When are we going to learn?  I am an old timer and we never wore seat belts.  I learned over time the importance of wearing seatbelts.  I have been in a few mva's and I learned the that the studies and safety messages are right-on.  Come on guys and gals, we need to stop killing ourselves off. Firefighters need more than ever to set the example, wear seatbelts.  Tragically, two more brothers died in an mva.  Just days before, two in a house fire.  Every year 100 or more are honored at the memorial in Emmitsburg.  When will the most technologically advanced fire services in the world finally wake up and put an end to this?  By the way, I see that the rollover resistant cab of the Rocky mount apparatus held up real well!  Not!

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You are correct. Statistics don't lie. Sadly many of us still cannot talk some others into wearing theirs. Perhaps we will take a stand. Hard to do when some officers still refuse to wear theirs...Hopefully we will all take the pledge to wear ours.
The sad thing about this tragedy is, it will probably happen again. Be proactive in your department and advocate the use of seat belts. Take the lead!!
I keep getting asked to clarify my statements in this thread - in other threads. However, the incident details was not really the point of what I was talking about - the seatbelt issue was. But if it helps, here are a few more details which may clear the air.

I assure you I was not bragging when I stated I was the first truck on scene - I was expressing the timing only and moment of chaos which happened moments after this incident and the pivotal role this moment may have played in the death of the homeowner - my friend. And the delay to the few men already on scene who were awaiting equipment from my vehicle... who needed to focus on the fire, not a potential traffic accident.

Additionally, the reason the tractor trailer driver was treated as such - he had just passed the burning house which had no firefighters or trucks at it. He was one of the people who had called in the house fire - on his truck radio - which led to him being distracted while driving, and thus taking a wide corner. However, since prior to passing my truck, he had passed 2 first responder private vehicles with their red lights on, so he knew that fire trucks were in the area - and he had called to invite more. So thus, the ticket for failing to yield to the emergency vehicle - came from the grace of my officer - since the tractor trailer driver was seeking help.
btw this happened decades ago...

I wonder how many similar stories [near misses] people have had that they did not feel comfortable to share because they are afraid of the consequences. This is not really an industry in which we can comfortably admit weakness or mistakes, ours or others.
You CANNOT rely on firefighters self-policing the wearing of seat belts.
There has to be written SOGs at the department level with stiff consequences for violations.
Then, there must be a law in every state that says emergency responders ARE NOT exempt from any of the laws contained in the motor vehicle codes, including the wearing of seat belts. Stiff fines invoked on the ones who violate it.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am tired of seeing firefighters paying with their lives for acts that can be prevented.
You said it Ralph!! Yes, I am very sorry for the losses of these families, friends, and their community. No matter how they died, they are gone. Now, many people are suffering incredible pain for that loss.

However, THERE IS NO REASON TO NOT WEAR A SEAT BELT - PERIOD! I don't give a crap whether it is uncomfortable; creases your clothes; restricts your movement; keeps you from jumping out of your emergency vehicle five seconds faster ... these are all lame *ss excuses, nothing more.

If you are driving (whether your POV or emergency vehicle), yet not wearing your belt, this should get you ticketed for wreckless endangerment. In an accident, without your seatbelt, it is impossible to maintain control of the vehicle, thus taking what might have been a minor accident and turning it into a horrific nightmare.

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning!" We are first responders! Let's not be the warnings; let's be the positive examples for our families, friends, crews, and communities!
This should never happen we don't go into a house fire with out our SCBA's any more and the same should be true when it comes to seat belts. How many times do we go to a MVA and the person that was not wearing a seat belt is hurt very badly or yet dead. I have seen personel tradegy come from not wearing your seat belt when I went to the scene of my teenage son's accident. He made a choice to not wear his seat belt that day and lost his life becuase of it. We should not need a study to tell us that we need to buckle up we see what happens when we don't and that should be enough to convice you to wear them. Take the few seconds to buckle up it will not change the out come of any incident you are responding to. I don't know if the two in Rocky Mount would have made it out of the roll over alive but they would have had a better chance. Please wear your seat belt no matter what on every call.
Michael and Ralph, I am so sorry for your losses! There is no greater loss than that of a child; any child.
Sad, so sad. I am so very sorry Michael and Ralph that must be an unbearable pain.

