Overhauling Overhaul

Good morning from the Jumspeat! Summer is rapidly approaching us and as the heat outside gets cranked up so has the social media presence of Views from the Jumpseat. Firehouse.com has given the "Views Crew" the honor of sharing in our everyday life of riding backwards. One of the most rewarding parts of being a blogger is interacting with you, the reader.

From comments left on our blogs, tweets, e-mails, and Facebook fan page comments we feel honored that you take a moment to share your experiences. Please keep your comments and "views" coming in as we read every one of them and reply to them all.

This week we received a comment about the topic of dressing down during the overhaul phase of a fire. This isn't an area that we are really familiar with, so off to the research lab we go.

It took exactly 30 seconds to find an article Firehouse that narrows in on one of the biggest dangers of dressing down during overhaul. "Researchers have found that firefighters may face an increased risk for heart disease from exposures that occur while working during the overhaul stage, according to a recent study in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine," the article stated. Wow, we have all known the dangers of dressing down during overhaul, but this gave us a smack straight across the face.

The researchers found high levels of "ultra-fine" particles both inside and out of the house. This shouldn't be a surprise to any of us that have actually overhauled a fire before. We all know that as we pull ceilings, breach walls, and move the piles of debris, the dust that is produced is remarkable.

How many times have you seen a firefighter start to cough and hack during this phase of the operation? I will admit that many times that person has been me. Thinking back to one day in the fire behavior lab I can remember dressing down and it hurting my lungs.

We all need to protect ourselves. Understanding that wearing all your PPR during overhaul can be heavy and extremely tiring, but think of your long-term health the next time you think about taking off your "pack of air" as your heart may not appreciate the increased risk for developing disease. We have enough factors to battle the least of which should be wearing your SCBA.

Stay #jumpseatready everyone and a special shout out to Randy from Michigan for submitting topic.

Bunker up, buckle in, and remember that we all start in the jumpseat!

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