Fire/EMS/Police personel, seatbelts use ???

Henry455

Member
May 21, 2010
513
Houston, TX
'Police Officers Not Buckling Up, Fatal Crashes Rising


By Bengt Halvorson


Published August 04, 2010


| TheCarConnection.com


AP


Today's vehicles provide much better occupant protection than those of three decades ago. And we've also made tremendous progress in making our roads a bit safer, and in getting people to buckle up. But, in a puzzling twist it seems, law-enforcement officials are more often perishing in their patrol cars—particularly in single-vehicle crashes—than they used to.


Especially adjusted for vehicle miles traveled, fatalities have been falling sharply ever since 2000. Yet fatality figures for police officers have bucked the trend. Even as overall fatalities in the line of duty fell by about 20 percent, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports in its monthly Status Report newsletter, traffic fatalities for officers climbed.


We're safer, but more officers are dying in crashes


Back in 1980, there were more than 51,000 U.S. traffic fatalities for about 1.53 million vehicles miles traveled (VMT). By 2000, we're cut that down below 42,000, despite driving a lot more (2.75 million VMT). And by 2007, that figure had dropped a bit more, to 41,259, even as total VMT rose to 3.03 (it's since fallen even more, with a slight drop in VMT).


But the news isn't so positive for officers in patrol cars. From 1980 to 1982, vehicle crashes attributed to just 26 percent of all law enforcement deaths, but from 2005 to 2007, 54 percent of officer deaths were traffic fatalities. Fatalities while the officer was on foot or on a motorcycle were relatively unchanged, but deaths in patrol cars spiked.


Up until 2000, Sheriff Magazine reports, in its May-June 2010 issue, that law enforcement traffic deaths were at about the same rate as the general population, but since then the trends have diverged, with the rate for the general population falling and the rate for officers rising markedly.


So is it that police are less trained or more reckless? Are they more likely to be involved in high-speed chases? Or does it have anything to do with the ubiquitous Ford Crown Victoria?


A "click it or ticket" double standard?


Likely, none of the above. The interesting finding from the federal government's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS): Officers themselves aren't buckling up. A surprising 39 percent of officers killed in car crashes since 1996 didn't have their seatbelt fastened. And younger officers might not be doing any better; those aged 20 to 39 account for 69 percent of all fatal crashes, according to Sheriff.


According to the FARS analysis, says Sheriff, 42 percent of fatal law-enforcement officer deaths involve a single-vehicle impact with an object off the road—with the front of the vehicle in 48 percent of crashes. The majority of crashes occurred on a dry, straight, level stretches of roadway. And 24 percent of fatal crashes involved the ejection of the occupant—indicating the seatbelt wasn't fastened."


Maybe I am naive but this story shocked me especially after reading in this forum about the sad, tragic VA firetruck accident where 2 seasoned, experienced firefighters were killed and it was reported they were not wearing seat belts. Out of curiosity, do your departments require and enforce wearing of seat belts? Being involved in the EMS service many, many years ago and seeing many accidents with unrestrained occupants, I cannot think of getting in any vehicle without wearing one,
 

Bonanno

Member
May 21, 2010
535
Neptune, NJ
FD:


- Rear: I never use a seatbelt. To cumbersome with all turnout gear on and trying to get pack on in rear.


- Officers: Never use a seatbelt, already can barely fit, would not be able to put pack on or reach for radio, map book, etc.


- Driving: Depends on if I'm wearing gear or not. Usually I don't wear it as I cant get a full lean to see traffic and all.


EMS:


- Rear: about 50/50 with wearing in rear, depends on type of call and what kind of condition pt is in and who else crew wise in rear


- Front: Always wear a seatbelt.


PD:


- Almost never wear a seatbelt as its to difficult with a Belt and all on. I've had my holster get caught up a few times and it slow me down if I have to get out of the vehicle quickly anyway. Only time I'll wear a belt is during a prisoner transport out to the county jail which is a 30min drive on highway. Other wise my town is all 25mph which on patrol is like 15-20mph.
 

pondfly

Member
May 21, 2010
307
IL
I lost a friend and partner, had one person person seriously injured and two others injured by not wearing a seat belt when responding to a call and got in a collision.


This shit pisses the ever living crap out of me :evil:


THERE ARE NO REASONS FOR NOT WEARING A SEATBELT


I don't give a shit what excuses there are, wear your damn belt.


We had a rig with belts that were too short to wear gear and the belt. I contacted the manufacturer for extenders and they said that they didn't make them. Well, for $25 we had extenders for all positions and then had 100% compliance.


