This is one of those simple forum posts that asks a couple of questions...

  1. How long does it take for you to completely DONN not just your SCBA, but the entire PPE ensemble. 
  2. And for those folks that are speedier than others, what's your tricks of the trade to enable others to duplicate your expediency? 
  3. Finally, how often to you practice donning and doffing your SCBA?

Train as if your life depends on it... because it does!


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I haven't practiced donning my gear in years. We do it to the rookies all the time, but the way my gear is set hasn't changed in years. And to the comment about getting ready while out of quarters, I require everyone to at least have on their bunker pants when we are out on the rig. I wear my radio, and my coat goes over the back of my seat so the inside is facing out and all I have to do to get it on is slip my arms in. The only thing is you can't close it till you get out because of the seat belt, but at least you have everything on.
The getting dressed while on the rig would be the bigger issue, to me. With 2 firefighter fatalities that come to mind, where getting dressed on the rig lead to an officer forgetting stuff that contributed to the events of that day.
...and the times on those drills are arbitrary and have never been validated as being important to anything that happens on a real fire response.
I'm surprised some of you got 2 minutes to get dressed. Back in the fire academy we had to get dressed and be on air in less than a minute. When we got tested we had two shots. If we couldn't do it we were fired from the job.

We never really drill like this for a few reasons. One, I have never put my gear on laid out like this since rookie school. Two, there should never be a reason you need to practice in the first place. We run box alarms every tour so we are always throwing gear on.

When getting a run while on the road, we get dressed enroute. Wearing pants every time we are on the street isn't really an option. In DC we have had several heat waves this past summer. Some times we don't really make it back to the fire house and wearing the pants all day can overheat you. Last tour we had somewhere between 20-25 runs. It just doesn't work for us.
i can do this in 1min 30 sec. we dont practice this as often as we should. Our volenteer dept does this 1 or 2 times a yr when we get new or old members taking classes that require this(ff1)
Hey Capt, we do a modified version of this drill if were in quarters and not marked up responding with in a minute were getting yelled at. So what we do with our rookies is call the bunker drill and have them geared up on the truck with a pack on ready to go and time them, Its a little more realistic best we can do with out actually going on a run. To put my two cents in on gearing up while en-route to a call I've had officers who have stopped the truck and I've had officers who said go and had us dress en-route all depends on the officer I had that day.
being new to the fire service (1 year) and recently finishing firefighter 1 we did spend alot of time donning and doffing gear which wasnt bad considering most of us in the class had never done it b4 but i was in 6 months b4 class started and had worn gear plenty as well as had a pack on and averaged 80-90 to secs from street clothes to breathing air. But as someone else said below being new i would have liked to of spent more time going over what to do if your pack failed or your buddies packed failed. We spent very little time on that in training and i feel thats something pretty important that all new guys should know quite well before going interior. I'll have to remind my Capt about it so we can train on that especially since we have a few new guys including myself that are now on our interior list.

Be safe out there Brothers!

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