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.

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I can't believe I am reading this in 2010. Today's fires are hotter, burn faster, and have an escalated flashover occurance compared to daddy's CO driven fires with all natural furnishings.(CO driven flashover 1100 F compared to Acrolein which is only one gas in smoke today and it has flashpoint down around 400F)

Your gear is rated depending on your specifications for about 500F for only 5 minutes (no direct flame contact) before it suffers total thermal insult saturation. (before you feel the sting) Without a hood your ears would have melted 4 minutes before your shoulders would start to feel the "sun burn" sting.

Going back to 3/4 boots, long coats, and no hood in today's fires will only assure that you provide an exterior only fire department.

Adam, if you are unable to sense "the conditions" through the gear mandated in the NFPA standard, than your fire department has not afforded you with the proper training on Thermal Insult Recognition.

I tell new kids all the time, certain traditions toward a fire will only work if you are facing the exact same fire from back in the day... Sorry some traditions have to be put into the display case.

Bill
www.fetcservices.com
Hand claps and lots of them bravo Al. Man Al is right I know i'm younger than you and you're probly on a paid-dept. but let me tell you this everything we have in the fire service today has been developed by experince that came form useing that "tradional" equipment. I also am not bashing you lord knows I've gotten my fair share when i started posting on this site and some of it mite have been deserved, but that aside ht tools you have are just that there tools everything from your advanced gear(head to toe) to the tic's and even to your fire engin and brothers beside you ( they are tech because of the training they recive and the gear they carry as well) use them dont come to rely on them but use them and used in the right way they will help you and some times even save your nec ( or ears lol), thats what I teach my firemen and thats something I try to live by myself.
stay safe and god bless,
Capt. Jesse Phipps
Ringold VFD
I've been in going on 22 years, and when I first started we did a lot of those "great traditions" you spoke of....no flash hoods, didn't wear SCBA on vehicle fires, etc. While there is a bunch of stuff from that time period I miss those aren't on the list. I like the fact that after all the years I have in the service I have been burned twice. I like the fact that when my kids want to throw the football around in the yard I'm able to do so without needing oxygen because I ruined my lungs fighting fire years back. I'm glad that nowadays I'm riding to and from the scene in a climate controlled enclosed seat complete with a seat belt instead of on the exposed tailboard. I'm glad that I don't tend to have the excruciating headaches after doing overhaul that I now know is from the poisons I was breathing in because I wasn't in SCBA and we weren't doing air monitoring.

Yeah, tradition is great.
The heat ratings for the new gear is allowing us to go farther into a fire. Advantages: rescue operations from a "well involved room", or even fire supression. Disadvantages: we dont know when too much heat is enough. We can be in a "well involved" room for a long period of time, come out and hve no helmet left. I gree with the no hood due to the fact of telling when its too hot, and its its time to get out.
well said
Tradition is great inside the fire house...notice I said INSIDE THE FIREHOUSE. On the fireground, we have in alot of advanced and state of the the art PPE. Why not use it? I mean if you want to brag about the scars on your neck thats fine...but I dont want my ass to be burnt up because of my own fault. Just remember the turnout gear doesnt make the firefighter...the firefighter is the brain and the heart inside of that gear...
Marty, please go back and read my post. You as a Junior Firefighter and 17 years old are the future of the fire service. Your opinion on the PPE should not be from the 1980's. Like I said before, with the proper training, Thermal Insult Recognition, with full PPE, you can actually feel the heat before your helmet melts off.
Very well said Jack.
I have 26 years of fire and EMS training. If hoods and extra equipment protect us- I will use them for preserving my life and brothers and sisters too in fire service. The new equipment is more protective and well tested and will save lives. It is lighter and great. Thank you NIOSH, NFPA and OSHA- all improving firefighter safety.
I've felt the heat, through my pack and coat, down in a basement. The heat pushed me right to the floor and my ears were burning through my hood. I wonder what it would have been like without the hood.

But then again, I'm not 18, fearless or clueless.
Because of you age and inexperience you do not know the history of our protective gear. Do your home work. Thousands of firefighters have been injured or killed over the years because of lack of protective gear that protects them. Safety standards are written in the blood of the injured and dead. The fire service has done a good job of balancing the traditional look of our fire gear and the protection we need to do our jobs. You need to do some reading of the tens of thousands of burns suffered by FF wearing long coats and pull up boots. I wore them, liked to work in them, but things are better now, we (FF unions, chiefs organizations and volunteer groups) have forced the manufacturers and cities to make and pay for safer gear. Sorry but we are not going back. As for you not wearing a hood, would you please take off your SCBA and seat belt too so we can rid the the fire service of another troglodyte.
The new one's might not but the old ones do. And the old ones wear their hoods, bunkers, gloves, SCBA, seat belts and EMS protective gear.

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