01-20-2000, 02:25 PM #1BURNSEMSFirehouse.com Guest
Home Made Harness & Equipment ?????
There is a group of folks whom have fabricated there own Rescue Harness, Pick off Straps ect and are planning to utilize these Items as Rescue Equipment, I have tried to explain, NFPA,OSHA,ASTM ect but it seems to Fall on Deaf Ears, I even doubt they have a basic understanding of Rescue in General,these folks are not on my Dept but another Dept we Dont work with often, Any Suggestions on how to stop this before they Injure Themselves or others would be great, I have called the County E.M., and Association for input but have not recieved a reply....
01-20-2000, 05:52 PM #2DDFirehouse.com Guest
They are taking exceptionally high risks of the possible injury of firefighters and civilians. The civil liability could be tremendous. They would probably not stand a chance of winning a court case. It seems that you have done your duty of warning them. It appears that they do not want or respect your advice. That's the way it goes sometimes. They may have to learn the hard way.
01-21-2000, 12:09 AM #3e33Firehouse.com Guest
ever hear of the darwin awards? I have a potential nominee(s) here LOL. Hopefully they wont take any innocent bystanders with them. Id get someone on the road to fine the **** out of them if thats the last option.
The opinions and views expressed herin are solely mine and not on the behalf of any department or organization I belong to.
01-21-2000, 01:58 PM #4RomaniaFirehouse.com Guest
I have to admit to have had used a 'homemade' pick-off strap in the fact that for years I never had a pre-made one just a sling of 2" webbing tied with a water knot (overhand follow-trough). This actually worked well, and is stronger than my CMC pick-off strap. BUt then again, my pick-off strap is not UL certified for NFPA either.
There is more than likely a bigger problem here, certified equipment. THese people are the saem that don't feel that they need UL certified to NFPA standards equipment. That it is just a hoop to jump through. This is especially true with non-FD rescue squads and agencies. I don't know what top tell you to do, except keep some distance between you and this agency as best you can. If your two departments are working the same rescue incident, let them know that it is your way or no way.
Alan Romania, CEP
IAFF Local 3449
My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.
01-21-2000, 03:22 PM #5AXMAN620Firehouse.com Guest
IT SOUNDS TO ME THAT THESE BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE TRYING TO OPERATE UNDER SERIOUS BUDGET RESTRAINTS, AND ARE TRYING TO DO THE BEST THEY CAN. UP INTILL RECENTLY ( YEAR OR SO) EVRY TIME I WENT OVER THE EDGE, IT WAS WITH TUBULAR WEBBING AND A CARIDENER WITH AN EIGHT. THEY MAY BE DOING WHAT WE DO BEST. "TAKE TH EQUIPMENT AT HAND AND DO THE UNTHINKABE.............AND MAKE IT WORK". AS LONG AS THEY ARE USING COMMON SENCE WITH A GOOD SOLID BACK-GROUND PLAYING ON THE LINE THEY SHOULD BE O.K AS A NOTE YOU SHOULD TAKE A MINUTE THE NEXT TIME THEY TRAIN AND GO WATCH EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE PARTICIPATING.
SEE YA' A'' @ THE BIG ONE!!!!!
01-22-2000, 02:38 AM #6TJHELMSFirehouse.com Guest
Thats a pretty big decision for a chief to make. Does he risk the life safey of his men by using equiptment that has not been tested or proven? Does he open himself,the fire dept,or town or city to litigation should a piece of equiptment fail during a rescue or training? I would not want to be on the losing end in that lawsuit. Our jobs are dangerous enough with the best equiptment and I would hate to see us take a step backwards and start resorting to using homemade equiptment.There is no way to know how homemade equiptment would stand up to shockloads.It`s not worth the risk to your men.
01-30-2000, 01:06 PM #7S. CookFirehouse.com Guest
Is Dave "the sky genie's better than everything else" in charge of this dept.?
