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  • We need a new law...

    Content deleted by author.
    Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009, 08:12 PM.

  • #2
    Just for sake of discussion, who is going to pay for said inspections?

    Besides the part about most states still requiring a vehicle inspection annually. In TX all of our trucks have to go for a vehicle inspection just like any other vehicle on the road. If it fails, it can be legally kept off of the road by the state until it does pass inspection. It doesn't look at firefighting related equipment, just the usual stuff that any car or truck goes through. So if it passes, it is deemed safe for the road by the authority having jurisdiction. Humans cause most wrecks. I know people with what might be called unsafe vehicles and they don't drive the trucks like a bunch of idiots. They know their trucks, they know what they can and can't do with them, and the drive them carefully.

    I don't think we need any additional laws, but if we were to institute one, how about one that says that emergency vehicles drive at or under the speed limit? Slowing down would probably eliminate all speed related wrecks.

    - Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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    • #3
      Content deleted by author.
      Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009, 08:11 PM.

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      • #4
        I agree that any vehicle not meeting safety standards should not be on the road. But for the sake of discussion, how many LODD's are caused every year by faulty equipment as compared to driver error?

        Why stop at vehicle inspections? How about every firefighter will be provided with PPE that meets national standards, response times within NFPA 1710/1720 standards, mandatory validated training (not a few members throwing ladders for an hour and calling it a drill), adequate fire fighters to perform interior operations, and fire stations that meet fire and building codes?

        Most towns will roll the dice and are comfortable playing the "Well, it's never happened here before" game in regards to public safety.
        -------------------
        "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
        -----------------------------------------------
        Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

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        • #5
          This goes back to what I said in the other thread.

          The driver can find 90% of the problems that will cause this type of failure simply by doing his daily pre-trip in a detailed manner.

          At least here in California you have to know this information to get your driver's license to drive a truck. You even have to know how to adjust the brakes. But I still have to point out the slack adjusters to some people. What did they do? Forget everything once they had that piece of paper?

          Part of the problem is our culture of ignorance as I call it today. It is not seen as very cool to know or do more than you have to. Everyone wants to drive the BRTs but nobody is willing to roll around under one on a creeper.

          I say again, it is the driver's responsibility to make sure the vehicle is safe, and to operate it in a safe manner within its limitations. Show me a wreck that was caused by the mechanic's hidden fault and not the driver.

          Birken

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          • #6
            Every commercial vehicle(over 10k) in Maine is inspected to the federal standard.This is done ANNUALLY just like the federal standard.807,I suggest you read the crash reports on these vehicles you'd so much like to get off the road.In about 90% of the cases, as the others have alluded to, there was driver error causing the crash NOT A VEHICLE DEFECT.No amount of laws or inspections will remove the wheelholder fron the equasion.Notice I said wheel holder not driver. There's a lot more involved in operating ANY emergency vehicle than just climbing behind the wheel,turning on the lights and jamming the throttle to the pin.And some people don't get it and never will get it.In our Dept. these types DON'T drive apparatus. Period! And as you've found out from previous excursions a lot of this country DEPENDS on tankers/tenders to support/supply suppression activities outside of hydranted districts,ours included.In the 38 years I've been involved in the fire service,in our area there has never been an incident involving a FD tanker,either shop built or store bought.Why do you suppose that is? Perhaps because we operate in a multi-jurisdictional format with formal training in vehicle operations and rural water supply? Or an agressive safety division that thoroughly studies operations and applies the findings to improving our own.The "problem" is easily fixed and it starts IN YOUR OWN HOUSE. Life is short, so take the necessary steps to ensure safe operations.Eliminating tankers is NOT the answer. T.C.

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            • #7
              Connecticut has a screwed up inspection program. The Department of Motor Vehicles can only inspect fire apparatus at the invitation of the fire chief. The inspector cannot remove a vehicle from service, but will document deficiencies.

              As you can imangine, not many fire appartus get inspected in CT.

              Today is the one year anniversay of an accident where a dump truck lost it's brakes on a steep hill. Four people were killed in a 20 vehicle accident with a fire. CT tightened the inspection requirement for commerical vehicles, but not fire apparatus. A 60,000 pound truck is a 60,000 pound truck. It does not matter if it is a dump truck or a ladder truck. The same laws of physics apply.

