Thread: safety Vests

  1. #1
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    Default safety Vests

    How many of you are required to wear safety vests over their turnouts when on MVA's and other similar non fire calls????

    Don't our turn out coats have enough reflectivity??
    Who's Idea was this???

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    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554 View Post
    How many of you are required to wear safety vests over their turnouts when on MVA's and other similar non fire calls????
    Only the individual directing traffic on each end of the incident. And even then, it isn't a requirement for us but we do have vests.

    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554 View Post
    Don't our turn out coats have enough reflectivity??
    No, actually they don't. Not if you intend to meet the applicable ANSI standards for class II reflective vests.

    Quote Originally Posted by ehs7554 View Post
    Who's Idea was this???
    Who's idea was what? Its up to your department. So I doubt anyone on this forum will know which officer of your department made these mandatory for you to wear.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Two of the three fire companies that I belong to cover sections of the PA turnpike. The turnpike commission does not like to shut down the lanes unless it is definintely necessary.

    For our protection and as part of an agreement with the turnpike, we are required to wear vests over our gear when operating.

    Usually, in my local area, I do not wear additional vests since the local PD have no problem closing down sections of the effected roadways for periods of time.

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    No vests........
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    ANSI Class III vests when not wearing turnout coat for any roadway incident.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Actually it is from the federal MUTCD code. Anytime the road is closed temporarily we fall under the code for construction zones. It specifies the amount of reflective material that must be worn.
    http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/
    Jason Brooks
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    In addition to the MUTCD, the state can provide its own supplement that overrides portions of the MUTCD. These overrides can be more or less restrictive.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Its a good idea to wear them. People dont see us, they see the two wrecked cars. Ill wear xmas lights like in Spy's like us if it means no one will get hurt.

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    Yes, we wear vests over our turnouts. As was referenced earlier, the turnouts do not meet the MUTCD standards for ANSI Class II and Class III vests for reflectivity and color.

    When I was assigned to my new station as a LT, I informed the FF's that one thing that I would not compromise on was not wearing traffic vests while working on the roadways. As you might expect, there was grumbling until they started seeing how much more visible we were as compared to the other personnel operating (both day and night). Now they don't even have to be reminded to don thier vests.

    From the ResponderSafety.com website is this related article: http://www.respondersafety.com/fullstory.php?55176
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    We don't even have vests to wear, let alone SOP's directing their use. Our Fire Police do wear their vests & gloves when on scene directing traffic.

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    We wear them whenever we are operating in the street. MVA's that sort of thing.

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    Don't forget NFPA 1500 A.8.7 and A.8.7.10

    Also note that for the past 30 years an average of 4.5 or so Firefighters have be struck and killed by vehicles while on duty.

    There is alot more to traffic safety than just wearing vests...

    Our SOG states that we will properly place our vehicles / apparatus to protect our members in a "BLOCKING" position. This along with vests or full turnout gear with proper reflective stripes and the use of cones to pre-warn motorists.

    Have fun out there, do your job and be safe. Your family needs you.
    Last edited by FIRECAPT62; 02-18-2008 at 12:43 PM.

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    Traffic details wear vests and flashlights with wands to draw attention to themselves.It'd be nice if drivers would actually DRIVE instead of have one hand on the wheel and the other holding the cell phone to their head calling to let their people know why they're going to be late.
    Ahh,memories of people wanting to know if they can drive down their street because their house is"right there and I'll only have to cross the first hose...."

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    We have been told there is a new federal law going into effect next year requiring vests. The county chiefs association came up with a program to meet the requirements. We were fitted yesterday, and from the BC on down there were comments about how ridiculous they are and "I'm not wearing that thing."

    I'll wear mine, and will take advantage of any safety equipment I can get my hands on.

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    At my dept. it is up to the highest ranking officer o/s.
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    We have to wear high visibility vests over a percentage of the torso including the agreed amount of reflective tape as per British & EU Standards.

    But that applies to everyone who works in or around moving vehciles from Police to Lorry Drivers. Some may be able to just wear a hi viz vest, others such as Traffic cops who are constantly exposed ot fast moving traffic will have to wear a full length coat.

    Some LFB Guys at a dielsel spill wearing our standard Hi Viz vest.


    A Met Police Traffic Cop wearing full length Hi Viz jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    We have been told there is a new federal law going into effect next year requiring vests."
    The Federal law actually went into effect this year on Jan 1., there is a grace period however for departments to get into compliance.

