riding the tail today. Too many innovations over the years have made safety a high priority so why ride where you can fall. Although it was fun.....!

    ------------------
    "No matter what rank I have attained, I am, at heart, a Firefighter First"

  5. #5
    Neptune 33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Due to the fact that it was a CF, could they be reffering to the part between the jump seats and the pump panel as a tail step? I know some Dept's allow members to ride standing there.

    ------------------
    Neptune 33

  6. #6
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Any fire chief that still allows this practice (backstep riding) should be taken out back behind the barn and thouroughly flogged.

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  7. #7
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    As a matter of record, at least in Ohio, there are no "laws" that specifically prohibit riding on the outside of a "public safety" vehicle. However, riding the tailboard is a violation of recognized safety standards which is where the liability comes in. If a department permits this to happen, and someone is injured because of it, the department would be clearly liable should a civil action take place.



    ------------------
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  8. #8
    emsbrando
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    I agree. I don't know of any "laws" being broken here, but I seriously doubt that any workmens compensation claim will be approved if there was a suitable place in the rear cab or anywhere else and it wasn't used.

    Our department has stopped the practice, and if all the seats are taken up, we pull out one of our suburbans and respond with the truck.

    Ed Brando

  9. #9
    fdbxny
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    When I first started in 1979, we still rode the backstep (as we called it). As a young Firefighter it was an exhilarating experience. Rolling up to a job was nice too, since you already knew what you had before you got there, since visibility was excellent. Now we ride in the cab belted in our seats. Not a lot of fun but much safer.
    Phil

  10. #10
    Philip C
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Riding the back step was still being done by departments as recently as five years ago.

    From what I've read and been told most quit doing this long ago, as daysleeper mentions, but a few hung on until much later. The incident in question happened in 1995, that is probably why this seems like it should be old news. Take care and be safe.

    ------------------
    Phil Clinard
    Laurel VFD
    Prince George's Co Sta 10
    Laurel, MD
    www.laurelvfd.org

  11. #11
    daysleeper47
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Well, I don't know if I would call it old news, but the only reason I brought it up is because the ensuing court case was just finished. I thank all of you who responded. You have answered my question.

    ------------------
    Joe
    Daysleeper47
    "When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."

  12. #12
    smokeeater51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm 27 years old, and back when I was a young'un.....anyways, when I started the fire service in 1991, the department I was on didn't have any engines with jump seats or crew cabs, it was tail all the way. I must say that it was a really great ride, right up until they started sanding the roads in the winter time. The sand just kinda swirls around the rear of the engine and right into the eyes. Ahhh, the good ol' days. Not to mention when the engineer has to jam on the brakes for some idiot who didn't see the big red woo woo coming, and you kiss the diamond plate. Man I loved that ride. Oh, oh, and then there's the times when it's raining, and the tail is really slippery............ Really though, as young as I am, I consider myself very lucky to have been able to ride on the tail, cause let's face it, when it comes to firefighting traditions, riding the tail is what got Americas attention, and immortalized the firefighter.
    I know that this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but hey, we're all allowed to wander sometimes......right? Hang on, it's gonna be a great ride.

    Take care, stay safe, & stay low.

    Lt.

  13. #13
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    There is no law on the books in Pennsylvania that prohibits riding the tailboard. Just about any insurance carrier will tell you not to do it, and that's good advice. I don't know of any company in my area that allows crew members to ride the tailboard anymore, but it is still common practice in some places (actually...you sometimes see it during slow-speed parades even in my area, but only during the parades themselves...in that case, it's really no worse than having people standing alongside the ladder on an aerial, as long as they're not doing it outside of that context).

  14. #14
    BMTFD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    wouldn't you rather have to many firefighters to ride in the truck instead of to little firefighters to put out the fire.


  15. #15
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    I rode the tailboard just once in my career....NEVER AGAIN!!!



