Is it worth the Weight?

After returning from the Firehouse expo 09 I started talking about some of the HOT topics at the expo. By far, it was the vast about of Bail out System’s being sold and displayed at the expo. They had everything from a simple belt and rope to a full...


After returning from the Firehouse expo 09 I started talking about some of the HOT topics at the expo. By far, it was the vast about of Bail out System’s being sold and displayed at the expo. They had everything from a simple belt and rope to a full on body harness integrated into turnout gear? So the great debate started. Do you use a harness with a bailout system? If so, which kind do you use and how often do you train with your system, if at all? Is a bailout system “Worth the Weight” that it adds to your PPE? I surveyed firefighters from my home county about this subject and was mortally shocked about some of the answers that I received. They are so heavy, I don’t need that junk, if you do things right you don’t need them, and it’s a waste of time!  These are all excuses and responses that people were saying. So, is it worth the weight? What is your opinion on this topic? Do you have a seat harness on your turnouts? Does your department purchase these tools for you? How often do you train with your bail out system and when you do train with it do you train under real fire conditions? Personally I wear an external harness and carry a 50’ section of rope with a hook and figure 8. I am interested in any responses that the fire service has on this topic and if you think that it is “Worth the Weight?”