1. #1
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    Default Policy Request - Removing Super-Heated PPE

    I recently heard Bobby Halton (editor of Fire Engineering) speak at a conference. Among the issues discussed were "doing more with less" and specifically how that impacts mayday situations on the fireground. One of the side-notes was the topic of having a policy addressing the removal of super-heated PPE from injured/incapacitated firefighters once they are safely outside.

    Does anyone have such a policy or know where I could find one?
    rjtoc2

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    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

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    Ok I kind of looked at the screen here for a few minutes trying to think of something to say, other than "WTF would you need a policy for this???"

    -Carefully remove it if the injured member has no c-spine, severe burns or other injuries where normal removal could aggrivate the injury.

    -In the event of any of the above, engage the use of the trauma scissors, and transport.

    It's common sense! Same policy as removing clothes as an injured civilian, just a little more "oomph" will be needed on the scissors......Remember to set the bunker gear aside in case of need for investigation.

    Do we really need a policy for everything? Do we need a policy to wipe our asses when on duty?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Calm down Tiger! This topic is beyond the ABC's of emergency medical care and "Hey bubba... you better cut real hard with them scissors!"

    If you start manhandling an injured or incapacitated firefighter in superheated PPE, you will cause further injury to him and to the rescuers.

    Many fire departments have such a policy in place and I am merely trying to get my hands on one or a few to see if our folks are already taking into considerations the factors that such procedures call for.

    Bobby Halton showed us a video where a firefighter was pulled from a super-heated environment during a sudden, mayday-type event. When he was pulled out of the house into the front yard, the rescued firefighter's gear was smoking and even smoldering in places. The rescuers began to slap/pat all of the smoldering areas of the PPE and, as a result, the rescued firefighter received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to the areas the rescuers were "patting" out. Everywhere else on his body was OK. The "slapping" compromised the layering effect of the PPE and undergarments. Additionally, several of the rescuers received burns to their hands as a result of touching and manipulating super-hot gear.

    This brings us full-circle back to my original post inquiring as to who had such a policy. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'd like to see what is already out there. Quite possibly, all of the issues identified in existing policies are already addressed in my department's training.

    FWDbuff - I hope I've broadened your horizons a bit and helped you think outside the box with regards to training topics that are not considered "mainstream". In the future, if you don't like a topic here, why not pass over it instead insulting someone that you don't know and their desire to make their FD a bit better? Feel free to PM me in private if you feel the need.
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    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

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    There are also cases where firefighters coming out with super-heated PPE have been sprayed with water to cool them down, which in turn trapped the heat inside the gear and caused burns.

    It's said that the firefighter that came out of the shed fire (the infamous video of a public demonstration where three guys go into a fully-involved shed) had no injuries until he was sprayed with water, then suffered burns to everyhwere on his back that wasn't protected by his SCBA and SCBA harness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjtoc2 View Post
    FWDbuff - I hope I've broadened your horizons a bit and helped you think outside the box with regards to training topics that are not considered "mainstream". In the future, if you don't like a topic here, why not pass over it instead insulting someone that you don't know and their desire to make their FD a bit better? Feel free to PM me in private if you feel the need.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    Did I insult you directly? I dont think I did. I am just so sick and tired of being S-O-P'd to death over each and every part of firehouse life- That I would not be surprised if a policy came out on how to wipe our asses or proper methods of loading the toilet paper spools. In retrospect, I do agree that I jumped the gun, however I also feel that you could have presented your initial posting with some more information, perhaps it could have been worded "Does anyone have any SOP's addressing the cooling and then removal of super-heated PPE from injured/incapacitated firefighters once they are safely outside??" My apologies.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Did I insult you directly? I dont think I did. I am just so sick and tired of being S-O-P'd to death over each and every part of firehouse life- That I would not be surprised if a policy came out on how to wipe our asses or proper methods of loading the toilet paper spools. In retrospect, I do agree that I jumped the gun, however I also feel that you could have presented your initial posting with some more information, perhaps it could have been worded "Does anyone have any SOP's addressing the cooling and then removal of super-heated PPE from injured/incapacitated firefighters once they are safely outside??" My apologies.
    I do not care to debate semantics and I imagine you do not either. In the future, if you do not understand someone's post or are not sure of what he or she is asking/saying/requesting/debating, why not ask for clarification?

    Although I appreciate your apology, none is required as 1) most of us here are firefighters, and 2) I'd hlike to think that we are all here to learn and make the fire service better for those who will follow in our footsteps.

    I also have been around the fire service enough to appreciate agitation and firehouse banter. There is a time and a place for everything. I personally don't like when someone goes "left" for no apparent reason in "room full" of guests that he or she doesn't know (or may not know, i.e. a forum such as this). I am stepping down off the soapbox now. No hard feelings and no ill will. Lets get this thread back on track.
    rjtoc2

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    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

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    FWD, just an FYI. The toilet paper goes on the spool so as to come over the top and pay out. Thank you Brother, and have a nice day.
    Leroy140 Fairfield, CT Local 1426

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy140 View Post
    FWD, just an FYI. The toilet paper goes on the spool so as to come over the top and pay out. Thank you Brother, and have a nice day.
    Is this an SOP, signed by the Chief of Department, and the Union President, after having gone through proper I & I Bargaining? If not I will load it on there however as long as it comes off.
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    I'll admit that this was a new one for me.

