1. #1
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    Default City of Pittsburgh - KDKA News Special Report

    KDKA news reports that a Pittsburgh FF was thrown from the tailboard of an engine after the bar that supported his weight fell off. I wasn't aware that riding the tailboard was still accepted by insurance carriers or manufacturers? We stopped riding tailboard in the late 80's.

    www.KDKA.com -- under Special Reports
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

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    Same here....
    Ive done it one time just gonig about 20 yards (cause im lazy) and I couldnt even imagine going down a busy highway like that.

    *edit
    after reading it... im still not sure its legal but what it all boils down to is money or lack there of

    I think if i was pittsburg id buy a van or something and have one driver and a passenger goto the scene and the van carry hte other personel.

    Thats just straight out dangerous.
    Last edited by Scratchy635; 02-03-2004 at 09:04 PM.

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    Firefighter's Injury Raises Questions about Truck Safety

    Feb 2, 2004 11:55 pm US/Eastern
    Pittsburgh (KDKA) An accident that sent a Pittsburgh firefighter flying off the back of a pumper truck on the way to a call has raised some questions about the safety of some city fire trucks.

    The firefighter from Engine Company 23 went flying off the truck on the way to a call when the metal pole that he was strapped to snapped off in his hands.
    "We were all in shock... There was one of my men in the middle of the street-- about 100 feet back from the pumper...on his knees... still strapped to the bar!" -- Capt. David Lewis, Pittsburgh Firefighter

    "I've never seen it happen before and I've been with the city 28 years. This is a first." -- Mike Lewis, Pgh Vehicle Maintenance
    Pittsburgh Fire Captain David Lewis was driving the rig at the time. He says he and his crew were in shock when they realized what happened.

    "There was one of my men in the middle of the street about 100 feet back from the pumper," explains Capt. Lewis. "Here he is on his knees. He's still strapped to the bar --and he's holding the bar... with the red light on -- and he says, 'The belt worked!'"

    KD Investigator Marty Griffin has learned that some city firefighters are calling the trucks a risk to their safety -- and there's talk that firefighters may refuse to ride on the back of them.

    Firefighters tell KDKA that the problem is the truck itself: it's 20-years old and requires firefighters to stand on the back -- a practice they say no other major city allows anymore.

    In fact, the city has seven of these trucks -- which firefighters say belong in a museum, not on the streets.
    "Here we are putting our lives on the line every day -- and we have to worry about going to the fire before we get to it." -- Capt. David Lewis, Pittsburgh Firefighter
    Firefighters say they don't want to get back on another tailboard truck until someone figures out just what happened.

    In the meantime, the city has launched a full-scale investigation into the accident in which metallurgists and safety experts from the city and fire department will try to figure out just what went wrong.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for the city says that while they know the trucks are old, they just cant afford to take them off the streets right now.





    Amazing........... I really didn't believe ANYONE would do this anymore, much less someone in a department the size of Pittsburgh....

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    Question What were they thinking

    This is unbelievable to me. This would be like saying we were still going to send firefighters into burning buildings without SCBA because we can't afford to buy them. I thought everybody agreed a long time ago that there was no place in the fire service for tailboard riding.

    We wonder why firefighters continue to get killed in fire buildings and then read this kind of stuff. Sometimes we can't see the forest through the trees.

    I hope the brother in Pittsburgh is OK. And I hope I've read my last tailboard injury story.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

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    Default "Saftey is number 1 in the discharge of duty"

    In the meantime, the city has launched a full-scale investigation into the accident in which metallurgists and safety experts from the city and fire department will try to figure out just what went wrong.
    Not to state the obvious but I belive after the investagateion they will find his injuries were due to falling of the truck............

    This is the same reason the FRA got brakemen off the roof in the 60's------ cause we dont belong there,right hwoods.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Originally posted by firenresq77

    safety experts from the city
    Hmmmm...oxymoron perhaps???
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

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    Originally posted by StayBack500FT


    Hmmmm...oxymoron perhaps???
    LMAO!!!!! Will probably be just like the investigation in Niles......

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    What can you say past the well wishes for the injured FF ? It is 2004 A.D. , right ?>
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    I'm like everyone else, I can't believe a major city is still riding the tailboard.

    I wonder what type of apparatus they're using? The Pittsburg firefighters local website shows pictures of some canopy cab units but no 2-seaters.

    I'm glad the seems to be OK. And I gotta admit, the line:
    he's holding the bar... with the red light on -- and he says, 'The belt worked!'"
    is a pretty good one!

    Edited to add:
    I really should pay attention to what I'm reading before I post . After reading and looking again, Engine 23 appears to be an older quint that probably seats 4 and the official city FD site lists quint staffing at 5. Somebody's gonna be the odd man out.
    Last edited by EFD840; 02-04-2004 at 11:08 AM.

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    Default Re: "Saftey is number 1 in the discharge of duty"

    Originally posted by stm4710
    Not to state the obvious but I belive after the investagateion they will find his injuries were due to falling of the truck............
    Well, if I know how government investigations work, they'll probably have to strike up a sub-committee to see if it was the actual falling that injured the firefighter, of if it was the contact with the pavement..... then again, the city will probably strike up yet another sub-committee to investigate the possibility of making the pavement softer.....

