Safety Begins At Home For Firetrucks And Crews
By PENELOPE OVERTON
The Hartford Courant
July 17, 2001
MADISON - The state Department of Motor Vehicles is again offering free firetruck safety inspections to Connecticut towns, following a year-old state law aimed at protecting firefighters from aging, dangerous fire engines.
A pair of state commercial vehicle inspectors began sliding under trucks looking for faulty brakes and frayed battery cables in June. They have reviewed 45 trucks in 15 departments and found fewer than a half-dozen serious problems.
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07-17-2001, 12:12 PM #1
Safety Begins At Home For Firetrucks And CrewsIACOJ Canine Officer
07-17-2001, 10:35 PM #2
I think that all public safety vehicles (fire trucks, police cruisers, ambulances, etc.) should be inspected by a third party and at least quarterly, not annually as it is required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (this is in Massachusetts...I don't know what other states do).
In most communities, the annual safety inspections are done by the mechanics who maintain the fleet at the Department of Public Works. An independent inspector owes no allegiances to a community and can be more objective in performing the inspection."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."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
07-18-2001, 03:39 PM #3Jim LeBlancFirehouse.com Guest
In my area, regardless of when the vehicle was inspected by a mechanic or outside agency, the driver of the vehicle is legally responsible for ensuring it is safe to be on the road. It does not matter if you are a career member or a volunteer, if you are driving it, you are responsible. This includes proper brake adjustment.
07-18-2001, 03:48 PM #4
Jim Le this is the same for my department. We have MONTHLY maintenance and this includes the engineer or officer of the truck taking it out for a test drive and a pump test. Every month this gets done. And we take it seriously. I have myself gone to the Chief when I have witnessed members signing off on the sheet without actually doing the check on the equipment. Might sound like tattle telling, but I don't want to have the brakes fail on a truck when I am driving it. Take care.Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!
07-18-2001, 04:25 PM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Demossville Ky USA
Dal-90 man this is a topic right down my alley!!! As ya’ll probably know I am a volunteer firefighter but what you probably don’t know is that I drive an eighteen wheeler for a living. The DOT requires drivers to do a pre-trip of their vehicle every day to ensure that it can be operated safely. However, and I am also guilty of this, it is real easy to get into a rut of just glancing over things and not really checking them thoroughly. And if you were to ask just about any professional driver what he thinks about going through a DOT inspection he would give you an earful. Now I realize that fire apparatus and semis are not in the same class of vehicles but I believe that the same reasoning must prevail here also. For these reasons at my station we are on a rotating schedule. We have three people assigned to each vehicle for a month then they move to another. Once each group has rotated through each of the vehicles they get a month off. The reason for the rotating schedule is, no two, of our, vehicles is the same. So by the time you are getting into that evil rut you have to learn a different vehicle. With all that said getting an outside inspection done is only going to do one thing, help you in the case of anything, God Forbid, happening. You will have a record of the state inspection and if the vehicle does not pass you will "hopefully" have the maintainence records of the repairs. So as I see it there is nothing but positive sides to having the DOT inspecting the trucks.
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