1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    41

    Default help on descision

    i have a dilemma i need some suggestions on if anyone can help……………………. we have a few of our ground ladders we are replacing………………………and several of the department members want to take home the old ones………………. for various uses i suppose…………………….. have any of you either allowed department members to take home used ground ladders ........... or have you taken out of service ladders yourself? destroy them or????????????????? ……………………thanks for opinions………………… i wasnt sure where to post this but the chief is a little worried about possible liability

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    fireman4949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Posts
    2,323

    Default

    Why are they being retired?

    If they're not safe, then destroy them and be done with it.

    If they are being replaced for some other reason, stick 'em in the dumpster and walk away...If someone later takes them out, what's the big deal?
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    Why are they being retired?

    If they're not safe, then destroy them and be done with it.

    If they are being replaced for some other reason, stick 'em in the dumpster and walk away...If someone later takes them out, what's the big deal?
    they are safe....a little beat up.........passed testing last time but it is time to rotate them out.........

    i see what you mean about if someone took them out of the trash later... i think thhat is where they are going

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    We let members take home used equipment of all sorts. Most common is boots, turnouts, gloves, coveralls, etc. Some hose and fittings, etc. The only thing I suspect I would never let walk out is SCBA, or other technical systems that could end up causing injury to untrained users, or more than likely used for illegal activity (I hear used SCBA is popular with the Meth cookers).

    We do not make them sign a release or anything, but it is made clear that retired gear is retired for a reason, and it is not to be used as protective gear.

    If you are really worried about it, I would think that a simple signed release with the right wording would be enough to CYA.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    fireman4949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Posts
    2,323

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by truthNaerials View Post
    they are safe....a little beat up.........passed testing last time but it is time to rotate them out.........

    i see what you mean about if someone took them out of the trash later... i think thhat is where they are going

    If you like, I'll swing by and take them off your hands for you. I can always use them in my side businesses.

    The only problem is I just don't know where you're located?

















    Probably 2500+ miles from here!
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Hampton, Virginia
    Posts
    145

    Default Ladders

    By all means, DESTROY them and document it. If you give them away, you are opening yourself up to a huge liability issue. I'm sure the guy who takes them would keep it under hush hush conditions, but if they were to fall or the ladder breaks and they are injured, do you seriously think the insurance company will provide coverage and compensation? A lot of questions will be asked and if the trail leads back to the fire department, there better be a good explination as to how and why the ladder made it's way into the hands of a citizen. As for simply placing them in a dumpster and walking away, that's like dropping off a gun with no bullets. You can say it was unloaded, but the person who found it, loaded it and shot and killed someone. Guess what, it's still your gun and you're somewhat held responsible.

    Someone brought up having the individual sign a waiver. If you are rotating out the ladders because the department feels they are either too old or unsafe, then why would you allow another agency or individual to use them?

    Just cut the ladders up and document they are destroyed and no longer in service. It's just like fire hose and rope. When in doubt, THROW IT OUT but make sure it's unusable first.
    Last edited by kferrara2002; 08-25-2007 at 11:15 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fireman4949 View Post
    If they're not safe, then destroy them and be done with it.
    "Not safe" is a relative phrase. Many a fire service ladder that is no longer certifiable for NFPA compliance is still far superior and "safer" than a brand new homeowner or even contractor grade ladder.

    If you're worried about it, get a signed statement to the effect that the ladder is no longer certified to NFPA standards, is supplied "as is," and that the recipient assumes all liability for its future use.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    By all means, DESTROY them and document it. If you give them away, you are opening yourself up to a huge liability issue.
    Bull cookies. That's the sort of ridiculous waste that has turned us into a "throw away" society. There's nothing wrong with being prudent but that's just paranoid, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    there better be a good explination as to how and why the ladder made it's way into the hands of a citizen.
    You make it sound as if the FD is doing something wrong. There's nothing wrong with disposing of equipment that the FD no longer needs as long as it's done above board and in compliance with any applicable laws/ordinances. (i.e. municipality owned equipment or equipment belonging to certain classes of tax free organizations may be subject to specific rules for "retirement.")

