1. #1
    PGFD236
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Tanker fatalities

    Why in the hell are we letting teenage firefighters run tankers shuttles on training fires.I just read this and I'm a little upset. Damn, fire trucks in general are a hand full, let alone tankers carrying 1000 to 4000 gal of water. There should be NO reason for this. Check you S.O.G.s people this ain't right.

  2. #2
    smokeeater51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Man, I don't want to be a jerk, but, open mouth...insert foot! Think BEFORE you speak. Until you know what the whole story is...pipe down. Christ, the poor guys family could be reading this just as easily as the rest of us.
    I too was a little taken back by the whole thing, as I'm sure a lot of people are going to be, but, we have no idea how this department operates, nor do we know how their SOG's read. Something that irritated me about this incident, was that this young firefighter was killed during a training excercise. An incident which warranted no "emergency" response, and therefore a light foot on the pedal. Now I know I am jumping to a conclusion here, but I am willing to bet that speed was a factor. Until further investigations are released, we won't know whether or not poor road conditions, other motorists, or even an animal played into it, so I won't get into it. Hell, it could have just as easily been a mechanical problem.
    Something else I would like to bring up about "teenagers" operating fire engines, or any other large pieces of equipment.....look at the armed forces people....transportation departments.....18 year olds, and even some 17 year olds are driving fire apparatus, tractor trailer trucks, TANKS, etc. Someones age should not be a factor, and besides, everyone has to learn sometime. What if it had been a thirty year old, with the same amount of time in the fire service, would you be saying it then? A lot of vollie departments don't have the luxury of having "seasoned" driver operators on hand at all times of the day, so they must turn to and TRAIN younger members of the department, which is what was going on when this young man was killed.
    My sympathies to the family of this fallen, BROTHER, firefighter.

    By the way, I'm well past my teens.

    Lt.

    [This message has been edited by smokeeater51 (edited 11-18-2000).]

  3. #3
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The first stick shift vehicle I ever drove was a C-8000 squad with a pump weighing several tons. I was 18 and unprepared for that responsibility. I never got into an accident but came close once, (my fault). We shouldn't alow our jr. members to be drivers.

    First is they don't have the experience driving,....anything much less a firetruck.

    Second they don't have the general fireground experience to anticipate problems that arrise.

    Since this was a training drill I'll assume, (I know) that these members were in training to drive the tanker. Without more facts I can't give a fair opinion on that incident. But in general I feel that members shouldn't drive till they have a few years in, and are over 21.

  4. #4
    Corvin
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Another sad day for us all.

    It always seems a double tragedy when a one of your youngest ones dies - the question will always hang there - did they die because firefighting is dangersous or did they die because they were young?

    Condolences to their family, dept and loved ones from Iowa.

    Another quick question. As a chief I always shudder as our most excited FF's (often our youngest) take the wheel. All you can do is train them and wait for time to temper them. But one and all - How do get these folks wearing their seatbelts???!!!!

    As a career FF you get caught w/o your belt to get disciplined. I wear my belt. As a volunteer chief I feel like the pain in the but worry wort trying to get those belts around the folks.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Fire Line
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The one thing that struck me about the story was one was pinned under the truck and the other FF was ejected. The tender (tanker) was not that old so it must be equiped with SEAT BELTS!! Teenagers or not, NOBODY should be operating any piece of apparatus without wearing their seat belts. If they had been wearing their seat belts both may of walked away uninjured.

    Our policy is no member will drive without first passing a test setdown by the our driving instructor. Seat belts are mandatory!


  6. #6
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Whoa... hold your horses here. To begin with, although the age "19" is a teenager, the person is still an adult. And if you read further, you will learn that this person was one of nine members of his family to be involved in the fire service.

    Not knowing the circumstance, you cannot really say what could have prevented this. I would suspect someone with 3 years of experience from a family of firefighters would have some common sense about them. And as for age, I have seen 50 year olds that I don't want to ride with and 18 year olds that are the best drivers we got. More than just age goes into makeing a good or bad driver.

