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A Controversial FD Policy?

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  • Haweater
    replied
    Originally posted by nkfiree1 View Post
    We do not determine if the car is safe to drive that is between the pd and the citizen. our fd is not trained to say this car is safe or not to drive.
    Cheers to that. Even IF you are a licensed mechanic, how can you make any kind of a call on a vehicle that's been in a wreck?!? Even a licensed mechanic cannot make that call without a garage and a hoist etc etc..
    Silence is golden on opinions of safety outside of your expertise. Tell them you advise strongly against driving it without being checked at a garage. Do not reconnect the battery, do not remove the airbag. Walk away.
    Regards from the rock,
    Gord

    Leave a comment:


  • nkfiree1
    replied
    This is what my departments does in this situation.
    1st we secure the scene meaning park the rigs to protect the scene from oncoming traffic and place cones. (pd directs traffic, fd personel are not trained to direct traffic, theirfore it is a liablity for the department to do so.)
    the pd does not direct traffic on the interstate or other such roads.
    2nd- we provide ems, extrication, confinment of spills, hazard control, etc.
    We do not clean up fluid spills we contain and confine spills. tow drivers or hazmat clean up crews(depending on amount) clean up spills so they can dispose of them properly.
    After the patient have either been transported or signed releases and hazards have been mitigated. We ask the cops if they need any assistance from the fd. Then we leave.

    We do not determine if the car is safe to drive that is between the pd and the citizen. our fd is not trained to say this car is safe or not to drive.

    once the patients and hazards (that the fd deals with) are delt with and PD needs no assistance we LEAVE. We do not sit on scene until the pd, wreacker, etc. finish what they need to do unless they need or desire us to stay.

    The less time my crew SITS on the side of the road the less danger from on coming traffic my crew faces.

    Yes we do run MVC on a regular bases. Our county covers 20 miles of a four lane high traffic interstate. I have run 6 so far this shift (7A to 12A so far).

    It works for us
    Last edited by nkfiree1; 12-27-2006, 12:05 AM.

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  • duckfarm
    replied
    when we respond to an mva, we are in charge not pd! our first priority is scene safety, for ourselves first, then pd, ems and accident victems etc. that car is mine for the time being. i have the right to inspect the car from all sides inside and out. if i find something that is a hazard i must correct it and make it safe. allowing someone to drive a car with a deployed air bag is not safe idon't care what state you are from.

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  • mcaldwell
    replied
    What he said...

    We can certainly reccomend to the driver to get it towed, but we have no authority to stop the driver from leaving. I would certainly discourage it, if for no other reason than that fact that driver is now driving away with no airbag protection, but I wouldn't BS the guy with false "Authority".

    Call the PO if you think it really needs to be addressed, but don't get into a fight over it.

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  • CAPPYY
    replied
    Over my many years as a fire/rescue guy, I have noticed one trend that gets more of our people in trouble than anything else...

    When we act outside of our scope of duties for which we are trained.

    When a firefighter tries to play cop and pull over a drunk driver, when a fire officer tries to help the local cheerleaders by wetting them down after the last practice of the year (by coaches request) but uses the deck gun without thinking and puts half the kids in the hospital.(remember that story a few years back?).

    As chief of rescue for my town, it is not within my duties or responsiblities to make half assed car repairs for the convenience of the drivers. If you are crazy enough to drive off in a vehicle that has been in an accident without a qualified mechanic looking it over...well God bless.

    I face enough liability each day without inviting any more.

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  • gober88
    replied
    I have a problem with allowing a person to drive away in a vehicle where the structural integrity of the safety system has been compromised! If the seat was partially ripped would you allow them to drive away then? More so would you want another fire dept to allow your 16 or 17 year old son or daughter to leave the scene in a vehicle where this has occured? I will always error on the side of caution.

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  • thegeek187
    replied
    Originally posted by JJBat150
    I'm under the assumption that according to NYS V&T laws, a vehicle with a deployed airbag will NOT pass a New York State Vehicle Safety Inspection. Why would the FD (we really have no authority to release the vehicle to the owner, that's law enforcement's job) or the law enforcement officer allow an unsafe vehicle to be driven away?


    You are correct under the NYS V&TL if the airbag is deployed it is deemed "unsafe" and is illegal to drive. Luckily over here we work with SP. If its a very minor fender bender and there are no injuries no leaking fluids, broken windows etc.. . They let the driver drive it away.

