Hypothetical Situation:  A firefighter is issued turnout pants that are less than 1 year old and have been worn only a few times.  The pants are much too long, thus the firefighter is constantly walking on the bottom of the pants which wear through so that the bottom seam of the pants hook under and in front of the heel of his boots.  The problem was pointed out to the Chief who says "Oh well, there is no money to get them fixed."

 

Question 1:  Should the firefighter be permitted to continue wearing the pants?

Question 2:  Does the condition of the pants constitute a safety hazard?

Question 3:  Does the worn through bottoms of the legs seriously reduce the protection the pants are supposed to provide?

Question 4:  Would a local repair, with stong, but not necessarily "fire proof" thread be preferable to doing nothing?

Question 5:  Would a local repair (Question 4) create a liability situation?

Question 6:  Does letting the firefighter continue wearing the pants "as is" create a liability situation?

 

Any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

 

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PPE should fit. Pants that are too long should be taken up at the cuff. If the person wearing the pants that are so long they're walking on them gets injured, there's your liability. Hazardous conditions of any sort should never be acceptable, for any reason.
Hold a fund-raiser, if you have to.
Sounds like a trip hazard and, therefore, a liability. Any repair must be done by certified shop, local or regional. Definitely don't ever use non FR thread. The protective qualities of the pants are not impacted in this case, but all the other problems associated with the ill-fitting gear you've described are significant enough to require action. Try to find something else for the firefighter to wear in the meantime.
Prior to answering your questions, I would like to qualify that I actually worked as a Logistics Staff Captain before retiring, dealing with questions and issues such as the ones "hypothetically" posed... lol Here's my take and how I would handle your situation.

Question 1: Should the firefighter be permitted to continue wearing the pants? Once a safety issue has been identified, as a municipality, you have a certain degree of liability. Issuing used turnouts, is probably the best call here but they need to fit the firefighter... Who sized this person for PPE?

The fact that this person did not immediately alert his or her supervisor that the pants were not fitting properly is my first thought. Why was the PPE allowed to be damaged in the first place? I would collect the turnout pants while the firefighter was on days off and ship the turnout pants to the manufacturer for both repair and shortening of the pant leg hemline. This can be done overnight mail and quickly if you ask.

Question 2: Does the condition of the pants constitute a safety hazard? Discussed above, yes. Always err on the side of safety. When in doubt, toss it out. (kind of... you get the point)

Question 3: Does the worn through bottoms of the legs seriously reduce the protection the pants are supposed to provide? If you respond to a gasoline tanker that catches fire while the firefighter is wading through a pool of fuel, bla, bla, bla... you can't predict the type of call that this person could respond to and could end up having an injury... err on the side of safety, take the pants and provide a pair that fits right and again, question whoever issued the ill fitting pants to begin with. This is where your problem started... One mistake leads to another...

Question 4: Would a local repair, with stong, but not necessarily "fire proof" thread be preferable to doing nothing? Again, no... You must go with the original manufacturer to eliminate voiding the warranty which could expose your agency to a problem with liability. This is not your personal finances here. You have deep pockets. You cannot go cheap at the expense of a safety person. You will loose big time in court.

Question 5: Would a local repair (Question 4) create a liability situation? Already covered this, unless you get written permission or approval from the manufacturer that this person/business is an approved repair center or... you can do what we did. We had a couple of firefighters attend a training course by the manufacturer, purchased a couple of heavy duty sewing machines out of excess US Govt property and we do our own repairs and modifications. You should do the same and eliminate any future problems like this. You can also do all of your own in house repairs and modifications. As long as you have been trained and use the same materials to affect the repairs / modifications.

Question 6: Does letting the firefighter continue wearing the pants "as is" create a liability situation? It could... depends on how litigious your world is and whether or not an injury occurs.

Good luck,

CBz
In the Philippines as long as it can still be used. its ok hehehe :D
NFPA 1851 under the selection, care and maintenance of turnout gear will afford your chief, (let's get serious here as this is probably your gear) that it is non-compliant. He will also note if they were to do the 1851 annual testing; gear that doesn't fit will create failures onm specific tests, (in areas other than what is draggin on the ground)

Yes gear will fail that has never been in a fire, and/or is not that old, this is becasue it was not fitted properly and just wearing the gear for routine calls and training will ruin the interior.

This document will also answer your repair questions as well.
I have seen hypothetical situations exist in the past and the present much similar to yours.

If the situation exists in a volunteer setting and there is no money, it is very simple for one person to be out of service due to the fact that there is no other gear to be had.

New stuff and perfectly fitting gear is a great thing to have but you take what you can get and make due with it.

In a paid setting, get it hemmed. Simple and cheap enough.
Thanks FETC. No, it is not my gear, but I am the Safety Officer and a bit of a worry wort. Volunteers are hard to get and hard to keep. I just don't want to see anyone get hurt.
I know what you mean. It's sometimes "take whatever you can get." I was at Clark Air Force Base when one of their pumpers was stolen by a man who drove it right out the main gate...lights on and siren blaring. The Air Force never got the pumper back.
Hey Ed,

The names Jolo's or Olongapo City ring a bell?
Hi,

Jolo's doesn't ring a bell but Olongapo sure does. Back in the 60s I was on a ship that anchored in Subic Bay during the bit summit meeting. Does San Miguel ring a bell for you?
I have many fond memories of my days in the PI.

Ed
Fix them - hem them - you don't have to cut of the extra length (probably) to hem them up - like suit pants.

Then if they need to be used for another person later, you just let the hem back up.

Ask the manufacturer to send you fire resistent thread...
Ask someone who knows how to sew...
Ask your local career department who alters their gear - maybe they work with a tailor in the community ???

I'm just saying...

Quick fix... easy enough... without doing $1500 alterations...
If you ask a lawyer, of course they are going to say there is liability, but we're firefighters and we overcome, adapt, and improvise. It all depends on how much of a big deal you want to make of it.

Bring it to the local sewing place and have them sewn up so they are not dragging. I have used regular cotton thread on the patches sewn on my work turnout gear for years and burned the crap out of it with no problems.

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