Thread: Hole in my boot

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    Default Hole in my boot

    I have a pair of rubber bunker boots about 4 years old. I have a small tear (hole) the size of a pencil eraser on the inside sole that lets water in. Can I repair it? I do not have the money to buy my own. I have got "advice" from a few saying no problem tire patch it and others who say they are garbage. Tired of wet socks. My Chief also said "tire patch it no need to replace them". ??????

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    This is something that your department should take care of. The gear is damaged and should be replaced, no questions asked. I'm not sure how long a tire patch would hold, it will probably just prolong the replacement by a few months.

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    I agree, Money is tight. No excuse I know. I brought this to their attn. for the last 3 months with no action from any one. So if I can repair it myself that would be good for now. I dont really have any other options.
    Last edited by Smalltownfire; 03-07-2009 at 05:43 PM. Reason: spelling sucks

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    Look at it this way. What would your department do if it was your bunker gear with a burned hole in it. Guidelines say that the gear should be taken out of service and replacements issued. If your boots have a hole a tire patch will not surfice. Your rubber boots are made of certain material that are heat resistant. If they have a hole there is no such thing as a patch, you either have leaky boots or your get new ones. It should not be your responsibility to purchase your boots. It ultimatly is the departments. Surely a couple of hundred dollars would not break the bank. Other solution is, is there any old boots laying around that may be a size or two bigger that you could wear

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    your boots need to be sealed. What happens if you go to a call with chemical or bio hazardous material on the ground? Those boots are useless then.


    If you have to, tell them its a lot cheaper to buy you new serviceable boots than to potentially pay out for an injury caused by faulty PPE.

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    I agree with the righteous ones that they should replace your boots.

    However...

    Maybe a little epoxy would seal and repair them.

    I would avoid walking through acid after the repair though.


    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    If the gear cannot be properly repaired, it must be replaced. I'm sure a bunch of grizzled old timers will come in with stories about how they used to plug holes in their boots with cigarette butts or something, but it's just not something you can play around with.

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    Start a paper trail. Put the request for replacement in writing following the chain of command. Keep copies of all letters submitted. Then when something happens, you can go back and show that you had requested new boots. This is unacceptable. Your employer is required to provide adequate PPE for you in order to perform your job.
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    Notify the Chief and Board of Directors in writing, that you will be immediately ceasing from making emergency responses until such time that your personal protective equipment is replaced.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Playing devils advocate, I wonder if the department even has the money to replace the boots right now?
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    I would try and get them replaced as said but if you can fix them fix them. What ever is going to make you more comfortible.

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    stop by a body shop or winsheild installer , have them put some urethane over them , it bonds very well , but let them think your name is ineeda newpair ofboots

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    If you are an OSHA state they should be able to make them find the money to replace them. It should not be your responsibility to get them replaced. They may even fine them and make them replace them.
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    Default Small Towns...

    Many of you clearly have no idea how desperate some small town fire departments are.

    Some have no approved PPE and rely on hand-me-downs and flea market gear.

    I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying don't be so quick to stomp your feet and demand instant gratification.

    I mean really.... a small hole? Why can't it be repaired?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smalltownfire View Post
    I have a pair of rubber bunker boots about 4 years old. I have a small tear (hole) the size of a pencil eraser on the inside sole that lets water in. Can I repair it? I do not have the money to buy my own. I have got "advice" from a few saying no problem tire patch it and others who say they are garbage. Tired of wet socks. My Chief also said "tire patch it no need to replace them". ??????
    PM me with your size, I may have something at the station.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Playing devils advocate, I wonder if the department even has the money to replace the boots right now?
    Good question. I know of some departments that have to get by with 30-40K a year for everything. I mean heat, electric, insurance, fuel, repairs, equipment everything. I don't know how they do it but they make do with what they can afford. The tax base for a town that has a few hundred people in it is not the same as one with thousands of people living and working there. Sad but real.

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    ChiefKN is right. Many small departments out there literally have no money for such things as replacing boots when they are leaking.

    I started at a small department that started in 1967 when no other department would protect an area that was a no-mans land. When I started in 1994 they had literally NEVER purchased any piece of gear new. Everything: Helmets, long coats, 3/4 boots, gloves, and nomex hoods were used. It was this way until the late 90s when they were able to start purchasing some gear. Even then they relied on used bunker pants and you didn't get anything new unless you were on for a few years and it was clear you were sticking around. My boots were 3/4s that were cut off to fit my pants when I got them. Its just the way it is.

    You are all right: the boots SHOULD be replaced. But when there is no money, what do you do?

    FYI, a heavy piece of rubber patch, like what is used to patch a truck-grade inner tube, will work on your boots. Its better than wet feet and will hold up fine. I wore a pair just like it for almost 10 years.

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    Swap them with the Chief's boots when he's not around...they'll get replaced soon enough.

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    Silicone caulk?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Playing devils advocate, I wonder if the department even has the money to replace the boots right now?

    I agree Pal. Try to fix them the best way you can. Maybe epoxy will work until funds become available for some new boots.
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    Depending on where the hole is you might try "Shoe Goo." That stuff is pretty powerful.

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    Buy leather, I have never had a hole in a leather boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Swap them with the Chief's boots when he's not around...they'll get replaced soon enough.


    thats nto a bad idea if its a volly house. Find an "exterior" with the same shoe size. Epoxy yours up and swap with them. A lot better to have the repaired boot outside, then inside.

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    Swapping would work if I didnt have size 12 feet. Every one else only wants the best of what we have regardless if they show up all the time or once a month. Thanks for all the input. I will try something to seal them up. High temp gasket silicone ???? I can't complain I love what I do. Wet socks or not.
    Last edited by Smalltownfire; 03-09-2009 at 08:01 PM.

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    As was mentioned earlier, SHOE GOO works wonders. That stuff is tuff, should get you through until new boot can be gotten, I wold be on them at least every 2 weeks for some new ones.

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