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full bunker gear or plain coveralls???

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  • full bunker gear or plain coveralls???

    I'm fairly new to extrications and want to know if coveralls are permited by NFPA for doing extrications. Thanks in advance for all the help and really appreciate it.

    Charle Chiasson

  • #2
    The NFPA permits the use of coveralls, but alot of it will rest with your department. If they choose to let you guys wear coveralls, by all means, wear them. Just make sure you wear a good set of gloves and eye protection, ie goggles, not just a faceshield. Flying glass puts a hurtin on your eyes. Hope I've been of some help. This is only my opinion, I could be wrong.

    Stay safe brothers,

    "At one point we decided to fight fire with fire, basically your house just burned faster."

    Recipient of the IACOJ Service Award 2003.


    • #3
      As ArmyFireRescue stated, coveralls are good if you want. I prefer full turnouts, with extrication gloves and goggles.

      That is just me however.


      • #4
        The biggest problem is the term "Plain coveralls". It's no wonder that the uninformed have a problem with safety issues when we say "coveralls". I can go to any farm store or Walmart and buy cotton coveralls. And I agree that they would not be proper attire for any fire or rescue situation. However there are NFPA rated and excepted coveralls or jumpsuits available. American Firewear (the one that I am most familar with) and others make a "NFPA rated non-structural protective garment". The indura FR cotton has a higher flash rating then nomex. Per NFPA this garment can be used for anything "non-structural" such as mva's, wild land fire, sar, atr, storm clean up duties, etc. Let's look at a few other points. Right now it cost me about $1500-$2,000 to provide turnouts for each man. The life of that gear is usally 3-4 years depending on call volume. Lets face it, structure fires are very low on that list of call volume. (if not you need to look into your prevention program) The bulk of calls could be safely handled by a lesser gear thus saving wear and tear on the expensive stuff. Does the driver in a tanker shuttle really need full turnouts? Have you ever fought a good mountain fire with full turnouts? Do we really need oil, battery acid, and road grime on our $2,000 gear? A GOOD NFPA approved jumpsuit will run under $250. Does it not make sence to "save" the expensive stuff for the "real" calls and use the more expendable suits for the others? If I extend the life of my turnouts from 3-4 years to 5-6 years is that not getting the most for my budget dollar? Please do not lump all "coveralls" or "jumpsuits" into the same catagory, there is a differance. There is a link from my website to American Firewear if you wish to see more info. This is just one manf. there are several others, just make sure that whatever brand you choose is a rated garment and not just "plain coveralls"

        Zmag www.zmagrescue.com


        • #5
          Brother Chiasson,
          Bunker Gear has only a few drawbacks. One of the main ones being this time of year (HEAT). Wearing it in the intense heat can be a mild problem for the wearers.

          Most (if not all) Bunker Gear does meet both NFPA 1977 and 1999 recommendations. Not all coveralls do. If you do go with coveralls make certain they meets the NFPA recommendations as described in NFPA 1999 and 1977.

          The 1999 standard was updated this year (2003) added more requirements. It listed Total Heat Loss (THL) values as a garment necessesity. Which in common terms means "Breathe ability". This Breathe ablility allows moisture vapor from perspiration to escape the garment, providing increased comfort and stamina with reduced heat stress.

          The previous (1997 and 1992<------years) versions for NFPA 1999 covered the bloodborne pathogen stuff (moisture penetration issues).

          Cost may be an issue for ruining the gear. A decent extractor will clean almost anything out of the gear. I am all for preserving my gear as long as possible.

          BUT, keep in mind the gear is replacable, you brother are not. Wear BUNKER Gear.
          Last edited by NB87JW; 08-17-2003, 07:16 PM.
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