    Most turnouts DO meet the reflectivity standards but they do not meet the conspicuity requirements - the yellow or orange color.

    I guess your state or department can choose to follow the new law or not, but it would appear that liability will go soemthing like this:

    Your department does not purchase vests. A member gets hurt or killed. He or his family wins in court - hopefully.

    Your department does purchase vests and you decide not to wear it, you lose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    The Federal law actually went into effect this year on Jan 1., there is a grace period however for departments to get into compliance.

    Most turnouts DO meet the reflectivity standards but they do not meet the conspicuity requirements - the yellow or orange color.

    I guess your state or department can choose to follow the new law or not, but it would appear that liability will go soemthing like this:

    Your department does not purchase vests. A member gets hurt or killed. He or his family wins in court - hopefully.

    Your department does purchase vests and you decide not to wear it, you lose.
    I thought that it went into effect Jan 1st as well.



    I know that I posted these in another thread, but here are ours, which we must wear at any MVA or incident on a roadway (interstate, city streets, anything)



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    Can someone give me some information or a link on this law?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I got an e-mail about the new law a few weeks ago, and I'll be damned if I can find it now. I looked for it before I even posted my original post in this thread. I seem to remember that you have until October 2008 to comply?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Can someone give me some information or a link on this law?
    I'll second that. I've never heard of this law or even that it was coming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Can someone give me some information or a link on this law?
    I shot an e-mail to a friend who is part of the respondersafety.com group, and also travels the nation providing departments on-scene safety information. I asked him what light he could shed on this topic, and this is his response [portions not relevant to the conversation deleted by me...]:

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187's e-mail in-box
    Good question and one that is coming up more frequently. I have some information for you.

    1) The exact issue you are asking about is on the agenda for the IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section meeting in San Diego next week. There are several related action items. Weíre hoping to develop some specific advice for fire deptís regarding the new Rule. Rule 634 was not written with firefighting in mind and did not have appropriate representation from the fire service community. Although we canít revise Rule 634, we can provide more appropriate guidance for the committee that is working on revisions for the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which, when passed, will eventually supersede Rule 634. http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-notices.htm
    Copy of Rule 634 atached and can be shared. The Rule applies to federally funded highways with compliance by 11/24/2008.

    2) One of our other goals is to gain recognition and acceptance of the new Public Safety Vests (ANSI 207) in addition to the ANSI 107 vests. The IAFC SHS will be submitting comments in writing to the MUTCD committee and I encourage your FD to do the same. The Committee needs to hear from emergency responders with practical suggestions on ways to revise the MUTCD while keeping responder safety in mind for the variety of incidents we respond to daily. Watch for related information in the near future at www.respondersafety.com
    I hope this helps, and will field any other questions to him that y'all might have....
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    In the last month a sheriff deputy in the county just north of where I am was struck and killed on a major highway. This just re-enforced our SOG.

    Our SOG is anytime we are operating in traffic, we shall wear our traffic vests over our turnout gear, regardless if it is in the back alley of a residential neighborhood or a divided highway like the interstate, no questions asked, no second chances given. This is one topic that is not up for discussion in my department due to several people close to our department (firefighters and police officers) that have been struck.

    Each riding position on every vehicle has a Class III ANSI traffic vest. There is no excuse for not wearing it. Anyone not wearing their vest will be subject to diciplinary action.
    Last edited by Dickey; 02-02-2008 at 03:46 AM.
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    I went through this with my dept last year.

    Visabilty? Nope. Black gear.

    Reflectivity? Sure, until that reflective tape gets compromised during normal firefighting.

    The answer was the safety vests, part of a traffic safety package I bought for the dept including cones, signs, etc.

    The normal grumbling ensued, the macho talk started... blah blah blah.

    Traffic and highway safety is more of an issue than many think. I spend most of my year on roads and highways under construction ( wisconsins longest season: road construction ) and I have to tell you, you must keep on your toes. People are in a hurry, distracted by any number of activities they do in addition to driving, and generally just don't want to slow down for much unless they have to. And that is in a very well established, well marked, and well controlled construction zone.

    Now take those same people coming up on a sudden accident scene which is not well marked, and control has not been completely established.

    Our personel also wear the vests for tender ( tanker ) duty, and anything else that puts you on a street that has not been completely shut down.

    I prefer to shut the street or highway down. Safer yet.

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