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  • Shorts on Duty

    I am looking for comments on the topic of Fire Suppression personnel wearing shorts while on duty.

    My view is based upon the laws of thermodynamics... Hot air rises and we allow our personnel to wear short sleeved shirts to fight fires, and the upper body is exposed to a greater amount of heat than the lower body, so why do so many departments restrict the wearing of shorts?


  • #2
    We are allowed to wear shorts on days over 80 degrees from May to October. Not everyone chooses to wear shorts, but it is definetely nice on those high humidity, 90 + Indiana days.
    As far as injuries resulting from wearing shorts I personally have heard of any, nor have had any problems myself.

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    • #3
      We are not allowed shorts either. I personaly would love them, living at the beach the humidty gets rather high. But I guess that's the way it is.

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      • #4
        I think for many of the people in the "Ivory Tower", it is a matter of appearance, not safety. If most of what you do is Medical Responces and Prevention/Education, they want you to have that "professional look" that can't be achieved through the showing of the florescent, chicken legs of some firefighters.

        We wear shorts at night under our quick hitches. So you be the judge, but I don't think safety is the issue being argued.

        Good Luck, Be Safe

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        • #5
          I do not like wearing shorts on duty but not from a safety standpoint. I just don't like how they look, but that's just my own crazy, biased feelings. I don't like earrings either but again that's just ME. Old school I guess .

          I hear some firefighters preach about how unsafe shorts are but they think nothing of jumping out of bed and into their bunker pants while wearing only their undershorts. I know that's what I do at night. In fact, bunker (turnout) pants used to be know as night hitches or jump pants for just that reason.

          Good point USAR29 on the short sleeved shirts. I don't think there's a firefighter out there that doesn't wear just a short sleeved shirt or a T-shirt under their coat when it's hot. Arms burn just as much as legs.

          As to why some departments restrict them, I don't know. Maybe they are just run by dinosaurs like old Plug-Ugly here who don't think they look like professional on duty station wear.

          BTW, my department does allow the use of shorts


          [This message has been edited by Plug-Ugly (edited 05-21-2001).]

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          • #6
            For those of you that are allowed to wear shorts, do they have to be fire resistant ie. nomex, ffr or any other brand? If so where do you get them from?
            I am working on being allowed to wear them at night under our bunker pants. We are allowed to wear short sleeve shirts, but they are fire resistive as well.
            ------------------


            [This message has been edited by Rescue 21 (edited 05-21-2001).]

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            • #7
              Hi Rescue 21

              Just a question;

              Does your department or you feel that you need nomex under your turnouts?

              I know that some departments concern themselves with the NFPA standard, but cotton station wear can also meet the standard, if this is the concern.



              [This message has been edited by Truckman (edited 05-21-2001).]

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              • #8
                Neither of the dept's I work for allow shorts on duty, however my vol dept does so long as we put our turn out pants on for calls of any type. I can't be sure, but I imagine alot of it is appearance, part of it is safety. I also think a part of it is, well, *I* don't even want to see me in shorts!

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                • #9
                  From experience I think wearing pants is better. I have drug my knee through a melted plastic chair before and got 1st degree burns from it on my knee. I do feel that if I was wearing shorts I could have very easily have gotten 2nd degree burns. It however did not burn through my bunker pants.

                  However I am not going to make it a point to change in to pants for a fire run I will wear what I am wearing.

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                  • #10
                    Our Dept just started to allow us to wear short all year round at the firehouse and under bunker gear. Some guys love em no matter how cold it is. But it's about time they did allow us. If your not confortable then dont use em, however it is easier to climb stairs/ladders and it does help in the hot weather.

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                    • #11
                      We can wear shorts on duty. I wont wear them to do inspections though. When I am on crash I wear them, we usually don't see much of the public at the airport station.

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                      • #12
                        Two years ago we were allowed to wear shorts
                        (by suggestion of the new chief). They are Dickies brand 100% cotton. Out here in the
                        big valley it gets pretty hot. The shorts were a Godsend. The catch is we only get to wear them from when the time changes in the
                        spring to when it changes back again. I have
                        worn them under my drops as well as under my
                        grass suit. The only problem I have noticed
                        is a need to buy new socks after a worker.
                        The advantage is that all of the surrounding
                        Depts. are quite jealous.

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                        • #13
                          Not sure what everybody else on my crew wears at night, but I usually wear a pair of cotton shorts to bed. That way, if I have to get up to use the latrine, I'm not trecking down the hall in my skivies. And now that it's finally getting hotter, I probably will just jump into my bunker pants as-is. (I know that our MasterTech sleeps like that, simply because I bunk next to him.) During the day, we wear cotton slacks and a cotton T-shirt. (Going to that from a polyester/nylon blend uniform - before my time, thank goodness!!) ;-)

                          ------------------
                          HazMat
                          ---
                          We gotta be nuts...we're running in when the rats & roaches are running out!
                          ---
                          Disclaimer:
                          These are my opinions, and only mine, and do not reflect the views of my department.
                          ---
                          Let No Victim's Ghost Say That We Didn't Try

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                          • #14
                            We are allowed to wear what ever we like on duty. Mainly because for those on EMS duty you need to wear a jumpsuit on every call. For Fire you obviously wear bunker gear.

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                            • #15
                              We wear the 100% cotton BDU type shorts and 100% cotton golf type shirts a blessing in the Texas heat.

                              [This message has been edited by CLWFWFD (edited 05-24-2001).]

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