Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Coming Soon!

Wish we knew how much these cost or how we are going to be disciplined for our driving infractions. But here is a nice coming attraction to the Zoll system.


  1. For some reason the leadership of this department has a fascination with unproven "cutting edge" technology. Every now and then it may actually prove useful, but why are we always the guinea pigs? We wastes THOUSANDS at the expense of the TAXPAYERS in richmond because we fall for the salesman's pitch time and time again. The Vectra talking siren system? Total failure, vendor out of business, NO ONE out there followed our lead. Currently a drain on maintainence as they are problematic and impossible to get parts for. GPS based dispatch system. Fantastic except that it places units incorrectly more often than not, and works on criteria that remains a mystery for determining the closest unit. Mobile Data Computers - again we tied our operation to these and they malfunction on about 90% of calls necessitating redundant radio traffic. Repairing or replacing them seems to be a non priority. Digitally trunked radios - great except they don't work inside our high rise buildings. This was noted as a major failure on 9/11 (that was over TEN YEARS AGO) and all we have to show for it is a GIANT price tag. Segway transporter thingies? A joke. Oversized ASAP's (ATV style utility vehicles) that are too big to go anywhere in our parks where they could actually be used. It is virtually never ending. We need to stick to what is PROVEN, that will provide RELIABILITY and save MONEY. The city taxpayers wallet is NOT a platform for buying new gadgets to experiment with!

  2. But the ASAP's look so good in parades.

  3. So will any of the administrations vehicles equipped with emergency warning devices be outfitted with this Zoll system?

  4. Here are some thoughts on the Zoll/Road Safety system/TIC issue. I am a career firefighter and also have extensive experience with the Road Safety system.

    Let me say first that I think the use of TIC's by front line personel is essential to firefighter safety. They should be a part of any engine/quint/truck crew that has to operate inside a structure. This should not be a "budget saver".

    Onto the Road Safety system. This system monitors such items as the force being applied to the units while turning, stopping, starting. It also monitors such things as speed and use of emergency lights and sirens. In the system that I work for, there have been a number of direct and indirect benefits. There are numerous cost savings in maintenance and wear and tear on the vehicles. There has been NO reduction in response times. It has also reduced our insurance rates for operating these vehicles. Previously, when there were accidents with vehicles, they were usually more severe in damage and injury to other people as well as responders. Now, when there are accidents, they are less severe and generally do not involve serious injury. So yes, it is a cost saving program that can bring real and measurable benefits to RFD. I also beleive it should be on EVERY vehicle that responds to incidents in an emergency mode. AGAIN-EACH COMPANY SHOULD HAVE A TIC!

    I do not know about your discipline system, however, in my system, discipline starts at the lowest level and works its way up. It generally starts with "verbal counseling" and works its way up.

    I hope this sheds a little light on the ROAD safety system. It is not a unproven technology. I beleive the Road Safety System is proven, reliable, and will save money.

    This sshould be an additional safety feature to your apparatus, but in addition to the TIC's.

    Stay safe.

  5. Hey I made that ASAP look good in the parade

  6. Is anyone aware of any FIRE department that uses the "zoll road safety system" on FIRE trucks/engines (NOT ambulances). I cannot find any. I suspect the above poster either works for RAA or Zoll itself.

    I have serious doubts that this system will ever work as advertised in our fire apparatus. With as rough as they ride combined with the third world condition of our streets, I predict the system will be flooded was false positive readings. Sloshing water tanks, top heavy aerial ladders, rail road tracks, cobblestone streets, moon crater pot holes, 80,000 lb. GVW's , drive line lash and other issues faced by overweight heavy trucks (read: NOT van based ambulances) etc.

    I have personally witnessed a RAA ambulance rolling through a stop sign while following them to a call. The patient ended up refusing transport, which allowed me a moment to speak with the EMT that was driving that day. This person stated they didn't see the stop sign until the last second, and that rather than make a hard stop and gain a "demerit", they quickly looked to see if anyone was coming and rolled through the stop sign. Is this one of the direct or indirect benefits?

    Currently, the behavior modification system we have now, the officer in the right seat, works just fine to monitor and "adjust" my driving as necessary. That is what they get paid for, right?

  7. How many citizen lives will be lost because because of the standards that Tracy sets and the longer response time she will cause? Why not invest in the Vector that Henrico and Chesterfield have? They are very safety conscious and found that to be best.

