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  1. #1
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    Question how often are you required ro replace turnour gear?

    At my department we know that it is somewears around ten years you replace your turnout gear. Now does anyone know exactly where it says such in the NFPA. we need the exact page and prodedure number for budgeting reasons. if you could help with this i would be greatful to all of you. thanks all.


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    NFPA 1851 - 2008 edtn, CH 10.1.2 (page 22):
    Structural fire fighting ensembles and ensemble elements shall be retired in accordance with 10.2.1, no more than 10 years from the date the ensembles or ensemble elements were manufactured.

    The whole section deals with the "standard" for replacement.

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    thank you vary much i have read threw a stack of pappers all the NFPA i must have overlooked it thank you vary much!!!

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    No prob. NFPA can be quite the cumbersome documents sometimes.

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    i spent a long time reading trying to help with my firedepartment to get our budget up for replacing our old gear. and it almost seemed like giberish after a long time of sitting and reading

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    Now bear in mind that even though NFPA 1851 states that the gear should be replaced after ten years, it's quite possible that you realistically can't get it to last that long as front-line gear.

    In my department, even as a small career department, we had a hard time getting our previous brand to last 4 years. We switched brands and are getting more than that out of the new stuff, but a number of our sets won't make it to 10 years of front-line service.

    We were fortunate enough to get our City to agree to a gear replacement schedule in our last contract negotiations. Everybody will have 2 sets of TOG and will get a new set every 4 years and retire their "back up" set at 8 years.

    We still have to see if they'll live up to the agreement on their own, but at least we have it in writing.

    Good luck.

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    Most definitely agree with FM. Make sure to read the paragraphs around the one I referenced. They mention about replacing the gear earlier if it is no longer serviceable. Also, if you go to the NFPA's webiste you can view 1851 online for free. Check the TOC. I believe there is a whole section that relates to what makes gear no longer serviceable.

    That's a pretty awesome contract you have to get your gear replaced that often. We get ours replaced every 6th year (unless otherwise needed earlier). And we only have one set. Granted, each crew only averages a "good" working fire once a month maybe and then a few MVAs each month, so our gear usually gets more wear and tear from training than actual use.

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    Ours is replaced every 5 years, and the only folks with 2 sets are the ones of us that doing all of the live-burn training.
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    thankyou all for the comments, i have sent the information to the top of the todem poll and they say its what they need. once again thankyou all

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzyyzx View Post
    That's a pretty awesome contract you have to get your gear replaced that often. We get ours replaced every 6th year (unless otherwise needed earlier). And we only have one set. Granted, each crew only averages a "good" working fire once a month maybe and then a few MVAs each month, so our gear usually gets more wear and tear from training than actual use.
    Yeah, we thought that too.

    They more or less owe us the second set by the end of the year. We'll see how it works out. We have FIRE Act money to cover 1/2 of it right now.

  11. #11
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    Gear replacement should not be based on time. It breaks down everytime it gets dirty, is in direct sunlight, ect. You should have it inspected annually by an approved company that test gear. I understand that there is cost but just do 5 sets to show the city that it may need to be replaced sooner for your personel safety.

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    We've been trying to get a second set since the late 80's. Nothing. We're lucky they give us two pairs of gloves.
    It gets replaced when it rots off our azz. And even then it's generally not new. It's recycled from another person that was sent out to be cleaned.

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    Our division of training inspects our gear annually for wear and tear, any item not up to snuff is replaced. We get full sets every 4-5 years regardless. This is mostly thanks to a persistent health and safety committee and a mayor who doesnt hate our guts.

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    In a past department, I change the TOG replacement policy to a rotating system. Each company/platoon is on their own time line.

    Each new member is issued one set upon entering the service. At the end of the 2nd year, they receive an additional set, assuming that the original is still worthy. Nevertheless, they have two sets that are changed out every two years. It took 18 months to change to this system and covering about 125 personnel.

    When a set is damaged, the Company Officer is advised, who in-turn advises the Equipment Officer. The goal is to replace unworthy equipment within 6 to 8 weeks. Our PPE was not a off the shelf model.

    The only issue with this system is the number of sets purchased at one time. We bid the PPE, and state the replacement policy in the terms of award. The price does not fluctuate within 12 calendar months, or in-between cycles. The PPE is automatically re-bid every 10th month as per our policy. Approximately 60 to 65 sets are replaced every year at that department. More if a few are in need of replacing. The most any year was 75. I have been advised that they will only replace about 50 this cycle due to 14 sets being retired earlier in the last budget year.

    It is common to change MFG in the process, since some eventually do not like the replacement factor off the schedule. The focus should be about the total number annually, and not the total number at a single time. But a few want to make all of their money at once.

