1. #26
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    There is no excuse for a city that size not maintaining the apparatus as required. Maybe Smallville VFD, which has trouble affording fuel, but not a medium/large city.

    Makes me wonder just how big of a problem this is around the country. Perhaps this just a case of they do what evryone else does, they just got caught
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  2. #27
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    Originally posted by jerrygarcia

    The very way fire apparatus are run and stop at each intersection and traffic slowdowns, brakes fade when they heat up.
    That is one point that seems to be being overlooked. Air brakes were not designed for the type of driving that emergency apparatus perform. Brake failure in code 3 driving is one of the first things taught in our operators class in rookie school. Even recently adjusted brakes will fade when pushed hard. I have expierenced this firsthand, luckily, no one was coming the other way.

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    Snowball,"Air brakes were not designes for emergency vehicle ops"(shortened). HUH? What would you suggest? "Juice" brakes? The only way you could improve on a good heavy air brake would be with an air disc.And they have there own set of issues.I didn't read the report on this crash but I'll bet there's more to the WHOLE story than just brakes.Contributing factor? Sure but sole cause? I doubt it.T.C.

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    I don't remember stating that brake fade was the "sole cause", I was stating that that particular point was being overlooked. I don't jump to conclusions without proof. Please don't put words in my mouth.
    BTW "juice" brakes or hydraulic, and even mechanical brakes were on emergency vehicles long before air brakes became standard.

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    The bottom line is that the Chief made a decision to not to do what he needed to do to get the PM work done on schedule, even if that meant taking a company out of service for a 1/2 day. As was mwntrioned there were several alternatives to this including contracting some of the work out, leasing extra rigs to be used as spares or even purchasing 1 or 2 rigs to be assigned with the older rigs being put into the spare pool. I know that there are times when urban departments get into tight spots, but most of this could have been addressed by developing an action plan when he FIRST saw that getting the PM work done was becoming a problem.

    As far as the media, in this case they just seemed to be reporting the problem. Maybe some of the media blew it up for there on benefit, but maybe if the fire department had addressed this issue earlier, it would not have gotten so ugly.

  6. #31
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    Snowball,I'm NOT trying to put words in anybodys mouth."Juice brakes and mechanical brakes existed long before air brakes" Uh,yes and no. IH had air brakes available back into the thirties if I remember right.My dad had one that was bracketed so it could be either hyd or air.As far as mechanicals go,did YOU ever drive a truck with mechanical brakes? I have,a 36 Ford 1.5 ton tow truck with ASSISTED mechanical brakes.I'd take a set of BAD air brakes over mechanicals ANY DAY of the week.If you think you can't get brake fade on hyds you'd be mistaken.For heavy trucks,class 6 and up NOTHING beats an air brake for stopping power with the possible exception of the air disc brake.Disclaimer:This applies when the truck is properly specced and not over GVW.Another factor is the lining material,there are several grades of lining material depending on operating conditions and weight. I've driven a few older overloaded rigs in my day so brake fade/reduced braking is something I'm quite familiar with. Compared to todays offerings with the excellent brakes they have the old systems are just that;OLD! I've been driving heavy iron since I was 15;around the fields,pits and yard until I was 21 and all over the country off and on since.I've driven Fire apparatus since I was 18 and some of the early iron (A 48&57 Chev)left something to be desired in the braking dept.Our 2004 Spartan? Equivalently speaking,stops on a dime.My curiousity was what system you thought would beat air brakes to stop Fire apparatus because I know of no system that will,and I've worked around trucks all my life. T.C.

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    4 hour course and you can adjust brakes. Let the driver check them on his walk around, no need to send the rig to a shop. Issue a 9/16 and a 7/19 and a little training and the problem is taken care of.
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    If I were the family, I would sue the drive of the car that swerved.
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  9. #34
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    Default Re: Fix Brakes or Fire protection??

    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Police said a car turned in front of Pumper No. 33, and the fire truck hit two cars and a utility pole before skidding 95 feet into a large tree.

    ...Three months later, a police report showed that the pumper had faulty brakes: "Because the brakes on Pumper No. 33 were out of adjustment, vehicle No. 1 [Pumper No. 33] did not have the braking ability to stop ... before striking the tree, causing the death of the occupant."
    Controversy aside... and pardon my ignorance... but how does a rig with little or no brakes manage to skid 95 feet? Was this written this way for effect or are there more details to the crash?