If you need them for your squad, engine, ambulance POV, here you are http://www.gotbelts.com/seat-belt-extender/


You can take the extra 10 seconds when you get there to put your gear on if you can't get belted.


Our policy was everyone wore belts, even in the bone box (unless you were grabbing something and immediately belted). The officer and engineer was responsible for making everyone was wearing them. If you were caught not wearing one, then you and the officer got written up.


I made it simple when I was driving on the rare occasions. I looked at everyone and if someone was not belted, I didn't release the air brakes. If someone took it off while responding I would stop the rig until it was on. I know it pissed persons off, but if it took us a couple seconds longer to make sure everyone was safe as possible then it was worth it. You can't do much help if you don't get there.


Rant over.
 
May 21, 2010
1,176
NJ & IA
For me:


EMS:


Front: Always always always


Rear: When ever not with a patient, unless the patient does not require care. It is not possible to have your seatbelt on and quickly work in the back jumping around and getting things. On the rare calls i actually have found myself standing the entire time.


Fire:


Front: Always always always


Rear: almost always...once in a while i forget


On my own (personal vehicle)


always...no exceptions. Even before new jersey came out with their law that rear passengers did not need a seat belt, i did not move the car until everyone was buckled. I see this as e specially important when responding to calls.
 

UndercoverVLS

Member
Jun 1, 2010
337
NY
NYS Law states: (In a sum up, front seats only) All motorists will wear seat belts with the exception of police officers while acting in their capacity and For hire vehicle operators.


Department Regulations State: Seat belt use required in every department vehicle for every person in that vehicle.


If the department catches you without a seat belt while in a vehicle its a nasty hit, usually a loss of about 5 vacation days.


Personally, while at work I almost always have my belt on. You're putting yourself in a lot of dangerous situations, you should wear it, even though there are times when its not ideal.


As far as at the FD, no one ever wears the belts in the back. Only the chauffeur.
 

Amanda

Member
May 24, 2010
193
NY, USA
My FD requires seat belt use, and we have a new HME Rescue that actually has pressure sensors in all of the seats, if there is pressure on the seat but no belt clicked in, an alarm will sound and truck will not move until that alarm is not going off anymore. It's a good practice, I'd rather not fly around the back of the truck in case of an accident. Interiors pack up when we arrive on scene if you can't get it before the truck leaves the apron.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
11,043
Northwest Ohio
In the front of the ambulance I always buckle up. Always always always. Even when parked on the road staged. In the back I try to sit down and toss on a belt if I can, but it really isn't practical in most cases. Back when I used to do some non-emergency transfers I always wore a belt in the back. Now with 6 minute average transport times and all 911 I don't see how it's possible all the time. There are products and harnesses that are coming out that seem like they might work in some cases.... but I still consider being unrestrained in the back one of the necessary evils of the job.


That said there are things I do to knock the risk down a bit--


1- Transport normal traffic in 95% percent of the time


2- Tie down and stow away loose equipment


3- Minimize standing or walking


4- Get the equipment I need next to me before we strat driving


5- Always keep the pt secured with all straps


6- Keep 3 points of contact with the truck
 

spike91

Member
Jun 11, 2010
192
New York
EMS wise...


Driving, always. Especially when going emergency, that truck isn't moving unless I'm buckled.


Riding shotgun, same goes. Always wearing it.


Riding in the back....Only time I can actually remember wearing one is on an emergency response where I was quite convinced that the driver was going to kill us all.
 

rwo978

Member
May 21, 2010
5,196
ND, USA
Honestly, I'm about 75/25. 25 the not wearing. I try and wear it more, but toolin around at night thru residentials, getting in/out of the squad to check things out... I should wear it all the time, but it limits turning around to see stuff, amongst other things, like getting back in and forgetting because you're thinking of the next call.


It's really no excuse though.
 

Alovebaby41

Member
May 23, 2010
354
Texas
I always were my seat belt in till we are about a block away from the call or i just get the gut feeling that i'm going to have to jump out really fast. But i always remember if we don't get there safely we can't help anybody. And also if im going to issue a summons to somebody who isn't wearing their belt, then i'm going to be wearing mine. we must lead by example.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
I wear my belt probably 95% of the time, probably even more. About the only time I don't wear it is driving through business district/residential where I'm not required to wear it if I don't exceed 25mph and I'm routinely getting in and out of the vehicle (shaking doors). Sometimes if responding to a call I will take it off maybe a block early if I anticipate having to get out and chase someone, etc...
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
Not wearing the belt is grounds for discipline, with the understanding that taking it off 5 seconds before arriving at a call is not the same as not wearing it. No excuses, it's the law, it's common sense, and if a copper finds putting it on and taking it off too challenging, maybe they should drive a desk chair instead.


