What is everyones feelings on the direction firefighting gear is going and all the government regulations put on us as firefighters and or equipment. I am only 25 yet i find ourselves pushing the limits of our capabilities. I myself am all about tradition and if i had it my way I would be wearing 3/4s and a long coat. And no don't wear a hood because I feel now a days thats the only way of knowing the crap is hitting the fan before its to late.
I think the only thing that matters is results. If traditions help control fires, vent buildings, and rescue victims while not getting hurt or killed, great. If not, they need to go away.
If you go to enough fires, you'll wish you wore your hood. If you're relying on your assuredly well-calibrated ears to tell you when you've gone too fire, you're doing it wrong. Vent the building, get lines in place, and THEN search.
You certainly implied that you rely on your ears, "And no don't wear a hood because I feel now a days thats the only way of knowing the crap is hitting the fan before its to late. If you're not wearing a hood you're feeling the burn right? It's either telling you to get lower or back out, so you very much ARE relying on your ears.
Skin burns at around 130 degree, why would you risk burns for the sake of machismo? And that really is what this is about, a display of machismo. Same goes for the 3/4's, long coat and the good old days of smoke eating (and dying in your 40's from cancer).
Since in Connecticut you have to be 18 to take FFI you've only been a firefighter for 7 years, I've been doing it for 11, how differently are they teaching firefighting now from when I was taught? When you say, "All the new firefighters don't know how to "fight fire" anymore." what exactly do you mean? Are they still teaching oriented searches? How to advance a hose line? As Sean pointed out above, ventilation? Moreover, what about your officers and command staff? They most certainly are 'old school', what don't you like about how they want fires put out?
Which technologies are we relying on too much? Modern and better PPE? SCBA? TIC's? Apparatus?
And which government regulations bother you the most? NIOSH and OSHA? Or do you subscribe to the mindset that NFPA Standards are no good? You do realize that NFPA 1971 is pretty clear about wearing a complete ensemble, which includes the hood.
I know a few people out your way, I'll poke around. I'm curious to find out what your department says with regard to hoods. Not to mention the use of all them new fangled gadgets and technologies.
From your department's website: Members of the Winsted Fire Department are trained and certified by the State of Connecticut, Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. All training is provided to members through the Training Division of the Winsted Fire Department. The Training Division ensures compliance with all Local, State and Federal mandates. (bold emphasis added)
There are a number of questions I posed to you that you haven't yet answered, plus the following:
So are you saying now that you DO wear your hood?
Which senses are you talking about using first, and how?
No I wear a hood because its policy but I'd prefur not to. As far as senses I'm talking about watching the fire and seeing what its doing. If ur face is buried in a tic then all you see is what's in the lense not everything else that's going on around you.
If you have a firefighter glued to the TIC then they've either NOT been trained in its use, or trained incorrectly. The biggest argument against firefighters wearing their masks in the engine is so that everyone can 'size up' the scene on arrival. Looking at what the building is doing, where, what color, how much and how turbulent the smoke is will give you a good clue as to what is going on inside the building.
Also, if you need to use the TIC to search or find the seat of the fire then there's probably not a lot going on around you that you'll be able to see.
So far, while you wear your hood you'd rather not (I would advise against not wearing it) and we both agree that the TIC is to assist, NOT guide you once inside, that still leaves the issues of (other) technologies and regulations that you appear not to like, although you haven't really committed to what they might be.
If you're looking for a slap on the back for tradition, you came to the wrong place. You just started Firefighting, you'll hear about the way it used to be, your entire career, right or wrong, that was how we did. I've done the job since '83, rode the tailboard for many a year, been in some really bad places and some ridiculously hot fires, relying only on sense, no gadgets to find someone trapped in heavy smoke in a pile of papers, only feet away, I've done basement fires, by myself, because, that was how many FF's the BC had to send in. Too many FF's and Emergency workers have been injured or have died, to go backwards just so you can be traditional. Todays, rules, equipment and knowledge are there for your protection, not as an inconvenience, but to save your butt from dieing or being a patient of the state, because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you really want to be part of the tradition, be someone that finishes the career, in one piece, in good health. Or you can be in my boat, barely fifty, hearing loss, heat & smoke damaged lungs, cant pass the lung cap test, chemical burns from a fertilizer factory 20 years ago, 20% of one leg burned that I will suffer the rest of my life with, scars from head to toe... Need I say more...
P.S. if you look around, there are still some ass backward departments out there, they'ed love your help...
If you want to hold on to tradition... Go buy an old fire truck and restore it, that's one way to be remembered.....
Mate, I think almost everyone here respects the tradition and misses "the old days," but the reality is that almost none of us want to actually go back to that way of doing things. The only holdout you will see these days is the leather helmet, and even that is only used in the US.
Thank you for joining the fire service and wanting to be part of a proud profession….As I read your post I began to think about all that you said, I am not here tell you what or how to do something, but I think I need to make sure you understand a few things… You mentioned ¾ boots and the old days, please remember that wasn’t a choice back then that was all we had…. We have gotten smarter over the years…. I’m in my 21st year of doing this and when I started we only wore “bunkers” at night, hence their name, because they were next to your bunk at night and it allowed you to not have to put on your pants….They provided very little protection, as for no hoods, well just remember no insurance company will cover you if you don’t have it on. You mention using our senses, that’s right hearing and sight. Other than that you have none and don’t try to use any other you will eventually end up in a burn unit. Please under I am not bashing your thought, I think you may have misspoken, because tradition is not about what you were its about WHO WE ARE. We have made many advances in technology, some good and some that seem to be not so good, but they are there so we go home. There are a few things you need to have to make a great firefighter; all and proper PPE, your mind, the understanding of building constriction, fire behavior and the biggest skill situational awareness. If you use these there is no need to do it “the old school way”.
My mentor (now retired, well respected Fire Chief) told me as a young firefighter “there are old firemen and bold firemen, but you will never see an old, bold fireman”. Those words are very true. I agree we cannot “bury our face in a TIC”, but we can use it as the “tool” is was designed to be used as. We can keep tradition alive, but the right traditions, who we are and where we came from and how we can continue to keep that spirit alive. If you want to talk about tradition look up a group called the FOOLS, they have a group here on FFN or such the web… They are what tradition is about. Take care out there and stay safe.
I f ur not wearing a hood then I guess we will c ur name on the fallen FF wall n recent years to come. Thats just dumb. They put regulations on things for a reason. The tradition of Firefighting as we know it today is y we have all this better gear. U should take a FF1 and FF2 class so u can learn all about the bad toxins and gases. I guess if u want tradition then u better grab a bucket and get on ur horse, because ur house is going to burn down while ur at work.