In an effort to promote safety in the Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department, all of the city’s firefighters and paramedics have signed the National Seat Belt Pledge.

This means whenever riding in city-owned vehicles, all personnel will wear seat belts. Nationwide, nine in-the-line-of-duty deaths have occurred because personnel have not worn seatbelts when responding to fire alarms, according to city staff.

“This campaign gives every firefighter an opportunity to make a commitment to safety,” said Fire Chief Jack McElfish. “It doesn’t cost anything, require new equipment, additional training or new research standards. It only requires a choice. This is yet another way the Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department is raising the bar for residents of our great city and the firefighters who serve so proudly.”

The pledge that each firefighter signed reads as follows:

“I pledge to wear my seat belt whenever I am riding in a Fire Department vehicle. I further pledge to insure that all my brother and sister firefighters riding with me wear their seat belts. I am making this pledge willingly; to honor my brother and sister firefighters because wearing seat belts is the right thing to do.”

McElfish said his department’s signing of the pledge also has a significant meaning.

“More than 40,000 firefighters nationwide have signed this pledge and the goal is 100,000,” he said. “The Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department is the first in the state to sign the pledge. This is monumental. Our personnel were eager to sign it, and that means a lot.”