Our Firefighters Association is currently teaching the 16 hour First Responder Safety Training from the DOE/National Alternative Fuels Consortium. All the new alternative fuel vehicles and associated hazards is stirring debate on full turnouts or the current wildland jacket & helmet for responses to traffic collisions (no fire involvement).

I am interested in what other departments are doing for PPE and why?

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Around here it all depends on the apparatus your responding on and department SOP.  But from my experience if on an ambulance most EMT's and paramedics do not wear full PPE most only wear the yellow safety vests.  Some dont even where those.  If on an engine or a truck most firefighters I know are in full PPE plus the yellow vests. 

Myself personally on an engine or the truck (when I was on) I wore full PPE no matter what, but even now just being on the ambulance I like to be in minimum turnout pants, helmet and gloves.  If I am going to be crawling into a car I want my coat on as well that way I am protected from the glass and sharp metal.

I hope this helps.  Stay Safe


Full turnouts for an MVA along with reflective vest and safety glasses, for engine and truck companies. Ambulance crews will have safety glasses and reflective vest.  Although SCBA only for a engine crew with a handline......but the majority of MVAs don't require a line to be pulled.


Best to have crews ready in full turnouts for the potential for fire or extrication if needed, than scrambling to get the gear on if needed and not on.


As for wildland jacket...disagree, there is a reason it is called a wildland jacket.



we have an instructor from the state that always has one thing to say right before he gets into his pickup to leave after a training session,.......PUT YOUR SHIT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unless there's an extrication going on I don't put anything on.  

Probably won't be popular with some but our department policy is we wear our PPE on every MVC response, regardless of a report of entrapment or not. The ANSI vest goes on top if your working in the street as well. Visibility reasons.  We also use the correct number of cones and DOT signage for accident scene ahead as well. (That job is the driver of the blocking engine) The only time the vests don't go on, is if there is a fire involved.  So the Engine, Rescue, Ambulance crew all don PPE before leaving the station.  There is case studies of firefighters getting cut from sharp damaged vehicle parts or during the extrication itself. If my memory is correct someone in CT (possibly?) got the flesh eating bacteria from a secondary injury. Wearing full PPE...is it hot? yes. Is it safer? yes, do guys like wearing it in the summer, no, but it is policy so they wear it.


Not all of our ambulance crews even have gear.  We are still phasing out the single role EMS providers.  I think they were issued a helmet but no other gear.

Most of our car accidents aren't serious.  The speed limit is 25mph throughout most of the city and for the most part traffic is so bad that they can't even reach that speed.  

I hear you Cap.  We operate on some slow inner city roads but we have two lane non-divided highways with speeds of 55+ mph.  Everyone here is a certified firefighter, rescue tech, hazmat technician, and paramedic or advanced EMT so everyone has the same exact gear. 

Due to the extreme heat found here, it varies.

Under very hot conditions - generally 95 degrees plus, we will only require turnout gear if you are directly involved with using tools. Other than that turnout coats if you in the vehicle where extrication is being performed and simply vests for exterior tasks.

I the weather is cooler, the IC may require bunker pants for folks in the vehicle but generally exterior personnel not using tools or working in the hot zone will operate simply in vests (assuming they have long pants and work boots).

We respond in full PPE. We still are not big on the use of the vest.

wear full ppe.  you just don't know what you will encounter on arrival.  dispatch information isn't always accurate or complete.  you can remove some ppe according to incident needs/allowances.

we generally wear what we call level one overalls quite heavy fire retardant with extra padding helmet glasses road vest and good leather gloves however there is always one of us in full bunker gear  and the rest of us  also put our bunker gear into the truck as well just in case

we also carry heave magnetic anti cut blankets to put ober any of the cut metal for protection not only for us but for the emt and patients

As a rule the members in the rear of the rescue truck, and generally the engine, will bunker out fully unless the dispatcher has told us that the Sheriff's Office has been on-scene awhile and they just want them to be "checked out", or the patients have requested to be checked out.

Heat, and especially high humidity, here during the late spring through late fall is a major issue and because of that, we do perform some tasks in minimal gear, or no gear, that my previous northern departments would likely require full gear for. If the situation calls for PPE, and we are mot geared up, we will, but most of the time it's not necessary to have all of our responders fully bunkered out for an MVA.

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