Fire Service Traditions and History, Firefighting, Health & Safety

Nuggets from the Fire Engineering Vault: Saved by a Seat Belt

By Bobby Halton
Fire Engineering Editor in Chief

When I was a kid, I used to love watching a television show called Father Knows Best. The basic premise was there would always be some little family catastrophe and, in the end, good old dad would come through with the solution. I felt like I had been transported back to my teenage years when I read this wonderful, short Fire Engineering article by Dr. Lester Williams from 1964.

As you read it you might start to wonder why firefighters need pledges in 2012 to convince us to wear seat belts when we have real-world incidents that clearly prove the value of the seat belt. Now I completely understand and fully support all of the work that’s going on right now to make seat belts more user-friendly for the fire service. Personally, I am a big fan of the three-point harness, but you really have to take the final quote out of this one page article to heart: “A seat belt is like a parachute or a life insurance policy; if you needed and don’t have it, you’ll probably never need it again.”

Enjoy this flash from the past from the archives of Fire Engineering magazine, October 1964.

Download the full article as a PDF HERE.