As for "too much gear," I'm guessing that translates to "too much gut."


I'm sympathetic to the families of cops who are killed in crashes when they weren't buckled up, but stupid hurts. It's worse than not wearing armor, which is plenty more uncomfortable, but if you want a "comfortable" job, sell fucking sofas.
 

AdaFire38

Member
May 16, 2010
148
Lowell, MI
Our chief's rules on seatbelts...


ALWAYS wear them. If you're in a engine... you wear them. If you can't put your pack on, oh well. Put it on when you get to the scene. Part of "going home at the end of your shift" includes using all safety equipment.


The new engine we are starting to speck out will have some sort of sensor that tells the driver if a passenger is not belted in and the driver in NOT to move until said passenger is belted.
 

07GD SFD

Member
May 21, 2010
545
VT
Our trucks don't roll until everyone is buckled. Packs stay restrained until we're on scene. Once the driver says "all stopped" we unbuckle and pack up.
 

fp13-2

Member
May 20, 2010
359
Harrisburg, PA
Front of ambulance and POV, 100% of the time. Back of the ambulance about 75% of the time. If j need something I unbuckle and grab it, the buckle back up. If it's a critical pt that there is simply too much to do, I will remain unbuckled.
 

Travelin Man

Member
Jul 9, 2010
295
Central Virginia
Fire: wear it 95% of the time. To those of you who say you can't get packed up wearing a seatbelt, you're not doing to right. Sit in the seat, put your arms through the SCBA shoulder straps, then put the seatbelt on. If you say that you can't reach the mapbook from the officer's seat while belted, find a different place to put the mapbook. Can't reach the siren? Move it.


EMS: Always in the front, probably 70% of the time in the back.


WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS!!!! How many accidents do you have to see on FirefighterCloseCalls to realize that we're needlessly dying out on the roads simply try to get to, or return from, the emergency? STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!! Put the seatbelt on. EVERY TIME. Don't make your fire or EMS chief explain to your loved ones that you're not coming home because you didn't take a few seconds to put on your seatbelt. STOP MAKING EXCUSES!!!!
 
May 21, 2010
1,030
LKN, NC
Now that I've found the seatbelts in our apparatus I wear them 100% of the time. I'm usually dressed by the time the truck leaves the driveway so I'm buckled for all road miles.
 

fyrboy

Member
May 24, 2010
589
NC
The vehicle doesn't move until all are belted. If caught unbelted, the offender and the officer receive a shift off for first offense. If it happens again, the offender is fired and the officer receives two weeks off. We have total compliance.
 

pondfly

Member
May 21, 2010
307
IL
For those of you riding in the back of the boxes and don't wear a seat belt because it interferes with your treatment. Honestly answer to yourself, how often do you need to be physically at the side of your pt. for the whole trip? Yes, we know about the arrests, the oh shit ones where you need to be at the side I can't agree more, but to grab a vs, pop a drug where you can unbuckle, do it and buckle up again. Just think, is the risk worth the benefit?


Hell I used to ride the captains chair so I was reward facing in case we get hit. And I used to ride the tailboard without belts when I first started (oh the days, how I miss them).
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Well lets see


FD- I never wear my seat belt doesent matter if im in the front or the back it is not possible when im wearing my bunker gear. The only time i do put it on is like during a parade or something like that.


EMS- I usually do strap in on the front seat only but the rear of the unit its not possible due to taking vitals and such.


PD- HA hell no its pointless i dont even like wearing my bullet proof vest what makes you think i want to wear my safety belt if im gonna die so be it. I just dont like the way it likes to grab onto my gun whenever im getting out of the unit.
 

cutiger

Member
Jun 11, 2010
370
SC
If you are in a the front ambulance / fire truck your ass better have a seatbelt on. That said if you are in the back of an ambulance working on a patient I know that it is hard to wear it at all times but do it at times where you can. If you are a leo and in a vehicle I don't see why you wouldn't wear one.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
Station 3 said:
PD- HA hell no its pointless i dont even like wearing my bullet proof vest what makes you think i want to wear my safety belt if im gonna die so be it. I just dont like the way it likes to grab onto my gun whenever im getting out of the unit.

Eventually, natural selection will cull the herd of the stupid ones, and we will be stronger for it.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
I think you said it before, if wearing a vest / wearing a seatbelt makes you uncomfortable, might be time to slim down a bit. I wear a vest just fine for 12 hour shifts (sure they get hot, but not uncomfortable), and can get in and out of my car with my duty belt on just fine.


