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.
Mask up at the door, or where ever appropriate depending on egress, situation, etc. Gives you 30 seconds to take a look around, catch your breath, make sure everyone is on the same page and attach. No sense running from the truck without a plan.
Masking up before getting off the apparatus seems to many to be a good idea and it enhances the ability to go to work rapidily. However, it is every firefighter's responsibility when entering a potential IDLH atmosphere to perform an adequate exterior size-up.
We have to ask ourselves where is the fire, what color is the smoke, is it pressurized, is there a life hazard whitin (other then ourselves), is the structure still stable, do we have adequate resources on scene and can we operate at this event safely. Remember, we no longer respond to structural fires, rather, we respond to "confined space hazardous-materials events." Identifying a second means of eggress by performing that exterior "snapshot" can save your life All of these must be asked by the IC and all members operating. The majority are better addressed by that good exterior visual process we refer to as a size-up/recon.
Our department requires us to don all PPE including SCBA while enroute to the fire if it can be done while wearing a seatbelt. The only person who is allowed to not don their face piece is the first arrving Truck Captain. He will be taking Operations duties upon his arrival. We do not "click" into our SCBA until we are about to make entry, so there is no "wasted" air issues. We use Scott NXG7s and the newest style of mask. (They have a wider and longer face piece so visablity is unobscured.) I think this issue is left up to the type of situation you sent to. I have heard before that there is only ONE WAY to think when it comes to this issue. Doing what we do, I can't believe that there is only ONE WAY to do ANYTHING. As long as you are safe while responding, during operations and while overhauling, what does it matter? TCSS
All this talk about wasting air its free aint it. I cant mask up in the truck because i have to give an onscene report. So when i get off the truck i put my mask on. If your doing a scene size up and walking around the house and it flashes on you and you dont have your mask on then your lungs are going to shit. When u step off that truck your in an IDLH
you dont have to be inside the house theres plenty of things outside the home that can kill you. If you wait till your at the door to put your mask on you are taking a big risk. If the house flashes while your at the door and you dont have all your ppe on then your screwed, seen it happen before. My mask goes on when i get off the truck im ready for whatever when i set foot on that proptery.
For a house fire or car fire I put my mask on and hang the regulator from the facepiece with the air bottle on. At that point I am not breathing air but, all I have to do is bump it in to place and off I go. I have never had it fog up and it sure is quick. For a commercial fire I would hold off and mask off just prior to entering the idlh atmosphere. Just me though. Our department leaves it up to the individual as long as they wear it while being in, near or around an idlh environment.
That is exactly why we mask up in the truck. Studies have shown that Hydrogen Cyanide levels are higher outside the structure than inside. And as we all know, Hydrogen Cyanide has been the culprit in several MI's that were recently thought to be from physical overexertion. We have found over the last couple of years that RIT teams are in just as much danger as the interior team because of the gases put off by the fire. Once thing I forgot to mention is that we are issued our own mask. This allows us to maintain them and keep them from getting scratched up. Over the last 6 years, I have been through 8 or 9 masks because of "spider webbing" or just wear and tear.