I am at a small Rural Volunteer Department, this is a non-entry department, almost all the turnouts are technically expiring in 2019. However, the turnouts have been used in training and on about 5-10 actual fire calls per year so the gear is in really good shape. I know that NFPA regs say 10 years and done, but changing gear out is no cheap task as you are all aware of.
I know to do Firefighter 1 classes, gear not expired is required, but those classes aren't likely to happen here. Minus aging, and wear and tear what are the other possible risks of using gear over the 10-year limit? Since the department, does not do an entry attack, can we as a department decide to continue using this gear? Looking for thoughts on this situation.
that would depend on the condition and possible re-certification by an nfpa qualified inspector.
gear that is in very good shape has not been exposed to significant uv rays and or dampness in storage will not accrue the regular damage associated with age and use.
in all actuality the gear itself may have a lot of service life left in them But its a general requirement to change out expired gear in order to qualify for grants.
the biggest issue here is the lack of certified nfpa inspectors, and when you toss in liability issues you can understand the requirements of their age limit.