Fort Saskatchewan's fire chief Shawn McKerry is worried the seatbelts in the fire trucks could do more harm than good in a crash.
"The seatbelts in the rear of the apparatus are actually very poorly designed to new-age standards," explained McKerry. "If we got into a motor vehicle collision, the seatbelt could harm firefighters more than what would be seen in a new-age vehicle."
The problem lies in the design. In some of the fire engines, the seatbelt rides high, around the abdomen only. Modern seatbelts sit around the hip bones.
"If you were involved in a collision, now your abdomen is going to be stopping you on your seatbelt which could cause some internal damage."
Modern trucks, like the ones McKerry wants to buy for the firefighters, are designed with three-point or even five-point safety belts. Modern vehicles are equipped with three-point seat belts.
Another issue: where the firefighters are seated when fully geared up for a fire.
On the older trucks, the bench design forces firefighters to literally be on the edge of their seats, whereas newer trucks take the gear into consideration, allowing room for firefighters to be properly seated and hugged by the seat, holding them in while the engine is at-speed.
All of these conditions helped contribute to McKerry's request for new trucks to solve the safety issues.
Budget will be voted on and finalized, December 12.