Firefighters in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania are trying to figure out a way to allow children and relatives of firefighters back onto firetrucks during parades and other events despite the threat of higher insurance rates.
Two years ago, the town’s insurance company threatened to increase rates if the fire department allowed anyone but firefighters on the rigs. Chief Bob Rupp, however, says the ban has robbed the department of one of its main recruiting tools.
Giving children a ride on a firetruck can “develop an interest so they want to become a fireman when they grow up,” Rupp said. “And I think we may be turning people away as firefighters because they can’t have family with them at special events.”
Proposed new guidelines would allow relatives and guests on the town’s trucks during parades or other events if they are seated and wear seat belts, Rupp said.
“We’re trying to find an acceptable level of risk,” he told a meeting of council’s public safety committee. Rupp said he will ask the fire department to vote the guidelines into its bylaws, which the council could then consider for approval.
Information from: Press Enterprise,
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