DEAR ABBY: Fire Prevention Month has nearly ended, but may I still enlist your help?
Firefighters across the country are so eager to respond to emergency calls, they frequently fail to buckle their own seat belts. Last year, 13 firefighters died from injuries that could have been prevented simply by buckling their seat belts.
While many fire departments have rules that are strictly enforced, the majority do not enforce the seat belt rule until someone gets hurt or killed. Six firefighters this year have died from rollovers or being thrown from fire and personal vehicles while responding to a fire. Excuses from firefighters range from, "We need to put on our gear," to "Seat belts don't fit over the gear." It is the responsibility of each individual to buckle his or her seat belt.
I'd like to ask each spouse, parent, child, family member or friend of a firefighter to please remind him or her to buckle up whether riding in a fire truck or ambulance. Listen up, firefighters: Seatbelts Are For Everyone ... even firefighters! Not buckling up is just plain stupid. -- JANET WILMOTH, EDITOR, "FIRE CHIEF"
DEAR JANET: I'm pleased to publicize your appeal. It would be a tragedy if a firefighter is killed before he or she can even respond to the emergency. Certainly "buckling up" is not too much to ask from our heroes. Their jobs are risky enough as it is.