    This system makes it bit easier to plan in the budget. It is not as likley to get lined-out in the budget review each year when the headhunters are trying to cut numbers.
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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Replacing gear is just fine and dandy, as long as you need to. Having a blanket statement for gear replacement service wide is about the craziest thing I have ever heard. There is no way a department who sees 2 structure fires a year will need to replace gear as much as one who sees 2 structure fires a shift. If it doesn't get dirty, it doesn't get washed. If it never gets pulled out of the toolbox in the back of the POV except for training, it sees no sunlight. Gear that sees 1 or 2 live traning burns a year plus the occasional working job should have no problem making it to 10 years. Gear that gets damaged gets inspected and if need be retired.

    This same principle applies to the world of Level A hazmat suits. A certain manufacterer will give you a life span of a PLASTIC suit. When the date rolls around, regardless of level of use, the suit is rotated to training use only and you have to buy new front line suits. Another manufacterer says that is crazy and as long as a suit passes a pressure test annualy it stays in front line service. More so, if you never pull the suit out of the packaging, it STAYS in the packaging until you need it. Testing a brand new suit is crazy- it is BRAND NEW. Has the second comapany's sales gone down a little since coming out with this policy? Maybe. But I would buy from them any day before the first company simply becuase they are a stand up company that tells it like it is.

    The 10 year replacement rule does nothing but look out for the best interest of manufacterers, not firefighters and fire departments. If you think anything else than that, open your eyes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Replacing gear is just fine and dandy, as long as you need to. Having a blanket statement for gear replacement service wide is about the craziest thing I have ever heard. There is no way a department who sees 2 structure fires a year will need to replace gear as much as one who sees 2 structure fires a shift. If it doesn't get dirty, it doesn't get washed. If it never gets pulled out of the toolbox in the back of the POV except for training, it sees no sunlight. Gear that sees 1 or 2 live traning burns a year plus the occasional working job should have no problem making it to 10 years. Gear that gets damaged gets inspected and if need be retired.


    The 10 year replacement rule does nothing but look out for the best interest of manufacterers, not firefighters and fire departments. If you think anything else than that, open your eyes.
    My eyes are open and my brain is engaged and I really don't see the need for the amount of outcry regarding this particular issue.

    First of all, the vast majority of fire departments are probably already replacing their TOG at 10 years or sooner. So, the one's who will potentially "suffer" from this will likely be the small, poor, rural departments who are probably already responding to calls in apparatus older than the "retirement age" recommended in NFPA 1971.

    Secondly, given the speed with which most technologies change these days, it's kind of hard to believe that keeping firefighters in "current" TOG is not in their best interest. Yes, the manufacturers could benefit from this, but again the departments who will likely find themselves up against this "deadline" are going to be small and not purchasing large quantities of TOG. Sure, if you add up all of the small departments, the quantities start to add up some, but it's still probably pretty small compared to the amount the larger departments replace.

    Additionally, and perhaps the most important things to remember is that 1) NFPA 1851 is a voluntary standard and not specifically law and 2) most departments are probably already not fully following the "meat" of NFPA 1851 - how/when their TOG is cleaned, inspected and repaired. So would they necessarily be worried about non-compliance with this one part of one NFPA standard?

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    For the record, the small, lower budget departments are always the ones who suffer from trying to comply with NFPA. No matter which standard in particular we are discussing.

    The last part of your post is what I agree with. Departments seem to pick and choose what they want to comply with when it is convinient.
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  18. #18
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    I find it interesting there are two concurrent threads going on this NFPA issue.

    They both have moved the expected direction.

    NFPA is a set of Standards. Do you really think for a minute that the majority of Fire Departments are close to compliant?

    If it is adopted as law in a municipality or a county, do you really think they took the time to read and undertsand it, or did they just accept it because it saved them alot of time instead of writing their own code?

    If the NFPA is the basis that we will judge fire dept related lawsuits, then how many jurisdictions have blindly open themselves up to litagations they can never defend?

    If this is where it is going, then NFPA might not become such an issue when the cities and counties (the Taxpayers) lose millions of dollars in settlements.

    They can talk about this all day long. But the realty is, there a just a handfull of departments that pass muster. But we seem to pick and choose which codes we wish to talk about depending on which issue we want to fight over.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The firefighters want new PPE, but the town can't afford it, there is no extra money since revenue is down during the recession.

    The FFs go public and say it is a safety issue. The town still can't afford it.

    The FF take it national... the town can't afford it and open their books to confirm it.

    The FFs demand justice and decide to sue, claiming injuries over old PPE. Guess what? The town still can't afford it, but the taxpayer will pay the bill. They always do.

