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  • #16
    We have the same thing here in Alberta Shuswap.

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    • #17
      If someone wants to propose a new law that is aimed at reducing firefighter fatality and injury as a result of apparatus accidents, how about a law requiring some sort of minimum training standard in order to operate an apparatus? Perhaps a certain number of hours behind the wheel training or a certain number of miles driven during training? Or perhaps start by requiring an EVOC course as a minimum standard? That certainly won't solve the problems, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not proposing such a law. I'm simply saying if we are going to discuss a law, let's discuss one that gets at the issue - training - or, rather the lack of training.

      Frankly, I think it's the responsibility of every department to make sure that their operators are safe. An objective training program with standards, practical tests, written tests and documentation coupled with any available certifications is the best way to do so.

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      • #18
        Quite a lot of talk here about baffles.Having put a few thousand miles on both varieties I can tell you baffles don't amount to anything if the TANK IS FULL.They do come into play on a less than loaded tanker.My question to all is, how do you run YOUR tankers? Mine are either FULL or EMPTY.And ours is a converted fuel truck WITH baffles we installed in the pockets.Even so,we have the tank either full or empty,the vehicle doesn't go half way.Now using the opinions put forth here,milk/creamery tankers should be outlawed too,they have NO/or very few baffles so they are easier to clean/sanitise.Seems that most here are in agreement that a good driver education program will work better than any law you can draft and I agree with that.The OPERATOR is the key to the safety of the vehicle and crew. T.C.

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        • #19
          laws

          We don't need new laws, we need some common sense!

          Always, always, wear a seat belt!
          Stop at red lights and Stop signs!
          Slow down. Rarely will another 30 seconds in responce time mean the end of the world.
          Always assume the other guy does not see you!
          And IMHO cut engine horsepower back from 500 to 350-400 max. to reduce the testosterone factor! ( I know I'll get some dart's on this one but we had thousands of fire trucks on Ford C-8000 tilt cab's with 215 - 250 hp. engines and they did OK)

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          • #20
            We have an old FMC that runs just as fast as the rest, it just takes longer. HP and torque don't really matter on long runs, just a difference out of the start gate. They all get moving eventually. Problem is, they also usually don't have the braking, that's reduced also.

            HP and torque go into pump capabilities if you want to get to 1500-2000gpm. Or more.

            Other than that, you hit the nail on the head. Slow, seat belts, and common sense. It won't eliminate, but boy would that reduce.
            Brian P. Vickers
            www.vickersconsultingservices.com
            Emergency Services Consulting
            Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
            Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ChiefSquirrel
              Frankly, I think it's the responsibility of every department to make sure that their operators are safe.
              I couldn't agree more, except that, it just doesn't work! You all know some dept.s that skate by with all kinds of stupid actions: no minimum training, no physicals, overweight vehicles, drinking at the station, poor tactics, no officer training, need I go on. For all the common sense we'd like to see used, there are planty of those who don't use it, which is why we have laws. it proabaly should go wihout saying that you can't kill someone unless you're defending yourself, but every state in the nation has a law on the books!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by donethat
                We don't need new laws, we need some common sense!

                Always, always, wear a seat belt!
                Stop at red lights and Stop signs!
                Slow down. Rarely will another 30 seconds in response time mean the end of the world.
                Always assume the other guy does not see you!
                Eveidentally, we do need laws:
                1. seatbelts are mandatory in all but two states (already a law, still not heeded)
                2. Stop at red lights (we the FS do not all agree on this, a law would settle the arguement)
                3. Slow down (same as above, we're not all in agreement of how slow? a law would help)

                if these things are common sense then why are they contributing factors so often? Why not make laws and enforce them to ensure as much safe operaton as possible. Mandating driver training would be a great start. Hell, many of you couldn'twait to put the NFPA netting on your hoseloads when a tragedy struck. But now you argue that we should not pass laws to prevent tragedies that kill our own? Oh yeah, its too expensive! We cn't afford safe apparatus, more training and enforcement of rules/laws! BS!!! What until a lawyer gets done with your community on a wrongful death suit! I'll bet it has happened but most municipalities settle out of court to avert from having to admit guilt, and we don't benefit from the case law.

