1. #1
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    Question Emergency Vehicle Driving in Winter

    I have been asked to make a presentation to our local fire department on driving in winter conditions.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for material that I could read to help prepare my talk?

    Thanks!

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    Contact ICBC, I'm willing to bet that they'd have information and statistics that you could draw from. It's worth a try anyway.

    The same common sense that dictates when driving our POV's should also dictate driving emergency response vehicles. We all know that ERV's handle differently and have different considerations and we should be altering our driving to reflect that at all times; so in winter driving conditions one would assume that we still take those same factors into consideration as well as winter road conditions. ERV's have longer stop distances because of the size and weight of each vehicle so that MUST be a factor when driving at any time, even more so when driving in ice or snow, or just plain crappy weather (such as we do see on the Island).

    Hope this helps some, and good luck!!

    I was up in your neck of the woods last March and witnessed a lovely little dumping of snow on the mountain pass to Port Alberni , ended up turning around and putting the Tofino trip on the backburner. Damn snow was like grease on the highway.

    After thoughts:

    --Be sure you know the limitations and capabilities of the vehicle you are driving

    --Be familiar with your district, if unfamiliar allow your driving to reflect that......... SLOW DOWN

    --Be wary of the public, they don't always pull over, they don't always slow down and to be quite frank some of the drivers I've encountered on this rock have got to be the worst anywhere, they can't drive in rain it frightens me to think of them on snow and ice Be aware of everything around you, passengers should be on the look out as well. It may not be you that loses control on the road, watch other vehicles. Be aware of "escape routes" in the event that you have to avoid another vehicle on the road.

    --Look into a defensive driving class for your drivers

    --Look into the ERV driving program (sorry not sure exactly what it's called, JIBC may be able to help)

    --Remember speed kills............ you can't help your patient or the person's needing assistance if you yourself become a victim

    --Contact Roadmasters, Terry is great about coming to departments and giving courses. He may have something that will work for you.


    oooohhhhhhhh look, there's your presentation, slap that into a slide show and you're good to go HAHAHAHHAHAHA
    Last edited by PFire23; 11-13-2004 at 04:56 PM.
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    Good advice Jenn.

    We had a detail scheduled for this morning,last night about 2-3 inches of powder fell. Well half way on the way there the team decided to cancel the game.

    Anywho since we had the ambie and rescue out we went to the high school parking lot and had a demonstation for the 2 new members we have.

    Our captain belives in showing rather than just saying it takes longer to stop. Just basicly showed to them that just cause a truck is bigger than a car dont mean it will stick to the road better. One thing we did was have them get behind the wheel and see how easy it is to lock the wheels and also about where and how much pressure it takes to lock the wheels.

    And to echo what Jenn said,in snowy weather with high snow banks a person may not have any place to pull over........even if they planned on it, so dont ride there rear slamming the horns.

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    1. Turn off the engine brake when it is slick unless you want to go to the scen sideways.

    2. I found that very often, the lights and siren are more counter productive than anything else. With the road covered in snow, YOU aren't going to be going very fast anyway. Other people are going to have a very hard time yielding. Chances are, you will just create a big *** traffic jam of morons that can't figure out how to drive.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Funny how we all seem to have the same opinion about the general public's ability to drive around emergency vehicles!

    Thanks for the pointers. I did call the JIBC Friday and they are sending some materials.

    I also visited with Bob from Frontline Fire Department Training

    http://www.frontlinefiretraining.com/

    and he had some pointers too.

    I hadn't thought of the ICBC angle, so I will give that a try.

    Strangely enough, the RCMP doesn't teach me anything on the topic...

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    Originally posted by nmfire

    2. I found that very often, the lights and siren are more counter productive than anything else. With the road covered in snow, YOU aren't going to be going very fast anyway. Other people are going to have a very hard time yielding. Chances are, you will just create a big *** traffic jam of morons that can't figure out how to drive.
    Jeeze Louise... that happens on a sunny clear day with dry roads!
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    Well, yea but not nearly to the extent it does when there is accumulating snow on the roads. And at least on the sunny day, your tires have something to grab when you need to slam on the brakes to avoid said morons.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    GO SLOW. YOU ARE NO HELP TO ANYONE IF YOU GET INTO AN ACCIDENT WHILE RESPONDING TO THE CALL.

    if you are slipping and sliding while gong 40mph, slow down to 30. if you are slipping and sliding while gong 30mph, slow down to 20. if you are slipping and sliding while gong 20mph, slow down to 10. if you are slipping and sliding while gong 10mph, have the crew hop out, grab the bare neccesities, and start walking. the driver can idle to the scene if it gets you there safely

    during snow and ice covered roads, only experienced drivers (those with 5+ years of ambulance driving) should be behind the wheel.

