Thread: Seatbelt use...

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    Default Seatbelt use...

    Does anyone use seatbelts in your depts?

    Although it is law in most, if not all states, I find that most don't!

    why? is getting there so quick more important than seatbelts?? With more accidents each year involving apparatus, why don't we learn?
    FFJBARRIE<br />MY BROTHERS CALL ME "BOOBARRIE"

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    RJE
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    Way back in 1980, we had a Seagrave Custom and two commercial cab engines, all three w/rear facing jumpseats w/SCBA backs.

    All these "open" seats had lap belts. Dept. policy was you'd be in bunker pants and coat when you got on, and immediately fasten the lap belt. You put on the pack enroute if it was a fire call. Helmets came off only to put on the hood. Masks came after you'd dismounted the truck.

    I know that not every member wore those lap belts all the time - but I know that most did, and still do, even though now it's enclosed cabs and shoulder harness belts.

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    Every seat in all of our rigs have seat belts and firefighters are instructed to wear them. Our SOGs also reflect that they are to worn.

    Everyday life, ya, I have caught myself not wearing them midway to a call and put them on. Like everyone, sometimes to rush of the responce gets me.

    Now, however, those sitting in the offier seat, be they officer or not, when they recieve our member's PASS tags, he checks that their seat belt is on. Just that friendly reminder catches most of us.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    My department has a SOP's that everyone should wear seatbelts while responding and I find that almost everyone does. It does not take much more time to put on or take off seatbelts but it does take a smart person to make sure you don't entangle your seatbelt with your SCBA straps. I usually leave my my seatbelt on and then buckle my SCBA when I get off the rig.

    We have all seen the damage that is caused in MVA's but yet we don't wear seatbelts ourselves.

    Are we hypocrites when we are telling the public to wear their seatbelts and check there smoke detectors during Fire Prevention week.

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    Our new LaFrance has an alarm that sounds if your belt isn't on and you are in the seat.
    We have to wear our belts. Last year a Chicago officer lost his life because he was ejected after a crash. No one on the FD did anything wrong, except for not wearing his belt. If he had his belt on he would be here today.

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    Our dept. requires that all persons in a fire dept. vehicle are to wear their seatbelts. It is the Driver's responsibility to check that all persons have belts fastened before veh. is moved. While responding to a fire in an open cab, bunker pants and coats min. on and pack up when persons arrive at scene if pack is not located in jump seat. We have 1 open cab Engine that the rear packs are mounted with a 45 deg. mount in the middle of the rear seat. The city has even gone as far as designating certain employees to check to see if belts are fastened and if they check and see that yours is fastened, then you are given a gift certificate. Persons are never told when they will be checked. Hope that this answers your question or gives anyone an idea for an incentive program that will get people to wear them. Besides the fact of it saving a life.

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    None of our trucks have seatbelts, even our newer rescue. But, if they did, I can`t see anyone wearing them. There`s too much activity to be "stuck" to your seat", Getting your irons together, your pack on, etc.

    I rode along with a few other guys in a brand new truck on a test drive. My Dad was driving, the Chief at the time was in the officers seat, and me and another FF were in the back, we all got in, and my Dad started it up. Just then the salesmen yells "Stop, get your seatbelts on" We all looked at him like he was really nuts, but we did it anyways.

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    In my dept. we have to wear seatbelts if possible. I stress the if possible, cause we have a 1970's Ford Chasis that does not have seatbelts and our old engine also doesn't, including our heavy rescue which don't either. So our policy is if they are there, you wear them.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

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    Originally posted by BFD45:
    <STRONG>There`s too much activity to be "stuck" to your seat", Getting your irons together, your pack on, etc.
    </STRONG>
    Since when is getting your irons together more important that your life? There is absolutely nothing more important that getting to the scene alive and safe...

    It takes probably four seconds to pick up an axe and haligan. The State of Connecticut teaches 45 second drills in Fire I, so there's no reason why you can't put a pack on when you're on the scene.

    Better hope OSHA doesn't find out that you're running trucks that don't even have seatbelts.

    - Turk II

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    Turk II, I have to agree with you! What good can you be if you're not there, in the worst case, to help your family or dept.? If people are so concerned about "getting ur irons ready", mount them as a married couple inside the cab! Mitch, I'm sure that there are retros to the trucks w/o belts to add belts. I just hate the what if's after something bad has happened. Especially when it doesn't cost as much as an injury or death to have belts put in. I just know that our job is dangerous enough as it is and we should do as much as possible to reduce the danger and not add to it. I say this with nothing but love for my fellow brothers.