    No disrespect, just looking to be enlightened.
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  10. #35
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    After the second impact, it was in grass. I know working around PD accident crews, they use their time tested charts for estimating speed, force etc. I don't know if they had a chart for a pumper in grass.
    The original accident report said that it entered the grass at 34 mph, skidded 95' and impacted the tree at 24 mph.

    And as I stated before, it all happened in a few seconds. Aside from the PM issue, which is where the major problem lies, brakes might not have had anything to do with the accident and its outcome.



    Link to Kansas City Star article on the accident.

    Last edited by jerrygarcia; 02-07-2005 at 06:07 PM.

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    If it was a reconstructionist trained at someplace like Northwestern Univ., bet your life they had the appropriate calculation and conversion charts. Accident reconstruction is a highly specialized and technical field. If this was a trained reconstructionist, his published figures are based on scientific principle and was probably peer-reviewd.

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    Originally posted by jerrygarcia
    After the second impact, it was in grass. I know working around PD accident crews, they use their time tested charts for estimating speed, force etc. I don't know if they had a chart for a pumper in grass.

    Link to Kansas City Star article on the accident.

    I have seen them work and what they can establish is amazing sometimes.


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    George
    With all do respect, I think your comments are a little unprofessional for a man of your record. It is Jerry who knows more on this topic than anyone on this board including myself. He came here to help add a upclose and personal perspective into the matter. Chief Dyer is one of the most highly respected Chiefs in North America, to question his morals shows poorly on your character.

    I will not comment on any of the incidents involving the crash. I will say, that in no way would I think for one second I will be, or anyone has been in any danger while riding one of our rigs. The broadcast (ON AIR) was choppy and odviously had been edited for effect.

    The clincher for me also was the comment, "We spoke to firefighters and they declined saying, "They feared they would lose their jobs!"

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    I didn't question his morals. I questionned his professional judgement. The facts are not in dispute and not part of the sensationalistic media coverage is that preventative manintenance was deferred and that this action put the safety and health of the fire fighters in danger. It is also indisputable that there were other alternatives to taking companies completely out of service. It is also indisputable that the official investigation into the incident places partial blame on the apparatus' brakes. It is also indisputable that it showed a clear lack of judgement for the Chief to participate in the interview when he should have been aware that it was the journalist's responsibility to ask the hard questions. He should have said nothing.

    I am confused as to how this is an unprofessional reflection on me?

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    my $0.02:

    Smokey realized he had made an "error in professional judgement." instead of hiding behind the PR smokescreen that public figures and their lawyers have taught us is the right thing for them to do (read: the SAFE thing), Smokey owned up to his mistake, in public, on the record, like an honorable man. That was why he agreed to an interview. When the reporters insisted on pushing passed established perimeters, Smokey made the commendable decision of ending the interveiw in with more courtesy than he was shown by a sensationalist,unprofessional, local news hack.

  16. #41
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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    Snowball,I'm NOT trying to put words in anybodys My curiousity was what system you thought would beat air brakes to stop Fire apparatus because I know of no system that will,and I've worked around trucks all my life. T.C.
    I NEVER SAID THAT AIR BRAKES WERE NOT THE BEST SYSTEM!!!!
    I said they were not originally designed for the type of driving that emergency apparatus performs. Go back and read my posts. I agree with you that air brakes are the best stopping system that we have for heavy duty vehicles today. Yes IH did have an air system but that was only an air assist for the hydraulic brake system. It did not have an air compressor(you filled a tank)and it didnot work the same way as air brakes today. It supplied air for the power instead of evacuating it. Yes I've driven trucks with mechanical brakes (some of them even had mechanical "hand" brakes). Please read my posts, I'm notbashing air brakes.

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    The system I'm speaking of was NOT air assisted hyd.It had brackets for the S cams like regular air brakes but could be fitted with EITHER hydraulic cylinders or air cylinders and this was back in the thirties.I did my best to read your posts but I found the statements within somewhat misleading that's why I asked for clarification.I guess we can leave it at that.Twenty ton is twenty ton and they won't stop on a dime.John Q public needs to learn and understand that and so do apparatus chauffers.Somewhere the lesson is getting lost. my view only. T.C.

