What are most of your departments doing as far ask masking up before you get off the truck. Or are you waiting until you get to the front door. We leave it up to personnal preference right now, depending on the situation. Feed me some pro's and con's.
Have to agree with the mask fogging up and limiting comms. Masking up at the door at least gives you a chance to size things up and even see little obstacles when stretching a line prior to attack. The few seconds saved by masking up in the rig doesn't make too much sense to me.
"this guy is obviously hot about something..." Can't say I ever fully understood
why folks think it's ok, on a training burn, to overstress their PPE. Seems to me
that you might want to save as much of the turnouts and helmet for when you
really need it. Anyone else view this as nothing less than macho nonsense?
SCBA Usage Comments: Interesting perspective... nothing like being preventative... I believe that most firefighters want to conserve their air as much as possible. Immediately going on air, when there are initially only a couple of extra air bottles when you do actually run out means to me that folks are going to conserve as a standard practice. If the SCBA bottle fairy magically appears all the time, and air supplies are unlimited, then I say, wear the SCBA all the way! If you are not in a big city with SCBA fairies, then I suggest being more conservative with your air pack usage.
Scott SCBA's: My personal favorite as far as SCBA masks will always be the Scott SCBA's. Having the ability to simply twist off the face piece, exposing your face to a large hole to breath fresh air has always been a plus to me. This negates activating your mask and keeping it in service vs. confirming successful operations and then disconnecting it from the face mask until needed. I also liked the net component of the mask verses straps that pull what hair I have left...
Note: If you are responding to an IDLH atmosphere like a gas leak for example, this would be a situation where firefighters would be expected to mask up prior to exiting the cab of the engine.
Most guys hang the mask on the regulator, and don the whole thing at the door. I do the same if it's an investigation, or something else that either is low priority or low chance of actually going on air. If it's a working fire, I usually don the mask, hood, helmet, and attach the regulator at the door. I find this to work for me because I don't have to spend the time donning the mask, hood, fasten my helmet strap, and don gloves. To each his own.
"Note: If you are responding to an IDLH atmosphere like a gas leak for example, this would be a situation where firefighters would be expected to mask up prior to exiting the cab of the engine."
CBz; are your rigs pressurized? If not then they probably shouldn't be parked somewhere inside an IDLH hot zone. And would driving into a gas plume really be best practice?
I know for us when we have a gas leak we park outside the potential (or determined) hot zone and meter in. Depending on where and how high the readings are determines when and where we go on air. Whether we mask up prior to or while metering in is one thing but I see no reason to be masked up inside the rig. What does that accomplish other than reducing visibility?
I try to teach the newer members to mask up when you need it. I advise against masking while still on the apparatus because when we get to the scene and get off of the apparatus we should ALL be doing some version of a size up. We should be looking for the smoke and/or fire, overhead obstructions, victims, hoselines, big wheels, etc...
I know that there are many FF's who are under the teachings of putting your mask on but not your regulator so we can be ready in a moments notice. My answer to that is that in the moments it takes to put on my mask, I might see some things that may be vital to the size up and operation and if your mask is like my mask(all full of scratches and usually fogged up as well) then you really can't see to much of anything at all.
There are others who say, "mask up at the front door..." I disagree with this as well unless there is smoke or fire at the front door. What if the front door is clear as well as the entire first and 2nd floor? We may not encounter any smoke conditions until we're really deep into the structure(especially commercials). So, what I try to teach is to mask up when you need it. We may make entry into a building and not mask up until we get to the room or hallway that is charged with smoke or active fire and there are times when we will mask up at the front door because we can see what we are getting into ahead of time.
Please do not get me wrong. I believe that we should not breath any crap that we do not absolutely have to but I also believe that we should conserve our air supply by being smart, prepared, and aware of our surroundings. We are not Pavlov's Dog. We are professionals.
Alot of great comments here, I mask up at the door. on top of the previous reasons you may have to do some work before enty is gained, maybe you have to do a external attack, also I do not know about anyone else but trying to breath through the mask OFF air and doing work is a pain.
Many recent trainings I have been to say mask up while on the truck but I do not agree...again every one has their own personal preference and what works for them
At the door is when I mask up.....air on though,used to mask up on the truck and hated the foggy mask-and I have learned that situational awareness is critical.Like Capt.Busy said (and we have them as air packs too) scotts are really nice to use,nice wide opening and the webbing makes it easier to put on.