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Use of POV

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  • Use of POV

    Is anyone familiar with any Indiana laws that pertain to the use and liability of POV on fire grounds?
    I recently took my vehicle to an accident scene to allow the department to use some tools that I carry; this was by request of an officer on the department. Also on this same scene a generator and some tools were loaded in the back of my truck so they could be transported to the middle of the field where the vehicle was. In the process of getting to the vehicle my truck got stuck which is where it was left until the end of the accident. At which time the department used the winch on the recue truck to pull the truck out. In the process of pulling my truck out my bumper got damaged and now will need to be replaced.
    My dilemma comes from the fact that the departments insurance and the department are refusing to pay for damages to my truck saying that I was not ordered to use my truck. I was wondering what if any laws existed that might help me in this matter, I have always heard that fire departments are liable for POVs taken on fire runs, but have never seen this in writing.

    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by 911firedog911; 05-18-2009, 10:35 AM.

  • #2
    I don't have a clue, but that's messed up. You were asked by an officer of the department to respond. You should be covered. At least in my opinion. Maybe have your insurance company talk to them.
    FF-II/EMT-B/Incident Safety Officer/Photographer
    Lancaster Fire Department
    First run area (Fire): Lancaster, NH & Guildhall, VT (84.3 Sq Miles)
    First run area (Ambulance): Lancaster & Jefferson, NH; Gilman, Guildhall & Lunenberg, VT (185.1 Sq Miles)

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    • #3
      your fire department insurance is lible for all damages you need to call your ivfa district chairmen they will help you get paid or piont you in the right person

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      • #4
        This is exactly why I would never, ever use my personal vehicle in the course of duty as a volunteer- Too many "lines in the sand" get crossed. By lines in the sand, I mean personal insurance carrier.....FD Insurance carrier...FD Administrative Personnel.....

        I would start by obtaining an incident report of the incident in question. I don't know Indiana's laws but here in Pa. anyone who requests may receive a copy with pertinent patient information deleted. If whomever wrote the report is any good, there should be a short statement in there about "Member John Doe was requested by Captain Joe Doe to utilize his personal 4WD vehicle to assist in gaining access to the site, which was 1/2 a mile from any paved road surface. n the action of driving to the site, Mr. Doe's pickup sank in soft mud, requiring extrication after the incident. Damage resulted in using FD equipment to extricate him, see separate report attached to this report."

        If the report does not have a statement such as this, get a statement in writing from whomever requested you to help. Using this written statement, send a registered letter (return receipt) to the Administrative Head (president of board of directors or whatever) of the Agency that was in command of this incident, and request relief in writing, giving them 30 days to act or reply. If you do not get any action, I would just eat the cost of the bumper, as it is probably cheaper than consulting an attorney.
        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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        • #5
          I don't know Indiana laws, but agree with FWDBuff. If you department is anything like ours, the likelyhood of that kind of detail in the report is very slim. Get a statement from the officer who requested that you use your truck and go from there.

          My guess is that you will have to sumbit a claim with your insurance and then try to get the department to pay whatever insurance doesn't.

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          • #6
            WOW! Sorry to hear about your problem. It sounds like you may have more issues than stated though. Not only is the department insurance a problem but yours may be as well. Many insurance companies would say you were using your vehicle as an emergency vehicle contrary to their policies. If that happens, not only will they not help you with a claim but you might find your rates will skyrocket or a cancellation could be in your future. Sad, but it's happened before.

            The biggest issue I see is with the department itself! If you were requested to bring your vehicle and tools by an officer and they won't help with the repairs (having damaged the vehicle), I'd really be evaluating if I was with the right department or not. I KNOW mine would make things right, insurance or not. You can call the IVFA or other outside agency as has been suggested but you'll probably find things a little chilly around the firebarn afterwards. But like I say, it may not be much of a loss if they won't stand behind you.

            Just my .02

            Be Safe,
            Mike
            "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke

            Keeping it together with prayer and the "Handyman's secret weapon" - duct tape!

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