01-31-2000, 06:45 PM #8BURNSEMSFirehouse.com Guest
Howdy, Scott I think so,,, These folks are beyond Help I think,, I do recognise the fact that you can make adaptions to Equipment such as Slings, Webbing ect,, and I also Know that you cant have every thing that every body else has,,, Webbing would be better than this Home Sewn Stuff,, as i said before our Dept works with this group very Little and I wish them Luck I just hope they are not serious about Vert Rescue Very Long... Besides there are no Tall Buildings in this area... only very Tall Trees..
02-05-2000, 07:40 PM #9Capt. EdFirehouse.com Guest
Hi Jeff! Sounds like you might have a SERIOUS problem on your hands. Every one at one time or another has fashioned equipment out of whats available. 99% of the time, it's with other certified gear. If these folks are truly using home sewn straps that are tested (?), perhaps they might show you the bench results. If not, and you have an operation with them, I'd make real sure you used your own stuff exclusively. Short answer, your a** is whats in the sling, make sure it'll stay there. E-mail me if you want to discuss this further.
Ed Beirne, Metro West FPD
02-21-2000, 04:37 PM #10NCRSQ751Firehouse.com Guest
Have you tried going to a lawyer that specializes in injury cases? A lot of times those guys (sharks) are more than happy to do some public service work, and I think that giving you a short written opinion of how they'd chew them alive should they injure someone might help. Seeing it in black and white from an 'authority' might work if they can be reasoned with - the almighty dollar is always good leverage.
02-28-2000, 01:27 AM #11RWKFirehouse.com Guest
Before you suggest bringing the lawyers in it might be a good idea to find out the details about the application of "homemade" equipment.
NFPA (at least in the latest draft of 1983) makes allowances for "special" rescue applications (mountain, cave, etc. rescue).
I tend to aggree about sewing runners - a good tied (water knot) runner (in 1" tubular webbing) will probably be better than anything you can sew yourself. Bartacking is done in very specific ways on special machines.
Used properly, even these "improvised" items can be safe and functional. The big danger comes from not knowing how to use them properly (operator error).
02-28-2000, 02:12 PM #12fridayFirehouse.com Guest
Anybody competent enough to be teaching these characters should be able to teach them to tie a swiss seat or make loops with water knots. Sewing your own without proper sewing equipment AND proper non-destructive testing is looking for one of the aforementioned Darwin Awards. Operating on a shoe string can make people do some stupid things, but maybe they would accept some help if not crammed down their throats. Observe them at drill if you can (but don't stand under them ). Praise them for their initiative and say " may I show you another way to do that"? Heck, print this forum topic and give it to the most receptive member. It's because folks want to help that groups like this are together in the first place, but you can't help anyone if you kill yourself. Capt. Dan
02-28-2000, 03:30 PM #13RWKFirehouse.com Guest
I have been a "lurker" on this site for some time (gathering interesting info.,etc. - my primary focus is techincal rescue vs. fire fighting) and I thought that I would chime in.
I strongly AGREE w/Capt. Dan. It may not matter what certification/standards the equipment the individuals in question are using. If it is not used properly......
Incomplete or poor training will lead to more problems than improvised equipment (likely) ever will. Being able to improvise safely and effectively is usually the product of experience and training. Improvising with neither is a recipe for disaster.
I would strongly advise that anyone going "over the side" be using something other than a swiss seat. A functional harness for a rescuer can be purchased for relatively little $$. A swiss seat (when tied properly...) can be very functional for a "victim".
Help out your fellow rescuers - show them alternatives that are better and safer, maybe even invite them to one of your trainings.
03-18-2000, 04:49 PM #14Sfrsc4Firehouse.com Guest
Here is just a "What if?". What if these firefighters had the experiance, and equipment to actually make better equipment than was commercially available? I have seen U.S. Navy Boatswain Mates do things with an industrial sewing machine that would make your average seamstress wet her pants.
I don't know, but there seems to be a lot of negative critisizm without seeing the product. This is just the opinion of someone who builds there own fire trucks, 'cause he can't afford a manufactured one.
Roger Ellis, Capt. Speedway Fire/Rescue
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