I know that some one out there has been through this debate before. While going a little longer than ten years for turn outs might be doable....twenty year old turn outs are not acceptable. However, I am meeting with friction on the replacement angle. "We're Volunteer Fire Fighters...we don't not have to hold ourselves to the ten year standard."

Of course, they do. But I'm looking for other Officers that have seen this movie before and came up with some magic bullet responses to get new turn outs. Thank you.

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Actually, you need to buy more than 10% replacement gear per year.  15% is a better number. 


That gives some cushion to replace the inevitable gear damage that wil take some of that gear out of service prior to its notional 10-year retirement date.

if you have gear damage then you should turn it into insurance and they will pay to replace it if you are vollie I am not sure about paid departments.  Gear damage at a scene is covered.

That doesn't work for a lot of departments - gear damage is considered "normal wear and tear" in a lot of cases.


It doesn't matter if the department is volly or career - I have firsthand experience with both.  Total number of insurance replacements for TOG - zero.


I am familiar with replacing gear contaminated at hazmat incidents with a traceable cause of the incident (transporter or fixed facility), but those are billed to the transporter or fixed facility as established under SARA Title III.  If the hazmat is from an unknown source (barrels dumped beside the road, for example) or from a hostile intent (crime or terrorist) source, good luck getting any money from the perp.

Thank you for your input. I'm using the "I'd rather argue about what I DID rather than what I DIDN'T do". I assume you have no copy right coverage for that one.

However, I do expect to use this line during the discussion on my end....

"Ya know...they name street signs after people like you...ONE WAY."

A schedule of buying is what we need. Thank you for putting it that way.

Thank you. This is very complete and useful information. It will be incorporated into my report.

Yes...that's the standard. Turn outs are made from fibers that can be described as exotic in nature. Certain wear ability traits are given up for protection of the user. As such, even when not used, turn outs break down and need to be replaced.

I'm going to bring the part about FF1 gear needing to be compliant for interdepartmental training. Thank you.

My department only buys 10 -15 sets of gear a year max. We start out with the most active members and work our way down the list. Granted, your spending money every year, but its only a fraction of the cost compared to replaceing everyone at once, its more manageble.

I agree it would be hard to buy all that gear at once; so instead of waiting till the tenth yr and expecting fifty new sets of gear, replace so many i yr from yr 1 to 10. 50 member over 10yrs= 5sets a yr

ok. I know that we are volunteers. But I can see both side of this. if your turnout gear has been kept up and is still in good condition. Why replace it? But if your gear is worn out then yes its time to replace it.

As volunteers  who are not officers I don't think we realize on how much preassure is put on or fire chief,asst chief. And other officers. I know thats why I don't put myself in their spot. I been a firefighter for 10yrs. in the ten years I have searved on deffernt department. some small some big. the dept. I am on now is the first dept i have had new gear. but in the past I made do because they where small dept. and funds was hard to get. so I made do or went with out



The simple truth is, like everything else in life, people choose to accept a level of liability for the decisions they make.  If YOUR officers choose to ignore the 10 year NFPA standard THEY accept the liability for that action.  If they go to the board that funds them and they refuse to fund replacing the turnout gear THEY sccept the liability for that action.  If someone gets hurt or killed wearing outdated turnout gear there is no defense.  Whether or not your state or FD has adopted NFPA it will be used against you by the attorneys representing the injured firefighter or their family.


Firefighters should never have to make do, or do without when it comes to personal protective equipment.

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