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    Just cut the ladders up and document they are destroyed and no longer in service. It's just like fire hose and rope. When in doubt, THROW IT OUT but make sure it's unusable first.
    Same objection. There's plenty of hose and rope out there that's no longer up to fire service use standards that is still perfectly good for other less critical uses. Don't let unfounded paranoia rule your department.
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 08-25-2007 at 11:56 AM.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Hampton, Virginia
    Posts
    145

    Default Equipment

    Deputy...

    First let me say that I appreciate your comments and opinions. However, I have been in the fire service long enough and particularly in the area of instruction to know that if you have certain equipment that you no longer use on an active basis (i.e. ladders, rope, hose, PPE, etc) it needs to be properly disposed of.

    You mentioned that equipment can be transfered over to anyone outside the fire department as long as applicable rules are adhered to and a statement of "as is" is agreed to in writing. I don't have a problem with that, however when it comes to specific types of equipment (i.e PPE, ladders, rope, hose) then it needs to be properly disposed of. Even if you go through the proper channels to transfer the equipment over to whoever, can you guarantee that equipment will not be used improperly? That's where the liability issue comes in. Are you going to provide testing and maintenance records to the receipient, as well as keeping those records on file after the item has been transfered so that should something happen, you can fall back on those records to show it was taken out of service and for what reasons?

    Regarding rope, sure I've used out of service rope as utility rope around the house, but I knew where it was used and under what conditions. Again, if we simply hand it over to Joe citizen and he decides to go out and rappell or do something stupid, whats to say the department cannot be held liable? If someone gets hurt and makes a stink about how they received the equipment from the fire department, what impression of the department have you now given the public?

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    First let me say that I appreciate your comments and opinions. However, I have been in the fire service long enough and particularly in the area of instruction to know that if you have certain equipment that you no longer use on an active basis (i.e. ladders, rope, hose, PPE, etc) it needs to be properly disposed of.
    I agree that equipment that no longer meets the high standards required for fire service use does, in fact, have to be "disposed of" i.e. removed from service. The "disposition" of equipment can be changed without necessarily destroying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    Even if you go through the proper channels to transfer the equipment over to whoever, can you guarantee that equipment will not be used improperly?
    No. But then, neither I nor my department is under any obligation to do so. To demonstrate due diligence, I'd further recommend that the receiver signs a letter to the effect that they acknowledge that the former fire service equipment has been removed from service; is under no gaurantee of fitness for any service; and that the receiver accepts full responsiblity/liability for the equipment upon receipt.

    Quote Originally Posted by kferrara2002 View Post
    That's where the liability issue comes in. Are you going to provide testing and maintenance records to the receipient, as well as keeping those records on file after the item has been transfered so that should something happen, you can fall back on those records to show it was taken out of service and for what reasons?
    I don't need to. All I need to maintain on file is the recipient's signed agreement that the equipment was received "as is" without any warranty of fitness whatsoever.

    I suspect we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. (FWIW, I've been in the fire service a while, too. 25 years total, 10 as an adjunct instructor at the state fire academy, and just shy of 8 as the TO for a combination FD. I have a pretty good background in this area.)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,593

    Default

    ………………………and several of the department members want to take home the old ones……………….

    It's important to note here that the original post discussed department members, not John Q Public, taking the old equipment. That is a significant difference.

    I wouldn't be too worried. If you are concerned, just have them sign a simple waiver of responsibility and state that the equipment is deemed no longer usable for fire duty and is of unknown condition, etc, etc.

    As far as a member of the public .... No way.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Does your jurisdiction have a policy on how surplus property must be disposed of? I've worked for three different municipalities; all three had strict guidelines about how durable goods had to be disposed of (i.e. surplus property auction). Some people might interpret what you're proposing as theft.

    All it would take is one person bragging to his neighbor about the nifty heavy duty ladder he got for free to bring on a storm.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register