    GO SLOW. YOU ARE NO HELP TO ANYONE IF YOU GET INTO AN ACCIDENT WHILE RESPONDING TO THE CALL.

    keep in mind, audible devices aren't as effective during snow storms. might be a good idea to keep them to a minimum.

    breaking distances increase. this is due to less friction between the wheels and the raod caused by the snow. you also need to take turns slower.

    and last but not least, GO SLOW. YOU ARE NO HELP TO ANYONE IF YOU GET INTO AN ACCIDENT WHILE RESPONDING TO THE CALL.
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    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help.

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    Cool

    Not much snow in south Alabama....

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    Talking There Will Be..............................

    Originally posted by loxfire16
    Not much snow in south Alabama....
    Not a problem. we'll ship it down to you as fast as it gets here.
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    Our snow storms are just far enough apart for everyone to forget how to drive in the stuff

    I have always wanted to take a truck to a big parking lot and test braking and what not on snow but our district has no such lots nor are there any within 15 miles of our station. That's what I did when I started driving many years ago on my PV. It really does help to get a feel for what your vehicle wants to do and what you have to do to get it the way you want it to go.
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    really good advice, guys! idk if anyo ther departments have them but all of our trucks also have automatic chains that can be put on the truck.

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    Our newer enginer, the tanker, and the heavy rescue have the On-Spot automatic chains. Our older engine has regular chains we put on the wheels in a big storm (pain in the *** no matter how much your practice). I've never had to drive with the chains but they seem to work well from what I've seen.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    keep in mind, audible devices aren't as effective during snow storms. might be a good idea to keep them to a minimum.
    Knock Knock.

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    Originally posted by Maverick9110E
    really good advice, guys! idk if anyo ther departments have them but all of our trucks also have automatic chains that can be put on the truck.
    Wow, you mean that all by theirself the chains get on the tires without any one having to jack up the inside rear dual and put them on? Just kidding you.

    Of course you are referring to the ON Spot or some other brand name automatic chains that when you throw a switch the chains come down and the little wheel rubs against the big wheel and throws a short piece of chain under the tires. This is all good, EXCEPT when you are in deep snow and ice and are stuck. I still like the old way, put on the big heavy truck tire chains and go for it.

    The old ways are sometimes better than the new ways.


    Drive safe and as if your life and the other members on the rig depend on it. IT DOES!!!!
    Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 11-23-2004 at 03:40 PM.
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    If you travel anymore then a couple of kilometers on bare pavement or slush with chains on you could incapacitate your truck. DO NOT use chains unless there is heavy snow on the road
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    I couldnt agree more. Winter driving is indeed rough, what with all the Canadians and New Yorkers down here on vacation driving around with out a clue

    Dave

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    Unfortunately, we have to try and see through the "News Media Enhanced Weather Forcast" to determine if we need to put the chains on that older engine. Very often, they make a big deal about the storm of the century bearing down on us and incapacitating the state for the next 3 weeks. When the storm to end all storms arrives, we get a 3" of snow and it melts the next day.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forecasting guidlines...
    If the TV says less than 4", expect a blizzard

    If the TV says a blizzard, expect 4".

    I find myself falling into that problem of oveforecasting a snowfall just to make sure that the public realizes what COULD happen. Then again, in the event that I downplay it (like yesterday) I called for 1" and got 8". I never was a good snow forecaster!!!

    Basically, the duty of a forecaster is to prepare the public. It may not happen, but it's best to get them in "what to do if" mode. But it is the kid in me that always looks forward to that 2 foot snowfall!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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    Dude, it doesn't take that much to get people moving. You say "There is a chance of an inch of snow" around here, and all these morons flood the grocery stores and pilliage the places clean... like they are going to be homebound for a month. Even if we had an actual "Storm of the Century", you might be stuck at home for two days at the most here and that would be a BIG storm. I have to wonder what these people do with all the food they buy before a storm because there is NO way they could eat it all before it goes bad.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Our fortake in my area in Germany is, that we have a very good road service, which is spreading salt or anything else at the moment, the snow starts falling. Even the most VFDs use units with 4wd, we have a tanker and a pumper unit, both Mercedes , only the smaller trucks didnt have it. Recue vehicles are allowed to use spikes in the snow...
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    Last edited by Bernhard; 11-26-2004 at 06:27 AM.

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    Spikes! Dude, I want those... but the kind that stick off the side of the wheel I can use against cars who don't yield
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Sorry, Gentlemen, I wrote something, which could be missunderstood...the ambulances are allowed to use tires with spikes!! We have a Rendevous-system here, where the doc will be taken to the place, where he is needed and the ambulance will meet him there.

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    We have On Spot chains on all of our equipment, they are great. Engaged when you need them, retracted when not, no fuss. I highly recommend them. OldTimer was right about them not being helpful when starting from a standstill, though.

    Like 430 said, it is a good idea to take apparatus to a LARGE parking lot with few or no obstructions (lighting poles, etc) and run it around in the snow. See how little it takes to lock up the brakes, go sideways etc. Get the feel for recovering from a slide. Heck, this is a good idea year round.

    Agreed with the points regarding discretion on lights/siren. If you are same speed as traffic or slower due to conditions, life will be much easier if you leave them off, else you freak out the other drivers and create a whole new class of problems.

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