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Turnout/Bunker Gear: Time for a change?

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  • #31
    That is correct, in San Francisco we are not required to wear our turn-out pants at all. We still wear wool pants during the day, but wear our turn-out pants at night due to the ease of getting into them. I'm sure this sounds crazy to many other fireman, but I feel fortunate to have the option of wearing my wool pants. I would hate to have to wear the bunker gear we have been issued all day. I find it too restrictive and cumbersome, particularly while on a peaked roof. I can understand how a person can overheat and dehydrate themselves. I am sure there are better products out there. As far as safety, I have, unfortunately, been caught in a flashover while wearing my wool pants and they protected me very well. It wasn't luck because I did get burned, but not on my legs. The wool did what it has done for so long. I'm sure there is bunker gear out there that is much better than the stuff I have, but no thanks. I'll wear my wool pants until they are no longer an option.

    Stay Safe!

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    • #32
      I'll have to agree with Bfd1071.

      I have been inside well over 1,000 building fires and had a very close call back in 1988 due to new gear. Hose streams reach 50' but we insist on going right up to the damn fire..

      Give me my 3/4 boots back. the things u call bunker gear we called night pants...we only wore them after going to bed. I'll agree that too many firemen go to very few fires, but effective training is the answer to that.

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      • #33
        A few weeks back, one of our guys is on a roof making a hole for a fire in the cockloft. Things go bad and the roof goes. Our guy falls through the roof and into the first floor. The place is going like hell making the advancing hoseline fight for every inch. The truck pulls a 20' straight ladder onto the roof and shoves it down the hole. I forget how long it took to get the ladder down to him, but think about it: get it off the truck, to the building, carry it up the ladder, and put it down the hole. Now all this time, our guy is down on the fire floor, no mask, no helmet. The guys on the roof start banging the butt of the ladder against the floor. Our guy hears it, crawls to ladder, climbs up through the flames and through the hole. When he reaches the top of the ladder, he's on fire. The guys rip him off the ladder and throw him into the snow on the roof. After burying him in snow for a minute, our guy's able to climb down the ladder and walk to the ambo. He walked away with 1st and 2nd degree burns to his neck and face, but guess what,the jewels were intact!

        If you haven't tried 3/4 boots, try it. There is a difference. Especially if you catch a double-header! Or a 5 houses on fire and searches need to done in each one!

        As far as being out of shape, I disagree. I worked harder and took more of a beating as a rookie. But with experince, the veterans learn how to do things easier and still get more done. They work smarter, not harder.

        Chicago, Boston, New York, all aggresive departments. Tactics and training and experince will help keep you from getting burned. When was the last drill you went to where the instructor said "Now you can go right into the fire, it looks like it will flash, but don't worry you have bunker pants on!"?

        It's like saying if we went into burning buildings handcuffed to each other, no one would ever get lost.

        Dave

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        • #34
          bfd,

          I really don't care what you, or FDNY, or SFFD or Chicago or where ever wears for turn-outs. And you are right I don't see as many fires as you. I work as a career FF and serve another community as a volly. My volly FD uses the very same bunkers you used to wear, Boston spec. My career FD uses a different brand...heavier and bulkier. I will take the weight and the heat of that stuff for the added protection. I started out with pull-up boots and bought my own bunkers for the protection.

          I think it is absolutely ridiculous to blame the gear entirely for finding yourself in farther than you need to be. Whatever happened to knowing your surroundings? Or watching the fires behavior? If people know the hose stream will flow effectively over 50 feet why do people crawl right into the room, on top of the fire to put it out? Bravado? Stupidity? Poor training? What? This argument is similar to the "I don't wear a hood cause I want my burning ears to tell me its time to leave" argument. Pay attention to what is going on, don't go farther than you have to initially to do the job.

          If heat stress is a problem due to multiple entries into the structure why doesn't your FD Health and Safety committee work towards strict rehab guidelines? My career FD has them in place. Rehydration and opening up or removing gear will alleviate some of those problems.

          Take care and stay safe,

          FyredUp

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          • #35
            I have read all of the posts on this thread, and I have on bit of input. The career FDs have uniforms that may or may not include wool pants. But for the volunteer crowd we show up to fires in jeans, shorts, nylon wind pants. This shouldnt be an arguement between the paid professionals and the volunteer professionals. I can see the point of view from the guys from CFD, BFD and NYFD. But they wear uniforms that can be designed for their ability to dissipate heat and be fire resistant. But for the volunteer companies out there full turnouts are the way to go, the lighter the better, because of the way that we trnd to turn out for calls.