Didn't you cops have to do seatbelt drills in the academy to show you how to fling the fucker off in a hurry without getting it caught on shit?
 
Jul 14, 2010
1,639
S.W. Ohio USA
We were always told if we were in a crash and not wearing our belt we would face severe disciplinary action. And there is always some dickless taxpayer who will call in a complaint to jam us up.


Besides, as a former coroner's investigator, I responded to several relatively low speed crashes where the person would have lived had he been wearing a belt. One, in particular, looked like a minor fender-bender. The driver's head hit the rear view mirror, taking out his right eye and killing him. It made a huge impression, and I've worn a belt ever since!


I guess the guys not wearing them are kinda like the doctors who smoke. You know it's dangerous but............
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Stendec said:
Eventually, natural selection will cull the herd of the stupid ones, and we will be stronger for it.


Look guys seat belts are optional in our Police Dept and wearing vests are also optional. And i chose not to do any of those but i do wear the vest but only on night shifts and the guns that the guys are packing down here will cut thrue our vests like butter so its kinda pointless if anything i would hope my vest slowes down the bullets so they wont kill anyone else once it goes thrue me :lol:
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
"Optional?" Isn't not wearing the belt a traffic violation? Even if there was a statutory exception for LEOs, I couldn't in good conscience cite someone for violating an law i chose to ignore.


If you are a fat tub of lard who isn't motivated enough to exercise, you can get belt extenders, so the "it doesn't fit" whine is bullshit.


No armor is going to stop everything, but given that about a quarter of us are shot with our own guns, wearing a vest that will stop your own carry round is a must. And reading the Officers Killed and Injured annual report shows that while it is increasing, it is still not the norm for us to be shot with rifles.


Bottom line - whatever, dude - (in)actions have consequences, you are the one responsible for what happens to you. You may want to write out your rationale for your next of kin. I've been to plenty of cop funerals after wrecks, and while we are standing around in our white gloves we are usually discussing just how stupid and unnecessary the troop's death was, if they'd just used common sense and followed the law.
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Stendec said:
"Optional?" Isn't not wearing the belt a traffic violation? Even if there was a statutory exception for LEOs, I couldn't in good conscience cite someone for violating an law i chose to ignore.

If you are a fat tub of lard who isn't motivated enough to exercise, you can get belt extenders, so the "it doesn't fit" whine is bullshit.


No armor is going to stop everything, but given that about a quarter of us are shot with our own guns, wearing a vest that will stop your own carry round is a must. And reading the Officers Killed and Injured annual report shows that while it is increasing, it is still not the norm for us to be shot with rifles.


Bottom line - whatever, dude - (in)actions have consequences, you are the one responsible for what happens to you. You may want to write out your rationale for your next of kin. I've been to plenty of cop funerals after wrecks, and while we are standing around in our white gloves we are usually discussing just how stupid and unnecessary the troop's death was, if they'd just used common sense and followed the law.

Well we do get shot at with assault rifles and yes im aware of all the consequences and yes i guess im wrong and your right. But bottom line its optional and i choose not to do because it is my choice and there is plenty of room in the my unit for me i drive a 2010 Tahoe. But i will try to wear my stuff more often because i know that im wrong sorry standec.
 

Grotonems5

Member
Jun 1, 2010
933
Groton, Vermont
In fire appartus front or back I buckle all the time, everyone buckles up that is the rule, we have click it or ticket decals on the INSIDE of our station doors in case we "forget"... in the ambulance I always buckle in the front, driver or passenger, and in the rear with no patient I am always buckled, when there is a patient I buckle when I can, but can't be 100% of the time unfortunately.


You won't ever be helping anyone if you are dead...
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
11,043
Northwest Ohio
There is a post on here about an officer ejected and killed. How can you cite people for something you ignore? Anyone who isn't wearing a seatbelt while driving is optional isn't representing public safety in a positive light.
 

Ben E.

Member
May 21, 2010
2,417
Iowa, USA
Station 3 said:
Well we do get shot at with assault rifles and yes im aware of all the consequences and yes i guess im wrong and your right. But bottom line its optional and i choose not to do because it is my choice and there is plenty of room in the my unit for me i drive a 2010 Tahoe. But i will try to wear my stuff more often because i know that im wrong sorry standec.

Dude you're kind of a douche. We've got plenty of cops on this board, but you seem to think that because of your geographical location that your job is so much more dangerous, and that you're so much more of a badass than the rest of us. I really wish you'd knock off the attitude. We all know that you think you're better than the rest of us.