    1. I think you are wrong. I learned to drive emergency vehicles 20 years ago using the same principles and the failsafe system. I'm a better driver today because of it. It take a little getting use to, but vehicle size, weight, etc. does not matter. You should see less wear and tear on the vehicles as well as improved driving.

  8. Just a question for guy who posted about the Zoll system. Can you inform us on how much it costs?

  9. I too believe that the Opticom system would have been a better choice and more versatile for police,fire and ems. but once again this was another attempt sneak some stuff in under the radar.
    I believe the TIC issue is a no brainer but this decision was made by non-firefighters.
    As far as the demerit system and discipline system. I am firmly opposed to anything that is not written and equal to all if there is no matrix for the discipline that everyone should grieve it.

  10. In response to the posts:

    I do not, have not, receive compensation of any kind from Zoll/Road Safety.

    The units cost approximately $3500-$4000 per unit. However I have never been involved in the actual purchasing process.

    In regards to the rolling stop made by a RAA EMT, I agree that it was unsafe. To avoid a "demerit" is not a reason to act in an unsafe manner. I will say that I have personally witnessed similar actions by RFD firefighters. I am sure that there are numerous stories or incidents that could be talked about.

    As far as an officer controlling the driver, that can and does work, but not all the time. When you see the videos of fire trucks colliding with other fire trucks, or of other fire trucks turnings over on their side, or in other collisions, the officer yelling "watch out!" or "Stop!" did not prove very effective.

    The Road Safety system allows for different configurations to take into consideration the weight of the vehicle. It was originally developed for OTR tractor trailers, not ambulances. This system will not stop accidents and ultimately the best approach is a common sense and safe approach to driving. What this system can do is help to enhance and refine the good driving habits that someone already has. It can also show when someone may need more time and training in a 80,000 lb vehicle. Also, those van based ambulances are driving on the exact same roads

    If RFD uses it in a purely punitive manner, then that is the RFD administration and not the system itself.

    There are numerous departments that do not have the Road Safety system, and have excellent safety records, and some that are not as safe. This should be considered a tool that can be used to safely get to a call.

  11. Thank you for your interest in our department and I for one appreciate you sharing your knowledge on this issue. Please explain though how the Zoll system will modify driving habbits enough to widen streets, shorten apparatus, move vehicles parked on corners and prevent others from crossing our path after they run an intersection. No one is gonna argue with you that safety should be top on everyones priority list and that we need as many tools in our tool box as possible. We will however argue that the Zoll system was not the right tool to purchase. We need smaller trucks, aerials designed to operate within an urban environment and a proper drivers training program. We also need an administration who is not afraid to admit that a poor decision was made and fix it. We are famous for placing blame and applying a bandaid but ignoring the true problem. There are definate problems of which the Zoll will fix few. Also do you mind again adding which department you work for or know of that places the units on fire trucks. This would be extremely helpfull. You have to keep in mind that over the last several years there has been a lack of transparency and trust from 201 to the field. There has still not been an official announcement regarding the purchase of the Zoll system. There has also been no attempt to calm any worries regarding possible disciplinary action dealing with operating one of these units. As usual the entire concept has been kept a secret. I would also agree that poor driving behaviors don't happen overnight. Officers are responsible for correcting behaviors prior to them occuring(sound familiar Zolll). If we are to blame for a high accident rate then 201 is responsible for every dollar wasted on repairs to quint 5. As officers, they should have corrected the problem before an accident occured and reassigned the truck. May I point out as well that Quint 5 is another dreamed up idea by Creecy. A mid mount aerial with 20 feet of truck hanging off the rear end was not a good purchase for a city with streets designed in the 1700 and 1800's.

  12. I can verify the rolling through a stop habits of road safety as I have done so many times myself (its my conviction the the machine encourages that behavior). Another effect, taking turns too wide to avoid lateral force. Two good examples of that are SB onramp from Forest Hill to Chip and NB Meadow north of Broad by Saurs. I'm highly suspect of using the system on vehicle with airbrakes and. A water tank. In the ambulance, I'm a road safety fan since the ride is many times smoother for occupants that are rarely buckled in but I've driven many miles in a class 3 and I can't see any reasonable comparison. Does anybody really want quint overshooting stops and swinging wide?

  13. The data does not lie. Your opinion of the device is not accurate. You should also attempt to report some of the good things your department does. They obviously outnumber the bad, but go unheard.