Here's a classic. Read this and see what you would do if it occurred to you in your district.
A division chief with the State of Alabama DOT said our fire department does not have the authority to place temporary traffic control signs on the interstate. (like NFPA 1500, section 8.4.27 suggests, the pink ones) I know he is wrong, but do you have any resource material that we can use to discuss the issue with him? Is the MUTCD the best source? I have read Chapter 6I and this is good enough for me. I fear we will have a fight on our hands. His reasoning was liability of not following their rules for tapering, signage, etc. Apparently they are more concerned with liability than our safety.
After talking to my DOT contacts, after they stop laughing at your DOT guy's stupidity, the best we can come up with on this challenge is that you and your firefighters qualify as "workers" under MUTCD because you are working at a location where there is a temporary restriction in the normal flow of traffic. The accident or vehicle fire situation you respond to qualifies as a TTC zone; temporary traffic control zone which is specifically explained in MUTCD Chapter 6I. Maybe your DOT guy is not aware of Chapter 6I. It is fairly new.
Anyway, as a worker at a TTC zone, you have the responsibility to establish the four components of that zone which the first one is advance warning. Depending on the duration of the incident, minor, intermediate, or major duration, you can get by without full-blown DOT specs for laying out cones, signs, barricades, etc. If it is a minor duration incident, 30 minutes or less, you can get by with just the stuff you bring with you; flashing lights, traffic cones, flares, and the pink sign. You're "legal" because it says so in Chapter 6I for minor duration incidents.
Have him call me so I can tell him how stupid he is!
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Thread: "You Don't Have the Right To..."
07-08-2006, 06:08 PM #1
"You Don't Have the Right To..."Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
07-09-2006, 12:09 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
Not only do you have the authority , you are under obligation (by regulation provided by MUTCD) to do so.
Hopefully all this can be cleared, thus we can simply provide protection for our own safety foremost.Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
BIG RIG RESCUE
07-10-2006, 02:31 PM #3
Oh man that's rich.There is another solution if he insists you don't "zone"his road.And that would be he can get his a** out of bed at O dark thirty and do it for you.Limited amount of options here.Or you could go for the REALLY BIG fun and close that little patch of heaven.Usually someone will show up shortly after that happens.Can't we all just get along? T.C.
07-10-2006, 02:41 PM #4
We just went through the same thing here with Ministry of Highways, WCB (compensation board), RCMP, and FD's.
The MOH said only MOH crews could close the road/stop/direct traffic, and WCB said we (FD's) weren't allowed to perform traffic control without 3 days of training. The RCMP decided that they couldn't perform traffic control and still have bodies to investigate, so we just decided to close the highways for any given incident on or near the highway. The province was now up in arms because of the financial lossess associated with closing major routes.
Needless to say, we are back to performing emergency traffic control as necessary and appropriate, and the province has contracted a company to provide free introductory safety training on the topic for emergency responders.
I love government.
Last edited by mcaldwell; 07-10-2006 at 02:43 PM.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
07-11-2006, 09:46 AM #5Originally Posted by rmoore
My advice would be do what you must to keep your people safe but if you're forced to confront your local ALDOT engineer be prepared to be screwed at a later date should you ever need something from him.
07-11-2006, 09:51 AM #6
Ask the mutt at the Alabama DOT if he wants the responsibility for the death and injury to emergency response personnel and the cost of replacing apparatus and ambulances.
I would be willing to bet the farm his answer would be an emphatic NO!
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-11-2006 at 09:53 AM."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
07-11-2006, 11:49 AM #7
Gonz,you and I lead a charmed life compared to our Southern breatheren.However,see my answer above.If you close it, they will come.And generally rather quickly. My morality and training tell me my personnel come first and the protection of them and their work area is JOB 1. ALDOT,CALDOT,MEDOT or NODOT doesn't matter.You are REQUIRED by FEDERAL law(which takes precedence over State law)to provide safe working conditions for your personnel.So do what you have to do to make that happen. We're lucky,a bunch of our crew works for the town PWD or the State DOT so they're pretty receptive to helping out. As far a "payback" for waking up a supervisor or such;well it's a mighty long highway that doesn't have a bend in it.It won't keep me up at night. T.C.
08-10-2006, 11:28 PM #8
EFD840 I have also had dealings with some of the "my road" DOT people.
It reminds me of the new trooper in our area that came to one of training sessions claiming he was going to write tickets to members caught speeding to calls. A few months later we had to respond to his cruiser overturned while trying to respond to a chase on the other side of the County.
I generally use the "Dont ask for permission,Ask for forgiveness" approach.Forrest Gregg
Fire & Rescue Inc.
District 10 Director
08-15-2006, 09:11 PM #9
Its not just a southern thing, had a state trooper ask me (from the comfort of his car) as I was putting cones out at oh-dark-thirty why I was putting the cones so far out into the road (we were working right on the lane divider on a 2 lane section of I-295). I told him I was trying to push traffic into the rumble strip to slow them down as they passed the scene. He jumped all over me about how that would cause an accident back up the road. I told him I was just doing what the state traffic control course which we had just taken a month earlier had taught us (we had the signs out, proper lane closure with the ramp up of cones, safety vests and lights etc.,). His response? "That stupid state course is going to get someone killed."
Nice, he'd rather have one of us get run over than cause a fender bender a half mile up the road. Last summer we had an extremely close call (35+mph less than 2 feet taking 6 cones out, never stopped, SP refused to shut traffic for us just prior to the incident) and the boss said no more. Now we play by the book and its driving the troopers nuts.______________________________ __________________
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08-15-2006, 10:38 PM #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
Get this one, I was controlling trafic at an intersection of a fatal accident with a working rescue. Command gave order for an all stop due to a police unit coming thru code 3 responding to a seperate incident. one of our ODOT(oregon) guy who had just got ther walked up and banged on a car hood and told that car to get moving, and further instructed me to keep the traffic moving. I very politely (not really) explained to him why it was stopped and that if they weren't going to take over traffic control then to go back to his truck.
Whe have noticed the only time the ODOT guys show up realatively quick is during a holiday when they are on tripple overtime. Our relationship with them has deteriorated over the last few years, after the county ODOT supervisor called and chewed on our chief for not notifiying them that we had the highway closed. Only problem is that we did request them and were informed that they would not respond. The best part is we provided tapes from dispatch and the name of the ODOT employee the dispatcher spoke with. It got pretty ugly for a week or so but ended with a promise that if we requested a response we would get one.
08-16-2006, 09:23 AM #11Originally Posted by HSFDChief600
Aside from having them almost literally right next door you are very lucky. There isn't too much they can do to you guys. On the other hand, they can (and have at times) make my Mayor's job very difficult.
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