1. #1
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    Default Turnout Pants on EMS Calls

    Hello. I am a Fire/EMS Explorer with the local Fire Department here. I have been doing EMS ride alongs for about 2 years now with a different department (that has no explorers program)...and I am fixing to do my first ride along with the department that has an explorer's program.

    What is a good way to introduce myself and mention that I have been doing ride-alongs on a medic unit for about 2 years without sounding like I'm bragging? Also, how can I nicely mention that I can help with stuff like BP, spiking a bag, 4Lead ECG hookup, etc?

    Also...we are issued full turnout gear and allowed to assist on let's go now structure fires...hose load up, etc.

    We are suppose to bring bunker gear on ride-alongs...

    Is it okay for me to wear just the bunker pants on EMS calls or should I just not wear them unless the medics are wearing them?

    Any other advice?

    thanksabunch.

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    Unless you are dealing with an MVA, bunker pants are not needed. They are far too bulky and will be a huge hassle. Also, are you a certified EMT? If not, the medics may be wary about letting you attain vitals and spike bags and such. On the other hand, they may be just fine with it. Just dont do it before they ask you too. Dont overstate your abilities. If you arent certified, dont act as if you are. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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    When you get there, leave your turnout gear in your car. Wear your station uniform. Get there a little early and help the guys with their shift change. During this time, make a little work related small talk to learn about how they operate and ask them what they WANT you to do. They'll probably ask about your training and that's a good time to humbly explain your background. Ask how they would like you to help on EMS and fire calls. Your first couple times you'll probably be doing very little until they gain confidence in your abilities. Expect things like helping at rehab and manual labor.

    Good luck!

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    First off, it is relieving to see correct sentence structure from someone in an explorer program. It seems that we have been plagued with teenagers that can't write correctly.

    My advice is to NOT wear bunker/turnout pants on an EMS ride out.

    I wouldn't even bring them.

    Wear EMS/Uniform pants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireEeyore View Post
    First off, it is relieving to see correct sentence structure from someone in an explorer program. It seems that we have been plagued with teenagers that can't write correctly.

    My advice is to NOT wear bunker/turnout pants on an EMS ride out.

    I wouldn't even bring them.

    Wear EMS/Uniform pants.
    What he said. zzyyzx also is dead on.

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    Yeah. I can understand that. My parents actually send me to ride-outs so I can't leave the gear in the car.

    We train every time we have an explorer meeting with turnout gear. We learn how to roll hose, etc, so we can help out on a fire scene for "cleanup". We are NEVER allowed to enter a hot-zone.

    So...my question is just that would it be a bad idea to wear turnout pants on EMS calls? I figure if it's a cardiac arrest and you have blood/vomit all over the place...it would help to avoid getting your clothes dirty.

    Or how about this...would it be better to not wear turnout pants unless the call comes in as a shooting, stabbing, or unconscious person?

    ...plus girls fall for guys in bunker pants.

    Oh wait a minute...nevermind.

    Any opinions?

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    Only time I wear bunker pants on EMS calls is at night, after I'm in bed. It's quicker for me to get dressed and out the door if I just throw on my bunker pants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureMedic09 View Post
    ...plus girls fall for guys in bunker pants.

    Oh wait a minute...nevermind.

    Any opinions?
    LOL....and the truth comes out....hahahahaha.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureMedic09 View Post
    Yeah. I can understand that. My parents actually send me to ride-outs so I can't leave the gear in the car.

    We train every time we have an explorer meeting with turnout gear. We learn how to roll hose, etc, so we can help out on a fire scene for "cleanup". We are NEVER allowed to enter a hot-zone.

    So...my question is just that would it be a bad idea to wear turnout pants on EMS calls? I figure if it's a cardiac arrest and you have blood/vomit all over the place...it would help to avoid getting your clothes dirty.

    Or how about this...would it be better to not wear turnout pants unless the call comes in as a shooting, stabbing, or unconscious person?

    ...plus girls fall for guys in bunker pants.

    Oh wait a minute...nevermind.

    Any opinions?
    Sounds like you are trying to use bunker pants where a BSI/PPE kit would be the proper application. In the event of not having one, I would rather risk having to simply shower and change clothes after the call then putting my turnouts out of service becuase they got contaminated.

    That being said, or department has a policy that we are to put on bunker pants for any call if we are wearing shorts at the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Sounds like you are trying to use bunker pants where a BSI/PPE kit would be the proper application. In the event of not having one, I would rather risk having to simply shower and change clothes after the call then putting my turnouts out of service becuase they got contaminated.

    That being said, or department has a policy that we are to put on bunker pants for any call if we are wearing shorts at the time.
    We ran into this debate too. Thankfully, our Chief supports stats. We had two exposures last year, one to the eyes, the other to the arm; none to the legs. We're just glad he hasn't mandated us to wear long sleeve shirts all of the time.

    Common sense also has to have a particular part in what you wear and why too. Going to an address that you know is a nasty house? Wear your bunkers. Going to a shooting? Wear your eye protection.

