Firefighters cant while en route to a fire scene or leaving from one and juniors cant ride on the trucks at a scene at all.
However for parades, to and from training and for removing hose/ putting it back we can. thats about it though
this is a big no-no at my dept. since its against NFPA standards to do..the only time we are on the truck like that is when we are loading LDH back on the truck, and then the truck stays in granny gear... thats the the only time we are allowed on the truck..
When I got on the Dept, in 1996, we were still riding tailboard. Although it was not totally banned until 1999 when the Province of Ontario totally banned it, we seemed to be one of the few Dept's at that time, left in the Region who still did. We had a button on the back, one press for stop and 2 for go, which was hooked up to a buzzer in the cab. Now the law states we can't even ride an open cab if we were to purchase the vehicle with one. If our Municipality already owns the vehicle, we can ride it. We only have one truck with an open cab and if we were ever to sell it to another Town, they would have to enclose the cab if they wanted anyone to ride in the back, if not, only the front cab may be used. Alot of changes in the 12 years I have been on.
When I first got in we still rode on the tail board we had safety harness on the back fo us to wear and a two way speaker and bell system to communicate with the cab of the truck.
We use to ride for fire fighters back there all year round was nice in the summer when it was real hot out side on the way home the air would cool you off a bit but in the winter you froze your butt off and if your gloves were wet on the way home you would have to almost have to pry your fingers off the grab bar.
Even with the window we had back there " basically a frame with glass in it" it helped keep some of the cold wind off of you, but you still froze.
Riding back there actually saved a firefighters life once.
We had a structure fire assisting another department and for some reason that day none of our guys climbed in the jump seats and masked up which was very weird.
Our truck was responding with lights and siren going and just crossed a narrow bridge and was about to go into a set of s-turns which the speed limit there is 20 mile an hour. A car came speeding aroung the s-turns crossed the center line.
Our chief was driving and seen the driver cross the line he turned the truck to the right and locked up the brakes our engine was almost all the way of the road onto the shoulder when the guy hit our truck.
The police estimated his speed about 60 mph when he impacted with our truck he hit so hard that his engine came up threw the jumpseat floor on the passenger side of our mack cf if there would have been anyone in tha seat they would have probably been killed.
Being on the tail board that day saved the life of my brother and another fire fighter.
The car that hit our truck had a 5 gallon gas can in the back with a hose running to the engine, no insurance, and the driver did not have a license.
Sad to say but the driver of the car did not survive.
The firefighters on the engine only had minor injuries.
We have not rode on the tailboard since the early 90's and are not allowed unless packing hose back on the truck.
I miss tailboards, like a headache!! We had safety bars that came down across the top of the truck behind us to hold on to but if the truck took a good bounce it wasn't easy to hold on to them either. I almost got thrown off even with the safety but just ended up losing my helmet & cracking my head against the axe holder. On very rare occassions, in parades, a seasoned ff will grab a side rail & ride on the corners where there are two handles to hold on to for a slow short ride. No emergency response.
Yea, this is all true, but when I was working as a firefighter in Montecito, CA, it was so cool to smell all the flora and fauna as we drove through the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. One key thing to note was that regardless of where you worked, we all learned that speed bumps suck... : )
Normally I don’t drag up old forums but I ran across something interesting the other day. In 1970 there was a bad head-on crash, fire truck verses semi up by Chicago, 3 FF’s died, the only one to survive was the one riding on the tailboard.
I recall really enjoying it with my first department in the 80's (and my 20's). Not sure I would now. The only time I've done it since is as casket guard for a LODD funeral - we took it to the cemertery on the pumper and two of us rode tailboard. My current department cut the rings off the safety lines to ensure that no one could try to recapture the glory.
These guys are obviously at a muster, given the hose and no belts. Maybe someone has noted that - I didn't read every reply.