1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Fletch 8903's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    SW Ohio

    Default Use of Seat Belts

    Our department is reviewing its SOGs regarding response to various incidents. While reviewing LODDs that involve vehicle accidents, we see that many of these deaths are the result of ejections from the vehicle.

    One of our debate topics is "tanking up" enroute to a structure fire or alarm drop. Some feel that if you do not come off the truck ready to go, you have not adequately prepared yourself to do your job. They insist that you need to have the SCBA on, except for the mask, the instant you step off the truck. However, from personal experience and observation, this means nobody is buckling-up. Even with tanks in harnesses built into the seats, people are more worried about the SCBA than putting on their seat belt.

    Some believe that it is better to ride with the seat belts on and grab the SCBA from the mounts as you get off the truck. If you are familiar with your equipment, it should only take 30 to 45 seconds to get the SCBA on and ready. This also gives the company officer a little bit of time to size up the building and come up with a proper plan of attack. We sometimes get such tunnel vision that we don't recognize the obvious.

    If anyone has any comments, or would like to relate some of their own department's SOGs, I would greatly appreciate it. While firefighting is by nature a dangerous business, there is no reason not to minimize our risks whenever possible.

  2. #2
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New Zealand

    Default New Zealand perspective

    1. Get to the fireground SAFELY, seatbelts on.

    2. Get BA on and lines ready, while OIC does size up and orders entry points.

    3. Leave tally with Pump operator so someone knows who is in.

    4. put the fire out / do the resecue as a two man team.

    5. Do recovery in BA

    6. Pack up

    7. Drive home with seatbelts ON.

    8. Have a beer at end of shift.

    We have a respect for fire, but by heavens we fear the mongrels on the road.

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    Default You are #1!!

    How’s it going?

    First, if you are the officer the unit and the people are your responsibility and you should make them wear their seatbelts. As for the driver he should not move that apparatus until everyone is in their seatbelts.

    I know that sounds pretty gutsy to say that to an officer or be the punk officer that makes you wear the seatbelt but I look at it this way. One I will not have anything to do with killing one of my fellow firefighters because someone pulled out in front of me and we were in a collision. And second, as an officer I would not want that weight on my shoulders because I did not enforce the law with my firefighters.

    I believe that this statement gets beat into everyone's head at least once in their career. You do no good if you cannot make it to the call in one piece!

    Michael Skidmore



    NetMeeting at ils.netmeeting.com
    Last edited by Co29Truckie; 05-22-2002 at 09:05 PM.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Westchester Co., NY USA


    Before we got the newer SCOTT 50 brackets that have the seatbelt for the pack, our SOG stated, we could momentarily take the seatbelt off to don SCBA in the seated position and then immediately put it back on. I know it only takes a second, but it was a decent compromise at the time. Or you can just use reverse pyschology, that I think works at times, tell them the opposite of what you want them to do. We all know firefighters love to bitch, so tell them they are no longer allowed to wear seatbelts and they will all probably buckle up.

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