As these type of events are potentially very costly to the K.B.F.P.D, the district takes a dim view of motor vehicle accidents and thus is not hesitant to hand out discipline for the negligent actions of our members.
As the membership of the K.B.F.P.D. abhors any form of discipline, no matter how egregious the offense, a very formal process was developed to ensure that our membership is treated fairly when mishaps do occur. A Vehicle Safety Review Committee was formed to affix the blame on motor vehicle accidents and mishaps.
We fondly refer to it as the kangaroo court.
The court consists of four members:
- A District Commander from the K.B.F.P.D, usually one assigned to days so they won't have to pay hi/her overtime for the meetings.
- A representative from the Sheriff's Department, usually the senior motor officer. He drags the session down with inane drabble such as the vehicle code and other pertinent laws.
- A representative from a city that we protect. For the last ten years, a cousin of mine has filled this position. (where the hell was he when I was an engineer and could have used a friend on the court?)
- A representative from the K.B.F.P.D. Firefighters Association. Hopefully not one who is kissing managements ass by serving on the committee. (you never know who wants to make District Commander one day)
If a member is unfortunate enough to have a second accident within a year, his attendance at the kangaroo court is mandatory. A member appearing in this situation will likely present his side of the event and will do so in a very impassioned manner. That person is looking at a couple of days off, which hurts the wallet.
The committee can determine three findings pertaining to an accident:
- Preventable - This places blame solely on the driver/operator. Sorry Bozo, you screwed up.
- Non-preventable - This absolves the driver of any blame for the incident. This is usually the finding when one of our rigs is hit while parked at an emergency scene or someone runs a red light and hits us.
- Preventable, driver not at fault - This is used when another member of the K.B.F.P.D. causes the accident, other than the driver. An example might be that a firefighter is serving as a back-up man and guides the engineer into a pole. Another might be that the firefighter who controls the door remote prematurely presses the closed button, causing the apparatus bat door to close on the rig.( I have had both happen to me)
About three months after the incident, the hammer will finally come down and the pee-pee whacking will commence. I always found it disheartening, as once you start to heal from the event, another part of the process will arise and scratch off the newly formed scab. By the end of the process, one is usually pretty worn from the length of the ordeal.
I guess the answer is not to screw up. Easier said than done for some of us.
Any body wanna guess what this is and how it came to be in my garage? Here is a hint-
Click to enlarge
All I will say for now about these two pics, is that I went to the
kangaroo court committee on the matter and presented no defense. I was guilty as charged and got a nasty letter in my file. Whaddayagonnado?
They say there are two kinds of driver/operators in the K.B.F.P.D. Those that have hit something and those that will. As I am a captain and rarely drive, it is unlikely that I will to appear in front of the court again. If I am forced to do so, I just hope my cousin is still on the committee.
Thanks for reading,
A safe Schmoe