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View Poll Results: Chevrons..Good, Bad, or Ugly

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  • Great idea for safety!

    30 73.17%
  • Not neccessary with emergency lights.

    4 9.76%
  • Geez, that is ugly. Keep it out of our parade.

    7 17.07%
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  1. #1
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    Default Reflective Chevrons to rear of Rescue

    Looking for opinions are covering the rear of apparatus with Scotchlite chevrons for maximum visibility day/night, stopped/moving, emergency or not.

    Getting mixed reviews of our new rescue's arse end currently being built.

    We run often on a 6-lane interstate and have had a few very close calls with traffic that doesn't seem to know how to merge away from a big truck with a lot of blinky lights.


    Thanks for your opinions!
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    Daniel Furseth
    DeForest (WI)
    Safe And Fast Extrication, Inc.
    www.besafeinc.org

    "Extrication is like jazz. Improvisation based on fundamentals"


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with Poll Items 1 & 3.

    It's a great safety idea but geeze it's butt ugly !!

    Now - that being said I am a big proponent of a truck being functional and practical - so I like it for what it is. Would I want it on my personal truck ?? No %^&*ing way. Put it on apparatus that are routinely in high traffic areas - You bet!

    You may also want to consider giving the same treatment to the inside of apparatus & compartment doors (if your not using roll up's on the compartments) so that motorist can see the doors when open as well.

    You also may want to consider not covering the entire rear, but definitely applying more than the NFPA recommended 6" reflective stripe.

    My $.02 - YMMV
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  3. #3
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    Default

    It takes some getting used to but really helps with visibility...As I have scene it on more apparatus I have kinda learned to like it

  4. #4
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    Default

    I think it is a great idea for improved safety and it does take a little getting used to.

    As for N2DFire's suggestion about adding it to the doors. I think its a very good idea. I also heard something recently about that becoming part of the new NFPA specs. Not sure it's true or not.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
    IAFF Local 10

  5. #5
    Forum Member R1SmokeEater's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I think we all agree - it's not too attractive, but it does help with visibility, and safety. I guess another concern is how it will last over time. Will it rip, peel or "dink" up ?? That seems to be a down side of reflective tapes. My 2Cents

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Default

    ugly ..............but worth it !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  7. #7
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    Only one problem that I see with it: it looks too much like a construction vehicle. People see contruction trucks and don't expect anyone to be walking around them because it's just blocking the lane that's being worked on, so they don't slow down at all. This puts a greater emphasis on apparatus positioning. Personally, I take as many lanes as I want to give me the best chance of maintaining scene safety for patients and crew. At a minimum I block 2 with the truck at an angle away from the scene.

    Another problem: what about those of us with color deficient vision? Like me. I'm red-green color deficient, so sometimes red strobes look yellow. With that whole back of the truck covered, I might not be able to see the strobes flashing in certain spots. Of course I know fire truck when I see one, so it's not a problem for me, but for everyone else that knows squat about the fire service, they wouldn't recognize one from the back screaming down the highway. Well placed striping would be more effective than covering the entire back of the truck in my opinion. Alternating flash patterns on lights are more attention grabbing too.

  8. #8
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Ugly.........

    I would much rather see the 6" reflective stripe on the back, with some reflective lettering, and plenty of warning lights.....


    But that's just me........ The directional sticks also work well to deter traffic......

  9. #9
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    I'll have to respectfully disagree with the above two posts on some points.

    The chevrons are retroreflective. They're not just "colors." The whole backside of the truck returns light to the eye.

    This has no effect on emergency lighting, as regardless of color, the light will still be "bright." Its luminence will greatly exceed the reflected light from the chevrons.

    Traffic Sticks, Traffic Advisors, etc... a recent study -- I believe it was on respondersafety.com, I'll try to post the link -- showed that the average driver failed to understand or recognize a traffic directional stick on emergency apparatus. They found the only meaningful directional lights to be the huge blinking arrows found in construction zones, and that the lights need to flash all at once so the whole arrow blinks. This was mainly because of all the flashing lights, and failing to recognize that the pattern was telling them to do something. Some trucks are being equipped with these conventional arrows built into the back end, flush mounted/recessed lights.

    These styles meet Manual on Uniform Traffic Code (MUTCD2000) specifications. I figure that if you're going to play the traffic directing game, you might as well meet the established specs to do so...

