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  1. #1
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    Default Advice appreciated for bunker gear.

    Have only suited up fully twice in bunker gear with actual training. Once performed a few scenarios in a small burn house and the other running a hose through the station (attack line hands and knees entering home or structure). My questions are 1) is it possibly normal to have issues with being in full bunker gear at first? 2) Is there any thing I can do on my own to help with getting used to the heat? It gets pretty how outside down here in Texas. In full bunker gear even standing around gets pretty warm pretty quick. Is there anything besides the obvious spending time in bunker gear I could do? Is there anything I could do to help with claustrophobia? We did a school this weekend and I pretty much beat myself down before I even tried that I could not do a small course blind folded. They had the FF follow a hose in full bunker gear through a simulator that consisted of many small openings and small crawl spaces. They placed the hood backwards over your mask and set you free on your hose. I defeated myself before even trying. I feel like a failure now and really found out what I need to work on as I am interested in a career in the fire service. Any help appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Practice, practice, practice

    The best thing that I can tell you is to just spend time in the gear. Start by slowly and methodically putting the gear on CORRECTLY so that you get used to that. Then keep practicing and drilling at the basic tasks with the gear on. That is the best way to get used to the gear.

    It sounds like you may also have a claustriphobia problem as well. Again, start slow. Try just walking around the station with the gear, bottle and mask on. Get used to breathing through the mask while doing everyday tasks and learn how long the bottle will last based on your activity level.

    It seems strange to me that you have only been in gear twice and they are already putting you in the maze. We did timed drills for getting geared up, pulled hose, threw ladders and a lot of that basic work before we went into the maze.

  3. #3
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    Default

    It was a wood county school. Mainly all volunteer firefighters. Possibly a few career. I thankfully have a person assigned as a mentor who I talked with and is all for helping me with gearing up and getting some reps with the gear. I did a little burn house work the first time I really ever wore it and it was quite impressive. We have a small two room burn house. The main problem is that I am not the super confident guy who can do anything. I really beat my self before I even suited up. I kept telling myself I could not do it and I would get to hot. I think the mental part will be the biggest hurdle.

  4. #4
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    long island ny
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    If its truly a matter of claustphobia than I would suggest hypnosis. It worked for ssomeone I know who has no problems now. If its just nerves and lack of training than practice. Get some other FF's and block your masks and start that way. Dont even put a pack on just gear and mask. Get used to feeling door hinges, window sills and other stuff around the firehouse. You should know which way a door opens just by the feel of the hinges. As you get better practice slipping your pack on and off to do reduced profile drills. Then do the maze fully packed up. Also remember in reduced profile drills when you slide your pack always keep your hand on the airhose line. In our maze you have to rotate your pack to the side usually 3 times sometimes 4 and at least once or twice take it off, push it ahead of you and then put it back on.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Default

    wearing the stuff is the best way

    as stated you do not have to have everything on everytime you train

    were the mask with black out and with out

    the more you wear the stuff and do tasks, you will not even think about after awhile

    If you can take a mask home black it out and crawl around your house.

    HEAT - pace yourself, hydrate even before you start doing stuff water not sodas, know your limits, and when you reach them take a break,
    that is what rehab is for.

    take your coat off when you are standing around

    oh and hydrate

  6. #6
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    Default @baddlegg

    Quote Originally Posted by BADDLEGG View Post
    Have only suited up fully twice in bunker gear with actual training. Once performed a few scenarios in a small burn house and the other running a hose through the station (attack line hands and knees entering home or structure). My questions are 1) is it possibly normal to have issues with being in full bunker gear at first? 2) Is there any thing I can do on my own to help with getting used to the heat? It gets pretty how outside down here in Texas. In full bunker gear even standing around gets pretty warm pretty quick. Is there anything besides the obvious spending time in bunker gear I could do? Is there anything I could do to help with claustrophobia? We did a school this weekend and I pretty much beat myself down before I even tried that I could not do a small course blind folded. They had the FF follow a hose in full bunker gear through a simulator that consisted of many small openings and small crawl spaces. They placed the hood backwards over your mask and set you free on your hose. I defeated myself before even trying. I feel like a failure now and really found out what I need to work on as I am interested in a career in the fire service. Any help appreciated.
    Hey man. I'm one of the "Brothers" here in Texas. As far as only putting the gear on twice, I concur with our fellow Brothers. Put the gear on more. That is one of the reasons you spend so much time in gear when you go to an academy. If you are going to be a firefighter...you ARE going to have to wear it. No way around it. It's one of those meat and potatoes kind of thing. Wear the SCBA too, like they said. Just hold the mask to your face till you get use to it. Then put it on, but don't tighten the straps. Just wear it like that. Then when you get use to it, tighten the straps. Then flip your hood over it. Then go on air. Steps at a time. Get your fellow firefighters to help you out. If they are true Brothers, they will have no problem doing so. Now, as far as the Texas heat, the good news is, during a short stint in the winter time....it will get cold outside. Then instead of being hot in your gear, you will be really cold in your gear. Cause you are going to get wet at a fire...again...fact of life. The heat...is going to keep on coming. It's Texas. Drink water, don't die.

    The more you use your gear and put it on, the more CONFIDENT you will get. Then you get to join the fun process of TRYING to get on with a dept. Have fun with that one too. Good luck.
    "FBHF"

    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "What do Cops and Firefighters have in common? They BOTH WANT To be FIREFIGHTERS!"

    "I love the Police Officers have firefighters to look up to..."

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