I overheard a conversation yesterday on the safety vests. After hearing it there were a few questions that were raised. It was said that the vests are only required on federally funded highways. Is that true? Regardless they are a valuable form of protection for your guys on the street. Why is it not a requirement for police specifically PA State Troopers operating at an MVA?
Were can I get the law in writing for proof to these guys on their argument.
I'm not sure how to get it on the net, but I know or ex-pres brought a copy to one of our meetings last July the next time I'm at the station I'll check our minutes and found out how to get a copy. Now we been told by a PSP trooper that most of them don't agree wsith it and that they wouldn't enforce it, but I'm sure a snake in the grass lawyer would use it against us if god forbid something happened. Something our department has gotten for our fp is magnetic, led saftey arrow that folds for easy carrieing. I'll take a pic and post it if you like, one trooper was really impressed on how far you can see it. I firmly beleive that vest are a good idea for personnel not actively performing the rescue and out side the zone that a fire danger is present. ie fp should do anything to make themselves as visable as possible, but if they set up right there should be min. danger to the firefighters, that goes to people need to do what they are suppose to do. I feel training is a better answer to highway saftey, and Luzarne County Comm. offers a class by that name, and we are haveing that class hosted at station in March. If you're interested in finding similar classes I can have our instructor sent you information.
Thanks for the input. I thought it was a little odd that I have not seen PSP wearing the vest but that explains it. I am definitely interested in any class information you have and thanks in advance for it.
Now at our department my cheif wants us to wear the vest all the time even if the call is not on a state highway. Does everyone wear them all the time "no" but we should it's only helping us out. I know there is a long debate about law enforcement wearing the vest, because they want a specially desinged vest so it does not obstruct them when they go and try to pull out there gun. Now the vest my department uses there is a wide enough gap on the side, these vest could be used by law enforcement.....
The other day when I was working on the ambulance we were informed that we are getting the new vest in and they must be worn at all vehicle accidents and other fire calls. The vest came in but for some reason were not handed out right away. So while at a car accident a PA State Trooper walked up to a Medic from the other ambulance from my station and said "well its nice to see you today and the medic replied nice to see you also." The Trooper then asked the medic where are the ambulance workers vest at and why are they not on. The medic said we have not recieved ours yet. Then the Trooper told the medic "Tell whoever is in charge at your station you need the vest and they must always be worn while at traffic accidents, and if I see you guys out here again without them I am going to have to turn you into the state."
In my opinion all emergency workers should wear the vest no matter if your a Firefighter, EMT, Medic, or a State Trooper.
For the safety of our crews these vest can be vital. Personally, irregardless of what the law says or doesn't say I would encourage the use of these vest. Even NFPA has put out new guidelines on the amount of reflective tape on new apparatus.
As far as the state troopers, well their expendable. I'll get less tickets reponding to calls. JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!!! I don't want to see anything bad happen to any of them either. Right now the PSP Trooper Standard Duty Jackets have trooper on them in scotch-lite. They have been fielding the Wet Weather Duty Jackets in Safety Green with reflective piping. It is my understanding that the information has been sent to the state reveiw board to approve the newly designed Standard Duty Jackets which are to the new safety standards.
State law has it that you only have to wear them federally funded highways and state roads. It also depends on your SOGs or SOPs. From what i hear now full turn out gear is acceptable for all of the roads now but i heard that through the grape vine.
In our department we use both turnout gear as well as vests except on hot summer days when some of the guys will wear bunker pants and a vest, no coat. Yes I know it aint really smart but that's what they do.
I don't know if I would worry about the rules, just wear them. In our dept we wear the vests all the time. We wear them in training and on calls no matter what the situation is. The only exception is if you're donning SCBA. High visibility equals less chance of an accident whether it's on scene or around the station.
THAT'S TRUE SAFETY VEST 5 POINT BREAKAWAY ARE TO BE USED ON FEDERALLY FUNDED HIGHWAYS ONLY. BUT WE WEAR THEM ALL THE TIME EXCEPT FOR FIRES. OUR STATE TROOPER IN OUR COUNTY WARREN WEAR THE VEST AT MVA'S THE ONES THAT WE WORK WITH DO.