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  • Personal Equipment

    I am new to the Fire Service and need some help with personal equipment ideas and purchasing from the people who know (Fire Fighters) not the people who sell the equipment. What items of personal equipment, other than those issued, should I consider purchasing that are both necessary and helpful without having to be a dot.com millionaire or independently wealthy? Is it wiser to purchase a few of those disposable flashlights for my helmet and pockets verses one expensive flashlight? Are those Res-Q-Rench's really worth the $ or is it wiser to purchase aluminum spanner wrenchs? Is a Truckman's belt as indespensable as the advertisement claims? Is Galls cheaper than Darley, or vice versa? Etc, Etc, Etc....?
    Keep in mind, I am not Donald Trump. I'm a working stiff with two kids who go through shoes so fast I'd swear my wife is putting steroids in their "Poptarts". Please don't misunderstand, I refuse to sacrifice safety or quality for few dollars but I can't afford to break the bank just because everyone at the department has the new little gadget. Please send help. The cheap kind.
    Thanks in advance for your reasonbly priced assistance.
    Don
    Wilmington, NC
    p.s.

  • #2
    First off welcome to the fire service! Since you are new, stick to the basics for a while. Add to your equipment gradually. Buy a cheap flashlight for your helmet and also spend the few extra bucks for a good quality light, Pelican Saberlight, Survivor light ect.. Ask what other firefighters in your department carry and what they think is appropriate for your district.

    Hazmat 961

    Also check out the other post about what some of us carry with us.

    Comment


    • #3
      Spend a few bucks and buy a Streamlight Survivor- You won't regret it. You can get one for about 85.00 if you shop around. It comes with a 110v slow charger, and an ac adapter. Really, really worth the money. I know it's about 4 pairs of shoes, but you can't beat it for the size, weight and versatility.

      Other nice things to hhave in your gear: An inexpensive "Gerber" style tool- one of those thirty million use knives with the pliers. Don't buy Gerber, though.....too expensive. -A cheap set of standard/common size allen wrenches (Keyring) style- for resetting pull stations with these style fasteners. -A cheap pair of utility gloves- leather or synthetic leather, for extrications, packing hose, etc....where manual dexterity is needed and structural gloves just won't do. -20 feet or so of 3/4" tubular webbing- hasa million uses, and better than rope in my opinion (also stows much smaller than 20' of rope). -If you drive/pump, a set of friction loss/pump pressure cards. Usually available from any of the pump manufacturers....Great at 2am when you can't remember the formula to pump 200' of 3 1/2" hose extending up an aerial 45' using a 1.25 solid bore nozzle...I also have one of those EMS pocket guides, and a pocket guide for techhnical rescue. The pages are plastic coated so I dont have to worry about them getting wet. -a 35mm film "can" with a pair of EMS gloves. -wedges, both rubber and wood.

      Something else that I do- especially in the winter time....I have a small duffel bag that I keep near my gear. In it I have an extra tshirt, an extra sweatshirt, an extra set of structural gloves, an extra nomex hood, an extra pair of HEAVY wool socks, a small bottle of tylenol, and a disposable camera.

      Good luck on your career!! Stay safe!!


      ------------------
      "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome to the most dangerous profession there is. But it is sure rewarding. You will enjoy it.

        Well there are several things that you can get that would be helpful. First off, get a folding spanner wrench (two if possible, you will always need two to make the connection)and put it in one pocket that can be reached in full gear. Also you might consider, getting one of the cheap $3.00 flashlights from wal-mart. The Gerrity ones are fairly dependable but cheap to replace.

        And if your area has a lot of buildings with sprinklers. Take a piece of wood and make it into a wedge. Should be long and narrow. This can be put in the sprinkler to stop the water and water damage. And then take a cross section of truck tire inner tube and use that to hold it to your helmet. Cheap and easy to replace all of these things.

        And don't forget the most important thing of all things to keep with you when on duty. A good pair of cool looking sun glasses. Just kidding that is up to you.

        Take care and keep safe.

        ------------------
        Keep your head below the smoke but in the game.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ahh, I think I will spend a bit of someone elses $$.

          1. 2 utility strapps connected by a very large man rated caribiner

          2. Pelican Supersaber light, have had one for years has never failed as yet. Liked them enoough to by them for my whole crew

          3. Gerber or leatherman tool, get one with a locking knife blade.

          4. Nomex hood, the long type. Ok you have now wear it.

          5. Work gloves, not your FF gloves but for after fire out or other details/incidents.

          6. Folding , plastic spanner wrench, sure beats beating the fittings to death to get them to work.

          Now theat your a bit poorer, just keep it simple, KISS works very well 99.9 % of the time.

          Zimm

          Comment


          • #6
            Ahh, I think I will spend a bit of someone else's $$.

            1. 2 utility straps connected by a very large man rated carabinier

            2. Pelican Supersaber light, have had one for years has never failed as yet. Liked them enough to by them for my whole crew

            3. Gerber or leatherman tool, get one with a locking knife blade.

            4. Nomex hood, the long type. Ok you have now wear it.

            5. Work gloves, not your FF gloves but for after fire out or other details/incidents.

            6. Folding , plastic spanner wrench, sure beats beating the fittings to death to get them to work.

            Now that your a bit poorer, just keep it simple, KISS works very well 99.9 % of the time.