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    You send us money for those seatbelts, cause we run on a very strict budget and can't afford a pen. Well maybe not that strict of a budget, but sometimes it seems that way and I am sure you all know what I am talking about, but I will bring up the seat belt thing.

    [ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: Mitch RFD ]
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

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    Originally posted by Turk II:
    <STRONG>

    Better hope OSHA doesn't find out that you're running trucks that don't even have seatbelts.

    - Turk II</STRONG>
    Out of the 5 Vol. departments, and the fully paid department downtown, no one has seatbelts, and OSHA has not required any of us to put them in. Once we get our new engine, if it has them, our rules may change.

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    I wear my seatbelt in my own car, and make sure that my passengers are wearing them also.

    However, on the rig, I only wear my seatbelt to anything not involving donning my SCBA. I'm an adult, and I don't need anybody checking to see whether or not I'm wearing it at work. I take full responsibility for not wearing one under certain circumstances, and would resent being micro-managed by the "Seatbelt Police"!
    Living the dream...

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    Just a couple thoughts...

    - I would hope everyone dons full TOG and SCBA before heading into a structure fire.

    - I would hope everyone double-checks their harness and lifeline before stepping off during a rappel.

    - I would hope that no one enters a confined space without checking the atmosphere first.

    - I would hope that everyone tags up, uses PASS devices, and works in teams.

    - Most of us only perform operations warranting the above precautions on an occasional basis.

    - All of us know that the above measures are not always adhered to, often with fatal results.

    - ALL OF US travel to incidents in a motor vehicle. Walking to incidents isn't very common. The one hazard we are exposed to on EVERY CALL is driving (or riding) to the scene. No emergency is worth UNNECESSARILY risking firefighter injury or death. Our business has enough hazards that we have little or no control over. This isn't one of them. Maybe seatbelts should be a little higher on the priority list.
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

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    I really have a hard time comprehending this forum topic!

    Seatbelts must be worn. We pick up or hose away the remains of people not wearing them!

    Oooh- that's right, I forgot- the red truck and the lights on top, in conjunction with our special uniforms make us invincible....

    Over here in Australia, it's law in every single state- seatbelts must be worn. (That includes emeregency vehicles. Exception being an Ambulance officer treating in the rear.)

    So there you are, hooting along at whatever speed to a call, and the unthinkable happens. The driver hits the brakes hard, you hit the windscreen, you go through the windscreen, you hit the object you braked for, you hit the ground, you die!

    Yep, I can see why you'd want to consider not wearing them.

    For those not dressed properly when the truck is rolling- get out! The truck does not roll without members in correct attire.... null
    Luke

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    Further to my last post- I can't figure out why a vehicle of any description does not come out with seatbealts in them from manufacture.

    You guys have some funny laws.....
    Luke

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    In the State of Conn. it is the state law that everyone wear a seat belt. The emergency services are not exempt from this law. So you people in Stamford better hope that DMV does not inspect your vehicles.

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    RJE
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    Just like we complain about building codes that require sprinklers in multiple occupancies but grandfather existing buildings, most vehicle safety inspections (and corresponding seatbelt laws) grandfather those vehicles that were not installed w/seatbelts at original manufacture.

    In 1988 I was running a 1983 Seagrave custom, it had lap belts on the (open) jump seats. Station 2 had a 1986 Pierce commercial that had lap belts in the 6-man enclosed cab.

    But station 3's reserve pumper was a 1966 Ford/Boardman commercial (no belts) and station 2's reserve was a 1956 International/ALF, also (obviously) no belts.

    We looked at retrofit kits, but there's a catch here. There's quite a bit of engineering that goes into seat belts and their mounting points. You can't just drill a hole in the floorboard and bolt down one from J. C. Whitney.

    Now, if you bought NEW apparatus w/o seatbelts???

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    Originally posted by RJE:
    <STRONG>Just like we complain about building codes that require sprinklers in multiple occupancies but grandfather existing buildings, most vehicle safety inspections (and corresponding seatbelt laws) grandfather those vehicles that were not installed w/seatbelts at original manufacture.
    </STRONG>
    That`s the case with us, I have no idea why our 1994 rescue doesn`t have seatbelts.

