i keep my gear w/ me bc i am not always by the station and several of my freinds got on the dept after i did on diff stations so we go to each others calls requently and it would do me no good for it to be at the station on my truck,lol...but,wen i bring it home it makes my gf mad wen i bring it in the house to dry it out like i did last nite after i had just come bac from a 5 hr long house fire bc it was all wet and smelled like some serious smoke,haha...
I wanna kno somthing though..does anyones dept make you wear SCBA masks on every call bc mine doesnt and theres times i would like to wear one that we never do.i can count on one hand how many times ive actually worn one,but can count on several hand how many times i was standin in a house thinking to myself i really need some air instead of breathing in all this mess like the couch and paint etc,lol...bc couches and carpet have a really bad aftertaste..

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We only have one station in our department, so our turnout gear is kept at the station. I was told by the Asst. Chief that when he joined some 17 yrs. ago everyone kept their gear at home. They had a page out once on a meeting night. Everyone had to go to their house, get their gear, and THEN come back to the station. After that, all gear was kept at the station.

As far as the SCBA is concerned, our department policy is this: for every structure or auto fire call, we don the SCBA on the way to the call... even if the report is "smoke reported" or "smell of smoke reported". The only time we not required to wear the SCBA is if it's a grass/wildland fire. But, I have been told by others that even then that might be a good thing, you never know what might be hidden in the grass: plastics, chemicals, metals. If I were you, I would definitely wear the SCBA to structure or auto fires. I would even stress that everyone else wear one, too. If I'm going to put my safety, or my life, in someone else's hands, I'm going to make sure they will be capable of getting me out of there if something goes wrong. Plus... why damage your lungs? Protect those things, they're the only ones you've got.
You seriously need to be wearing SCBA when you are in a structure fire. Who ever is taking care of accountablity at the entrance, should not have let you gone in. With our dept, you go into a structure, you better have all your gear on including SCBA, or you dont go in. You also, could really be messing up your health down the line with breathing all that crap in.
If you aren't wearing an SCBA into a house fire, that is no one else's fault but your own. It's common sense. My wife would kill me if I brought my nasty gear in the house after a fire. My gear is 3 years old, and it's pretty gross. I wash it at the station, hang it up and let it dry, then it goes beside the engine I normally drive.

Not to hijack, but what do you mean you go to each other's calls????
I would like to respond as a general statement to all volunteers. I am a volunteer with 10 years experience at 5 different departments due to work and personal moves, so I have seen how things are the same and different at each place, and how attitudes are changing, mostly for the better.

1) If you're standing there wondering to yourself, "should I have SCBA on?" then you should.

2) Always, Always put on SCBA at any structure fire, car fire, etc. where you are involved in firefighting. Even if you don't enter a building, fighting the fire from the outside still exposes you to potentially harmful environments. Wear SCBA during overhaul until an officer tells you it's okay to take it off, even though I would question whether its ever safe to take it off as long as there's crap in the air. Never second guess yourself, jut because your buddy doesn't have SCBA on, doesn't mean it's right. Many departments are going to manadatory SCBA at fire scenes, as they should. And just because a call comes in as a smoke in a house, or smell of smoke, you should still have on SCBA on entery until it is deemed safe to be off air.

3) If you have been to even one fire, your gear has all kinds of crap on it, and in it. Fire's are so toxic that your gear can off gas from one fire for days or weeks at least. I would never take my gear home (at least not into the house). And you should never wash your gear in your private washer, or in community laundromats. NO ONE else wants that stuff on their clothes, and it would be irresponsible to expose others to the crap we choose to be exposed to. If your department allows you to carry your gear (and fewer departs are allowing this which is good) you should not keep it anywhere that would expose you excessively, or anyone else at all. If your department doesn't have a washer for washing your gear, you should push to have one put in.
At are Vol Dept we wear scba at every stucture fire and car fire. We dont even ? if we should. To many people get severly hurt if you dont. I personal dont go into many fire I drive a tanker or Pump the truck. But there even been time pumping Ive use a scba. But are chief is very stricked on that.

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