I understood the question asked was "who has an SOP on the issue. I do. Medicals are a seperate issue. There is also a contingency for extreme heat and humidity, which is a modified guideline. As stated, there are times when the company is on the road for a variety of reasons. Conditions permitting (and they usually are), the apparatus stops where it is not a traffic hazzard, and the crew dons the protective clothing. They arrive on location ready to go to work. The pint being that PPE has to be donned before the work begins, so what is the most effective way?
Is there a possibility of arriving to a scene in which the situation could lead to taking action with less than optimal protection? Yes. Can that possibility be reduced? yes. Is it always going to be perfect? No. Can I accept disagreement with this policy or opinion? Yes.
The whole concept of safety is something that is either valued or shunned. Riding without seat belts, standing in the cab while donning your gear is something that makes no sense to me. Yet I understand it is an everyday procedure elsewhere. I do not live with my head in sand. I have developed a good network of firends and coorespondents in the fire service over the years. Thankfully I have been exposed to many other departments, big, small, and in between. I have friends, and have worked with some of the best people in this business (in my opinion) that have since gone to work in some of the biggest, busiest departments in the East Coast. We talk from time to time.
Being first due, or fourth due, if your responding to a dwelling fire, building fire, structure fire...whatever, what sense does it make to ride out the call and begin to don your work clothes enroute? Back to safety. We preach smoke alarms, we preach sprinklers. We preach early notification. Swim near a life guard. Don't drink and drive. We respond to so many of the results of total disregard of this plain old COMMON SENSE. We have 'secret lists" and close calls reports. Lessons taught every single day. Along with fire attack of a fully involved dwelling with the upgraded inch and half line...the inch and three quarters. We have embarced PPV as the standard operating procedure when it clearly the worst possible choice in some situations. And we still sporadic use of masks, and totaly unfit firefighters who haven't been of the couch except to go to work, and then back to the couch again.
And it won't change anytime soon. Just more effort spent on justification of poor choices. The only thing I can do about it is to try to get my house in order.
Don your PPE, board the apparatus, belt in, stop at the traffic signals and signs that tell you to stop becouse the other direction has the right of way, keep control of your vehicle, keep your eyes and ears open, pay attention, look first, think, then act, take the available, proper precautions, and choose the right weapon. And yet you still may very well become some form a statistic.
One thing Ben brought up that we preach (and teach) in firefighter training...checking your partner for exposed skin. I'll be damn if I ever seen that done as routine. Certainly if something is noticed the individual will be informed. But that one seems to slip by all the time.
We do it as a matter of routine at both fire calls and live burn training.
Our guys have been trained on it until it's a habit. Once in a while, someone misses something, but that's why we buddy check each other.
You should be half dressed in what ever gear that you need for that fire. Structure you should have your bunker pants on and everything else in the truck IF your the driver. Everyone else should have everything on ready to go the minute you hit the scene. Grass/woods everyone should have there brush gear half on and put the rest on when you get there and have your structure gear with you for just in case. Extrication gear should be on before you leave, because most of the time you don't have time to mess around. Helmets on any call should be placed on your head when you get there, not worn in the truck!!!!! I can give you my sop if you would like to see what we have.