    What happens when the town and the taxpayers decide they can't afford the firefighters. It is happening right now guys. And it isn't over yet.
    ------------------------------------------

    Firemedic: I don't know how many fire departments you run around with but I assure you, the vast majority of fire departments do not replace their gear every 10 years. Many replace it as needed; which means, when it is damaged, burned, shredded, torn, cracked, or falling off the firefighter. But this is not the same thing since some of that gear might be 5, 10, 15, and 20 years old.

    NFPA has just created a viscious cycle where we will always be chasing our tail. Just when you get one thing knocked out, they change it thus raising the bar. The departments that were not even close to compliant are just pushed that much further behind.

    So who has the answer on this massive "we must do something" issue?

    More money won't solve it. More Government intervention won't solve it. More taxes won't solve it. More mandates won't solve it.

    Here's an idea... lets just make up more rules that no one can understand and keep up with.

    I will not dispute that there are many departments that should replace their gear, some more frequently than others. But the driving force no matter how you cut this... is you must have the money to do it. The 10 year Standard is there. 10 years might be too long in your department, it might be too short somewhere else.

    But when it is a fact there are a vast number of departments that operate on less than $100,000 each year. Unless you buy a set every year or two, you are not going to replace very much gear at one time and still leave anything else to operate with.... which means there is another Standard we get to ignore this year since we are buying gear. Sorry guys... we can't afford to replace the pump on the truck.

    You guys that live out there in the real world speak up on this... You're living this exact nightmare. Tell everyone how rich your department is and how you're compliant with the Standards.

    It is this simple:

    ARE YOU COMPLIANT WITH THE NFPA STANDARDS? YES NO
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    I find it interesting there are two concurrent threads going on this NFPA issue.

    They both have moved the expected direction.

    NFPA is a set of Standards. Do you really think for a minute that the majority of Fire Departments are close to compliant?
    I don't.

    If it is adopted as law in a municipality or a county, do you really think they took the time to read and undertsand it, or did they just accept it because it saved them alot of time instead of writing their own code?

    If the NFPA is the basis that we will judge fire dept related lawsuits, then how many jurisdictions have blindly open themselves up to litagations they can never defend?

    If this is where it is going, then NFPA might not become such an issue when the cities and counties (the Taxpayers) lose millions of dollars in settlements.

    They can talk about this all day long. But the realty is, there a just a handfull of departments that pass muster. But we seem to pick and choose which codes we wish to talk about depending on which issue we want to fight over.
    Good points.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ------------------------------------------

    Firemedic: I don't know how many fire departments you run around with but I assure you, the vast majority of fire departments do not replace their gear every 10 years. Many replace it as needed; which means, when it is damaged, burned, shredded, torn, cracked, or falling off the firefighter. But this is not the same thing since some of that gear might be 5, 10, 15, and 20 years old.
    I think you may be misinterpreting the point I was making. I was not talking about departments just arbitrarily deciding to replace all of their gear. I was trying to make the point that the majority of departments are replacing their TOG as needed and that the need to do so probably results in TOG being replaced before it's 10 years old. This situation essentially renders that part of the standard irrelevant to them.

    I was also trying to make the point that most departments in general and more specifically the ones likely to be coming up against this "time limit" are not following NFPA 1851 standards for the care of the gear they have now. Regardless of the reason, if they are not following the "meat" of the standard now and it isn't a "problem" for them, then why would not following this one part be a "problem"?

    Additionally, how many of these smaller departments with limited resources have apparatus older than what is recommended in NFPA 1971? Again, regardless of the reason, if non-compliance in this area isn't a "problem" for them, then why would using gear older than 10 years necessarily be a "problem" too?

    I work at only 1 fire department, but have had significant contact with many others in the area thru my side job in EMS and prior days as a volunteer. In my experience, it appears that the vast majority of the gear is replaced by 10 years, particularly lately given the ability to get AFG money to do so.



    ARE YOU COMPLIANT WITH THE NFPA STANDARDS? YES NO
    Yes in some areas, No in many more.

  20. #20
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    FM: Trust me sir, I am not trying to bust your bunker with this and I do not mean any disrespect whatsoever. We are all on the same side here.

    You nailed the point exactly when you state if they ignore one part, why would they be concerned about another; (nutshell version).

    We seem to agree on most of the points being discussed. Anything that we differ on is not that great.

    You answered the compliancy question with the Number #1 exact answer that we see... Yes & No.

    Again, I'm not trying to be difficult, but the answer is No.

    You can be compliant in some areas all day long, but if you are not compliant with everything, then you are not compliant. There aren't any extra points based on a curve. We are not compared against each other. We are held to the same standard.

    If it sounded like I was attacking you, I wasn't. I was asking subjective questions that everyone should consider.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your insight.
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