This has to be one of the STUPIDEST things I’ve ever read. And after reading this, I can honestly say when my wife pursues her advanced degree from the University of Texas, it will be at U.T. Galveston, rather than U.T. Austin now:
Austin firetrucks now must drive the speed limit and come to a complete stop at intersections while responding to calls, according to a new city policy that has upset the firefighters’ union.
Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr said the policy is intended to improve safety for firefighters and motorists. But Stephen Truesdell, president of the Austin Firefighters Association, said firefighters’ discretion is being unnecessarily curtailed, possibly increasing response times.
“It appears to be a way for the fire chief to shift more responsibility on the individual firefighter,” Truesdell said.
Under previous policies, firefighters could drive up to 10 mph over the posted speed limit. At intersections, they were not required to stop but were instructed to make sure drivers were aware that they needed to get through.
As a practical matter, firefighters were already stopping at stoplights and intersections before proceeding, fire officials said. And because of traffic congestion, they said, fire engines rarely are able to drive much over the speed limit.
Kerr and other Fire Department officials said the new policy, which took effect Aug. 11, will not affect response times.
This is the part where the blood starts to shoot out of my eyes. How can anyone who graduated sixth grade and was reasonably able to work one of those word problems about trains leaving Los Angeles and New York simultaneously , etc., etc. even remotely believe that a fire truck that has to go 10 mph slower “will not affect response times”???
“It is all about making sure that everyone goes home,” Kerr said. “It helps keep our people safer — not only the firefighters, but the community as well.”
Have there been any collisions in Austin between fire trucks and cars? NO.
Have there been any close calls in Austin between fire trucks and cars? NO.
Have their been any complainst about speeding fire trucks in Austin? NO.
Has there been any increase of politically correct fire cheifs in politically correct Austin worrying themselves silly over non-existant problem areas? Oh Good HEAVENS, YES!!!! We have to FIX this PROBLEM, immediately!!!!
Department spokeswoman Michelle DeCrane said the new policy is based largely on a 2003 report in EMS Responder magazine on response data from several studies, including ones in Syracuse, N.Y.; Minneapolis; and the state of North Carolina.
The report concluded that EMS vehicles traveling at the speed limit and stopping at intersections — basically having to obey the rules the Fire Department just put in place — drove more safely and experienced significant delays only in isolated instances.
Truesdell said any delays could be significant. He said firetruck drivers should not be required to stop at intersections if traffic is light and the crew determines there is no chance of a collision. “We don’t understand if they have some impetus for making these changes,” Truesdell said. “They haven’t discussed it with us.”
DeCrane said the change is part of a department-wide effort to turn informal practices into formal policy.
“It’s just a formalization of a practice in place,” she said.
And when the first child dies in a fire because the firemen couldn’t get there in time, whose fault will it be?
My, what an Imbecile. You’re just a formalization of something I’ve suspected for a long time, Chief: “Equal Opportunity” policies promote unqualified idiots to positions far above their skill levels to further endanger the public.
Here’s an old joke for the Fire Chief I heard 40 years ago in fifth grade: What word begins with “F” and ends with “U-C-K”?
That’s right, Chief: FIRETRUCK.
Go Firetruck yourself, lady.