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  • DRIVER Dress Standard

    Opinions please....Drivers wearing full bunker gear while driving.
    Do your Depts have guidelines regarding this. Is it a comfort issue only or is there a safe driving concern....

  • #2
    We have discussed this issue on here before.

    I am opposed to drivers weraing full turnout gear. I think the coat is the fine line where it becomes a liability (in relation to ability to handle the apparatus.

    In my department it varies from shift to shift. There is no concrete policy. One shift captain will not let the guys wear bunker pants and drive and other do. I personnally wear mine at night to facilitate a quicker response. I have been doing it for years and have not had a problem. Some will argue they can not drive with boots on and other say..."NO PROBLEM."

    Speaking from experience and personal preference, I would say there is not a problem with bunker pants, but the coat is a bit much.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    • #3
      Our Dept allows individuals to wear what they are most comfortable with. Personally, when driving I do not wear bunkers. I believe that my main responsibility is to get the truck and personel there safely. Once there I change into my bunkers as quickly as possible.
      A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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      • #4
        Bunker pants, no coat and only with leather boots, not rubber.

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        • #5
          our guys wear bunker pants usually unless we are giving mutual aid to another town for tankers then we sometimes will and sometimes wont.
          "Let's Roll." Todd Beamer 9/11 first soldier in the war on terror

          "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands ONE NATION UNDER GOD indivisible,with liberty, and justice for all.

          I.A.C.O.J. Probie and darn proud of it.

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          • #6
            Our offical policy is that ALL members get on the truck fully dressed (drivers included) but, in reality the drivers do whatever is comfortable. I usually wear my pants, but not the coat. Some of our guys drive with coats and helmets too. I drive trucks for my "real" job so it is much more comfortable for me to do without the extra bulk.

            -Nick

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            • #7
              Our official policy is: "apparatus drivers are not required to wear their full turn-out gear while driving to the scene, upon arrival at the scene, if the COMMAND or SAFETY OFFICER dictates, the driver will then don their full turn-out gear (PPE)."

              Personally, I do not wear turnouts when driving. I don't have a good feel for the pedals with rubber boots on.
              FTM-PTB-DTRT

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              • #8
                The only time I really wear my gear while driving is when the weather is not so pleasant or if we're short-handed. Some of our other drivers are pretty hardcore about wearing thier gear to every call. Doesn't really bother me either way. But as some of you mentioned, yeah, driving in rubber boots is difficult at best, probably a bit dangerous. Leather boots are no different than work boots IMO.

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                • #9
                  Wear your full gear

                  Stop looking for excuses not to put your gear on.
                  I can't believe in this new generation of firefighters
                  that they find it a problem getting ready for whatever they may be responding to at a scene. First of all if it's a chemical situation,
                  you might be dead as soon as you get out of the truck to put your gear on. It's real funny how you learn things from experience,but have a hard time getting it through the heads of others.Keep your windows rolled up when you arrive at a scene, and be ready to evacuate with your vehicle ready to head away.Years ago we didnt even have bunker pants , we just pulled our boots up. Never wore hoods for our heads, for when our ears started to burn, we knew it was time to get the hell out of there. Every fire situation will have a different twist to it, but waiting for your back up man to put his gear on at the scene doesnt help when your ready to go in with a line or whatever the situation might be. Wearing full gear, including helmet is an advantage when you have your first roll over on the way to a fire. Everyone thinks they are going to arrive at the scene safely, but records will show it does not happen that way every time.
                  If your the kind of driver having a problem driving with your gear on ,then I recommend that you move to the rear and let someone drive who has no problem driving with his gear on. Today you dont even know if someone wants to firebomb your vehicle as you approach a scene and I'll guarantee you'll be glad you got all your gear on, if it ever happens. Be ready to go ---There's not too many second chance's,
                  when the ball drops.Today cities and towns are always cutting manpower
                  and dont give a damn if you have to take care of the situation all by your self.. Stay safe ---Think- Think -Think--- because no one else is going to do it for you.
                  P/S... When you do have an incident where injuries occur ,whether driving or firefighting, questions will be asked if you had all your safety equipment on.
                  Last edited by neildonahue; 09-21-2003, 10:36 PM.

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                  • #10
                    We have no policy on this as well, and it varies with whoever is driving, I have no trouble with either way so long as th rest of it come on when they get there.
                    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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                    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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                    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                    • #11
                      neildonahue...I have read many of your posts with interest and this one I will take issue with... I am not sure how long you been in the business, but I see you are new to the forums....

                      If your the kind of driver having a problem driving with your gear on ,then I recommend that you move to the rear and let someone drive who has no problem driving with his gear on.
                      Well..I have been driving fire apparatus for about 23 years now and my preference is to not wear my coat. When I was Chief in one Department and later an assistant Chief I encouraged my drivers not to drive with their coats on because they are bulky and cumbersome and whether you realize it or not they reduce your ability to react effectively. So while you may think that I have a "problem" driving I think I will continue to drive in a manner that has worked for me and my department for years. Oh yea....by the way...Sometimes I do ride backwards.
                      Stop looking for excuses not to put your gear on.
                      I don't think anyone is looking for "excuses" The person who started this thread asked for input.
                      First of all if it's a chemical situation, you might be dead as soon as you get out of the truck to put your gear on.
                      Hmmmm..So do you advocate wearing your SCBA and being on air also? Because if you do not...having your gear on and driving into a chemical emergency will simply just make you look "well dressed" when you die. Chemical emergencies (as I hope you know) can kill you with one breath, dressed or not...buy the time you don SCBA....it is too late.

