I hope it is truly enforced all of the time. Within our policy we have established that the seat belt must be in place before the vehicle is in motion and the belt is not to come off until arrival at the scene. This means that our personnel can not be up moving around donning PPE while the apparatus is moving. When this revision went into place in 2009 (because the prior policy didn’t have enough meat to it) we conducted department wide training on this policy and showed the “Denver Seat Belt Video” as a way to show our firefighters that it is possible to finishing getting their PPE and SCBA on while securely belted in and to practice the techniques outlined in the video. Our company officers are responsible for the personnel on their rig and therefore we hold them responsible to enforce the policy to the letter.
Even though I’ve been wearing a seat belt for most of my 26 year career, I still don’t use it 100 percent of the time because it is awkward to use in the truck. I find with the SCBA, portable radio, headphones, etc. That I am usually getting something caught up in the seat belt. In fact one the of the major problems is getting your SCBA caught in the seat belt while exiting the vehicle!