I talked to a salesman from a fire equipment supply company not to long ago about ordering new gear. He informed me that a lot of departments are going to less heavy structural fire fighting gear. The reasoning behind this was that car wrecks, EMS and service calls are becoming the majority of our calls and that house fires are not as common any more. Are Department has not switched to anything lighter yet and ive not met anybody with lighter gear around are area. So I guess my question would be has your department swtich to less heavy gear, what was your reasoning and some of the pros and cons to lighter gear VS Heavier gear

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My dept. has not switched but one of our sorrounding depts. has. Their reasoning is that when in a structure fire they feel the heat quicker which will stop guys from thinking that they can go in further or stay longer than they should. IMHO I want as much protection as possible, aren't we trained to read conditions and know when to get out. It is all about training and having the sense to not let yourself get into that situation; but if it happens wouldn't you want the heavier gear.

Globe Mfg. has come a long way with the development of turn-out gear. From my experiences it is not that newer, lighter gear offers less protection but instead offers the same quality with lighter materials. This helps reduce firefighter fatigue and allows us to work longer and safer at mva's and urban/wildland situations without compromise.
Well I see you are from Indiana, cold there? spend a lot of time on a cold Interstate? If yes then I would stay clear of light weight gear, just not as warm on a cold snowy night.
Thats one of the main reasons that we have the heavier gear, being a summer time firemen only sounds better and better especially on days like today ha ha
One dept next to us went with light gear, being cold is their only complaint. We cover 15 miles of a major interstate and a lot of calls come when it's snowing, we are currently replacing our gear and did not go with light, well I take that back, we stayed with the heavy liner but did get a lighter cover, way to many choices today.
Old cotton ducking coats and hip boots will let you feel the heat faster too, but I don't think I want to go back to using 'em.

The gear we use which starts with an "M" is a lot lighter than even the Nomex we used to wear. I agree with wanting protection, but as Wade said, couple that with proper training to read conditions. I don't miss the old days.
I think this Saleman has his head up his behind. Some departments-alot of departments may be experiencing less structural fires. And responses to other incidents may well make up the majority of the numbers of responses. I consider this whole attitude of structural fires being "uncommon" as extremely dangerous. Look around your community. Alot of the same building are still there, right? Same 'ol hazards when they burn! Now, let's consider all the renovations that have made buildings tighter. Mixtrues of newer structural members and materials, and older, conventional parts. How about the furnishings? THEY are certainly alot more dangerous.
It has been the focus of many training programs that fires of 'today' produce many times the amount of btu's becouse of materials used both as furnishings and decorations and structural members. New construction has so many hazards. Void spaces in truss floors and ceilings...all places for gases to accumulate, build-up, and ignite. Often before we know they are there. "Smoke" (gases) igniting at tempertures that we may not even feel, until they ignite of course.

...And they want you to believe that lighter-weight PPE is somehow an advantage to us? Becouse maybe we might not respond to the dwelling fire on an everyday basis, but we we may get bells for more vehicle collisions? That's insane to me. I can work extrication in my structural PPE with no problem, all I have to do is change gloves when needed for better dexterity. EMS calls are basicall y"shoe runs" except that in colder wheather we may put on our bunker pants, or respond in them at night becouse we use them as our 'night hitch'.

Other than that...responding to various service calls and such often start out as being dispatched as alarms, or unknown-type incidents, in which we respond in our PPE anyways. Finding we only need to be in investigative mode upon arrival, it's simple to shed what we don't need. Carrying an extra sweatshirt or station "chore' jacket on the engine when on duty is a simple way to remain comfortable when you shed your PPE coat. Personally, when my company is out on the street for variois assignments, my company are wearing the bunker pants to expidite any responses we get when out of station. Think about it. Dressing in the apparatus is not an option while responding, unless of course you have no seat belt policy. and dressing upon arrival doesn't give the public any confidence that your ready to go to work when you arrive at their home, bail out of the cab, and THEN begin to don your PPE.

Few departments nowdays have the money to buy multiple sets of gear that you can select upon the receipt of an alarm and dress according to the information you get...and hope it's right. The exception may be wildland gear for those departments that do have those concerns. But other than that, if your agency provides EMS only, and maybe some type of extrication/rescue, well possibly you may not need the protective qualities of structural firefighting gear. But if your a fire department charged with suppression duties as well as EMS and everyhting in between, it's foolish, and dangerous to sacrifice personal protection and equip your personnel with some sub-protective fabric and liner system that I doubt will really result in any tangible weight difference for the amount of protection it provides.

That's MY opinion. Is this saleman in the fire service?
Let me start by saying salesman are just that, they will sell you anything and everything they can , that's their job! Take a look at what would work for your department. If your switching to light structural gear because of wrecks or brush fires, that's not always the answer!

Geographically here in the south with high humidity, we have chosen the lighter gear.

There's been other topics on here about what kind of PPE should you wear on EMS,wrecks/extrication etc...
The standard on gear does not care what sort of calls or what climate you live in. The standard has to due with protection and what properties the material has. If the lighter gear can afford the same protection, great. If it is not as protective, it is not worth looking at. PERIOD
Yes Actually the salesmen is a captian i think on a volunteer department
NFPA 1971 Protective Ensemble for Structural Fire Fighting. So long as gear meets this standard, price, style and color seem to be the determining factors.
Let's face it folks. If fire gear is to heavy for you, then either start working out, or find a new line of work.

Normally we do not wear turnout gear on EMS calls in a residence, unless the weather is bad like a snowstorm, etc. If it's an EMS call at a construction site/hazardous area, we will opt for either full turnout gear, some some combination of it. We do wear turnout gear on auto accidents if it's a cut job, and I've never found it to be heavy, or cumbersome.

There are some departments out there who issue firefighters brush gear, or fire resistant clothing like coveralls that they can wear on EMS and Technical Rescue calls. I'm ok with that, and wouldn't mind it if my department did this.

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