Emergency vehicle drivers have in their care, custody and control most of the major assets possessed by your organization (the vehicle, portable equipment, and personnel). Emergency vehicle drivers should also make every attempt possible to provide due regard for the safety of others. The safe operation of these vehicles, particularly during emergency response, depends greatly on the ability and skills of the driver.
VFIS recommends the following Emergency Vehicle Driver/Operator Requirements be adopted by your organization to reduce the exposure presented by the operation of your emergency vehicles.
Texas Mutual also offers a Sample Distracted Driving Policy. It is your responsibility to get yourself and others to where you are going safely. Avoid activities that will distract you from this responsibility.
With so much, literally riding in the driver's hands, your organization should select drivers based on specific benchmarked criteria. Selecting, training and maintaining good, safe drivers should not be left to chance. Your organization can maximize the good qualities of a driver and minimize any negative aspects, by proactively addressing the key issues of emergency driving and by following the prescribed guidelines provided in the above resources.
RULES AND OPERATING PROCEDURE: SEAT BELTS AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
It is apparent that not all staff understands the importance and necessity of wearing seat belts and protective clothing while responding to emergencies. All staff will adhere to and enforce this procedure immediately.
ALL AGENCY OWNED EQUIPMENT DRIVEN ON PUBLIC ROADWAYS
All passengers must be seated and belted whenever the vehicle is in motion. The only exception to this rule is during slow speeds (less than 10mph) such as parades and other similar events. Apparatus seat belt warning systems shall not be modified or disabled in any way.
Seat belts may be removed after setting the parking brake or by direct order of the right seat officer upon arrival of an emergency scene. This specifically refers to arrival at an emergency where one or more personnel are ordered to depart the vehicle for a specific assignment and the vehicle is being positioned elsewhere.
Failure to adhere to this rule will result in the senior officer and/or right seat officer’s suspension from active duty for a minimum of seven (7) days, or increased by the Fire Chief. In addition, the non-complying individual(s) will receive the same reprimand as the officer. The Fire Chief reserves the right to provide one (1) written reprimand that will be placed in the respective personal file.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING (ALL FIRE DISPATCHES - INCLUDING VEHICLE FIRES AND RESCUES)
All personnel riding in agency vehicles must don the minimum of pants, suspenders and boots prior to boarding the vehicle (except for pickup/SUV vehicles). Personnel are encouraged to don the coat prior to boarding. All personnel MUST remain seat belted at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
The vehicle driver is exempt from wearing PPE during the response; however the driver is encouraged to wear a minimum of PPE pants, suspenders and boots. The driver must don pants, boots and helmet as soon as possible after arrival at fires and rescues.
ALL OTHER DISPATCHES All personnel must be appropriately attired. This specifically means that agency outerwear must be worn. If agency outerwear is not available at the time of the response, the minimum attire is pants, suspenders and boots.
ESO WC GROUP
VFIS of Texas