                Don't you get it? Not doing anything hasn't worked yet!! What's that saying about the FS? Unimpeded by progress?
                Last edited by RFDACM; 08-04-2006, 08:13 AM. Reason: speeling and addition

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                • #23
                  RFD,Man I love ya like my brother.But read your own post.We've ALREADY passed some of these laws and they are ignored.So tell me how passing any more is going to change things? We need to CHANGE the ATTITUDE/CULTURE that allows this to happen and it starts in your own house.You cannot legislate common sense but you CAN instill it if you practice it in all your operations.Proper training leads to proper conduct and safe operations.Today,it's a long hard road but it can be done.Without legislation. Study fire history,it still amazes me how much we can learn from the past.Use this knowledge to make YOUR agency better,then your neighbors see how well it works,they buy in and the process continues.Then and only then will the system change.Try it,you'll like it. T.C.

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                  • #24
                    101: I see what you're saying, but while seatbelts are mandatory, by law, and some stilldon't use them, wouldn't you agree far less would if there wasn't a law? The majority of us abide by those rules/laws that are made to "keep honest people honest". Just becasue we don't have 100% compliance does not make any future laws fruitless.

                    Driving fire apparatus will always be more dnagerous than driving you everyday car. And unless we get rid pf emergency lights and sirens, there will be greater risk than driving a simiarly sized commercial vehicle. Why? Because we create sitautions as we respond. We at times drive faster than posted speed limits which are made for passenger cars, we proceed through red lights either by stopping first or sadly, blindly with the federal screamin', we drive the wrong way on one way roads, and we scare the bejesus out of elederly people when they finally see us in the rearview. All the while, most are keyed up with adrenaline, further excited by the siren and focused on fianlly catching a "good job". So, why should we accept apparatus that is anything less than perfectly designed to minimize accidents? Why would the public want us out there endangering them too? Maybe this is the real issue: failure to educate the public to the hazards and needs. Laws can be mcuh more effective when they speak directly to those in charge.

                    101, do you remeber when Maine's "Workplace Manslaughter law" first came out? Suddenly Chief's we'd never seen before were coming out of the woodwork, to find out how to minimize their liability. Tying safety laws to the Chief's responsibilty will ensure better compliance. When Chief's are charged for allowing firefighters to participate in firefighting when they have not had the requisite physicals, you'll see a lot less dinasour Chief's, and a better prepared departments. Many chief's overlook civil liabilty and only focus on crimainal. What happens when a firefighter who has not had a physical dies during an SCBA drill? When the ME says he had a pre-exisiting heart condition and shouldn't have been doing any firefighting? Who's responsible? Alright, I'm ranting, but can you see the correlation. It's our fault that common sense is not "good enough".

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      RFD, you're not wrong by any stretch of the imagination with some of what you say. But again, who is paying for this? I work with hundreds of departments every year to try and find funding for them because their community won't/can't give them any more money to operate. 30 departments this year had budgets under $10k, some running over 100 calls. At $300-500 per FF for a physical, that would wipe out the budget completely for these departments. I'm not saying such things aren't important, and luckily many of them alter their tactics based on their equipment. If it's not safe PPE, they don't go interior with it. If their trucks are falling apart, they drive more carefully than usual. Again, it comes back to the attitude of the department towards safety. Too many people that pull on gear have gone into a house fire or two and since they came back out they think they'll never get hurt on a fireground ever. So they don't train, don't worry about checking out the equipment, and say to hell with national standards.

                      As TC said, we need a culture change, and sometimes it starts with the top, others with the bottom. It's not always the Chiefs that are the dinosaurs, sometimes it's the FFs resisting.
                      Brian P. Vickers
                      www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                      Emergency Services Consulting
                      Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                      Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by RFDACM
                        101:

