I have found (at least in my experiences out here in rural land) that most of the fire depts. out here wear their structural gear to do vehicle extrication, vertical rescue, (almost anything with rescue in it other than search and rescue). I know for most of the depts. out here it is a money thing, but are there any departments that utilize "extrication" gear for their members?
We use our turnouts, just like most everyone else. The only differences are that we all have strikeforce goggles and extrication gloves issued to us as well, because the faceshields let debris in and the gloves just make it easier to use the tools. SOme of our people went out and bought extrication jumpsuits at like $400 bucks a pop, and they seem to work great, but most of the guys that bought them seem to use them only in the winter, since they get just as hot as the bunks do in the summer, and you can't take off your jacket as its a jumpsuit. But they rock in the winter, just don't expect to get out of them in a hurry.
Our engine crew that does the actual cutting etc wear full turn out with light weight extrication gloves. Our 1st responders doing medical care we require their blood borne suits and helmets at all times while attending to the patients.
We have seperate Rescue coats, Helmets and gloves for extrication work. It is good not having to wear heavy structural gear at an MVA, but we don't pay for our gear either so I can see how the cost would effect the way you guys operate over there.
Our department SOP is full structure TOG at all MVAs, although recently there has been a push to allow the use of the much lighter weight wild land fire coat and pants for extrication.
As has been pointed out, the heat stress of wearing full bunker gear is probably a greater danger than flash fires occurring during extrication. In fact I witnessed a member go down from heat exhaustion at a crash scene.
However in my mind bunker gear affords more protection from sharp metal edges, broken glass, etc. than the thinner wildland gear. Does anyone have facts or opinion on the relative number of injuries using one type of gear vs. another?
I think we should wear our turnouts for extrications for several reasons. Visibality, public reconize us as FF/medic, reflective striping, only have to keep one set of gear, wear the same gear when it's oh dark thirty.....
Seperate extrication pants and coats are a better combination than the jumpsuits. They're more comfortable, easier to don and doff, and shed heat better due to the waist gap between the pants and the coat.