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  • Is this wrong for an explorer?

    Hi. I'm an explorer with a large career fire department in California.We are given the privilege to ride on fire department apparatus to observe and see what being a firefighter is really like. I've always buckled up when I was a kid...and now that I get to drive, I still continue to do so. My question is this...I've rode at different stations on different shifts and from what I see...a lot of the firefighters do not buckle up and the ones that do don't remind others to buckle up.

    I understand that I'm an explorer. I'm not a firefighter. I'm not even a rookie. I'm a high school student given the oppurtunity to observe and ride with firefighters as part of a program. I'm not an EMT...I'm not a medic. I try to work and do my share of the chores when I ride out and are on good terms with the crews.

    My question is this: Would it be wrong for me to remind a firefighter to buckle up? What about an officer?

    My gut instinct says that I'm there to learn and absorb information. I'd feel out of place and quite frankly...scared to say something like that to a firefighter, much less to a Lt. or Capt. But...at the same time...I've read that the #2 cause of firefighter fatalities is because of fire department involved accidents with the majority of deaths being from firefighters who were not clicked in.

    Part of the way I look at it is that...what can they do to me if I do speak up? You can't punish somebody for caring about you. It might be out of place...but it might just save your life.

    I haven't said anything so far...but I'd like some suggestions from you guys. If I did mention it...I wouldn't just say "Hey LT...buckle up."...I'd probably refrain and go with a little joke..."Buckle up everyone...*laugh*..." - something like that to ease the "tension".

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    How about saying something...when is comes to safety you should speak up but do it with tac and respect.

    If they want to be a bonehead and not buckle up then the officer needs to have a come to jesus meeting with that FF.

    Safety is the upmost importance!
    *Always leave the job a little better for the next guy*

    Comment


    • #3
      Is there a member that you may feel comfortable asking this question?

      In reality, you are there as an observer. Maybe taking one of the members that you relate to well and simply asking him about the situation, and why he feels the members do not buckle up may be the best course of action.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

      Comment


      • #4
        Excuse me...

        Your place as an Explorer is to learn from the firefighters.

        You should not attempt to correct an firefighter for any reason.

        Even if he is not setting the correct example. Just don't copy what you know isn't correct.

        Having said that... don't ever make an issue out of something like this. You don't want to get yourself labled.

        As a Chief, I can tell you that I would not want my guys telling off on each other over issues like this. There are others things where this does comes into play. We can develop policies all day long, and they are to be followed. But it is the Officer's responsibility to enforce policies, not explorers. It is the firefighters responsibility to follow policy, including explorers.

        Good Luck.
        HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lvfrdrescue1 View Post
          and now that I get to drive,
          Do what? An emergency vehicle? Most rural departments here cant drive dept vehicles on a emergency until they are 23
          Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Capt387 View Post
            Do what? An emergency vehicle? Most rural departments here cant drive dept vehicles on a emergency until they are 23
            I think he was referring to his POV.
            Train to fight the fires you fight.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
              I think he was referring to his POV.
              Not necessarily. Every state and jurisdiction are different. I was allowed to drive all the fire apparatus and ambulances when I was a 19 y/o resident firefighter. Later when I was hired at my first paid department, we allowed resident firefighters to drive the rigs too so long as they were 18 or older. The main thing in both departments was that you had to be qualified as a driver just like one of the paid personnel did. That meant you had to take the same training and pass the same tests. We never had any issues with it, but I can see where some state laws or department policies may not allow it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PaladinKnight View Post
                Excuse me...

                Your place as an Explorer is to learn from the firefighters.

                You should not attempt to correct an firefighter for any reason.

                Even if he is not setting the correct example. Just don't copy what you know isn't correct.

                Having said that... don't ever make an issue out of something like this. You don't want to get yourself labled.

                As a Chief, I can tell you that I would not want my guys telling off on each other over issues like this. There are others things where this does comes into play. We can develop policies all day long, and they are to be followed. But it is the Officer's responsibility to enforce policies, not explorers. It is the firefighters responsibility to follow policy, including explorers.

                Good Luck.
                Bad advice. Just because he is an explorer and they are firefighters doesn't mean he might not catch something stupid. "Man I sure do wish I could have told Fred not to step off that retaining wall. Alas, he is a firefighter and I am only an explorer..."

                Not quite.

                Originally posted by Capt387 View Post
                Do what? An emergency vehicle? Most rural departments here cant drive dept vehicles on a emergency until they are 23
                Like LA said, I think he was meaning in general, as in reaching to age to drive his personal vehicle. And remember, "most" probably only covers the departments in your general area. Things are done different in different places.
                Career Firefighter
                Volunteer Captain

                -Professional in Either Role-

                Originally posted by Rescue101
                I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes. I was refering to just a personal vehicle that I use to drive to school and what not. I just wanted some input from yall. Right now...I don't say/do anything besides buckling up. I just wanted to ask for some opinions...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Something else I just wanted to chip in. I, personally, thinks it's extremely dangerous to not buckle up. I think it's disrespectful to the hundreds of firefighters have paid the price of not wearing their seatbelt with their lives. I mean...it's the SECOND leading cause of Line-of-Duty DEATHS for firefighters...and it takes 1/2 a second to do!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One last thing...what I would really like to get input on is how to politely and tactfully remind the firefighters to click in. My personal values/beliefs tell me to speak up since safety is everyone's responsibility and it's the RIGHT THING TO DO. Of course, this is my opinion. I just don't know how to go about doing in in a way that won't damage the "realtionship" I've developed with the crew...

                      Paladin...you're absolutley right. I don't ever want to question/tell a firefighter. That's not my position. I'm here to learn and observe. But at the same time...if you see something that's dangerous (because that's what not wearing your seatbelt is...dangerous), isn't it the right thing to do to speak up? I'm not doing it to sound like a @#%@...I want to say something because I love these guys and I care about them. I know that sounds silly...but...it's the truth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I understand your concern on the issue. But how is that going to get you points if you tell a firefighter he is dishonoring the guys that were killed by not wearing a seatbelt?

                        If you get too concerned about this, wait until you see some of the other stuff they do later. The training and books are one thing. What happens in real life is quite another.

                        The job has huge risks. We know it because first we were told, then many of us experienced it first hand. But I can think of a lot of things that I worry about more than if I forgot to buckle up.

                        While I do support the belt policy and do believe it is important, it is something that I may forget to do.

                        When I climb on a truck to respond on a call, I pretty much have my hands full as it is. If I crash the truck, then the belt may be an very big issue. But I can just as easily be taken out in a flashover or fall, both of which hurt...... a lot.

                        So stay calm and learn by watching and listening. Don't be a pest.

                        Respectfully intended of course.

                        Paladin
                        HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes it is a dangerous job, but what ever happened to mitigating as many risks as possible?

                          Something as simple as putting on your seat belt is a pretty good example.

                          I really do not see or have ever heard of a valid excuse for not wearing your seatbelt.
                          *Always leave the job a little better for the next guy*

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WOW.

                            If you cannot remember to do the small stuff how are you going to remember to do the big stuff


                            I thought we were suppose to watch out for each other no matter what rank
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fire49 View Post
                              I thought we were suppose to watch out for each other no matter what rank
                              He doesn't hold a rank. He is a member of an explorer post, not the department, not to mention that he is a 15 or 16 year old kid.

                              You better not "tell me" anything or it will be your last ride.
                              RK
                              cell #901-494-9437

                              Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                              "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                              Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                              Comment

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