1-1 Fire apparatus occupant safety
Collisions or sudden stops involving fire apparatus may result in injury or death to firefighters.
Any activity that requires firefighters to leave their seated and belted position while riding in a moving vehicle, such as dressing in protective clothing, can result in a serious injury or death if the vehicle makes a sudden stop or is involved in a collision. Similarly, loose objects can also result in serious injury or death if the vehicle makes a sudden stop or is involved in a collision.
Actions for employers
- ensure that firefighters are seated in the cab of fire apparatus traveling more than 8 km/h
- ensure that there are sufficient seats equipped with seat belts in the cab of fire apparatus
Using seat belts
While there may be certain exemptions from wearing seatbelts for firefighters seated in the cab of a fire apparatus, it is a good health and safety practice to remain seated, with the seat belt on, until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
Similarly, while there may be certain exemptions from wearing seatbelts for persons being transported in the patient compartment of an ambulance, firefighters assisting Emergency Medical Services personnel in an ambulance should wear a seat belt while the vehicle is moving.
Putting on PPE in vehicles
When fire apparatus is moving and firefighters need to put on personal protective equipment (PPE), the apparatus should pull over safely to the side of the road and stop. Personnel should refasten seat belts before the apparatus continues.
Secure loose items
All items in the cab of a fire apparatus must be secured. Any loose item can become a projectile in a collision or sudden stop. Unrestrained self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) can cause serious injury.
- relocate any non-essential equipment out of fire apparatus cabs
- follow the manufacturer’s instructions for securing seat-mounted SCBA
- ensure the cylinder restraint device used to secure the SCBA in the cab is not released until the apparatus has come to a complete stop
Applicable regulations and acts
- O. Reg. 714/94 - Firefighters – Protective Equipment
- section 7.1 for seat belt requirements in the cab of fire trucks
- section 7(4) for securing items in the cab of the fire truck
- subsection 7(2) and section 8 for seating in the cab of a fire truck
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Highway Traffic Act for seat belt requirements and exemptions for vehicle occupants