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.
Marty, let me assure you I can tell when it is too hot with all my gear on, why, because it is too hot! Then we get out. Listen to FETC he knows what he is talking about and he is nicer than I am. There is nothing fun or exciting about being burned, not one thing.
Adam, After reading all the posts I must say you need to get a grip. Let's see, my department quit wearing long coats and pull up boots in 1990, we were way late in the game, shame on us. We should have quit in 1980, others did before that. Even the FDNY has smartened up, take a clue from them. They may be the most "traditional" department in the nation, and I think they know how to fight fire. I am surprised you have a computer and a cell phone (I am guessing about the cell phone). I mean "old school" had no computer or cell phone. Wake up it is 2011!!!! The men that have gone before you busted their asses to get these changes so you would be safe and could do your job for your community.
I agree with the first few responses, you tend to go back on your comments more than once. Secondly, you're 25, you wouldn't know anything about wearing long coats and long boots. Some tradition is great and we should never get rid of, other stuff should be put into a museum and stay there for all to remember. I know plenty of people who cut the ear flaps off their lids but in the fire's I've been in that were worth a dam, there was no way I could have tolerated not having those flaps and no way could I have tolerated not having a hood.
Traditions where guys who are firefighters could read smoke like no one today and know how to do things without having to ask questions. Traditions about color guard and firefighter funerals should never go away. Sirens on the truck should never go away. New rules where you have to have everything locked away in some compartment, including your helmet can go to hell. Wearing your SCBA might not be tradition, but for your life so far it sure is and it's a hell of a lot better than dying.
Come on, you miss riding the tailboard. That's something I severely dislike that I missed. My company stopped that a few years before I joined. We had two open cabs, in the back, for years. I loved riding in them. Climate control is nice but I never had a problem, except in the rain.
Once an old school firefighter started one of ''when I was young'' stories and old days firefighting.
One of colleagues listened his story, and at the end his conclusion was: ''But before you here were horses, why don't we sell trucks and buy horses, and restore this room into stable.''
When I starded to work, to ''old'' FF was beneath their dignity, to wear full PPE, or SCBA. They spoke to us young FF that we watch too much movies, because we were trying to be fully equpied on intervention. And we were just respecting our health, and lives.
Nowdays, it is unimaginable to go out to intervention without proper PPE. I would be the first to punish the FF acting unreasonable, and threaten other colleagues. If we want to be traditional then why we drive new trucks, use PPE made from exotic materials like PBI, nomex, kevlar, duraplast, why we use mobile phones, computers etc.
Traditonal way of firefighting 100 years ago and now, it's not the same thing. Today dangers for FF are much bigger. If a FF would know how much toxic material is in one breath of smoke from a ''simple'' car fire, and what is a danger for his health, than maybe the thinking would be different.
Wow this turned out to be a bigger topic then I imagined! Most of you are right in some aspects. Yes the fire service has come a long way even from when I started as a junior in the mid 90's. And from when I took ff1 7 years ago. I have seen an ok amount of fire for what we get in todays world. My whole thing is technology fails at the worst time when shit hits the fan. And kids comeing out of fireschool today don't always learn that and can't think on their feet when it matters most like our brothers and sisters before us could do!