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    Post Update

    Driver sues fire department over wreck

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man who was injured in a collision
    with a Kansas City fire truck last September has filed suit.
    Fifty-year-old Terry Ray Toellner suffered internal injuries and
    fractures throughout the left side of his body. His suit claims the
    city, fire department officials and the truck driver were
    negligent.
    Firefighter Gerald McGowan was killed when the pumper truck
    collided with two cars and then struck a tree.
    Police have charged motorist LaDonna Davis with involuntary
    manslaughter and driving while her license was revoked. Police say
    she started the accident by failing to yield to the pumper and
    turning in front of it.
    The suit says the truck was overdue for maintenance on its
    brakes and that the driver was going too fast. A city attorney says
    the fire department didn't cause the accident.
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    The problem as I see it here (barring the car) is the law. If you have to have extra training to be able to adjust brakes that is wrong. Here in Ca in order to obtain your driver's license you have to demonstrate the ability to measure and adjust brakes and it is your (the driver's) responsibilty to do so EVERY DAY. The manufacturers of automatic slack adjusters require that they be measured for proper operation once a week. All it takes is a 9/16 wrench, a tape measure and a helper. Maybe I say this too often but if this is beyond the ability of a driver to do, maybe that person should not be driving.

    I am not coming down on this fire department in any way here. I am just pointing out what appears to me as a gross miscalculation in a state law.

    It is like checking the air in the tires. It should be done each day. It boils down to how long is it OK to drive with a low tire? The answer is zero distance. Same with a misadjusted brake. Or an SCBA with a low cylinder or dead batteries. Anything with no margin for error should be checked daily.

    Birken

  20. #45
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    Default Woman Found Guilty In Fatal Fire Truck Wreck

    Just an update.

    Woman found guilty in fatal fire truck wreck.

    "Several firefighters testified that Davis' car was ahead of the fire truck on Blue Ridge Boulevard near 81st Terrace, and that, without using her blinker, Davis pulled into the path of the pumper. The fire truck hit Davis' car, then hit another car, jumped a curb, hit a wooden telephone pole and slammed into a tree.

    Investigators later discovered that the pumper had faulty brakes. However, prosecutors said even good brakes might not have prevented the fatal wreck."
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    This is very good news for one side of a tragic story. I hope the family of Gerald McGowan will be able to find some closer and move on. Maybe the general public in the KC area will realize that when you see those lights and hear that siren and horns they need to pull over. Not just in KC but everywhere. Maybe this should be a subject taught in drivers ed. Some people think that if a vehicle has 4 wheels(or 6,8,or whatever) and an engine that it can stop in the same manner as a ford tempo.
    On a side note I am happy to see KCMO has over the past month been putting brand new rigs into service. KC is very lucky to be able to do this. They look nice and I hope they get good use out of them.

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    A few years ago, a similar thing happened in Ct.(Waterbury, IIRC). Two Brothers were killed. Tragic all around, no one wins. Chief Dyer made a decision, and stuck by it.

    Without getting into this ****ing match, WE are our Brothers keepers. I am a Engine Co . Chauffeur, with a class "B" and air brake endorsement. The training I received driving a school bus part time (ugh!), has helped tremedously in my career. EVERY tour I bleed my brakes till the maxi kicks on.

    Start the rig, and time how long it takes for both systems to build up (usually, approx. 1 minute). Covering my brake, I put the rig in drive. Rig should NOT move. Did it one day in a Brooklyn engine I was detailed to (spare rig, BTW), and the rig moved 3-4 feet before it stopped. SERIOUS adjustment problems. O.O.S. until shops came and adjusted.

    Only thing they want us to change are headlights. Everything else is done by mechanics. Admittedly, I do change bulbs in the lightbars, they are for OUR safety as well. You can bet ur ***** I'll call for brakes before a light bulb in a lightbar.

    Many guys have discussed whether the job should issue CDL licenses. Pros and cons on that , IMO. But if a city can't maintain its rigs properly, then YOU as an operator should make sure it is good to go (to the best of your ability), and place it out of service. Then its the city's responsibility to get you back in service.

    Stay safe, Brothers. This KC episode is a bad experience for everybody. But in the fire service field, we usually correct ourselves after a Brother has been killed. That sucks.

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