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    "Sounds like you are trying to use bunker pants where a BSI/PPE kit would be the proper application"


    No. Not at all. I wear gloves on every single medical call...I've just got my bunker pants a couple days ago and was just wondering if I should wear them on EMS calls. I know scene safety and crew safety is paramount as is proper BSI procedures.

    So...I've made up my mind that I won't wear bunker pants on EMS calls because now that I think of it...our ambulances arn't to big and it's tough enough as it is to move around...so being in bunker pants and boots won't help.

    However, let me ask you this...

    If we get a call for a MVC...is wearing JUST bunker pants enough?


    I would imagine so. We have two different MVC dispatches (our dispatches are done by Locution and are computerized)...we have a normal "MVC" and also a "MVC-PEOPLE TRAPPED" call type.

    Would it be appropriate to wear just the pants on a normal MVC and to "gear up" with the pants AND jacket for a MVC-PEOPLE TRAPPED call?

    Thanks.

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    Our dept policy is that you will wear full turnout gear (no SCBA) for all vehicle accidents or extrications. We wear latex gloves as other BSI as needed. Also, we're not allowed to respond in shorts, so usually at night most guys just jump in their bunker pants. But if you're dressed, regular station uniform is what is worn on most EMS runs. You'll find it's a lot more comfortable than running around in bunker pants all day.

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    If you want to wear them, wear them. I wear shorts to bed so I throw on my bunker pants if we catch an ems run. My house has an ALS engine and a BLS truck and the engine is first out on all ems runs. On average the engine will catch a few ems runs and then all the other runs they go on during the night, so it is not uncommon for the truck to chase an ems run or two during the night. Guys will also throw on their pants if they were working out and in most cases wearing shorts. Also I would not put on pants for shootings, stabbing's, or any other call that their may be a lot of body fluids involved. My company averages a fire a shift, and I do not want to have to put my gear O.O.S due to fluid contact. As far as asking the medics what you should do......tell them what you are comfortable doing, if you told me I would say fine, show me how to do it. I am a medic and I feel the more hands/help the better. If you can take vitals or spike a bag, that leaves my hands empty for me to start a line or get a tube. On all road accidents and extrications we wear full gear. Most guys wear safety glass's and extrication gloves too. Good luck kid, and stay safe out there.
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    Any MVA we wear our full bunkers. We don't wear bunker pants on EMS because of the bulk of them and we don't want to track up or dirty up someones house.

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    Obey your rules in bringing gear. In the house, ask the guys what they want you to do.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Short answer: bring the bunker gear along, but stow it in a compartment.

    My department forbids wearing bunker gear for EMS runs. Hence we call them "shoe runs". Think about all the carcinogens and contaminants on bunker gear, and ask if you want that comng into your house or your mom's house. Maybe if it's a code, you wouldn't care, but 80% of our shoe runs are BS. People were complaining about "those nasty firefighters coming in and trashing the nice white rugs" when we show up for the stubbed toe, so the dept. mandated shoe runs. This might not be a big issue since you're an explorer, but even rolling hose after a job, you're still getting dirty and exposed.


    As for MVCs, we have two types - MVC and MVA. MVCs are shoe runs and get either medic unit or maybe medic and first responder. MVA is a fire response and gets engine, ladder, chief, medic, and squad/rescue. Theoretically, an MVC is a fender bender, and MVA has entrapment, rollover, or other more serious conditions. I used to run calls as described above. Frequently the MVA is just a fender bender, no injuries. Then I had the one MVC where a car was ripped in half lengthwise with entrapment and fatal ejection. WE were half useless because we were not properly dressed for the scene. Now I personally wear bunker pants for all MVCs (and naturally full gear for MVAs) and go full gear as scene dictates. The way my dept. operates, the FRC will take care of the heavy work long enough to allow the medics to dress upon arrival, if needed.

    As for shorts, we're allowed them May through September at our choosing, and it's simple enough to avoid kneeling if possible, if not, I can grab something to throw under knees if needed.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureMedic09 View Post
    ...plus girls fall for guys in bunker pants.
    Any idiot can bag a badge bunny, kid. ;-) Takes a real man to win a woman. :-)

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    FutureMedic09.....

    As stated before, don't over state your training or abilities. You can only do what you are certified to do and what that agency, and that crew, allow you to do. The last thing you want to do is come in and start telling them what you have seen and done before, you will get pushed to the passenger seat real soon.

    Leave your turn out gear at home, unless they tell you to bring it. Ask them, they will tell you if you need it or not. Wear uniform pants that look professional, not pants that make you look like someone you are not yet. I understand your excitement but don't make yourself look like a baffoon either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureMedic09 View Post
    So...my question is just that would it be a bad idea to wear turnout pants on EMS calls? I figure if it's a cardiac arrest and you have blood/vomit all over the place...it would help to avoid getting your clothes dirty.
    Its a lot easier and cheaper to clean or replace a pair of EMS pants than bunker pants if they get contaminated. Having a spare set of clothes at the station or even tucked away in the ambulance is always a good idea.

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