1. #1
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    Question Backing Procedures?

    I need to know what policies there are about backing any apparatus while in public or at the station. I am trying to implement a policy that we have to use a spotter person to back apparatus up at the scene or backing into the station. Also, what form of disciplinary action is taken if the policy is not followed.
    Thank You in advance
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    We require a spotter any time the vehicle is backing, with one exception. At an emergency scene when a spotter is unavailable and the driver has done a 360 around the vehicle.

    An individual could be written up, loose driving privileges, suspended for failing to follow policy.

  3. #3
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    Anytime there is one available, we require a spotter while the apparatus is backing up. If one is unavailable, the drive is required to do a 360 degree sweep every 10 feet the vehicle backs up.

  4. #4
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    The department I currently volunteer with has no specific policy, but while I was in college I served on a department in which the rule was that, if staffing was sufficient there was to be 2 persons assisting the driver in backing up - one on the driver's side rear and one on the officer's side front - if only one other person was available, that person was supposed to watch the driver's side rear. This arrangement provided for a very safe backing most of the time. (BUT one time on a nighttime call, we got placed in service and the driver was backing up to turn around and the rear man allowed the driver to take out a metal reflector post in a traffic island)
    If staffing was insufficient, the driver had to do a 360 check around the apparatus before beginning backing and "excercise due caution" during backing.

    Another safety procedure that we utilized is that the driver would beep the horn before moving the apparatus - 2 beeps before proceeding forward and 3 beeps before proceeding in reverse. That way, anyone near the piece would know it was about to move.

    No method is foolproof and will eliminate all backing accidents, but something specific is always better than no written procedure at all!
    - Remember our brothers in FDNY -

  5. #5
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    Default Backing

    Well, our SOGs say we are supposed to have a backer at all times when backing, and if something happens, it is the driver's ultimate responsibility, not the Officer's or person backing them. As far as discipline goes, who knows. We have our SOGs, but there is nothing in writing to say what happens if we don't foloow them. The driver is also supposed to due a 360 before they get in the truck to move it at any time.

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    1. Warning lights will be activated.
    2. Driver's side window will be rolled down.
    3. The driver will conduct a visual inspection of the area behind the vehicle.
    4. If a spotter is available, then they will be positioned at the rear of the apparatus on the driver's side to assist.
    5. If the vehicle is not equipped with a working back-up alarm, then the horn is to be sounded intermittently (sp?).

    Of course, this isn't always real practical on grass/brush fires. We've got a couple of dented rear steps on our brush units from trees.

    Our SOGs don't spell out discipline for this situation.
    Last edited by SilverCity4; 02-03-2002 at 06:05 PM.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Cool Thank You!

    All of your replies have been very helpful. I will be using this monday night at our monthly officers meeting.

    Thank You again!
    Last edited by charbo; 02-15-2002 at 08:40 PM.
    If you can't take the heat, stay off the truck!
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    I might only be an explorer, but since i am allowed to go on the calls i would know about this subject.

    1.at least 1 spotter (usually me or another explorer)
    2.lights on the whole time, and REALLY loud backup alarm
    3. Im not sure about dicipline

  9. #9
    41Truck
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    A good Chauffeur doesn't need a spotter!

    Actually this is a good topic. Typically when we return from a call we all get off the rig and linger into the firehouse, take off our bunker pants. A couple of guys will stop traffic while the apparatus backs into quarters another will throw the exhuast removal tube on the rig as it backs into quarters. As for backing on the street, one or two of the members will stop traffic. As far as a spotter to back the Chauffer into quarters with hand signals, I feel that most of the time it is unecessary that is why there is that stripe painted on the apparatus floor and the sidewalk or ramp, to give the Chauffeur a line of reference to when backing into the firehouse.

    On recent trips to other cities/towns I have noticed newer firehouses with apparatus doors in the front and back of the firehouse so that the engine or ladder chauffeur doen't even need to back up anymore. He just drives around the back of the firehouse and pulls into quarters ready to go for the next call. I think this idea is really dumb. Sure it sounds effecient but keep doing this and pretty soon you'll forget how to back the apparatus. To me, it is easier to switch from reverse to drive. Ofcourse I'm exaggerating a little bit but you get my point.

    I don't think there is a need to create a policy for backing the apparatus. I think it would be best to evaluate your chauffeurs and then there is always practice. Have your Chauffeurs practice backing into quarters if your runs are down. They will become more proficient and better at it so that spotters assisting the Chauffer will not be necessary. The members on the company can stop traffic.

    As for disipline, what do you mean? Would your men get in trouble if they didn't guide the apparatus into quarters? If so, I think this is funny. Leave the responsibility to the Chauffeur and include a backing procedure for your Chauffeur SOP's.

