I was just wondering what peoples thoughts/department SOG's were on wearing bunker gear, ambulance crew/fire crew, on the scene of vehicle accidents. In my department's SOG's it states "Bunker gear is required for personal injury accidents", yet there are some who refuse to wear it when they respond on the squad(ambulance) because they have reflective vests or jackets. Me personally I wear my bunker gear and a refective vest no matter what truck I respond in.

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correction  ...charged hose line on all cut jobs.


sorry bout that

Okay, makes more sense.  We have so many BS accidents at low speeds that it's a waster to pull one every time.  We do pull them for cut jobs though which I agree is smart.

Good day all,

I had a good read of all the postings and seem to find some conflicting bits of information.


When I look at bunker gear, I would only use that for structual fires.  If you say you ALWAYS wear bunker gear on EVERY call, then I see you creating more of a personal hazard within certian situations.


I see bunker gear as being designed for fighting fires, excluding wildland fires.  Some will say that you need the bunker gear for the aspect of sharps protection, so then what your saying is that it's ok to not properly cover your cuts and sharp edges and let teh $2,500 bunker gear take the abuse?


I can see Nomex coveralls being used for everything except structure, industrial and aircraft fires.  Nomex coveralls to be used in Wildland, High Angle, Confined Space, medical calls, Water operations, HAZ-MAT and yes .... vehicle extrication.  Think of the movement you get when wearing Nomex coveralls and reduction of heat exhaustion associated with wearing them.


If you are arguing about flames and such .... how many of you who are commenting wear VX gloves?  Are they flame resistant like your fire gloves?


I also see in Vehicle Extrication competitions that the majority of competitors wear the Nomex coveralls (jumpsuit) and it seems to have gained popularity there.  Why do we wear one type of gear for competitions and say it works great, but discount it when we are out doing the job?

Looking for your comments as this seems to be a real issue with some and to have a better understanding of why we wear the gear we do instead of just wearing it because that is what we have always done.


Thanks for reading and commenting.

Good day,


Fully agree with you on many points.  I also like when people comment about PPE, then you see a fire helmet on the hood or roof of a car because they can't fit that traditional helmet into the car when they are doing Pt care or unlocking a door from the inside.

jitter man said:

Well I have read many of the replies and found a lot of good responses. They referenced fires and they referenced visibility. The big thing I found common in all of them was safety. That is what we look for in the fire service today, taking care of yourself and your fellow firefighter.
I now would like to ask a couple of questions if I might. What is it everyone said they wear? Structural Fire fighting gear. Do we need that vapor barrier? Do we need that thermal barrier on a roadway that reaches temperatures above 120 degrees F? What if the car lights off meaning it catches fire? Are you lungs safe from a flash fire? No I do not think so. Am I saying no gear ? no I am saying as many of you have protect the scene, but possibly an engine crew have gear on with airpacks. There is new gear out there such as NFPA 1951 USAR gear that has flash protection in it. Possibly look at this for your extrication crews. I wish we would on our department? I have seen in 27 years many people be overcome from heat exhaustion. Also I have seen many people take off their gear to make access so really if we are honest with ourselves we take a lot of it off during the extrication or during patient care.
I am not a sales person for the new gear and with budgets the way they are it is hard to justify another set of gear. However it is a safe and smart alternative to what we are doing. Also remember the bloodborne pathogens we deal with on accidents, are you cleaning your firefighting gear after mva calls?
Just conversation for the dinner table. Thanks for letting me say a few words.

Our rural Dept outfitted all personnel with lightweight Tecgen gear, a little spendy (about 1/4-1/3 cost of a set of bunker gear), but certified for extrication and wildland so can be worn for both! This gear will handle approx 90% of the  calls we run - mostly MVAs (we have 2 highways in district) & now wildland fires. Gear bags were bought for structural gear and everyone must bring their bags on calls if it's not a structure fire call (just in case). Have heard nothing but good reviews from my crews about the Tecgen gear, esp while working MVAs.

Joe Stoltz said:

Our SOP is for everyone to wear full PPE at all MVAs. PPE generally is structure fire gear, however a few years ago we outfitted EMTs with lighter weight Nomex gear with crosstech vapor barrier for protection against BBPs. The lighter gear consists of jacket, pants and rescue helmet. It makes climbing into and inside of a car less of a chore, although I find myself just staying with my regular bunker gear.

Those directing traffic wear reflective vests in warm weather, but in winter we encourage them to suit up in their bunker gear.

We are thinking about allowing the extrication crew to wear lightweight gear similar to wildland firefighting suits. I'm not convinced that regular wildland gear will provide enough protection from sharps, but it would reduce the amount of heat stress on the crew.

the dispatch info doesn't necessarily match what you will encounter on scene.  you can modify your ppe depending on circumstances.  change the policy, don't violate it.  safety first.

Full PPE including the Vest,Gloves,Safety Glasses at all times Period. No exceptions! 1st violation results in a warning, 2nd violation,Member is required to submit in writing the reason for violation with possible disciplinary action. 3rd Violation, Member is suspended for 30 days. 4th Violation Member Meets with the board and Line officer staff for possible Dismissal.

Full PPE (Turnout Gear, Including: helmet, coat, bunker pants, boots, fire gloves or extrication gloves.) is and should be required on all MVA calls, this includes company officers and chief officers. I also wear medical gloves under my fire gloves, fire gloves and/or extrication gloves are not liquid proof and therefore, blood and other body fluids may come in contact with your skin. Everyone has small cuts, or areas of open skin on your hands, and any fluid that comes into contact with you can potentially enter your body. Getting back on track, EMS personnel do not have to wear turnout gear as long as they are not involved in the extrication of the patient and remain in the cold zone. The properly equipped firefighters should extricate the patient, and carry the patient via backboard out to the cold zone and then turn the patient over to EMS personnel. The EMS stretcher should also not be in the hot zone where it can come in contact with vehicle fluids and other hazardous materials that will then be carried into the ambulance and the hospital. 

Wear full gear. The normals don't know what they are describing and they are under stress when they call in. Gear up and you will be ready no matter what you walk into.

over here we use what we call level ones for mva  fire retardant overalls with knee protection built in and fire resistant with leather gloves glasses and helmet if necessary but then again in winter they stay in the locker and its straight into the bunker gear

the overalls also double for wild fire

I have seen these suits before at shows and in demos. I like the concept however don't see how a department can justify buying them for a few reason. A. Say your clearing the MVC and you catch a job for a structure Fire, How many members bring their structural gear with them ?
B. You pull up on your MVC the vehicle is on fire and it happens to be near a structure,or Has some Structural involvement Now what?

More often than not we respond to an incident and The outcome is totally different than what the caller reports, I cannot honestly justify spending extra money on a suit strictly for extrication when that money can be better used either purchasing other tools and gear that's needed, Or repairing damaged turnouts.

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