We've all heard both sides of the argument on which style of knife is better; "Folders are smaller, lighter and generally cheaper" "fixed blades are tougher, easier to deploy, and more reliable" my questions to the Fire Fighter Nation are these:
Which do you carry?
How do you carry it?
Why do you carry whichever style you carry?
Benefits vs. Drawbacks?
Better: being defined as which is more suited to a general purpose (jack of all trades) type firefighter who at some point in his career will perform engine duties, truck duties, command, etc.
The one thing about carrying a fix blade knife is would it be legal where you live depending on the length of the blade.
I seen "Call of The Wildman" and the main guy Turtleman looks like he is carrying a twelve inch blade on his belt. Now this guy is catching wild animals barehanded for release back into the wild.
The other thing is that the guy was a US Marine before he took up the work he does now.
Now I carry nothing but folded knifes even razor knifes.
Now I remember years ago being at a ocean resort and a firefighter friend of mine had a police officer walkup and take his folding Buck Knife out of holster on his belt and start questioning him. He almost had to go to the station to get it back but the cop gave it back and told him to take it and put it away in his car or place he was staying.
Well with any fixed blade, I wouldn't carry it around everywhere just on special occasions when it was needed. Otherwise I would just carry a folded knife and it is very true about the length of the blade as well with what is legal vs not.
I carry a Gerber blunt tip diving knife. The blade is fixed and it comes in a plastic sheat with a pretty heavy duty clip on the back of it, that I clip on the left chest of my bunker coat.
A quick tug and its out of the sheath, even with gloves and no visibility. Iffin I ever needs it, its right there.
I routinely carry multiple blades including fixed blade knives including a CRKT Stiff PECK, and a Kabar Modified bowie (on My wildland gear). I have a leatherman - type tool on My belt for My station gear, My wildland gear, and My structure gear. I also carry a Gerber FAST as well. On My rescue gear, I carry a Gerber river knife (fixed blade) in an inverted sheath. I use a Meyerco Speedster assisted opening folder for most routine chores. I have a Benchmade Rescue Hook, and a Smith and Wesson 9-1-1 Folding rescue hook as well. The correct blade to carry is the one that will perform the functions required. Sometimes that means different blades (and styles) for different situations.
In the bunker gear is a leatherman, folding is better for this case.
On the lifejacket and with tech resq gear is a fixed blade because if I need to cut something when Im using this gear it generally has to be cut right now
back up folding pocket knives (yes I carry 2) are always in me street clothes
After using both the fixed and folding blades, I don't carry either. I carry a box cutter from Home Depot w/ replaceable blades. I keep it clipped on the inside of the radio pocket on my chest. It's a perfect one handed operation and when the blades get to dull from use, I just reverse or switch out the blade. Efficient and very cost effective.
I carry 2 folders 1 in my right coat pocket a Spyderco with locking blade & a Benchmade Rescue knife in my right pants pocket. Both have pocket clips. I personally like the folders because "if" I am not gloved I won't have to worry about slicing my fingers off! I have used both for various needs, the Benchmade has a window punch which has come in handy several times.