“Wear your seatbelt!”
Within the past few months, we have seen many vehicle accidents involving emergency responders nationally. Some have hit very close to home. It is critical that we take the time to utilize the safety equipment we have available to us. One critical device that is often overlooked by responders is the seatbelt. When we respond to motor vehicle incidents, one of the first questions we ask the patient is “were you wearing your seatbelt?” I know there are many times I have thought “I wish they would’ve been belted.”
It is statistically proven that wearing your seatbelt will improve your chances of survival. I often hear some common excuses to not wear them. “I can’t get dressed while belted.” There is a simple answer to this. Get dressed before you enter the truck. “I can’t put my SCBA on while I am wearing my seatbelt without getting tangled up.” It is possible to put the SCBA on while belted but it does take practice to do so. The easiest way to do this is to put the SCBA on prior to belting. There is a very good video available on YouTube…
Basic Firefighter Training - Don SCBA in Apparatus www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTutcIqOb3A&t=4s
Upon completion, the department should be able to…
• Discuss the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
• Demonstrate the skill of donning fire gear prior to boarding the apparatus.
• Demonstrate the skill of donning the SCBA from a seated position while belted.
Scott Meinecke is a member of the Sheldon Volunteer Fire Department, Director of Safety for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and field staff for the Fire Service Training Bureau. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org