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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Default Flashing lights and cameras

    One dept I work with wants to look at applying for cameras for the backs of thier vehicles (for backing up) and for one of those flashing arrow signs that you see on freeways used to direct traffic ( I don't even know the official name for them).

    Without going into it, they cover a number of MVA's and recently had a car crash into one of thier apparatus. Their figuring this may be a way to enhance safety....

    Anyway, before I start working long and hard on it, I'm wondering if anyone's ever heard of AFG funding any of these things.


  2. #2
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    I have not heard of any one in our area recieving that type of equipment. Unfortunately when announcements are made it's difficult to determine what equipment is awarded since the AFG uses that as a "broad" catergory.

    The equipment acquisition area states the following:

    "The stated purpose of this grant program is to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighters from fire and fire-related hazards.As such,we believe that this grant program will achieve the greatest benefits by providing funds to fire departments purchasing basic firefighting equipment before any other non-firefighting equipment."

    I see the equipment as being a low priority and would be difficult to get funded.

    Give them credit, they are thinking outside the box.
    Last edited by onebugle; 01-31-2006 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    I'd say the needs assessment has already been performed there, the risk exists and the situation already happened.

    Bugle is right, it is a lower priority set of items, and of course there's the alternative argument of were there traffic cones in place, flares, cop cars, etc, etc. And if there were, no help would come from an arrowstick. And there's no argument for the backup camera because standards still recommend having a body directing from the rear of the vehicle when backing up. Our SOP is still to have someone there even though we have cameras on units.

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    Our department policy is to have the firefighters get off the rig to spot for the driver when they are backing up. This works so well, that a spotter actually had the driver back right up into a tree. Go figure, the driver probably should have used the camera instead.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    You're right on all accounts....

    The cones etc. were all set up, yet they still got spanked....just goes to show you don't need an IQ test to drive....

    Anyway, it's a mute point, I had the chief check on costs, and come to find out the cameras are only about 600 bucks a piece..... He figured they could just purchase them themselves....no need to write a grant for em.... Sounds like he'll take my advice and shoot for an emergency generator...... That they really need.....

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    Well maybe the spotter ensured that they hit the tree square instead of at an angle?

    My dad hung a sign near some automatic backup generator equipment he installed a few years back:

    Warning: automated equipment. Do not do anything Human to mess it up.

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    My own FD has also looked at the light up signs that can be pre-programmed (w/ PDA or laptop on scene) for wrecks and directional changes on the Hwy. However, much debate has been between several of us, as to whether this should be applied for on the AFG or on another grant.

    FYI - there are funds for this sort of purchase through your state's DOT/Governor's Hwy Safety Money, you just have to (APPARENTLY) know the right people.

    Also, we are looking into several smaller private local foundations, to purchase a small trailer (enclosed) that we can begin to equip with things such as the necessary directional signs, Visi-flares (non-sparking/no flame, reusable), cones that meet DOT regulations, and various safety equip. necessary to respond to the Interstate (for almost half of all our calls).

    There are many other options we have looked into. On our 2004 AFG we were funded for Communications Equip and safety equip (barricades, signs, etc.) for the Interstate. Fortunately, we just found out that we have a little bit of funds left, and will be able to purchase some of the larger cones we need, along with the new Visi-flares.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Also be advised, from an old cop here, the arrowstick, flashing lights, safety vests and flares are all well and good but, they do not make up for vigilance. Late in my career I had an officer stopped a DUI in the middle of a 25 foot median strip on a 4 lane US Hwy. He was behind him with flashing strobes on the roof and mounted in the trunk and had a second DUI come off the roadway and smash straight into the rear of his squad car. The force of impact was so strong that it 90 degreed the squad car from the rear roll cage upwards. Luckily the officer was outside the unit issuing the ticket and pulled the other driver and hmself out of the way.

    By the way, the offending driver's defense attorney at trial brought up a defense saying that the flashing lights at night actually "attracted "him off the roadway and was the proximate cause of the accident. Yea sure, nice try! Judge gave him 90 days jail, no license for 10 years as this was his 3rd conviction for DUI and he was driving on a suspended licesnse from conviction #2.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Interesting note.... At this particular incident the truck was parked defensively, with red lights on, plus deputies squads on either sides and the lady still barreled into the engine....hardly even a scratch on the fire truck, but the woman totalled her vehicle.....no injuires fortunately....... I'm guessing they could've put up a flashing billboard that said....warning fire truck ahead and she still wouldv'e rammed the thing

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