Ok oldman, you won me over. I really do have to go with tradition since alot of our traditions are being taken away from us. And it did mean alot to me when his 10 yr. old daughter told her mom that she wanted Pooch (me) and Uncle Mike to take that last ride with her father. It's never an easy thing to do but it was especially hard since he and I were very good friends.
Officially no one on tailboard or anywhere outside the vehicle at our dept.. I have to admit to seeing Santa riding the back waving to folks, and I didn't question it. embarrassed to admit a case of not my company not my business. I also have ridden the back step for funerals, most resently my brother and I escorted my uncle to his final rest on the tailboard of the engine carrying his casket.
My Department stopped riding tailboard about 15-20 years ago. The reason being as an engine was responding to a call, a pike pole mounted eye level with the Firefighter(riding at the time) slid out of the holder and hit him in the eye. I was told it almost ripped his eye out of the socket. Needless to say it ended his career and sight in that eye.
An exception recently was for a funeral of a local volunteer that had lost the fight with cancer. The casket rode on the hose bed and we had Honor Guard ride the tailboard. A beautiful sight on such a sad day.
we are not allowed to ride the tailboard..unless we are reloading hose...i know one or 2 departments in the county that do still ride on tailboard but they do have harnesses.. i dont think the should be allowed to ride at all.. wht happens if they fall off if there is no cam how is the driver supposed to know if he doesnt see it in the mirror... i know our truck as cam on back but isnt to be trying to watch people on the back of the truck..
The last volly dept. I was in, that was the only LODD. Another company was responding with our engine and when we approached an intersection their brakes failed and they smashed into the back of the engine, squashing and killing our brother.
Oldman, WestPhilly, and ENG71INE please don't take this reply personally but I must put it out there.
I agree that we are losing touch with traditions in the fire service but for no reason should that be the reason to put anybody in harms way ever. How can you be so blind to the fact that anybody could get hurt just by falling off the tailboard even if the truck is not moving. I would love to have my final ride on the hose-bed of an engine but rather than have someone on the tailboard to guard me, they should, lets say march behind the engine. Especially if it is the slow and gentle ride you are talking about. That way they will be able to make the next call which to me would be a bigger honor than falling off the rig and laying in the hospital or worse.
Sure you hate to break tradition but the unwillingness to change or start a new tradition is what holds us back. Just because they did it back in the day does not mean we must continue to do as they did in the past in the name of "Tradition". The mindset that we are taking safety to far is uncalled for in this day and age. We must continue to put safety at the top.
Even taking all the right steps to avoid accidents and injury will not stop them, they are still bound to happen. We must do our part as leaders in the service to keep our men/women as safe as possible. This should be done by not putting them in situations that you know are unsafe no matter how slow or easy. Ask yourself one question. "What If?"
Training gives knowledge! Knowledge breeds safety! Stay Safe no matter what the cost is!