Every member of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) has pledged to make personal safety a priority by signing the International Fire Service Seat Belt Pledge. The department was recognized today for their full participation in the pledge by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). The Foundation sponsors the new campaign, Buckle Up! So Everyone Goes Home® to encourage firefighters to wear their seat belts when riding in department vehicles.
In recognition of the department’s adoption of the pledge, Chief Dennis Compton, chairman of the NFFF, Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF and Chief Victor Stagnaro, director of the NFFF’s Fire Service Programs presented the Certificate of Compliance to Chief Kelvin Cochran of AFRD. With 1,500 members and AFDR is one of the largest fire and rescue departments in the country.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of firefighter fatalities in the United States and this effort aims to reduce the number of preventable fatalities,” said Siarnicki. “Under the leadership of Chief Cochran, the members of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department are an outstanding example for all fire service members that personal safety must be the priority. This participation also demonstrates that all departments nationwide can make this same commitment.”
Over 200,000 first responders have taken the International Seat Belt Pledge, representing nearly 1,400 departments in the United States and 18 departments from other countries. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to eliminate line of duty deaths that are caused by first responders not wearing their seat belts.
Dr. Burton Clark, a distinguished member of the fire service for 40 years and a training specialist at the National Fire Academy, has been the lead advocate of the National Seat Belt Pledge since its inception in 2006. Dr. Clark will continue to serve as an advisor and liaison for the campaign.
In addition to the Certificate of Compliance, the NFFF provided the newly designed dashboard sticker featuring the campaign logo, “Buckle Up! So Everyone Goes Home®. The department will also be recognized on the Foundation’s Everyone Goes Home® seat belt Web site.
For more information about the International Seat Belt Pledge, go to: www.everyonegoeshome.org/seatbelts.