1. #1
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    Default Lose the seatbelts

    In light of the push to get firefighters to wear seatbelts while responding to calls aboard fire apparatus, and the obvious lack of ability of standard seat belts to work over turnouts, I have a suggestion: lose the seatbelts altogether.

    Instead, why don't cab manufacturers take a page from the design book of roller coaster builders and install pull-down safety bars at each position with a SCBA rack. They would operate just like roller coaster pull-downs, only arranged so they pull down in a "vee" configuration so they avoid the firefighter's helmet, while securing him or her over the shoulders. After sitting and pulling the straps of the SCBA over his shoulders, the firefighter would reach up and pull the bars down until they rest firmly against his body where they would lock in place. If each arm ends with a small cross-piece, the arms would also form a bar across the lap.

    Upon arrival at the scene the firefighter would push a button, or pull a lever, to release the arms. The arms would self-elevate to rest in line with the seat back and along the ceiling of the cab - up and out of the way as the firefighter exits the cab.

    Without the tangle of seatbelts, each firefighter has fewer steps to execute as they mount the apparatus, a few seconds more to make their own size-up as they arrive at the scene.

    Anyway, one simple idea which I think would make the job easier and safer for everyone on the rig.

    Chuck Altvater
    Last edited by greenman; 04-11-2007 at 09:06 AM.

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    1) You must have an awful lot of empty head room on your trucks to fit anything like this over you (notice how roller coaster cars usually don't have roofs to worry about space)

    2) Why add something with more electronics/mechanics to go wrong? If you can't fit a seatbelt around you, get a short extender.

    3) I'll give you credit though, at least you are thinking and trying to come up with some ideas instead of simply saying "we won't wear them".
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Something I kinda thought of, that would maybe be a little more practical or cost efective is just have the automatic seatbelts... My dads old Tempo (long time ago) had them. Its jsut a seatbelt that when you close the door, automatically goes across your chest.

    Seen as how this might not work because you're not always ready when you sit down, Im sure there is a way to make them engage when you go in gear, or something like that.

    only problem then is if someones not ready for it, it causes a problem.


    I think what it comes down to is we are all responsible for ourselves. Wear your god damn seatbelt. Its not hard. Its unfortunate we're thinking of easier and manditory ways for people to protect their own lives. Easiers ways than clicking the little end in the big end.

    I am reminded of the scene in Tommy Boy when they're on the flight to Chicago and they're telling you how to fasten your seatbelt... "You take the little end and put it in the big end and... you know what, if you don't know how to work a seatbelt, ring your call button and I will have my friend Tommy here come over and hit you on the head with a tack hammer because you are a retard."
    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenman View Post
    In light of the push to get firefighters to wear seatbelts while responding to calls aboard fire apparatus, and the obvious lack of ability of standard seat belts to work over turnouts, I have a suggestion: lose the seatbelts altogether.

    Instead, why don't cab manufacturers take a page from the design book of roller coaster builders and install pull-down safety bars at each position with a SCBA rack. They would operate just like roller coaster pull-downs, only arranged so they pull down in a "vee" configuration so they avoid the firefighter's helmet, while securing him or her over the shoulders. After sitting and pulling the straps of the SCBA over his shoulders, the firefighter would reach up and pull the bars down until they rest firmly against his body where they would lock in place. If each arm ends with a small cross-piece, the arms would also form a bar across the lap.

    Upon arrival at the scene the firefighter would push a button, or pull a lever, to release the arms. The arms would self-elevate to rest in line with the seat back and along the ceiling of the cab - up and out of the way as the firefighter exits the cab.

    Without the tangle of seatbelts, each firefighter has fewer steps to execute as they mount the apparatus, a few seconds more to make their own size-up as they arrive at the scene.

    Anyway, one simple idea which I think would make the job easier and safer for everyone on the rig.

    Chuck Altvater



    LOL

    Bones I have to agree with you, pal!

    Using seat belts saves lives! Maybe having automatic ones is the answer, I don't know. I never gave it a thought for fire apparatus! Maybe I can work out all the details and get it patented and make a mint from it!!

    I was wearing them years back when the shops installed them on the apparatus. At that time we were running with open cabs, no door apparatus. The seat belts kept the driver behind the steering wheel and not bouncing around in the front seat.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    OlieCan, another idea, and that's good.

    My problem with your idea is on my 1 engine, I have a 10 man cab. 8 guys sitting in 2 rows of 4 seats. There is no door for each seat so I have no idea what would "close" to make the seatbelt (coming from nowhere) actuate.

