1. #1
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    Default Safe following distance in an apparatus

    hey everyone just joined the forumn. I was recently returning to the station from a PI accident in the Engine, the roads where snow covered and icy we where following a little jeep which was making a right hand turn about 1/4-1/3 of the way into the turn the light turned yellow and the jeep hastely stopped and the back end slid over in the lane i was in, i did not attempt to stop as the road was icy (as stated) the result was i had to partially cross over into the oncoming lane, and back into my lane as there was a car waiting to turn left. this incident has been classified as a near miss and of course i had to get interrogated by a panel (which i have no issue with). one of the outcomes from this incident is i have been given the duty of researching safe distance facts from other departments as the chief would like to make some updates to our SOP.

    please fill me in on what your SOPs have in them.

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    It's not a matter of SOG's, SOG's cannot control traffic. It's up to the driver. If you've been operating for an amount of time you'll know that these trucks ado not operate like corvettes. Use what the DOT states for following distances and double it. So if the DOT says 4 seconds at 65mph for a passenger car, make it at least 8 in the engine. Especially if you have a big one that carries a ton of water. Our largest engine has 2,500 gal on board.
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    From the NC CDL handbook: "One second for each 10 feet of vehicle length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds you must add one second for safety. For example, if you are driving a 40 foot vehicle you should leave four second between you and the vehicle ahead. In a 60 foot rig, you'll need six seconds. Over 40 mph, you'd need five seconds for a 40 foot vehicle and seven seconds for a 60 foot vehicle" This is for good road conditions, adjusting properly for poor road conditions. Personally, i like to double these times whenever possible.
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    Default thanks so far these are good baselines

    i realize that it is not a matter of SOGs or SOPs while i am not a twenty year vet i have 6 years on the job have spent the last 3 on the training committe. i drive these trucks and make my team drive every chance we get i realize that while i grew up a farm boy a lot of the newer young guys joining are fresh out of the city and or college with no experience driving anything other than a pickup truck. I have been assigned the duty of recommending the change to the SOG / SOP because of this particular incident.
    i am finding this site extremely useful such as the thread i read earlier about only first out being code 3 until scene conditions are relayed back to remaining responding units. (good stuff) just thinking it threw if we have say three trucks heading out to a scene and only one is running c3 we would reduce the chance of an incident by (in utopia) 66% - x% (just for being on the road).

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    Our SOG's in regards to operations have nothing stating following distances, the basiscs of EVOC, and spotting it when on scene. The other thing to do, and it will lower your insurance, is to put DriveCam's in your rigs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfd1819
    this incident has been classified as a near miss
    First off, what you had was a "near hit" as you nearly hit them. If you had hit them, it would have been a "near miss" (nearly missed them).

    Seriously, we dont have an SOG on following when driving non-emergency. What we do have is when running emergency, keep a safe distance if your following another apparatus, but try and stay close (no, not the exact wording, lol). Nothing worse then have the first rig pass a car, and then they pull out in front of the second because there was to big a gap between the rigs.

    We also have an SOG that if you have more then 1 rig responding out of the same station, the largest rig goes first as they are usually the most visible (and carry the most noise makers ).

    The only thing we do (its not an SOG) when stopping in traffic is to leave enough room between you and the car in front so you can pull out if a run comes in.

    As for keeping a safe distance, all I can say is you will get a feel for that with experiance driving the rig. Getting used to how it handles and stops. That and be ready for the other cars to do something stupid as they usually will.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 01-06-2006 at 09:00 PM.
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    Hi there!

    Maybe this Video could be helpful as example about big and small cars on icy streets.

    http://slokkvilid.is/skrar/Media/ak_krass11.wmv

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    Well I dont know how much help i can really be, but its worth to add something. I am still the new guy, and have just started to drive our light Rescue truck (2003 Ford F-350 super cab with utility bed) Now I drive a little Ford Ranger, so that is a big truck to me. And everytime there is a car infront of me, I back off atleast 5 or 6 lengths of that car, and keep that distance. The last thing that I want is to get distracted and slam into the back of another car. Whenever it is snowy out, I take that extra 20 seconds of lock the hubs and put the truck into 4WD, and I drive slow, not so slow we dont get to the call in a timely fashon, but slow enough not to cause and accident. Hope maybe some of this helps.

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    Default drive cams

    PFD4Life do you have any recommendations/information on driver cams to include rough cost,manufacturer? did you have yours installed or are did you install them?

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    DriveCam is the company he's refering to. http://www.drivecam.com
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default Thanks

    i just wanted to say thank you to everyone who provided feedback, we had our officers meeting last night and reviewed much of the feedback from you all. thanks again

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    IFSTA Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operator Handbook suggests 300-500 ft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterFF
    IFSTA Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operator Handbook suggests 300-500 ft.

    So:"Keep Back 300 Feet"isn't just a funny T shirt slogan?
    Actually maintaining distance from any large vehicle is not a bad idea whether driving on a road or heading downstream on the river.If you can't see the wheelhouse,or driver's mirrors,most likely he can't see you even if he IS checking his mirrors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptfd1819
    I was recently returning to the station from a PI accident in the Engine, the roads where snow covered and icy we where following a little jeep which was making a right hand turn about 1/4-1/3 of the way into the turn the light turned yellow and the jeep hastely stopped and the back end slid over in the lane i was in, i did not attempt to stop as the road was icy (as stated) the result was i had to partially cross over into the oncoming lane, and back into my lane as there was a car waiting to turn left.
    Not to change the subject, but in the interests of building on another problem, did your engine have a Jake brake and was it on or off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    So:"Keep Back 300 Feet"isn't just a funny T shirt slogan?
    Actually maintaining distance from any large vehicle is not a bad idea whether driving on a road or heading downstream on the river.If you can't see the wheelhouse,or driver's mirrors,most likely he can't see you even if he IS checking his mirrors.
    That is the distance recommended between other responding fire apparatus. If you were required to stay 300-500 feet behind everything, there would be no standard for warning equipment. You wouldn't need it. You would never be able to pass anyone!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    That is the distance recommended between other responding fire apparatus. If you were required to stay 300-500 feet behind everything, there would be no standard for warning equipment. You wouldn't need it. You would never be able to pass anyone!!
    I was being facetious,LT.I try to maintain a safe distance with everything I drive,whether it's a towboat,sweeper truck,brush truck or my Mom's car.The fact that I try to keep my distance from others doesn't mean that all another driver sees is an opening to whip into while on their way.I am sure that you've seen similar sights on your drives around town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masterFF
    IFSTA Pumping Apparatus Driver/Operator Handbook suggests 300-500 ft.
    Ill give you 300', max. But IMHO, 500' is too much. Your just asking for POVs to pull in between your rigs.
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