    Our first due engine is an 82 Mack(I think).
    Our second due is a 1976 Mack, and our truck is fairly old, but refurbished twice, it was purchased from NYC back in the 70`s, refurbished then, and then again a few years ago. I would think seatbelts would have been installed at that time, I guess it didn`t happen.

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    I know it is our city policy to wear seatbelts in ALL city vehicles. This includes fire apparatus. Since I am an engineer, I am responsible for ensuring this. I simply ask if the other firefighters have thier seatbelts on. These guys(or girls), wether they are some of our career staff or our volunteers know the rules. I can't see physically checking to see if they have their seatbelts on.

    As far as not having seatbelts on apparatus, by all means, please try to have them installed! The only truck we have that did not have seatbelts is our 1967 LaFrance. This truck was retrofitted with them at the request of our firefighters.

    Seatbelts save lives in POV's every day, they can do the same in a fire truck IF they are worn!!

    stay safe
    these are my opinoins and do not represent my depts. YOU GO, WE GO

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    B33
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    Consider this;

    It takes less than a second to hit the windscreen in an accident situation.

    As you hit the windscreen with your head the force either breaks the glass or your skull is fractured. Before the cracking of your skull has ceased both your legs that were under the dashboard snap at about the knee area. As this happens your body is still moving forward at whatever speed you were driving or being driven at. As the rest of your body connects with the windscreen your rib cage shatters, your sternum puncturing your heart.

    Before you have time to gasp your last breath your lungs are punctured as your crew mates or equipment behind you joins the "Windscreen Taste Test".

    For the sake of an action that takes just over a second to accomplish, Friends - Lets be safe out there, its dangerous enough without taking risks.

    You might also have a care for the poor crews that will have to scrape you off the windscreen, bag you and tag you and then tell your loved ones that you didn't suffer.

    Believe me YOU WILL.

    Bob
    EMT-D

    "and the beat goes on"

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    In the state of Conn. it is the law to wear seat belts. Even as emergency responders in fire appartaus we are not exempt from that law. It is not enforced in our dept. and very few wear them. With the installation of shoulder and lap belts in new apparatus it is easier to use than just lap belts that you find in older apparatus. It only takes a few seconds to hook up and if done after starting the engine on the apparatus it allows the engine fluids time to circulate in the engine before rolling. Remember you have to take care of number one before you can take care of anyone else.

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    Since this topic, the seatbelts have been dug out on our rescue and truck (Engines don`t have them). Also, the chief has written something on the board informing members of seatbelt use, but guys still don`t do it, I`ve tried a few times on the truck, but it is very difficult in such a tight space. I haven`t been out on the rescue since I dug the belts out of the back of the seats.

    [ 10-06-2001: Message edited by: BFD45 ]

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    Its required that all firefighters wear seatbelts on every call not matter if the call is right next door to the station or if the call is all the way across town. We have an engine and a latter truck and have SCBA's in the seat back and you can just slide in to the SCBA even while your still buckeled. You dont have to be in you bunker coat when you get on the apparatus, and most do put their bunker pants on before they get on the apparatus.
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    Lets look at it this way. When responding to a fire call we wear....boots, pants, coat, gloves, hood, and a helmet. Why? Personnel Protection, a.k.a. SAFETY. Before we go into a blazing structure we don our SCBA. Why? Personnel Protection, a.k.a. SAFETY. We take a hose line, light, tools, tag line, and a radio. Why? Personnel Protection, a.k.a., SAFETY. We use personnel accountability and go into the stucture in teams. Why? SAFETY. WE now have NFPA 1500 and 1710 that mandates PPE and staffing. Why? Personnel Protection, a.k.a. SAFETY. If we go to a medical call we wear latex gloves and eye protection. Why? Personnel Protection, a.k.a. SAFETY. I just can't understand, if we go thru all of this after we get there, then why is it so hard to wear a seat belt on the way there? The way I look at it is, a Seat Belt is for Personnel Protection or in other words....SAFETY
    BTW, I started my career in 1981 riding a 1970 Mack CF series pumper and it had seatbelts front and rear. I don't know if they came as original equipment or were retrofitted later. The only position that did not have a seatbelt was the tailboard rider and we ceased that position in 1983. Even our Brush vehicles had seatbelts on the suicide seats mounted on the front bumpers and ontop of the water tanks (Thank the Lord for that).

    [ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Billy Mott ]

    [ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Billy Mott ]

    [ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Billy Mott ]

    [ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Billy Mott ]

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