    Good info.

    Thanks
    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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    We have a dishwasher SOP!!! LOL

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    depending on your scba, you might be able to take the lower part of the shoulder strap completely out of the buckle. All you need is a 2nd person supporting the SCBA and once disconnected they just pull it away without making the FF bend his arms or have to move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefuss View Post
    And if anyone says "you know what that stuff costs?!", ask them if its more than the worth of the guys life it being removed from.
    C'mon now, no one at 3rd & Spring Garden or the MSB would ever say that.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefuss View Post
    Uhhhhhh, REALLY? A while back someone came up with this nifty invention I think might help in a situation like this. SCISSORS!!! Cut the crap off for Gods sake! If you remove an INJURED member from a fire, who cares about his gear? Like it was said above, if there is any suspected neck or back injuries, or burns ect. the best way I can think of to get a guy outta his turnouts in cutting it off. Think extrication, you don't remove a victim from a car, you take the car apart around him.

    And if anyone says "you know what that stuff costs?!", ask them if its more than the worth of the guys life it being removed from.
    My thoughts exactly. I dont think there needs to be an SOP/SOG on this as much as common sense needs to be used.


    Also, I've told guys here that if something should happen to me, cut my gear off, but if you even try cutting my Globe boots I'm gonna be ****ed! As long as I have something resembeling a foot I'll wear those things!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    My thoughts exactly. I dont think there needs to be an SOP/SOG on this as much as common sense needs to be used.
    Likely the guys who thought patting out the little flames on the Brother's gear was common sense too, yet it resulted in causing further injury by allowing direct heat transfer when the layers were compressed against the skin. There is obviously some case study that shows that maybe removing super-heated gear isn't just as plain simple as some of us may have previously thought. maybe a few of us will learn something that helps another out some day, instead of just tearing into someone for seeking information. This is par for the course, while threads on helmet brands and POV lights seem to prevail in interest.

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    No, I agree and SOP/SOG isn't needed.

    However, training, drilling and reminding are.
    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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    That video appears to be a good learning tool (in my civilian chick view), but does not address the procedures for removal of super-heated gear when the firefighter is unable to stand and assist. *I know, I know .... scissors* (just thought I'd throw it out there though.) Would it be more likely that the FF would be horizontal on the ground after such an incident? It also seemed to take an awfully long time to remove the gear.

    On a wilder tangent, does this type of training normally include what to do if you are the FF in trouble? EG: don't drop to the ground and roll around if your gear is smouldering or flaming?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    This is par for the course, while threads on helmet brands and POV lights seem to prevail in interest.
    I could not have said it any better myself.
    rjtoc2

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    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    No, I agree and SOP/SOG isn't needed.

    However, training, drilling and reminding are.
    Perhaps my request for a policy, SOG, SOP, or whatever you want to call it was a bit premature. I should have asked for an existing training lesson and/or "how" you teach your firefighters this topic.

    I too agree that training, drilling, and reminding are what keeps our firefighters prepared and alive.
    rjtoc2

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    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjtoc2 View Post
    Perhaps my request for a policy, SOG, SOP, or whatever you want to call it was a bit premature. I should have asked for an existing training lesson and/or "how" you teach your firefighters this topic.

    I too agree that training, drilling, and reminding are what keeps our firefighters prepared and alive.
    Original poster: Your correction on "should have asked for an existing lesson..." is accepted. No harm no foul.

    Whatever the case is, I brought up your post to the pump, ladder, and BC boys around the kitchen table yesterday and it prompted some heated (super heated that is ) discussion. While we disagreed on some of the procedures, we all agreed that it was something we'd never discussed before. It is also going to be implemented in our cadet academy during PPE lectures once we come to an agreement on the course of actions we will choose to take as a department.

    Thank you for sparking this discussion, brother.

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    One of our outlying stations I float to occasionally has a large poster in the day room listing the procedures for removing superheated bunker gear. Not quite sure what my take is on it yet. I believe it was one of those fold out posters from inside an issue of Fire Engineering magazine and was sponsored by a manufacturer, maybe Globe. But my memory isn't what it used to be.



    We have an SOP/SOG titled Traversing The Stairs and Sliding The Poles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YFDLt08 View Post
    Thank you for sparking this discussion, brother.
    You're welcome. I had never given this topic any thought until Bobby Halton's presentation at the TEEX Fire Chief's Conference here last week. It's funny how "off-brand" ideas can really make a difference in how we do business on a daily basis. I am glad it sparked a debate and I am glad it is being addressed in your FD. I am trying to do the same thing here in mine.

    The sad thing is that most folks think this topic is a purely a "Duh!... protect C-spine", "have EMS treat them", and "ever heard of scissors!? Cut the stuff off them!"
    rjtoc2

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    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

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