Position

Seatbelt Usage

Motor vehicle accidents account for approximately twenty-five percent of firefighter line of duty deaths and many injuries per year. The position of the IAFC is that all emergency response agencies must have and strictly enforce a seatbelt usage policy with effective disciplinary guidance that applies to all vehicles on department business, including POVs.

The IAFC supports the progress of engineering solutions for assuring seatbelt usage and encouraging fire chiefs to develop and execute seatbelt use policy. But more importantly, the IAFC promotes the education of personnel to institutionalize the personal responsibility of using a seatbelt all the time.

The IAFC recommends that all emergency response agencies obtain the seatbelt pledge and perform the necessary work to assure compliance.

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Suggested Model Policy

All personnel must be seated and belted whenever the vehicle (either department or personal) is in motion for department business.

The driver and/or officer shall assure by voice and personnel reply that seatbelts are properly fastened. The driver will only proceed when it can be confirmed that all members are seated and belted.

The only exception to the use of seatbelts while a vehicle is in motion is a situation where a person is providing direct patient care (EMS) and there is no reasonable restraint system available.

Utilize a progressive discipline system holding the violator and the supervisor responsible to ensure compliance with the seatbelt policy, reflecting the serious and potential life threatening consequences of failure to comply.

APPROVED BY: IAFC Board of Directors on March 13, 2008

Download the IAFC Position: Seatbelt Usage (pdf)