Page 15 - UFRA Straight Tip Fall 2022 - Volume 23 Issue 4
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 The answer is so simple that it’s almost criminal. We need to “make it click” and then hold people accountable for it.
married, it’s symbolic. For those of you who think of seat belts as an inconvenience, and may never see your grandchildren married, it may be enough for you to sign the pledge and learn how painfully easy it is to increase your ability to survive a wreck by 50%.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that there are 27,176 fire depart- ments in the United States. According to the seat belt pledge, only 772 departments have committed to the pledge. That’s a whopping 2%. Cer- tainly, many more departments have seat belt policies, but we all know that a policy that’s not enforced by line officers is no policy at all. How much effort does it take? Hold your people accountable, please. You’re literally saving their lives.
To sign the seat belt pledge, go to Click on the “Sign a Pledge” button, then “Create Account Now.” Un- der “Pledge Campaigns” look up “Utah Firefighters” or use the code DTRESE4892. Sign the pledge and print or save your certificate.
The Pledge says: “I agree to sign the International First Responder Seatbelt Pledge. As a participant in this pledge, I will make this first step toward safety by wearing my seatbelt, following all seatbelt laws, and de- partment policies. I make this pledge willingly; to honor my family, my department, my fellow responders, my community, and myself. Wearing my seatbelt is the right thing to do - It is my life on the line! I Pledge to Wear My Seatbelt.”
Signing the pledge is easy to do, mostly symbolic, yes, but so important. Have a seat belt policy, have all your members sign the pledge, hold them accountable for the policy, and sleep well; you’ve done all you can to make this simple act a part of everyone’s routine. Be safe.
NFPA, Fahy & Petrillo, October 2021. Firefighter Fatalities in the US in 2020.
  Andy Byrnes, EFO, MEd, retired after 21 years at the Orem Fire Department as a special operations battalion chief. He cur- rently works as a professor for Utah Valley University and as director of the univer- sity's Recruit Candidate Academy.
  Whether you’re a new firefighter just starting out or a seasoned one with many years under your belt, some of the best advice can be had from those who have been there on the line. This new section of Straight Tip will feature advice from retired firefighters who have been asked what they wish they had known earlier in their careers.
We are seeking advice from all retired firefighters. If you or someone you know has something to contribute, please email
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