    Back to the striping... Yes, I think it is ugly with respect to traditional looks. But hey, just say it's the European look, and that it's the latest style in apparatus design.
    The practicality of it and the safety implications make it look good to me.
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-02-2003 at 01:03 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    I have to agree with Resq14. Keep in mind that the photo was probably taken with a flash, causing the striping to appear brighter than it will "normally".

    Since when are looks more important than functionality? These are big, boxy trucks that have very little in the way of efficient aerodynamic qualities. Why aren't we driving around in slicked-back cabs with stylish, sexy curves and hot-rod paint schemes? People have come to appreciate current styling because it is what they are used to. I'm sure there is some codger out there who thinks that Pirsch made the coolest looking fire trucks on the planet! It's all opinion and perception.

    If there is any increase in safety as a result of the improved conspicuity of this striping scheme, then I say more power to 'em. DFurseth seems like a "Euro" kind of guy anyway. Good show old boy!

  11. #11
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by brfoss
    I'm sure there is some codger out there who thinks that Pirsch made the coolest looking fire trucks on the planet!



    1983 Peter Pirsch & Sons Attack Pumper - 1250gpm/1000gal

    lol SHE IS THE COOLEST!
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-02-2003 at 02:14 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Smile

    OK. Before we get into some kind of flame war about Pirsh, I'll come clean. The Pirsch thing was an inside joke about one of our members and the "brightly" striped truck is our department's truck. I will, however, stand behind my comments on safety. Looking forward to taking delivery of this truck next week!

  13. #13
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Looking forwards to more pics of it...

    It sounds like a lot of thought and hard work has been put into it over the past year or so.
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  14. #14
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Sorry, just wanted to clarify......... I wasn't disagreeing with the fact that it may be safe, I just don't particularly care for them........



    Kind of like the lime green fire trucks because they are "safer because they are more visible".......

  15. #15
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    There must be a better way. Remember the lime green paint, because someone thought it too would be more visible, then it turned out everyone thought the apparatus was a trash truck. More people relate big and red with fire trucks. It seems for every solution we could come up with, it creates a new problem. Our department feels the amber lights often used in the rear of apparatus to comply with NFPA are to too bright. I believe the chevrons will be too busy and end up causing more confusion. The use of traffic directors, traffic cones, and closing an additional travel lane would each help create a safer scene.

  16. #16
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bhfd24
    Our department feels the amber lights often used in the rear of apparatus to comply with NFPA are to too bright.
    Too bright? Why would you want dim warning lights?

    Light your scene adequately if you are concerned about "blinding" drivers at night,

    and

    make traffic slow down by channeling them using cones, etc.
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  17. #17
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    Except for the fact that cones are considered targets. Not as manu points as the barrels (bonus if it's got a flashing light ) but a good target.

    You've obviously never been to Houston. About the only thing that might channel traffic is a Sherman Tank. Hmmmmm. That Russian company makes a firefighting tank for forest fires. Anyone know how I can mount a light bar on a tank?

  18. #18
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Resq14
    Traffic Sticks, Traffic Advisors, etc... a recent study -- I believe it was on respondersafety.com, I'll try to post the link -- showed that the average driver failed to understand or recognize a traffic directional stick on emergency apparatus.
    If you find the link, I'd love to read it.

    We have a "brush" truck that's really multi-purpose. We're always out in it doing one thing or another. It's the first truck I've ever personally used with an arrowstick... and I think you could be right. Folks don't pay attention to it. On this particular truck, it gets lost amongst the edge bar right above it, the red rotators mounted on the rear of the body and the rear-facing amber LED flashers.

    I can imagine that people in my department would balk at the big arrow you showed only because it looks like something you'd see on a highway department truck. However, looks like it might be very effective.

    Edited to say: This is my 200th post. For a guy who signed up in 1999, it's about time.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Search out articles by Dr. Stephen Solomon. He's been published in Firehouse and other trade magazines. I recall that he mentioned arrow sticks in particular in his most recent article.
    ullrichk
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  20. #20
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    I was not a big fan of the chevrons until I saw them for myself. Adding the equipment and other items on the rear of the truck takes away from the cherons a little, also the picture does not do them justice. We have already taken it on a call for an accident (not in service yet, just delivered Friday) on our highway and have only heard good comments from those who have seen it. If it keeps myself or anyone else on my Dept from beoming a street stain I'm all for it. Check out more pictures of the finished truck at www.deforestfire.com. Stay safe.

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