I just wondered how many dept allow firefighters to ride on the back of brush trucks. And any thoughts you might have. Half of the depts in our county can ride on the brush trucks and the other half can not.

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First, the NFPA doesnt write "laws" they write recommendations. As with any other NFPA recommendation you dont choose to follow; however, you may be called to the carpet on it. Sorry, I agree we shouldnt ride on our tailboards, brush trucks or engines, but I cant stand when people refer to NFPA "laws" I challenge any fire department in the nation to meet all NFPA recommendations, it cant be done...
Well, I am not affiliated with a department, but I do drive a brush truck for a private contractor. I have been fighting wild land fire for 20 years and never at any time on the fire lines has it ever been okay to ride on the back of a brush truck, or any other kind of truck for that matter. It is a serious safety issue. We lose more fire fighters to auto accidents than to about anything else, so in my opinion riding on the back of a brush truck is not really the smartest thing to do.
Notto bring this from the dead but, driver training is the key here for safty. We have a compartment we stand in for stabilty of the ff riding in the back. Please understand im not trying to change anyones mind set but there are reasons
justified to ride in the back.
I am in great shape and have walked miles when needed on a wildland fire and i enjoy it. If you have a standing grain or CRP fire or the like, and the wind is driving it with 10 to 30ft flames being on foot is by far more dangerous, you have no protection from the heat you cant move on a hill side as fast as the fire can as well as the heat that radiates up from the burnt fuel can be very intence.
I agree there are dangers with riding in the back but training(EVAP) is key, dont take the risks remember what your cargo is think safty. There is more than one way to skin a cat. I also would like to say we do not ride the tail boards and we do not ride in the back till we are on the fire ground.
I would question why one would attacking the fire head on with a 30ft flame front, whether walking or riding.

As far as the "compartment" to stand in goes, 2 questions come to mind:

1. While you are standing, are you belted in to prevent you from being ejected when the truck rolls?

2. Is there a roll cage to protect you from being crushed by the cab or body of the truck when it rolls?

If one watches the video in the news story I posted, the firefighter was seriously injured even though the truck had "a compartment we stand in for stability of the ff riding in the back".
I usually try to play the "what-if" game. And my concern, which was touched on earlier, is what if the crap hits the fan and you are high-tailing it out of there and flames are rolling over the truck and it's the only way to safety. Earlier that day you arrived on scene and loaded up the truck with FF so they didn't have to walk that mile and a half into the woods to the fire. Now you can't fit all the FF inside the truck.
That would be my reason for not allowing anyone to ride the gate.

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