    Seat belts are a good point, although from the picture posted on FIREHOUSE.COM, it looks like the rig rolled over and landed on its top with severe damage to the cab. May not have made a difference, but I would rather take my chances inside rather than being ejected from a multi-ton apparatus.

    Hopefully there is a lesson to be learned here once we learn the details. I have always felt that the tankers are the most dangerous pieces of equipment to drive in the department. I do have alot of concern for volunteers who (like myself) drive nothing but passenger cars and pick up trucks, climbing into trucks that we require "normal" people to possess CDLs to drive. I don't know of an easy solution, so all I can add at this point is SLOW DOWN AND BE CAREFUL. Even if you survive a crash in an apparatus, they are very embarassing and they do NOTHING to help the citizens we serve.



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


    [This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited 11-18-2000).]

  7. #7
    SRVFD2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our liability coverage requires that no one under 21 drive the trucks, but let's forget the criticisms and offer all our sympathies to his loved ones!! As Corvin states, it is another sad day for us all, and much too close to home for those of us in KY.



    ------------------
    God is our Fire Chief;
    Jesus is our Incident Commander.

  8. #8
    LHS*
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If you don't have a CDL you shouldn't be driving period!

  9. #9
    Davidjb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I don't agree with this at all, I have been driving fire equipment for 15 years (I'm 34), I am certified by my state to drive emergency vehicles, and getting a CDL will not make me a better driver. I used to tow tractor trailers for a living and due to the employer did not need a cdl. Just because you have a cdl does not mean you are capable of driving a piece of fire apparatus code 3, Proper training, concentration, and disipline make a good apparatus driver, not a piece of paper. It is not feasable that you make a volunteer pay for his CDL, but it is feasable that that same volunteer should recieve the proper traing and testing before he is allowed behind the wheel of a truck with other FF lives in his hands.

    Originally posted by LHS*:
    If you don't have a CDL you shouldn't be driving period!


    ------------------
    David Brooks,
    FFII, Driver/Op, NRFR
    Newmarket Fire & Rescue
    Newmarket, New Hampshire
    www.NewmarketNH.com/fire
    (All opinions are my own)

  10. #10
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    It is not feasable that you make a volunteer pay for his CDL

    Then the department pays for it.

    Fire trucks should receive the same inspections & licensing requirements as commercial vehicles.

    Safety doesn't care if you're delivering oil or driving a big red truck with lights & sirens. If anything, the lights & siren vehicle should require a license above the base CDL.


  11. #11
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90:

    Fire trucks should receive the same inspections & licensing requirements as commercial vehicles.

    Safety doesn't care if you're delivering oil or driving a big red truck with lights & sirens. If anything, the lights & siren vehicle should require a license above the base CDL.


    I am sure the folks with the burning house will appreciate the Engineer taking the time to do the pre-trip inspection before you leave the station. I don't think a CDL is practical for all who drive fire apparatus. But I do agree that some form of "certification" is a good idea. On my department, you must complete a standardized Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC - 12 hours) before you can drive a city owned vehicle. But that is a one-time shot. I would not be opposed to some kind of annual re-certification class/testing just to keep details fresh on ones mind.




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

  12. #12
    Davidjb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90:
    It is not feasable that you make a volunteer pay for his CDL

    Then the department pays for it.

    Fire trucks should receive the same inspections & licensing requirements as commercial vehicles.

    Safety doesn't care if you're delivering oil or driving a big red truck with lights & sirens. If anything, the lights & siren vehicle should require a license above the base CDL.

    I couldn't agree more. I would like nothing better than the drivers on our department to take the cdl course and then the state driver/ operator course, the reason they don't can be summed up in one word.. Budget.
    Money makes the world go round, and the lack of it will prevent volunteer firefighters from getting the training they should have.


    ------------------
    David Brooks,
    FFII, Driver/Op, NRFR
    Newmarket Fire & Rescue
    Newmarket, New Hampshire
    www.NewmarketNH.com/fire
    (All opinions are my own)

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