11/15/07 179 W - + 18 - 14 Safety Signs

Saw an interesting sign at a construction site in Charleston. Six-foot thing. Color printing. Glossy. Facing Meeting Street. Listed the top ten safety practices of the construction company. Is such messaging used in the fire service? Should it be used? Everyone's seen those signs at industrial sites. Number of days without an accident. Safety first. Etcetera. Heck, they even appeared on railroad cars at one time, if memory serves. (And, locally, at least on one piece of fire apparatus. You can't quite see it in this picture, but an early engine of the Apex Rural Fire Department bore the reminder "THINK" across the top of the cab.) Imagine, say, a sign inside the doors of apparatus bays. "Remember to buckle up!" Would such communication be effective? Will it become necessary, as the dream beats harder for the profession to embrace a "safety culture?" Or such. Wonder what the customers (the public) would think? Perhaps there'd be a negative effect. Here comes someone to keep you safe, but they themselves have to be reminded to stay safe. Hmmmmm.

Hmmm. We can generate all sorts of comments about nubmering schemes, $80k brush trucks, old fire trucks for sale, and WakeMed’s shiny new helicopter, but nothing about safety?

I’ll bite. I have seen several pictures of the old Apex pumper with ‘THINK’ emblazoned on the roof. It reminds me of the old “WATCH THAT CHILD” bumper stickers that used to appear on school buses and police cars every new school year.

So could you put ‘THINK’ on an emergency vehicle nowadays? How much easier would our professional lives be if people just took the time to THINK? After all, I cannot remember too many calls that I responded to because someone did something smart. Things like driving while lost in cell phone conversation, smoking, just not taking care of ourselves in general, and some of the other stupid sh** we as people do (and yes, in my 49 years I, too, have done some pretty stupid sh**) but we ought to know better. But then, would be be offending the public by pointing out something they should already know? Could we really get away with putting THINK on a fire truck or ambulance these days?

I don’t know, how about putting THINK on the dashboard of your fire truck or ambulance? Maybe that would stir up those brain cells from time to time. Do you THINK you really need to be driving that fire truck or ambulance down Millbrook Road at 65 mph? And don’t look at me like that because I have seen it done. Do you THINK you maybe ought not to be standing up in the back of a moving ambulance? Do you THINK that maybe you really don’t need to go into that building because it really is untenable? I could go on, but it is early.

And what message could we be sending to the public with THINK? Maybe THINK before leaving your house with something left on the stove. Or THINK about changing the batteries in the smoke detector. Or THINK about actually putting down that cell phone for just a few minutes (you are NOT that important). Or THINK about putting your kids in a car seat.

What a concept.

And if we did THINK, what other messages could you put out there that somebody needs to read? How about “RESPONSIBILITY”? Like the RESPONSIBILITY we have to each other to stay safe and to make sure that our co-workers are doing safe, and having the RESPONSIBILITY to call them on it when they are not.

OK, enough rational thought for now. Ebay is waiting. Ya’ll go on with it.
DJ (Email) - 11/16/07 - 11:35

Harry Carter rails against ignorance in his latest commentary, which includes comments about some unsafe live-burn training in NC. His label of “dumb-a@@ early warning system” in context of himself is classic. http://cms.firehouse.com/content/article..
Legeros - 11/18/07 - 10:11

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