              It is up to the driver-do a proper pre-trip inspection, document problems, and refuse to drive unsafe vehicles.
              Last edited by KenNFD1219; 07-29-2006, 04:28 PM.
              -------------------
              "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
              -----------------------------------------------
              Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

              Comment


              • #8
                Here in BC all fire dept apparatus must be inspected by a goverment licensed garage once a year. No inspection, no renewal of insurance. The same for all commerial vehicles. Plus there is inspection teams that do spot checks all over the province. Sadly you will always have unsafe vehicles on the road.
                "My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.

                Tender 9 - old, slow, ugly, cantankerous, reliable!

                All empires fall, you just have to know where to push

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rescue101
                  Every commercial vehicle(over 10k) in Maine is inspected to the federal standard.This is done ANNUALLY just like the federal standard.
                  Why is it then, that we have so many oil tanks converted to water tankers (tenders)? If this meets Fed. DOT, then I can see a point where maybe we do need a law to protect ourselves from ourselves. At some point you must agree that not everyone will drive sanely, and the less safe the vehicle the better chance of serious results.

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                  • #10
                    It does meet DOT, it just doesn't meet NFPA. And since NFPA is only a recommendation, no "need" to comply with it.

                    The basic reason is simple: money. There isn't enough money to make every fire truck NFPA compliant, to teach everyone a complete set of pump operations and driver/operator courses. And even if we did, what would still happen? Wrecks. As long as human beings are involved the situation will never be perfect. I'll take a well disciplined driver in a non-NFPA compliant truck over a wingnut in a compliant one every time. It won't eliminate accidents, but it sure will reduce them more than having scores of wingnuts. Money for apparatus isn't the problem, lack of driver training is. And since basic driver training and apparatus familiarization only costs time and fuel to drive, there is little reason that I can find that it's not happening.
                    Brian P. Vickers
                    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                    Emergency Services Consulting
                    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think we need a new law. NFPA 1911 and the rest of the NFPA standards pretty much cover the situation and it is more a need to have departments follow the standards and obtain "qualified" people to maintain emergency equipment. I know that budgets (money) plays a major part in the reason for not doing what is right but that is still no escuse for loss of life because of faulty or lack of maintenance. Now, if those of us who do this kind of work were a little more appreciated and less assualted because the a/c isn't good enough then maybe we could get somewhere.

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                      • #12
                        NO we don;t need a new law. We need Fire Department leaders with the following attributes when it comes to apparatus safety:

                        1) Enough guts to engorce training standards for drivers. Whether that includes state vo-tech training or inhouse certification or better yet BOTH.

                        2) Enough forward thinking to budget for annual maintenance on not only the pump but the chassis. The Volly FD in my small village where I live is the only village department with a planned preventative maintenance program for it's vehicles beyond oil changes. The jist of this is preventing trouble saves money in the long run.

                        FyredUp
                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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                        • #13
                          Content deleted by author.
                          Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009, 08:11 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No New Laws

                            It isn't the laws, the states have rules governing second division vehicles, it is how they are used that should be in question.
                            In Illinois second division vehicles need a six month safety sticker. Fire trucks are exempt (because of our maintenence) Ambulances need it for DPH approval.
                            Here is where Illinois shines. We send our ambulances to the local inspection shop (in Villa Park, On North Ave (that is all I can say)) The inspector doesn't inspect the breaks and frequently gives us our sticker when the vehicle wouldn't pass.
                            The system is flawed. We should care enough to fix our own stuff.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              807, my comment of need is in quotes because no one can be forced to comply, there are only civil and criminal penalties if someone gets hurt or injured. So lots of folks are evaluating the risk/reward of being compliant and choosing not to be when they could afford it. The comment was directed at the statement that non NFPA compliant vehicles can't be safe for the road. There is no requirement to comply with NFPA, only DOT, so as long as the truck passes DOT, it is safe for the road. But that is only a minimum, and I'm not one to aim for the minimum.

                              The problem is, most that want to can't afford it. I'm all for everything being well above compliant. But as we've been discussing, a compliant truck doesn't mean a safe operator, just like compliant PPE and SCBA doesn't make a well trained and safe firefighter. All are training issues. I've told many a grant client that new PPE doesn't ensure safety if your station is full of idiots. All you get is well dressed idiots, not safe firefighters. As a former Training Officer, I believe training is where it starts, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to comply with all NFPA Standards at all times. But I'm not so naive to think that everyone has the money to make this happen. Far from it.
                              Brian P. Vickers
                              www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                              Emergency Services Consulting
                              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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