Purpose: To establish seatbelt usage policy while operating/riding on any Three Star Fire Department Apparatus.
Scope: Statistics have shown that on numerous occasions the failure to wear seatbelts has been determined to be a significant factor in the death of the apparatus driver and/or occupant(s). Apparatus drivers and/or occupants being seriously injured or killed after being partially or totally ejected from the vehicle following a crash is a common theme.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports indicate that the proper use of seatbelts by truck occupants reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.
NFPA 1500 requires all riders on fire apparatus to be seated and belted prior to the movement of the apparatus.
Three Star Fire Department requires the use of seatbelts by all drivers and occupants of department vehicles at any time the vehicle is in operation. This is to include fire apparatus responding to emergency or non-emergency incidents. If firefighting personnel find that use of seat belts interferes with the donning of SCBA or their PPE, then they must wait until their apparatus or vehicle has safely arrived on scene prior to donning their gear. Use of seatbelts is mandatory and applies to all Three Star Fire Department personnel.
It is also policy that firefighters responding to emergency incidents, whether to the station or directly, in their Privately Owned Vehicle, that they follow the State of Tennessee law and properly wear their seatbelt.