Does anyone have any tips or war stories concerning fighting structure fires in sub-zero conditions?

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Most firefighters and EMS personnel think of Rehab Units only as tools for preventing heat illness. I would say remember to keep your responders well hydrated even in cold conditions. During a big fire your interior attack teams will still need to rest, rehydrate, and be medically evaluated. When they are removing their PPE have dry clothes available to aid thermal regulation. A couple sets of sweats is always a good idea to keep on hand. You may have to fight cold disorders and hypothermia so keep heat packs and a warm ambulance or set a warming area in a nearby garage or in a bus/van. Wind plays an especially important role during cold conditions, the general guideline is dispatch a Rehab Unit to any incident when the wind chill is below 10 degrees F.

Of course anytime there is water and there is cold there is ice. Make sure to put lots of ice melt or floor dry in your rigs (our rescue rig will have a special compartment just for floor dry to prevent slips on MVA's- I wouldn't be suprised to see it used for icy conditions as well).

Stay Safe and I look forward to the coming comments. Good, timely discussion Bob!
Ryan those rehab pointers are great. On our last sub-zero house fire the air temp was +7 with a 30mph wind coming off a frozen lake; rehab was difficult at best.

We are now issued those slip on chains for our bunker boots, which I thought was pretty dumb until I discovered how well they work.
What brand do use?- that's something we should look at for our department.
Always be circulating your pump moving water is harder to freeze.Spare gloves they really lose their dexterity when they are froze. When not in use keep your regulator warm, they tend to freeze up easy.


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