    It's an idea though...and that's a good thing.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I think the concept is a step in the right direction. Seat belts have not really improved in 40 years. Yes, I always wear one, but a simpler method with SCBA is needed.

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    Just get a trunk monkey to hook everyone up enroute and unhook everybody when they arrive.

    On a serious note: Are you serious?

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    i have the tendency to tell everyone in the truck to buckle up. when i'm driving its easy to not move the truck until this happens. but when i'm in the crew cab i usually make the guys back there with me buckle up, just think with all the pushes to secure your 50 lb equipment down, imagine what happens when a 200 lb person comes flying at you in an accident!
    IF YOU WANT AN EASY WAY TO ENFORCE A SEAT BELT POLICY, ARMOR-ALL THE SEATS

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    Since when did our fire gear and scba not work with seatbelts? I love hearing people say that they can't wear their seatbelt because of their gear or because of their SCBA. It is total BS. I have proved it and they still don't believe me ever after I do it in front of them. Which leads me to believe the real reason is LAZINESS. And when I'm driving, they don't have a choice in the matter because the truck don't leave until the belts click.
    Last edited by nmfire; 04-11-2007 at 07:50 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Thumbs down

    [QUOTE=greenman;796065]In light of the push to get firefighters to wear seatbelts while responding to calls aboard fire apparatus, and the obvious lack of ability of standard seat belts to work over turnouts, I have a suggestion: lose the seatbelts altogether.



    You aren't serious?

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    Our new engine has an alarm that goes off, in a very annoying fashion, if there is more than 60 lbs in a seat and the belt for that seat is not fashioned.
    It's so effective that I find myself buckling up just to pull out of the bay for inspection or for backing in after filling with water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefSquirrel View Post
    Our new engine has an alarm that goes off, in a very annoying fashion, if there is more than 60 lbs in a seat and the belt for that seat is not fashioned.
    It's so effective that I find myself buckling up just to pull out of the bay for inspection or for backing in after filling with water.
    Sadly I've sen depts. where the belts are clipped in at all times and the firefighters sit in the seat with the belts behind them. Of course in this case its a much larger problem than the individuals.

    As for not being able to belt up: Most everyone can belt up in full PPE, but its not always easy. The seatbelt recievers are often too short and are caught below the bellows pockets on some gear (if you use the pocket). The area around the seat is small so it doesn't allow you much manueverability to bend and turn to find where the damn thing is. Throw in an SCBA harness and the collision restraint strap and its like some sort of medival torture rack. There is some good work being done on this to ensure future apparatus have better cubic footage allowed per seated position, as well as better engineered seatbelt parts. Why not a larger seatbelt clip and reciever?

    Discipline at all levels is the only thing that will get more firefighters to wear their seatblets. A Dept. with strong rules and regs, that enforces them and also holds their officers accountable when they fail to enforce the rules, will have the best success. Discipline to make you belt up for you and yours, disciplined drivers that wait to roll until all personnel are belted, disciplined officers who lead by example and mandate compliance from their crews and disciplined chief's who make this a priority. I can see our municipal insuracnce carriers deciding to not cover us at some point if we don't belt up. To them it'll be another excuse not to pay.

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    Lightbulb an idea

    I have an idea for a new seatbelt concept. What if the seats locked onto the SCBA pack? That way you put on the scba belt and shoulder straps and your "buckled" in. And when you arrive on scene you could pull a lever or strap that releases your pack.
    The only problem i have thought of is, what if the call didnt require an SCBA? it could become a hassle im sure. Bones any comments?

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    [QUOTE=fireslayer123;796384]
    Quote Originally Posted by greenman View Post
    In light of the push to get firefighters to wear seatbelts while responding to calls aboard fire apparatus, and the obvious lack of ability of standard seat belts to work over turnouts, I have a suggestion: lose the seatbelts altogether.



    You aren't serious?
    Did you read the rest of his post? He offered a suggestion instead of seat belts.


    svmech17, you answered your own question...what if the call didnt require an SCBA.


    I don't have a problem with our current seatbelt system. We wear them, for the most part. No, not all guys all the time. No reason other than they simply don't put them on.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I personally like the idea of an organic device, that makes sure the appropriate seat belts are engaged.

    NMFire already suggested the same idea however, the driver doesn't push in the little yellow button ( on air braked rigs) until the seatbelts are ready.
    I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"

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    I think no matter what the design of the vehicle you are in, if people don't want to wear a seatbelt, they won't. People will find ways around it.

    If you have nothing worth living for (no family, friends, loved ones, which I would find hard to believe you don't at least have freinds in the FD) then by all means, don't wear your seatbelt.