And on the seatbelt/vest issue... why the fuck would you put your family, friends, and fellow officers through the stress of your funeral when you could have made a conscious decision to save your own life by buckling up or wearing a vest? You can't tell me that 100% of the times you're shot at it's with a high powered rifle. Why not prepare for the times when it's NOT a rifle? Why not prepare for the times when someone ELSE's driving is out of control and crashes into YOU? I'd really hate to be the officer that has to explain to your family that you died needlessly because you were too macho to wear your belt or your vest, since you were convinced your job was Too Cool and vests wouldn't matter.
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Ben E. said:
Dude you're kind of a douche. We've got plenty of cops on this board, but you seem to think that because of your geographical location that your job is so much more dangerous, and that you're so much more of a badass than the rest of us. I really wish you'd knock off the attitude. We all know that you think you're better than the rest of us.


And on the seatbelt/vest issue... why the fuck would you put your family, friends, and fellow officers through the stress of your funeral when you could have made a conscious decision to save your own life by buckling up or wearing a vest? You can't tell me that 100% of the times you're shot at it's with a high powered rifle. Why not prepare for the times when it's NOT a rifle? Why not prepare for the times when someone ELSE's driving is out of control and crashes into YOU? I'd really hate to be the officer that has to explain to your family that you died needlessly because you were too macho to wear your belt or your vest, since you were convinced your job was Too Cool and vests wouldn't matter.[/quote:1a00pdy5]


Look i do wear a vest a Level 3 point blank vest department issue on night shifts because thats when i usually work. The random day that i work day shift i dont i just dont like dont ask me why i just dont. And yes i do sound like a douche and well im sorry about that and i know i make it sound like i think im better then you guys but im not you guys have plenty more years in the service than me. But i do want to make it clear to you guys that this place is bad and we dont deal with your everyday people most of them dont got papers and well if they do shoot at you the Mexican border is 8 min away so they will try to do something stupid and well for the me being stupid and pissing you guys off i apologize and it wont happen again. :oops:
 

natep24

Member
Jul 13, 2010
174
Orleans VT
comon people wear your damn seat belt. i dont know about the rest of you but i want to go home after my shift.
 

pondfly

Member
May 21, 2010
307
IL
Alright, no need for a pit thread. Everyone here knows how important the safety equipment we are provided with from gloves all the way through Kevlar. We all want our partners, co-workers to go home after every shift to the families and one funeral is one too much for anywhere.


What that being said we ALL do skip safety precautions from time to time. The most important thing to do is always maintain situational awareness and use the equipment supplied with and to use discretion on what and when to use it.


Remember, everyone goes home after shift.
 

cpdchief

Member
May 22, 2010
99
Mobile County, AL
Bonanno said:
PD:


- Almost never wear a seatbelt as its to difficult with a Belt and all on. I've had my holster get caught up a few times and it slow me down if I have to get out of the vehicle quickly anyway. Only time I'll wear a belt is during a prisoner transport out to the county jail which is a 30min drive on highway. Other wise my town is all 25mph which on patrol is like 15-20mph.


I know this quote is old and I'm chiming in late, but I wanted to make a very important point to this officer:


I have worked a fatality crash involving two vehicles where neither vehicle was traveling above 25 MPH. Think about this: let's ASSume that everyone in your town drives the speed limit, and no one ever speeds. All it would take is one drunk traveling the speed limit to cross the center line and head on you. Now, lets ASSume that as you say, you never get above 20. Have you ever hit a brick wall at 45 MPH, because that's the kind of impact you'd be facing. The fatality I worked, both vehicles were traveling at the 25 MPH speed limit. One drunk crossed the center line and BAM! 50 MPH brick wall equivalent impact. Bottom line: WEAR YOUR DAMN BELT! Practice taking it on and off with your gear on if you're having trouble, but figure out how to make it happen.[/rant]
 
May 21, 2010
1,176
NJ & IA
Guys (and gals),


For the most part, they suck, and they piss you off. However I can definitively tell everyone here that my seatbelt saved my life about a month ago. Had i not been wearing it when i was T-boned going through an intersection, there would be a little "deceased" tag under my name where it currently says "eLightbars Regular". I walked out of a wreck that i easily could have died in.
 

UndercoverVLS

Member
Jun 1, 2010
337
NY
Wear the damn seatbelts everyone, but we don't need to turn this into a bashing session. If one choses not to wear it, so be it. Are we really going to sit here and chastise the person over it???
 
May 25, 2010
7,072
Tunkhannock, PA, USA
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS!!! It doesn't matter if I'm in an ambulance rescue fire engine or my POV, I always wear my seatbelt...
 

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