as a FireFighter , we do not put our SCBA's till we get on scene , becouse when we get on the scene , my cheif or Capt does a fast scene size up and then , there has been time's when i was working a hose then had to get a SCBA on , but for safety it is better to put you gear on at the scene , I have also put my tank on in route to the fire just so i am ready to go , I hope this helps with the subject at hand
Im with you Brother. I will don my SCBA enroute to the scene. Depending on the job Ill open the cylinder prior to arrival to take a hit on the facepiece to make sure the unit is operating. If Im on the line or have the irons /can I'll mask up and put my gloves on at the front door.
It is silly to me to put your facepiece on in the rig. In 32 years I have done it 1 time and that was for a working truck fire we could see from a couple of miles away. Otherwise to me, it impairs vision, fogs up, and is just generally unnecessary. The less than 30 seconds it takes to put my mask on is hardly an issue on a fre attack. If it was a big time saver you would see more FDs doing it and frankly you just don't. I would rather have my guys have a clear field of vision up to the point of entry.
Frankly, naughty irish leprechaun, you would NEVER get my line off my rig because we stretch it, call for water and kneel on it while we mask up. If you tried to take it from me a shit storm of Biblical proportions would break out.
I have always thought that it is absolute bull shit to race to beat other companies in, try to steal their line, or whatever job they were assigned. That does not mean my company is slow or unprepared, it means do your own damn job and leave what we were assigned alone. Cowboys and freelancers usually end up eventually getting someone hurt or screwing things up in their stupid quest to show how macho they are.
I have to second Don on the second part about stealing the nozzle. When you arrive on scene, you should have a job to do. In our dept., the second engine is responsible for water supply (generally), and they may take a backup line off the first truck if needed.
As for masking up, I rarely do it, unless it's a confirmed worker and we are going interior. I can see quite well with the mask on to size up the structure. (I have experience from the military wearing gas masks for HOURS, so it's no big deal to me) Fogging is the biggest problem so that's the main reason for not donning too soon. You just have to know you're going to go in immediately, and take the time to get a good look before you go in.
U agree with Don, so no need to echo what he already said.
However, a big reason NOT to don a facepiece enroute is it comes down to size up. It is EVERY person's job on the fireground to do a size up, be aware of conditions and what they are encountering. There is enough stuff to do intially on the scene BEFORE making an attack neccessitating having a facepiece on. It really should not take more than half a minute to don a facepiece prior to going in.
Although to echo Don, the BS about taking another company's line in and go while they are masking up is also BS. There is no place for such garbage on the fireground and personally such mantra shows immaturity and unprofessionalism.
We mask up enroute. I've never had a problem with the mask fogging up, and I can see perfectly fine through it. Is it unnecessary? Maybe, at times. But when we get on scene, we're ready to go. If you don't need it, you can take it off. If I was the homeowner, I would much rather see guys arriving who are ready to go to work, instead of those who pull on scene and then have to stop to put equipment on.
Such statements like what you made stand out as immaturity. I could care less about how your dept operates or what works for you, making such statements screams of freelancing. If you are ordered to backup...that is your job.....not fire attack. That means you back up the other company....not grab their line and go in.
You say if it was a problem, it would have been dealt with by the city. I disagree, the city does not always know how operations are done, nor even the requirements of NFPA and so forth. Realistically most cities have no clue about the operational aspects of depts, let alone to quibble about some freelancing on a fireground, nor the seriousness of such.
This aspect stands out.... "But when a company has a mutual respect for the other and everybody works together, where would be the problem who is either on the nozzle or at the door feeding the line?"....
Do you really understand what back up means? It is not about jumping on the hoseline of the attack team and feeding in hose. Back up means you have your own line and you are ready to go in and back up the first team. If conditions present that requires more water and resources...you the back up team, is going in.......either to enable a retreat of the first in, to protect their egress if going up stairs etc.......how are you going to do that if you think back up is just feeding hose in?
Where is your line? What size of line is it? Who is deploying your line? Who is obtaining water supply?
There is a huge difference when command assigns one company to a job and that company decides to freelance....because yes, what you are describing here IS freelancing......if it wasn't you wouldn't be asking the question of "what's the difference?"
we don scba mask enroute, if there is no need for it our sop is to be told by officer or incident command to do otherwise. if theres no need its usaully comin knowldge to hang your mask and scba on incase air quality gets worse.
If I was the homeowner, I would much rather see guys arriving who are ready to go to work, instead of those who pull on scene and then have to stop to put equipment on.
So I guess pulling lines, laddering the structure, shutting off utilities, doing a size up....perhaps forcing doors, setting up fans and so forth is not doing work?
There is quite a bit to do upon arrival of a scene to account for and size up and deploy appropriate equipment. Doing everything while masked up IS going to limit you, despite if your facepiece fogs up or not. Your peripheral vision is limited, even if not on air, you are breathing through limited openings and can sap O2 levels etc. Try doing cardio exercise on a treadmill or even better a stair stepper....do so without a mask and do it with a mask....there IS a big difference in ability. There is alot to do on the fireground before even worrying about going in, to make wearing a mask on the rig a hinderance.
More than likely the homeowner is going to be too preoccupied with everything going on rather than worry if you get off the rig masked up or not. In reality FF safety comes first on scenes and this means doing an adequate size up, pulling lines, obtaining water supply, laddering, size ups etc. The few several extra seconds it takes to mask up prior to entering is not going to really matter in the long run. However, if missing some things on a size up because of limited view can definately be a game changer.
I can only echo John Crabbe's statements.
If my crew is assigned to take the first attack line and another crew is assigned to "Back us up" that is EXACTLY what they should do. Frankly, I don't give a damn what you think you are supposed to do, if my company officer was told that we are stretching the attack line and going interior, that is exactly what we are going to do. If you are told to back me up, then do it and stop trying to justify being a damn cowboy or superhero. I guarantee you my company officer is going to tell you to $%$##)#@ yourself if you try to take our line.
Further, some of you here either can't read, or just don't understand the topic. No one here is saying don't have your SCBA on your back, and your mask in the ready state, either hung around your neck or connected to the regulator. What we are saying is it is counter productive to get off the rig with your facepiece on, have your vision limited by the facepiece itself, or by fogging of the mask. If it takes you more than 30 seconds to don your mask, pull up your hood, and put on your helmet and gloves, then I suggest practicing...A LOT!
You can try to address this by adding a specification of mask as "hanging" or "donned" to your SOP's depending on what the call is but even that has its flaws because you never know when a dumpster fire could be a Haz-Mat response. Good scene size-up begins before you ever leave the rig so the key is to have pre-plans but always be ready to adapt quickly. There is no right or wrong in the fire service, every call of every day is a unique challenge.
If my crew pulls the line it is OUR line. You want a hose line bring your own. I can guarantee you on any FD I am with you would not get away with stealing another crew's line. Just because the line is laying on the ground while the other crew is masking up doesn't mean it is there for "Anyone to grab."
Frankly, I don't care who you are or how you perform on the fireground. With the statements you have made you come off as a cowboy that steals other crews lines instead of doing another task on the fire ground. I bet you leave it for them to pick up afterwards since it didn't come off from your engine. Are you the same guy who comes in and doesn't have any tools for overhaul but is quite comfortable trying to take my axe or hook? Maybe they were just laying around for the taking too?
I would severely question the aggressiveness of any crew that willingly gives up the attack line they stretched before even entering the building. That isn't the kind of firefighters I am accustom to working with.