                      Today you dont even know if someone wants to firebomb your vehicle as you approach a scene and I'll guarantee you'll be glad you got all your gear on, if it ever happens.
                      If someone is going to "firebomb" you as you arrive, having full PPE on may keep you from getting some thermal burns but again....what is protecting your Respiratory Track.

                      Wearing full gear, including helmet is an advantage when you have your first roll over on the way to a fire.


                      Everyone thinks they are going to arrive at the scene safely, but records will show it does not happen that way every time.
                      With attitudes like your's, I can see why.

                      When you do have an incident where injuries occur ,whether driving or firefighting, questions will be asked if you had all your safety equipment on.
                      Now this one you are correct on...however, I do not think that OSHA, NTSB or other investigative agencies will fault you for driving without being in full turnout gear. In fact, I can see where an agency would find fault in an accident involving apparatus where a person was wearing full PPE. In the day of the "over the road air seat" hitting a bump in the road could bounce you enough to drive your helmet into the top of the cab and potentially displacing it to obstruct your vision, causing a hazard. I had a driver in one department that I was a member of wear all his PPE, including hood and his facepiece (or at least attempt to until I stopped him)...How safe is that?????

                      We are both "old school" and yes, things in this day and age are different from when we started. However, we all need to step into the 21st Century and change with the times.
                      Last edited by captstanm1; 09-21-2003, 08:30 PM.
                      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                      ------------------------------
                      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                      "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                      BMI Investigator
                      ------------------------------
                      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Safety Issue?.........

                        My drivers and I DO NOT wear gear when driving, There are just too many things that can go wrong. Several items that I have personal knowledge of are; 1. Turnout pants leg caught button that raised air ride seat, sent driver straight up about 10 inches, catching his legs under steering wheel. 2. Driver moved right leg back to move foot from gas to brake, boot top caught against seat causing difficulty getting foot on brake pedal. and the list could go on.... As a Chief in a VERY busy company, and as one who has driven apparatus for the past 43 years, it is my opinion that it is just unsafe to drive any vehicle wearing turnout gear. Think about this: When was the last time you saw the Chief get out of his buggy wearing his gear? uh huh, thought so. Stay Safe....
                        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                        In memory of
                        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                        IACOJ Budget Analyst

                        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                        www.gdvfd18.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Safety Issue?.........

                          Originally posted by hwoods
                          . Think about this: When was the last time you saw the Chief get out of his buggy wearing his gear? uh huh, thought so. Stay Safe....

                          Very true! Do ou think the chiefs should since people responding in an engine should? I hardly ever see our chief wear his gear, the only time I see him do so if like at a Structure fire when He sometimes goes in to look around or while there doing overhaul, Were a small Department and our chief is the type of person that will get in there and help work, like many Departments where the chief dont do so, There is positives and negitives of that though, But as HWoods said when was the last time you seen your Chief wear his gear while responding? Very well stated HWoods
                          Ryan

                          I.A.C.O.J. Probie

                          You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

                          Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01

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                          • #14
                            what about my huge feet??

                            Hey NeilDonahue....

                            Esplain to me Lucy.....What do I do about my huge size 13 clogs?? I dont know about the great metropolis of Surprise, Arizona, but the town I work in requires everyone to rotate positions....I am REQUIRED to drive!! Well son, guess what......Seems when Pierce designed the Dash cab, they forgot about large-feeted people. When I wear my bunkers (the boots look like small rowboats) I physically can not operate without touching both pedals at once.

                            My job, as the chauffer or MPO, is to ensure the safe arrival of the piece and the crew to the scene. I can not do that with my gear on. As for CaptStan's post....WHAT HE SAID! I am curious to your answers to Captstans questions/comments. Do tell us!


                            FTM=PTB-EGH-RFB! (you can't PTB driving while wearing size 13 boats)
                            "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                            • #15
                              Our policy is that you will wear bunker gear but it is not strictly enforced. It really is the driver option if they want to or not. In a paid-on-call department, you really don't know who your driver will be till they run through the door. We have some regulars but you can't count on them being there every single time. I personally don't care either way. 12 years ago I was taught with my bunkers on so I really don't give it a second thought and have not had a problem.

                              The only thing we stress in not to wear your helmet if your driving.

                              Keep your head down and your powder dry.
                              _____________________
                              Lt.Jason Knecht
                              Altoona Fire Rescue
                              Altoona, WI
                              Jason Knecht
                              Firefighter/EMT
                              Township Fire Dept., Inc.
                              Eau Claire, WI

                              IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
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                              EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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