Thread: Spotters

  1. #1
    wannabe-EMT Guest

    Post Spotters

    How many departments have SOPs/SOGs requiring the use of a spotter when backing apparatus, and how is the spotting performed?

  2. #2
    Colin S Guest


    We do not have a SOP but it is highly recommended

  3. #3
    M1NFD Guest


    We have no official policy, some people use them, some dont. They drive me nutty personally because you get:1 The birds....the ones who wave thier hands like they are trying to fly giving you directions. I only want one direction STOP!!, other than that let me do the driving......2:the caspars, you know they are friendly enough, but they turn into ghosts and disappear from mirrorview forcing you to stop until they get it.......3:the God syndrome, those are the ones with the flashlights at night who think you need the mirror illuminated so you can see it and all you can think of is COME TO THE LIGHT, becase that's sure as hell all you can see, but then again I work with drivers that seem to use the force when they back up, and everyone on my department knows who they are, so whoever is feeling lucky helps them while the rest of us disappear....

  4. #4
    Bob Snyder Guest


    We have a strong recommendation that we use them, but no formal SOG. In truth, I sometimes use one and I sometimes don't. Usually, I don't in places that are familiar (backing into the station, etc.) and do in places that are unfamiliar. Of course, this is exactly how I backed the ladder over its exhaust line and someone else backed it into the neighboring bay's air line drop.

    The best policy, I admit, is to use a spotter. The best spotters are other people qualified as driver/operators...this usually avoids the kinds of problems that M1NFD talks about.

  5. #5
    Ten8_Ten19 Guest


    I took an EVOC class a couple of years ago and the instructor advised against using a spotter. Surprised the heck out of me.

    In his opinion a spotter is generally not necessary and you run the risk of running over him. I tend to agree with him, how many times have you had a spotter that felt he had to be four inches from the truck while you were backing or cross behind the truck to hit your other mirror without letting you know?

  6. #6 Guest


    We do not have a set policy but leave it to the discretion of the driver. The only time we use a spotter as policy is when we have mutual aid departments backing up to our dump tanks. This is not to say our drivers are better just that we are more familiar with our drivers abilities. I have found that our drivers will ask for a spotter if they feel they need one. I know this may sound like an irresponsible policy but we have not had a backing accident in the twenty years been here. Why mess with something that is not a problem.

  7. #7
    SFD-129-3 Guest


    We do have a SOG regarding the use of a spotter as the piece backs up. As a main driver of our quint, I can honestly say I don't use one backing into the station. I know I pull by to a certain spot and watch the mirrors. I wouldn't think of not using them anywhere I wasn't entirely familiar!

  8. #8
    Tillerman-6 Guest


    Our written policy is when the vehicle is backing-up (into station or into traffic from a side street) the crew will (1) Have the red lights on. (2) The officer will be the rear spotter. (3) The jump seat rider will be a spotter at the front of the truck or stop traffic, whichever is need more.

    And to Ten-8... the rear spotter is not to cross behind the rig or be in it's path at any time, always to the side.

    "Back off man... I'm a Scientist."

  9. #9
    Ten8_Ten19 Guest


    Tillerman - Absolutely. You just have to make that clear to the knuckleheads that want to crowd the truck and think they are invincible. We all have to remember if we're using a spotter to hit the brakes if we lose sight of them for any reason.

  10. #10
    mike021 Guest


    Whenever the truck is in reverse, no matter where, there is always someone in the back of the trucks, and ambulance's to spot the driver reversing. backing into the station we have a spotter and 2 guys to block the street

    Norwood Fire Co. No. 1

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