1. #1
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    Default To the Brothers accross the pond

    A question...

    There is a lot of talk over here about how to make apparatus safer when parked on scene. There is even a national study in the works.

    My question is, do you have a problem with apparatus being struck when on scenes? The reason I ask is, every photo I see of your apparatus I see the chevron stripping on the front and rear and bright orange or lime/yellow on the sides. But the one thing that jumps out is the lack of emergency lighting, compared to apparatus here.

    If you do indeed have much better results then we do, perhaps we need to completely re-think our approach. Perhaps better stripping and fewer lights IS the trick?
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    Dave,

    In the UK we use blue strobe lights as warning never red. I have read studies that state blue light scatters over distance and is not as powerful as red ... I am not so sure. Last night I was approaching the scene of an accident 2 miles ahead of me on the motorway and could clearly see the individual flashing blue lights from that distance from seven vehicles on scene, giving plenty of warning.

    Yes the high-visibility striping also performs well when closer to the scene. I am uncertain of statistics. Emergency vehicle accidents are on the increase here but these involve Police vehicles more than Fire.

    Here is a link to a useful SOP for making safe your vehicles SAFE POSITIONING SOP

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    Dave,
    Not really a problem for us...maybe becuase our roads are much busier...so there is almost always a severe hold up behind any emergency scene. The Police are also very good at shutting roads off at any scene whether it be an RTA/MVA, Fire etc...

    I was asked by the people who run this site for some info about our chevron designs/vehicle safety markings etc....I sent it but they Guy never replied....(Maybe also why I have given up sending articles to 'The memberzone'!!!)

    Anyway, a lot of the things we have are reflective stick on vynils... the Police have silver Police cars (becuase they re-sell better than white ones) then cover them with vynils...

    Let me go away, put a few images onto a web page and I'll post here in a while....
    Steve Dude
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    Dave, according to the people who stick the reflective stuff on our vehicles it is visible in "normal" conditions from around 800 metres away. (We use acres of it on our newer appliances and I have yet to here of an apliance that has been collided with at a scene. One of the mechanics at the workshops told me a while ago that we only have a "minimal" number of lights on the appliance, 2 front grille strobes, 2 rear, 2 each side and the set on the roof, due to the amount of ampage more would drain from the vehicle batteries. Apart from Dennis applainces, a lot of UK fire appliances are the same design, cabs, engines/electrics and chassis as a normal truck, with a set of lockers on the back.

    Hope the pics help, Steve will probably have some better ones.
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    This is what the rear of most UK appliances looks like, red and yellow reflective striping. Some of the newer pumps have locker doors on the pump bay, meaning the whole of the back of the truck is red & yellow. Very effective day and night.
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    Web Page with British Emergency Vehicle Safety Markings HERE
    Steve Dude
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    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    Wow, you chaps are on the ball. Thanks

    We dont have a problem in my area, as we are strict with our positioning on scene and have a policy of shutting down the roads when required. But it seems to be a big problem in other areas, which is why its such a hot topic.

    But again, the lighting difference and stripping color is what I notice. Here, the idea is to stick as many lights on the apparatus as will fit. I belive, like many others, that this actually causes more problems.

    As for the stripping, yours is highly visable even in the daytime. Over here, the reflective stripping is added for visability at night. Its all about the "look" of the apparatus. Departments want the stripping to "match" or "blend in". Certainly not stick out "like a sore thumb". Thus the stripping has no effect during the day.

    As for the color, each state has their own laws. Here in Fla, we cant have blue as that color is restricted to PD use. We can have red, amber and white.
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  8. #8
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    Yes, you are right Dave...we don't go a lot on 'shiny' Fire Engines anymore...there was a time when they were all red, brass and chrome and a great deal of time was spent keeping them clean.

    That obviously went by the way in WW2 when everything got painted grey...it re-emerged after the war, but once things got really busy again in the 60's...Fire Engines became tatty looking so now then are designed for practicality and not for 'show'

    There are a few of the rural Retained Stations who do a lot with Their Pumps...but they may only run a couple of hundred times every year.

    Wholetime (Career) Firefighters in the UK are spending most of their rime testing equipment, training, inspecting...etc...etc... apart from a daily wash and a weekly polish we have moved right away from what was in the old days deemed as menial work to keep the lower ranks occupied.

    Wandering off topic; But in the 70's after threat of Industrial action by Firemen, Cleaning duties etc were bannished and Fire Brigades employed cleaners for the Stations to allow Fireman to do more professional work. It disturbs me that although we complain that we get a pretty rough deal in the UK, it can't be that bad for us...there are Professional Firefighters who today in 2005 still have to clean their Stations outside of the UK including the USA.....I don't see the Cops, Teachers or Nurses doing it??
    Steve Dude
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    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    Here is a scoring system for visibility a Canadian company has come up with. Friggin ugly but apparently works.
    www.crestlinecoach.ca
    Hope that helps.
    -I have learned people will forget what you said,
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    Steve, I noticed one of the pictures you posted was a Rover used by the police. I loved cars made by rover has anyone else put a bid in to take over? I can never understand why they never tried to sell them here in the U.S

  11. #11
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    So whats the price we put on safety nowadays?
    Those things are hideous! But alas i suppose they work so...
    Im gonna cry if someone tries to paint my trucks like that!
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  12. #12
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    I guess it is a shame... but look at how busy the Emergency Services are in Urban areas and how rough their hard working vehicles get to look...maybve its easier to replace vynil stickers that touch up paint all of the time.

    The UK has a lot of urban areas...mostly in bad shape with correspondingly busy Emergency Services (especially Police & Ambulance) Look at Emergency Vehicles in other busy areas of the World, they look tired and scruffy....for this reason alone, practical, visible and safe scores higher with me than the gleamintg Pumper at the Annual Village Fete.

    HERE is a UK site of Emergency Vehicles from several areas across the Southern UK, although they are mainly Police cars, make your own mind up about the various designs used to make them visible.
    Steve Dude
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    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    South Australia are now using the British "make it unmissable" schemes - and yep it sure stands out.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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