            Zimm

            Comment


            • #7
              Dritter9,

              Like everyone else said, Welcome. I am glad to see another one of us. Well, I will say take a look at the Forum question, What do you carry in your turnout gear? Many people carry many things but, they did not buy them all at once. Build your collection when you can afford it. Most every item the FD should already carry for you, ie. Flashlights, EMS Gloves, Spanner Wrenches, etc. What you carry are nicee things. Safety Items that the FD most like will not provide webbing, carabiners, shove knife, winter hat (yes, a winter hat is a safety item if you live in cold weather), hearing protection, and truck belt or / last resort belt. Most everything I mentioned can be purchased for about 100$ if not less. K.I.S.S. Just be smart about what you carry on you. Don't over load yourself.


              SKIDZZ

              ------------------
              PROUD, PROFESSIONAL, PROGRESSIVE

              Montgomery County Division Of Fire/Rescue Services
              Member IAFF Local 1664
              [email protected]

              [This message has been edited by Skidz (edited 01-01-2001).]

              Comment


              • #8
                If you had to buy one item, it would be a Streamlight Survivior flashlight. it clips on your coat, so you nevr forget it, and a flashlight is one of the most important tools to have, at fires, and every other type of call. I've had one for 6 years, and had to replace the battery once, cause it cracked(Gall's replaced it free). I agree with the 20'foot piece of webbing, that has so many uses. As for your spanners? aren't they on the truck you rode to the call on? 8 years in the fire service, and I've survived without them. I do think that a Gerber multi-purpose tool, and leather work gloves are also important. Other than those 4 item's, I'd give it some time, and see what you really need, before you go spend the money. Some of that stuff is garbage,made by manufacturer's to rip off new comer's and "jippy-joes." As to the other question of pricing, shop around, I see you have a computer.... But Gall's has some of the quickest shipping, and best customer service, in the business. Some of the other dealer's give you the run around if you have a problem. Good luck guy.

                ------------------
                Any Opinion expressed, are my own, and do not reflect my Department...RB

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well let's see, In my pockets are a Pelican light, 2 folding spanners, 4 door chocks, a small 6" slim jim, glass punch, leatherman, and in the winter some thick wool mittens.

                  ------------------
                  David Brooks,
                  FFII, Driver/Op, NRFR
                  Newmarket Fire & Rescue
                  Newmarket, New Hampshire
                  www.NewmarketNH.com/fire
                  (All opinions are my own)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Welcome to the Fire Service. A few good things to carry.
                    Spring loaded center punch ($5 or so)
                    Seatbelt cutter ($5 or so)
                    Granola bar (For those long overnight fires)
                    a cheap flashlight (We carry good ones on the trucks)
                    Talk to people at your station and see what they say is good or not.

                    Kyle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Add to all that a disposable camera. (35mm) Tuck it in your inside bunker jacket pocket and use when you can. My favorite leather-like tool is a Kershaw Multi Tool. Get you 2 cheap Garrity lights, one for yer lid and one for yer pocket. Them high dollar lights are exactly that. Replacement bulbs and batteries are 'spensive. GOOD LUCK!

                      ------------------
                      GOD is my Fire Chief, JESUS is my Incident Commander!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        - A few homemade wooden door wedges for the helmet.

                        - cheap light for helmet

                        - if on a truck co. and you have to buy a good, powerful light: attach break-away shoulder sling made out of old seatbelt with connector/latch in tact. If you get hung up, just depress connector to release latch so you can escape.

                        - simple, small plier/wire cutter/knife type tool

                        - hose straps

                        [This message has been edited by GoodFella (edited 01-04-2001).]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with the posts so far. Flashlight would be the first, I think, and the Streamlight Survivor is the best choice. I love mine and would not trade it for anything. Buy the stuff as you can. www.thefirestore.com is another good place to look. I just bought myself a Gut Belt from there, ordered online and got it in less than a week.

                          ------------------
                          Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
                          ECarn21's Homefire Page
                          Local 3008
                          "Doin' it for lives n' property"

                          [This message has been edited by F52 Westside (edited 01-04-2001).]

                          [This message has been edited by F52 Westside (edited 01-04-2001).]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have to agree with everyone else light is a must, you'll use alot of wedges i keep a bag full of them in my locker. The one thing I find myself using alot is a small pair of vice grips. not very expensive and a million uses. Oh yeah darley and galls will rape you on cost either search the net or find out about some local suppliers. Example Warrington pros Gall and Darley 279.00 My local guy 203.00. Good luck stay safe

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Welcome to the service, best of luck and safety to you.

                              Buy a flash-light -- Get a Streamlight or a Pelican. I like my mini-maglite too.

                              Get a pair of work gloves, make sure they're comfortable, and the dye doesn't run when you get them wet -- I suggest a non-dyed pair, speaking from experience.

                              Keep a bag at the station with a complete change of clothes, a few bucks, and a spare set of keys to your car.

                              I suggest a Gerber-Tool and a pair of spanner wrenches as well...

                              Beyond that, see what you find yourself needing, and add accordingly. Talk to the other guys at your station.

                              --Spot

                              Comment

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