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    At our dept. we don't have any backing policies THAT I KNOW OF! If there is, they haven't been brought to my attention. but this is what we do when we back up at a fire scene(i've seen it done many times). The driver, or any available person, checks around the truck just to make sure that nothing is blocking the path the truck will be traveling. Then they make there move. If it is during a fire, the lights will already be on, but if it is after the fire is out, and the trucks are just sitting there until we are done cleaning up, then we have to use the lights until we start moving forward. When we back into the fire house we usually have a spotter, but sometimes we don't(since we are a volunteer dept.). SOMETEIMES the guys that are on the truck are the only ones that show up, but that happens very rarely! But when we do back into the fire house(I do know) if you cross the center line(on the road) your lights are to be activated, but if you don't, then they are not neccessary, but I ALWAYS use them when I back in, no matter what truck or how far out I go on the road! I hope I didn't confuse you too much! Hope I helped you out!

    fireman_1

  11. #11
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    GREAT STORY (at least I think it is):

    The rig is in a block and a double parked car is blocking it from going forward. As Murphy's law would have it, we get a run. All members get out and go to the rear to guide the chauffeur (SOP).

    Two members (Member 1 and Member 2) are standing within 2 feet of each other and a car is right on the bumper to the rear of the apparatus, out of view to the chauffeur. The car must be moved before the truck can back up.

    Member 1 keys his Handi-Talkie to tell the chauffeur to wait, but at the same time, Member 2 yells to the driver of the car "BACK UP".

    All the Chauffeur hears is "BACK UP" on his radio, Sooooooooooooo...

    As I explain this to the Chief, investigating the accident, I receive the look of, "Very creative Lieutenant, I've never heard this one before"

  12. #12
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    41Truck I agree with you and our drivers would agree with you.
    The fact of the matter is that we have two trucks that have damage from more than one incident. I am just trying to find a way to cut down on damage as well as make it safe for the public. We have a trailer park that has very small and tight roads with several dead ends. Whenever we have a call there, all of the residents and kids show up to see what is going on. It seems that no one pays attention or even cares that the truck is backing up with lights going and a loud alarm sounding in their ear. We have had a few close calls in this area, but none yet.
    The department is paid on call and day time has limited responders, so we have different people driving the trucks at various times.
    If you can't take the heat, stay off the truck!
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  13. #13
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    Two firefighters on the ground, one at each rear corner, on
    car to car frequency, all warning lights switched on, anytime the rig goes backwards. Penalty for failure that results in damage to vehicle, persons or property: possible suspension for the officer. He is ultimately responsible for his people and equipment.

    As far as suggesting that members stop traffic: bad idea. Apparatus can be repaired. Never put your members in harms way just to back into quarters, that is just assinine. If they don't see the truck, what makes you think they see you? Most state laws require drivers to yeild to emergency vehicles running warning lights. Let them hit the truck, not the boys (or girls, if you got 'em).
    See You At The Big One

  14. #14
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    our policy: one backing person, on the side with the most potential problems. backer must always stay in the eye contact with driver, via mirror. may use radio to assist.
    JC Makusztak
    Explorer Lieutenant/Firefighter Trainee
    San Bernardino County Fire Dept.
    Station 20, Lytle Creek

  15. #15
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    Humm, 41 Truck seems to think civilians care whether their FD is backing, responding or just changing positions. I've seen kids on the sidewalk try to scoot across beating the apparatus backing in, I've even seen some of our low-life civilians nearly run the crew over, and continue on through behind the apparatus and within the space between the rear of the vehicle and the sidewalk. I've also seen Ederly people get confused and sort of "get-rooted" to the spot. The FDNY policy is for there to be backers (the crew) and the Officer in most cases will also watch......it's the Chauffeurs and Officers Butt....if anything drastic occurs by them not being there. The backers also act as "Traffic-Halt" guides for the Chauffeur.

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  16. #16
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    Here we do the following
    1.two people get off the truck and stop traffic
    2.drivers turns on warning lights and hits the horn twice
    3.either one of the people who stop traffic or someone who got there after we left will spot the truck

    Those are in our sog's unknown about discipline.To my knowledge noone's gotten in trouble for not having a spotter

  17. #17
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    Default thread

    All of our procedures are because of something someone did or something that has happened a couple times. For backing into the station, we have a ff block traffic, driver turns on wanring lights, and the officer, goes back and controls the manual door openener. Weve had doors get crumpled on tops of rigs before, mostly becaue of timed pull chains, wich we dont have anymore. For backing out in the street, we are suppossed to have one person on the drivers side rear and one person on the officers side in the front. Roll your window down as the driver as well. On a ligher note, NEVER let an officer back your truck up. WE had an officer during pump testing decide to help out so he backed the truck into the station, all the while a door was up on the side of the truck, he proceeded to take out the center column between the two bay doors. Officers driving is a very scary thing personally, id rahter have an old lady off the street back a truck up than an officer, but thats my opinion, lol

  18. #18
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    I love it lets get our ff's into the street so they can get run over instead of the truck.....dont you love Dept's that look after the equipment more than the manpower...

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