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  1. #1
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    Default Walk in cab accident reports

    My department is currently specing out a new heavy rescue and most of the guys want a walk in crew cab. Our chief engineer brought up safety concerns about sitting sideways and getting into a MVA. Most of the MVA's I know of around us involve the apparatus being T-boned(thus safer to sit sideways). I've been trying to find reports of injuries of walk ins vs normal cabs or head on/rear impact vs side impact but so far am coming up short. Been looking at NSTB and NIOSH for reports or stats. My search-fu seems to be weak this morning. Anyone know of any reports out there?


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    Does the chief engineer have any citations to justify his safety concern? It would be easy to find information if riding sideways in a cab is a safety issue. This body style has been around for years

    While I'm sure there have been accidents where if the crew had been facing forward instead of sideways, they may not have been injured. The reverse is also true.

    My initial impression is it more important that the riders wear proper 3-point seat belts when the vehicle is on the road than what direction they face.
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber jfTL41's Avatar
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    You are not likely to find alot of info on this but speaking from experience,the walk in is like a pin ball machine for firefighters. Yeah, yeah yeah, belted and seated... just not practical where I am, we are putting on harnesses, dressing divers, getting gear out for the incident we are responding to... if you are not doing these things enroute to an incident then go with the crew cab and a walk around, but for God's sake don't get a crew cab/walk in-thru.

  4. #4
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    I think the bigger issue is the ratings of the seating in the walk-in box. At least some of the chassis folks are testing their seat and mount assemblies to be able to survive something like a 9G impact with a person in the seat. I'd be much more apt to trust the sturdiness of a factory designed seating setup for mass production than a one off squad bench. Don't forget the sturdiness of the cab to survive rollovers and side impacts, is this also being done on the walk-in box by the body builder? Heck, this recently became a selling point in some ambulances where they put side impact beams in the box now to protect the medic(s) riding in the back.

    Plus, if we're doing things right we're securing everything in our cabs to not become projectiles in an impact, can you imagine doing that in a walk-in rescue box with the cache of stuff in there?

    My personal opinion, to make a walk-in box as safe to ride in as a cab (at least on paper), and you write a tight enough spec to make it so, you're going to spend a small fortune...
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  5. #5
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    Default walk-in vs. walk-around

    Have seen many walk-in rescues where heavy tool, power saws, pry bars, hand tools, axes, mauls, etc, etc, are held in place with bungee cords and light web netting. All of those items will be bouncing around the interior of the box during a crash. Do you rally want to have up to 10 firefighters that WERE sitting on a bench (with out belts of course) now flying around with several chain saws? Go with the walk-around and get the 10 man cab. Keep the firefighters up front in the people space and the tools back in the tool box.

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    MembersZone Subscriber jfTL41's Avatar
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    10 firefighters in the box??? If you want a bus buy a bus.

  7. #7
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    My question would be > what department has 10 FF's assigned to a single rescue apparatus? Otherwise I have to agree build a walk around with separate crew cab with DOT rated seating designed to protect our crew-dogs. I don't care how well you secure equipment , in a crash situation there will be stuff flying everywhere. sitting fore & aft on a crew bench will subject you to a lot of G-force sideways on your spine, even if belted.
    Take a look at ambulance crashes, often times the crew in back suffers the worst injuries, belted or not.
    When we built our heavy rescue we built it with a 4 man command cab at the front of the body plus the driver & officer seating in the chassis cab. The cab seats are rear facing with proper belts and are dot rated. There is no loose equipment with the exception of the air pack mask stored on the seat backs in the compartment. Safety first!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymader View Post
    My department is currently specing out a new heavy rescue and most of the guys want a walk in crew cab.
    That statement right there..."WANT" specifically. Get what you NEED! The only, only, only reason for a walk-in is if you do Water Rescue, and need to provide a secure/warm changing area. Other than that, walk-ins are a waste of space.

    **Note-I come from a company that has a walk-in. Sucks for the normal day-to-day runs, but great when we have to get wet!!
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    That statement right there..."WANT" specifically. Get what you NEED! The only, only, only reason for a walk-in is if you do Water Rescue, and need to provide a secure/warm changing area. Other than that, walk-ins are a waste of space.
    Care to explain this one? A walk-in is probably the most efficent use of space you can get with a heavy rescue. Unless you have: a) A water tank, b) lots of very long lumber, ladders, and other similar items, c) Very large, expensive, impractical transverse roll-out trays, OR d) A walk-in body.....it is virtually impossible to effectively utilize the space in the upper center of the body of a heavy rescue.

    Assuming you don't want water, don't carry large amounts of lumber, and you want a vehicle that's practical, a two-door custom cab with a walk-in body will be the most compact, maneuverable package you could get for a heavy rescue.


    Also - why is it any more difficult to secure equipment in the back of a walk-in body than it is to secure it in a cab?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    That statement right there..."WANT" specifically. Get what you NEED! The only, only, only reason for a walk-in is if you do Water Rescue, and need to provide a secure/warm changing area. Other than that, walk-ins are a waste of space.

    **Note-I come from a company that has a walk-in. Sucks for the normal day-to-day runs, but great when we have to get wet!!
    Hmmm, waste of space? We currently run a walk-in, it works great. We use it for command post, personell carrier when responding mutual aid, when pumper is not requested, great for warming up during the cold calls, also great for cooling down when things get hot. Remember people different equipment works for different departments, this isn't a cookie cutter industrie, go with what works best for your department.

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