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.
Rusty, We're playing baseball today, so let's wear our football PPE, right?
The insurance company that funds your worker's comp has to pay regardless of PPE.
It is a lot more difficult trying to explain to the attorney for the plaintiff why your department didn't provide extrication PPE for extrication, when heat stress is by far the biggest hazard at most extrications unless it's the dead of winter.
What kills more firefighters than all other causes put together? Heat Stress-induced cardiovascular events. "Cars bursting into flame" at extrications generally causes zero LODDs per year. That's because cars that burst into flame generally do so before the 911 call is placed.
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.
GOD BLESS AND BE SAFE!
If it comes out as a big wreck with people trapped I'll throw my gear on. However 98% of the accidents I respond to I wear nothing. Keep in mind I work in a large, urban city with what's always rated as one of the top three cities in the country for worst traffic. So I usually respond to multiple car accidents daily. The speed limit is 25mph for most of the city so they are just fender benders. PPE really doesn't do anything since there's usually no mess and no hurry.
It depends on what we are going to be doing upon arrival as to the gear we wear. If we are assigned supression then we will have on bunker gear. If we are assigned extrication we will wear extrication suits. If we are assigned traffic we get a traffic vest. Usually first person on scene will bunker up or get on extrication suit (if he/she is trained in extrication). If the truck beats the officer to the scene then the driver of the truck will make assignments. Our system works well for us and that's an important point what works for one dept. may not work for another.
We require having bunker gear on. You never know what you're gonna encounter. We responded to a two vehicle collision recently and one of the vehicles caught fire while we were en route. Had we not worn our bunker gear..... we'd be useless. Our SOP requires getting geared up before boarding the truck.
i agree here. it doesn't matter what time of day it is if your doing extrication on a car. your saying if you get called to an accident its ok to not have gear on just because its early in the morning but if your doing the same exact job in the evening gear needs to be worn?? if you can explain the difference to me maybe id understand but in all honesty i would never agree. remember guys our safety is number 1!!! no matter time of day or what wee get called to.
gear (Including Safety Vest Required) is what is required in my area for ffs medics are Safety Vest when not doing extrication. Some depts. vary as well as some personnel who don't care. I have seen some vol. ffs in my area in vest and helmet only on crashes with no gear and wonder why they have close calls.