    On another note, we used to ride on the tailboard of our old pumper until about 7 years ago...... but the thing was so old and tired that it could only do about 40km on the uphill parts of highway, and since we are on a mountain, there were a lot of uphill parts....
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Originally posted by EFD840

    Edited to add:
    I really should pay attention to what I'm reading before I post . After reading and looking again, Engine 23 appears to be an older quint that probably seats 4 and the official city FD site lists quint staffing at 5. Somebody's gonna be the odd man out. [/B]
    I can assure you that 90's ALF Century 2000 Quint pictured seats SIX. So I don't think that was the apparatus involved.
    Last edited by resq27capt; 02-04-2004 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Reserve pumpers

    I think the truck in question is an old Mack reserve pumper. The trucks are built on a conventional Mack cab with a side mounted pump. They are rather small, short wheelbase trucks. These trucks are at least 15 years old. I seem to recall that the city bought these trucks to use in some of the narrow, hilly areas of the city. I do not think any are in front line service, but you will see them on the road as reserve units sometimes. The ones I have seen are all painted yellow, there are still a couple of older yellow ladder trucks still running around town, I think they are ALFs.

    The condition of a lot of Pittsburgh's fire and EMS vehicles is pretty bad, and probably not going to get any better any time soon. I just hope this prompts the city to get rid of these relics once and for all.
    Thomas Anthony, PE
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    Obviously no one on these forums knows Pittsburgh's situation. The rig in question is a reserve apparatus that is a 2 seater with a tailboard. We have several of these as reserve rigs. When the frontline rig goes out of service this is what you get. We don't have a choice as to what we ride. We are a career department with 33 engines and 11 trucks with an average run total of 35,000 per year. We all know that you're not supposed to ride tailboard and that it's not safe, we're not stupid. We have to provide the service to our citizens with what the city gives us. Do we like it? No. Hopefully it will be dealt with after this incident. I am a friend of the FF that fell off. Luckily he is going to be OK. How about wishing us luck in trying to get a bad situation turned good...

    Jim Crawford

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    Your friend is fortunate not to be listed as a LODD today! I'm certainly glad that he's not.

    It's a crying shame that someone had to be thrown from a rig before anything gets done about it. I hope the rank and file gets some good leverage on the politicians for a change.

    Keep us posted of new developments if you can. (And good luck on getting some new rigs!)
    ullrichk
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    Obviously no one on these forums knows Pittsburgh's situation.
    Obviously not...
    Or the thread wouldn't have been created with the following question included;
    I wasn't aware that riding the tailboard was still accepted by insurance carriers or manufacturers?
    I hope this gets some MAJOR publicity so that our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh can do the job safely.

    Hey Firehouse.com people, you have anyone that can do a expose on this situation, and why the city administrators in Pittsburgh think this is acceptable?

    PS TRK33, tell your friend that I wish him the best, and great one liner! Good luck out there Brother...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Default Wheeling WV

    WE DONT HAVE THE STAFFING TO RIDE MEN ON THE TAILBOARDS HERE. BUT YEARS AGO A VERY SIMILAR INCIDENT OCCURED WHERE THE FIREFIGHTER FELL OFF THE BACK AND WHEN THEY FOUND HIM SEVERELY INJURED, HE STILL HAD THE CROSSBAR IN HIS HANDS. WE HOPE OUR BROTHERS AT LOCAL 1 GET SOME HELP UP THERE WITH REPLACING SOME OF THE ANTIQUATED STUFF. WE ALSO HOPE THE INJURED BROTHER IS DOING WELL. FRATERNALLY, YOUR BROTHERS AT LOCAL #12
    http://wheelingfire.com

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    Jim, I hope you understand that the majority of people on here are not attacking Pittsburgh FD. I think most people were just amazed that riding tailboards was still being done, whether on a frontline rig or a backup.

    I'm glad to hear your friend is going to be OK. Hope he's back on the line with you soon. I do truly hope you guys can get this straightened out, so somethinglike this doesn't happen again and you can provide your services safely........

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    Jim, firenresq77 hit the nail squarely on the head. It seems pretty clear that the problem isn't with the firefighters.

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    I certainly have nothing but respect for the PBF...I am not bashing them at all!! The city should be doing more to protect you folks...thus the motive behind my thread. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

    E6511

    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

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    Originally posted by PBFTRK33
    Obviously no one on these forums knows Pittsburgh's situation. The rig in question is a reserve apparatus that is a 2 seater with a tailboard. We have several of these as reserve rigs. When the frontline rig goes out of service this is what you get. We don't have a choice as to what we ride.
    Same situation for us up until about 3 years ago. YES, obviously there are some large fire departments that still ride tailboard. NO, not good. (at least in the winter ;> ) Wish the best of luck to the injured brother.

    OFD226
    Oakland Fire Department, California
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