I appreciate the courage you demonstrate by sharing your experiences with us. It is important for us to keep in the forefront of our minds how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken from us.

May God Rest Their Souls... and may God help you find peace.

I pray another precious child is not lost due to a preventable situation.


I work as a foster care social worker and I spend many hours each week teaching the foster parents and biological parents seatbelt laws and how to properly carseat their particular child for age, height, and weight. This includes discipline advise for parents to use with the children who are constantly unbuckling and are non-compliant to their parents rules on this matter.

It is continually shocking to me how complicated car seats have become and how the car seats do not come with good directions and how easily it is to mis-manage the car seat resulting in the child not being properly buckled... even though they are sitting in a fancy carseat contraption.

I am also saddened by how many children then are thrown out of their buckles because they are not properly restrained. Or how many parents can not figure out the carseats, so they stop using them altogether. I believe the hospital should require the parents to pass a carseat training prior to bringing their new baby home from the hospital - and the training should include ages beyond newborn; and at least should show the parents how to take apart the carseats and make adjustments for age and weight. I know that is probably a dream...

Perhaps carseats could also be adjustable by a click, (much like the driver's seat slides forward and back and seatbelts often slide up and down on the B Post) instead of deconstruction and re-assembly of the carseat for each child or life stage change. Perhaps the carseats could come with "Use Slot A for ages and weight and height X,Y,Z; then Use Slot B for ages and weight and height X,Y,Z; etc. etc. etc."

But since I am expressing dreams anyway, I think that if we can have body scan machines at the airports now, we could have cars that body scan the passenger in each seat - and either make recommendations to the driver (some fancy cars can do this and communicate an audible message "your seatbelt is unbuckled") or the car will not start and be able to be driven until all passengers pass the screening. Much like a fancy breathalizer for the cars. I am not an automotive engineer, so I don't have a well-developed plan in this area, but I wish someone would be more aggressive with the auto companies improving technology for the masses, not just the wealthy.

Just a few thoughts.
Didn't we JUST have a topic about this?

There is a difference between fire departments for the 100th time! Driving like a crazy person at 70mph in your personal vehicle is much different than driving 25mph in a giant fire truck. Some of us are career guys in large cities. We don't drive you you people do. We aren't even allowed to go above 50mph which even that is almost impossible to hit. You can even look at stats. How often do you see a death while responding in a large city? Pretty much never. On top of that we repsond to A LOT more runs. So the ratio is even larger there. We've responded to over 100,000 runs this year so far and have yet to have someone injured in an accident. If you've never worked for a large city department, I don't think you can really talk about us like that since you don't know what it's like. Makes some of you ignorant to call everyone from the large east coast departments "stupid". I don't judge smaller departments when they sit outside pouring water on a building that's still savable. Maybe they have their reasons for what they're doing so I don't judge. You shouldn't either.
Most of the posts in this thread basically say the same thing, we should be wearing the damn fn seatbelts, and not drive so fn fast. The other one(s) say that they are a bigger (biggest) dept. and a career dept. and should not have to wear them because of a myriad of reasons/excuses, including that because they are in a big city, speeds can't or likely never exceed 50 mph. etc.
So, if I may ask,
What do you totally agree with? I don't seem to follow.. what part are you agreeing with?
That we all should wear seatbelts all the time, or, because the career guys respond to a gazillion more calls than vollies do, and rarely have a crash..they should not wear seatbelts, ? what exactly are you agreeing to may I ask?
Yes, Lt. McCaffrey did!

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