    If the airbag is deployed, leaking fluids, ANY injury that requires medical attention the car gets towed

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  • JJBat150
    replied
    I'm under the assumption that according to NYS V&T laws, a vehicle with a deployed airbag will NOT pass a New York State Vehicle Safety Inspection. Why would the FD (we really have no authority to release the vehicle to the owner, that's law enforcement's job) or the law enforcement officer allow an unsafe vehicle to be driven away?

    Leave a comment:


  • jlcooke3
    replied
    To the best of my knowledge our dept does not get involved in whether a vehicle is safe to drive or needs to be towed. The deputy that works the wreck is the one that calls for a tow truck or releases the vehicle to the owner not the FD. On a personal level I have a serious problem with allowing someone to drive away from a wreck if its anything other than a bumper tap. We have no way of telling what has been damaged on the vehicle and while things may look okay the alignment and suspension could be damaged enough to cause the vehicle to be unstable/undriveable.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    A long time ago we let a local "customer"drive away from a seemingly minor MVA.This particular individual happens to be a regular shop customer.He called up and made an appointment to have his van checked the next day complaining of "it handles funny".On the rack we discovered the steering box had BROKEN OFF THE FRAME.Thru the undercoat it wasn't real obvious.Since then vehicles with visible(Ie something besides a bumper tap) damage are towed.Period.Local PD has no problems handling that part of it for us.As far as the "release" Lee suggests:At least in this State it isn't worth the paper it's printed on.Other locals may differ.On newer vehicles it doesn't take a very big hit to seriously alter the steering/suspension components.If anything happens guess who you're going to see next? I guess I'd rather have them unhappy with the tow bill. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 12-07-2006, 10:34 AM.

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  • jasper45
    replied
    We have no legal authority to keep people from leaving an accident; after all, we’re not law enforcement. If someone tries to leave, are you going to try to stop them, and if you do try, how will you? We have no powers of arrest, unless you’re a marshal. Our job at an accident is for first aid, unless your department has a different role. Here, if the people don’t want our help, we pick up; we don’t disconnect the battery, or take any other action for that matter, unless they want first aid.
    We do assist the police if they request, such as flushing fluids, etc. If someone wants to drive a vehicle that is ‘unsafe’, the police should handle that. It is their job, after all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Halligan84
    replied
    Why would the FD release a car after a traffic collision? That is a police matter and none of my business. I will assist if advised they are going to drive (reconnect batteries, cut bags, tape up trim etc)

    Leave a comment:


  • LeeJunkins
    replied
    As Ron said this one could be very Controversial.

    If a vehicle owner signs a medical release form and wants to drive their vehicle away, you should accommodate them. OK it with PD, then re-connect the battery and get out of their way.

    Unless the vehicle is legally impounded the owner has the right to choose their own wrecker service or drive the car.
    If I was in doubt about their safety and they insisted on driving it, I would make them sign a note, releasing me of responsibility just to cover the department and myself later down the line.

    Ron
    If a deployed driver's airbag is a concern, cut away the nylon bag. It would have to be replaced anyway.


    Because of what we teach about working around a dual stage bag and cutting it, some may be concerned here about what year and model is the vehicle, if we cut the deployed bag away, is the driver going to get down the road and a second stage go off and hit him in the face with a blast of hot nitrogen and partials?

    Badtude20
    Here’s a question for you. What about vehicles that have front end damage with NO airbag deployment. Should we let the owner drive that vehicle away?
    As an Asst. Chief, I tell the owners that do want to drive their vehicles away of the dangers of the sudden deployment of the airbags. And that there is the possibility that the airbag could deploy.


    But we must look at another thought that covers both of these.
    If the front end is damaged and did not deploy the airbag can a damaged sensor later set it off? Or if we cut the bag can the second stage be set off?

    Anything is Possible, but very highly unlikely in both, because in order to deploy the airbag, the control module must receive 1 signal from the crash sensor AND a second signal from the arming or safeing sensor in order to deploy the bag and both of these must register at the same time. (within the 6-13 ms it takes to deploy the bag.)
    It would most likely take a second crash to do that.

    Like Ron, I would cut the bag, then get my release signed and tell the guy to have a better day.

    Leave a comment:


  • hcm1827
    replied
    If the PD okays it then off they go. People dont want to pay the tow charge and the storage fees. 90% of the time if the vehicle is able to move and the driver has no injuries they will have the driver move the vehicle from the roadway prior to arrival of FD to protect themselves the the responding units.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bones42
    replied
    dangers of the sudden deployment of the airbags
    Are you suggesting that it's possible or even remotely probable that since they have prior front end damage, the air bag inertia sensors may just suddenly trip and activate the air bags?

    Leave a comment:

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