We just posted this on our blog site here at FireEmsBlogs - http://sidecharlie.com. It's a cool photo, but don't you think it should be replaced?

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Yah I agree.
The basic concept here is the guy is not wearing the SCBA. Not to downplay the use of them, but lets just assume for a second that this officer ran low on air, or ran out totally, and removed himself from the smoke, before he took off his mask while getting ready to go down the ladder! Far fetched perhaps, since the ladder is not good enough to climb down yet anyway, but in all too many cases, the guy isn't masked up (even though he could be and should be). Doesn't set the example good enough in my books.
If we talk the talk we should certainly walk the walk. Consider the huge costs of health issues caused by not doing the simple and right thing of wearing the mask.
Guess he figures he is safe enough because the smoke is not in his face ...at the second.
All we can do is just keep preaching!
WEAR THE MASK and DON'T BREATHE ANY AMOUNT OF SMOKE. That's the old fashioned way. We are (or think we are) better than that!
Stay Safe brothers and sisters!
I think he should have his SCBA on since this is the safest way. However we have been called "smoke eaters" for years. I think there is a lot of complaining about nothing. Just because this picture is posted does not mean the dept accepts this behavior. I say let it go and use it as a training tool.
Good point on if he was out of air and needed to get out AND they were putting the ladder up to get him. The photo is dated 2001 when the mindset was still different.
We're not trying to be harsh whatsoever on Dallas. It is a GREAT fire department. We just feel it was an oversight on the part of a possible civilian webmaster. It's a cool photo! However, it is 2011. Times have changed.
Kinda hard to judge the perspective and distance when this photo was taken. Also it is left up to assumption by the viewer of what is actually taking place.
The subject in the photo has a Pak slung over his left shoulder. He may have run out of air or had some malfunction. Until you know the facts, it's just a picture.
If that is the case, then why is there a red booster line next to the ladder?
I have to agree with SideCharlie here on his view....

It isn't the tactics that I question, it is wondering if that is the ideal picture to showcase your department with.

I am sure there are better photos to use.

That being said, I am sure there is a good reason for that guy to be in that situation...I just wouldn't want to be the one getting caught in a picture like that without sound reasoning to back it up...My superiors might write me up otherwise.
I don't know why a booster line is next to the ladder. Do you? And what has that to do with respiratory safety anyway?
Maybe the photo is exactly what it's intended to do. To start a dialog on firefighter safety. Maybe we aren't supposed to analyze the photo and then knock the operations of a specific FD but instead measure ourselves against it.

We can look at any photo or video posted and arm chair it but I think we need to direct the focus around how we operate as individuals, company/chief officers, and ultimately the culture within our own departments.

Be safe.

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