            Just my two cents.



            ------------------
            Shawn M. Cecula
            Captain
            Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2

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            • #36
              A 40 year old Capt. on our dept. had a heart attack the other day. 40yrs old, 6' 180lbs, works out every day. Eats nothing but lite food. He was driving past the firehouse off duty. Should we blame the car? Yes bunker gear is hot and heavy, but I can't believe the FDNY is experiencing anything but coincidence and bad luck. 10 yrs ago a neighboring dept of 170 FF had three guys in their 40s-50s die within 4 days of each other. Detroit had the second 50 year old guy in 2 years die while sleeping on duty. No more beds?

              ------------------

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              • #37
                This is just my opinion but i think it should be up to the individual BUT there should be some sort of clause added to the by laws of the fire department saying that if the person wearing the 3/4 boots and coat were injured due to not wearing full gear the fire department can not be held liable.
                That is just my opinion not the opinion of Eastern Garrett VFRD.

                ------------------
                Matt Briskey
                Eastern Garrett County
                Station 80
                www.easterngarrettvfrd.hoemstead.com/home.html

                "What's in it for me?

                Hard Work
                Injury
                Possible Death
                A deep and abiding feeling of personal satisfaction found in few aspects of life"

                "Nobody ever called the fire department when they did something smart!!"

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                • #38
                  I am curious if there's any Houston firefighters on here who can give us some input.statistically Houston fire Department sually ranks 2nd only to Chicago in total number of fires.Furthermore its one of the most humid and hot places in the country. How many firefighters has Houston lost to heart attacks from bunker gear? O am curious what they think..I saw one of their guys already says full turnouts is the way to go..are there any other Houston guys who might be able to help? They see as much if not more fire than the other cities mentioned, and are in a much worse climate for firefighting for much more of the year than all those cities mentioned...just a thought...

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

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                  • #39
                    Hey 19. I think you need to read alittle before making comments. Heart attacks have a strong hereditary link but you need to learn what happens to the body when it is stressed...especially heat stressed. The University of Maryland recently released their "firefighter training guidelines" which does a good job of explaining what happens when heat stressed. It is a very detailed article. The University has a strong history of firefighter research and training. Read the guidelines. It's about 120 pages long. Tell me if your opinion changes after you have some cold facts.
                    Stay safe.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by TXFIRE6
                      I am curious if there's any Houston firefighters on here who can give us some input.statistically Houston fire Department sually ranks 2nd only to Chicago in total number of fires.Furthermore its one of the most humid and hot places in the country. How many firefighters has Houston lost to heart attacks from bunker gear? O am curious what they think..I saw one of their guys already says full turnouts is the way to go..are there any other Houston guys who might be able to help? They see as much if not more fire than the other cities mentioned, and are in a much worse climate for firefighting for much more of the year than all those cities mentioned...just a thought...

                      ------------------
                      Any Opinion expressed, are my own, and do not reflect my Department...RB
                      Where do you get the 2nd in number of fires?

                      I know of one firefighter during ARFF training who had a heart attack.


                      Wow. I just looked at the date on this.

                      OOOLLLD.
                      Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by firemanrn
                        Hey 19. I think you need to read alittle before making comments. Heart attacks have a strong hereditary link but you need to learn what happens to the body when it is stressed...especially heat stressed. The University of Maryland recently released their "firefighter training guidelines" which does a good job of explaining what happens when heat stressed. It is a very detailed article. The University has a strong history of firefighter research and training. Read the guidelines. It's about 120 pages long. Tell me if your opinion changes after you have some cold facts.
                        Stay safe.
                        Speaking of reading a little before making comments.
                        You just upped a thread that has been dead for over 5 years.
                        "Train as if your life depends on it"
                        Always Remember *343*

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                        • #42
                          wtf

                          Has anyone not noticed that the first 20 posts or so were from 'guest' accounts? Does anyone else find that suspicious?

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by vegas0012
                            Has anyone not noticed that the first 20 posts or so were from 'guest' accounts? Does anyone else find that suspicious?
                            Nope, not suspicious.

                            As has been pointed out, this is a 5 year-old thread brought back to life.

                            Most of the names you see as guests are actually active, registered members. Some are previous usernames of current members. This happens all the time with really old posts.
                            Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 12-12-2006, 06:11 AM.
                            September 11th - Never Forget

                            I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

                            Sheri
                            IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
                            Honorary Flatlander

                            RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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