    If people are too stupid to do something as easy as putting on a seatbelt, they're in the wrong job.
    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenman View Post
    the obvious lack of ability of standard seat belts to work over turnouts,
    Before we accept this statement as a "given", since when didn't standard seat belts work over turnouts? Nobody around here seems to have any problems with them.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    My first firefighting gig, the brush truck, a 1983 Chev. dually, the seatbelts were removed from the cab. The factory bench seat had been replaced with 2 bucket seats, i.e. captain chairs. I hated riding in that truck. I'm not sure how it passed yearly state inspection. I did bring it up in a monthly meeting, but no one cared to discuss it. But it was in the minutes.

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    ________________
    Last edited by 5alarmcooker; 03-17-2008 at 07:49 PM.

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    If people bothered to try it and practice it, there would be no tangling or other problems. We drill with the use of packs and taking them on and off. Maybe if we bothered to include packing up in the seats in our normal training, it wouldn't be a problem.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I have to agree with NM again.

    It really is not that difficult to pack up while buckled up. It may take a few extra seconds to buckle up, but what is that worth against making back to the station and back home?

    At our station it takes longer to activate the door closer than it does to properly buckle up
    I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"

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    Quote Originally Posted by svmech17 View Post
    I have an idea for a new seatbelt concept. What if the seats locked onto the SCBA pack? That way you put on the scba belt and shoulder straps and your "buckled" in. And when you arrive on scene you could pull a lever or strap that releases your pack.
    The only problem i have thought of is, what if the call didnt require an SCBA? it could become a hassle im sure. Bones any comments?
    That actually doesn't sound like a bad idea....Get the SCBA manufacturer's R&D folks working on it, they'll go for it...If you can convince NFPA to make it a standard, they'll work overtime to design a system that they can sell you as an "upgrade"....or better yet, replace all the packs you just bought 2 years ago because they're no longer "compliant"

    I don't mean to be sarcastic, but that's how perfectly safe firefighting equipment becomes "obsolete" so quickly...The idea could probably be made to work, and then it would become a standard and a (very expensive) option.

    (BTW, if the call didn't require SCBA, you could easily just unhook it like you do with your seatbelt now, couldn't you? I mean, you would just be using the harness as a seat belt for the ride out, without actually using the pack....Kind of like a fighter jet's ejector seat...even if I don't actually need the ejector seat on that trip, I still use it to strap in)
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    That actually doesn't sound like a bad idea....Get the SCBA manufacturer's R&D folks working on it, they'll go for it...If you can convince NFPA to make it a standard, they'll work overtime to design a system that they can sell you as an "upgrade"....or better yet, replace all the packs you just bought 2 years ago because they're no longer "compliant"

    I don't mean to be sarcastic, but that's how perfectly safe firefighting equipment becomes "obsolete" so quickly...The idea could probably be made to work, and then it would become a standard and a (very expensive) option.

    (BTW, if the call didn't require SCBA, you could easily just unhook it like you do with your seatbelt now, couldn't you? I mean, you would just be using the harness as a seat belt for the ride out, without actually using the pack....Kind of like a fighter jet's ejector seat...even if I don't actually need the ejector seat on that trip, I still use it to strap in)

    5alarm's idea sounds like mine. So stealing from 5alarm's idea, why not leave a normal seat belt for those non scba calls? Or you could just put on the scba like dmleblanc suggested. Either would work.
    Just so everyone knows im not anti buckling up, im just offering a solution for the future. I agree with everyone that the best thing to do now is just buckle up and let the NFPA and Fire truck designers figure this out.
    Last edited by svmech17; 04-13-2007 at 02:56 PM.

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    I opened up the eyes of some guys on my department a few meetings ago. More than half refuse to wear their seatbelt even though it is dept. bylaw. I asked them how many people they have seen go thru a windshield, get ejected, etc.., that didn't have a seatbelt on. Most of them have seen that too many times. I told them that if they continue to refuse to wear it, they will eventually end up like one of them if a big rig or some idiot in a suv or pickup pulls out in front of us and we can't stop in time. That got the attention of alot of them and now only 2 or 3 guys don't wear it. Truck doesn't leave station if one of 4 guys are driving and not all seatbelts are on. ****es alot of guys off but they realize it is for their safety.

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    I found this video on firefighterclosecalls.com, the people who I shared this video with were like wow.

    http://firefighterclosecalls.com/dow...atbeltNOBS.mpg

    Granted they are not in a fire truck, but imagin all the stuff in the cabs of our trucks and especially FIREFIGHTERS not belted in.

    Stay safe

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