    ------------------
    Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting our tomorrows....
    Captain Gonzo

  16. #16
    hagerff/emti
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I am a vollie in a small rural city. Here we do still ride the tailstep...when you respond to a fire in town. It is fun and not the safest practice but FUN!!! I realize that it is not the safest place to ride but the driver needs room to shift so its hard to put more than 3 in the rig. We only have three rigs, a cheifs suburban, and the water tanker. It is sometimes hard to get all the FF to the scene.

    BEND YOUR KNEES...HANG ON TIGHT.....WE GOING TO FLY!!!!!!

    ------------------
    D. Hager
    FF/NREMT-I
    West Trail Amb. Svc
    Mayville FD

    REAL HEROES WEAR SCBA'S NOT CAPES

  17. #17
    TM
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Hey there dayslepper47 The only time we ride on the tailboard is in a Parade I think the NFPA Made it Illegal beacuse of the high fatality rate I know a guy from Pasadena FD died after he was thrown off of E-31 responding to a fire he hit his headwas unconcious went into a coma never awoke and died two days later Pasadenas onbly Firefighter to die in the line of duty

    ------------------
    Tim Macias
    TMacias@Firehousemail.com
    Engine 101

  18. #18
    Drewbo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    There is a certian town in Northern PA that has two engines that are set up for tailboard riding, I know cause I volunteered there for a while. I am sure there are small town elsewhere that still do also.

    But... Let me tell you, as dangerous as it might be, nothing kicks ^$$ like riding the back of a 1970 Hann to a fire.

    ------------------
    *************************
    * God Looked down and
    * saw this was bad, it
    * was bad, it was Drew
    *************************

  19. #19
    N34BLACKADDER
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have companies right outside Philly that still ride the tailboard

  20. #20
    Jake295885
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ya I rode it a few times, back in the days when hose wagons had 300 gallon booster tanks and you could see where you were going. It was great fun, we had a 15 minute scott bottle that you slung on your back while hanging on for dear life.

    I also remember riding the side of the trailer on the hook & ladders in Washington D.C.....

    But my fondest memories are riding that 67 LaFrance open cab pumper in Monroeville Pa. with Platt at the wheel....Truck 28 was pretty cool too even though it was GREEN...........Jake

  21. #21
    Philip C
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think it would be cool to do it once, but that is all. I would have to be fully dressed already so I could use both hands to hold on for dear life! When I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a garbageman, so I could ride the backstep of the garbage truck all over my neighborhood! Take care and be safe.

    ------------------
    Phil Clinard
    Laurel VFD
    Prince George's Co Sta 10
    Laurel, MD
    www.laurelvfd.org

  22. #22
    jj1967
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I rode a lot of tailboard as a young fireman. On a 57 International and a 67 Maxim. In the summer it was a lot of fun. In the New England winter, it was pure misery. I also wore a 3/4 coat and hip boots. I don't miss it much, but I must admit...on a nice spring day I miss it more.

  23. #23
    ffnbs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    TRUE STORY-
    November 19th my family and I were on our way home from the upper peninsula of Michigan after my no-tag-fillin' hunting trip. We were entering a small town and were stopped in the middle of town by a police vehicle blocking the road. There was a fire truck nosed part way out of the front of station with the rear of truck still in the station. When the fire truck pulled out I couldn't believe my eyes! There was three firemen sitting on top of the hosebed and approx. 8-10 firemen on the back step holding on to anything they could including each other! I'm telling my wife to get the camera quick but we didn't have it with us, would have made a great "can you believe it" picture.

  24. #24
    daysleeper47
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Wow, that is one photo I would love to see. Some of these stories are great guys, keep them coming.

    ------------------
    Joe
    Daysleeper47
    "When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."
    "Dusting desire - starting to learn. Walking through fire with out a burn..."

  25. #25
    DFD420
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I don't agree with riding the stepbut in our comapny we have 29 member and only 5 spots without the back so its either drive your own vehicle or ride the step.

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