                        So, why should we accept apparatus that is anything less than perfectly designed to minimize accidents? Why would the public want us out there endangering them too? Maybe this is the real issue: failure to educate the public to the hazards and needs.
                        Why should we accept apparatus operators who are dangerous or not properly trained? That's the real problem - not a failure to educate the public. Even if everyone slowed and pulled to the right when an apparatus was approaching from behind, we'd still have operators driving like a**holes. I'd rather have a safe operator in an old, non-NFPA compliant truck than an idiot in a brand new NFPA compliant truck.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by ChiefSquirrel
                          Why should we accept apparatus operators who are dangerous or not properly trained? That's the real problem - not a failure to educate the public. Even if everyone slowed and pulled to the right when an apparatus was approaching from behind, we'd still have operators driving like a**holes. I'd rather have a safe operator in an old, non-NFPA compliant truck than an idiot in a brand new NFPA compliant truck.
                          Touche! I couldn't agree more. i just don't see not improving apparatus too. Cost cannot be the deciding factor. This is were I was going with the public education, becuase it will cost some people alot more than they're paying now.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by BC79er
                            But again, who is paying for this? I work with hundreds of departments every year to try and find funding for them because their community won't/can't give them any more money to operate. 30 departments this year had budgets under $10k, some running over 100 calls. At $300-500 per FF for a physical, that would wipe out the budget completely for these departments. I'm not saying such things aren't important, and luckily many of them alter their tactics based on their equipment. If it's not safe PPE, they don't go interior with it. If their trucks are falling apart, they drive more carefully than usual.
                            I hear what you're saying, but here's the public education thing. Do the people these dept.s protect understand their level of service? Do they know not to expect agressive interior ops? What will happen when some 32 yoa firefighter dies of a previous heart condition in an SCBA maze? Sorry, but the dept. does have an obligation to know or at least keep him from harm due to the respiratory physicals standards. Educate the public! It cost $XXXX.00 per firefighter to maintain an interior qualified department. We need at least X FFer's to conduct interior ops. Therefore we need at least $XXXXX.00 per year to operate safely. I'm all for risking alot, including my life, to save another. But the public understands that the cost of this risk, is providing me with adequate equipment and training to stack the odds in my favor. How many PD's build their own cruisers? The public seems to understand how expensive police forces are, and they pay for it with little question. Why, Because there aren't any volunteer police forces. We cannot let the public continue to think, "well their just volunteers". I'm not busting on volunteers, I'm saying that the public expects volunteer to mean: as close to free as possible. They need EdUmaCatin'!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              The public perception is that cops prevent crime, and firefighters respond after the fire has started. More people think they'll be victims of a crime than a fire or ever need an ambulance. Statistics back them up, since there is more crime than fires.

                              I know what you're saying, but grants ain't all I consult on. Funding FDs is a very tough game to play, and without convincing the public that their tax dollars is going to save them money in the long run, it's a lost cause. When less than 1/3 of all fire calls (on average) actually have something creating smoke or even fire, it's hard to tell 600 residents living below the poverty line that they need to pony up money for one fire truck. Money they don't have either. They'd rather pay the insurance, because that's who ultimately pays.

                              Besides the ultimate factor that its public safety. The public chooses what level of safety they want by choosing the funding level of the agencies that provide public safety. I agree with your educating the public statement, I say it all the time. Problem is, most departments won't. They'd rather play martyr and after the big one tell everyone that they could have done a better job with better equipment.

                              Most people think physical fitness is a personal issue anyway, so the public won't grasp the part about checking firefighters for potential health risks.

                              Cops and building cruisers: apples and oranges. Some PDs also do their own installation of equipment, oil changes, and other PM to save money. There are some volunteer cops around, Harris County TX maintains a volunteer force.
                              Brian P. Vickers
                              www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                              Emergency Services Consulting
                              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Rescue101
                                Quite a lot of talk here about baffles.Having put a few thousand miles on both varieties I can tell you baffles don't amount to anything if the TANK IS FULL.They do come into play on a less than loaded tanker.My question to all is, how do you run YOUR tankers? Mine are either FULL or EMPTY.And ours is a converted fuel truck WITH baffles we installed in the pockets.Even so,we have the tank either full or empty,the vehicle doesn't go half way.
                                Probably just a nit pick but I have a very well baffled 3000 gallon tender. So it is pretty nice to operate half full. You can tell the water is sloshing but just barely.

                                For instance on a wildland fire I might spend time going up and down some road refilling 500 gallon forestry engines as I get to them. Also there are places where I have to cross a bridge that is not rated for the full weight of the rig. In that case I will dump half my load first or whatever is called for and continue to the fire with 1500 gallons for quick knockdown.

                                Also if I get released from a fire with a partial load, I will not dump the rest because I want to stay as available as possible.

                                So there are some situations where I can and do operate with a partial load.

                                Birken

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