1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Dec 2006

    Question Alternate gear policy

    We currently are required to wear structural gear for all calls including MVC's, brush, outside rubbish/trash, etc.....we would like to modify our policy to allow the use of items like brush coats and pants or possible station work boots and nomex station pants for certain types of calls. Looks like another hot summer in the east and we are looking for some ideas.


  2. #2
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    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Connecticut, USA


    One of the curses of constantly encouraging the blanket use of PPE is that people lose sight of the need to wear proper PPE appropriate to the task at hand.

    As the saying goes, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." If the only PPE you have is interior structural firefighting gear, somebody is going to expect you to wear it for everything that requires any PPE at all...

    Figure out specific examples of incident types where structural PPE isn't appropriate and then look for a standard to support what kind of PPE is. Hopefully you can come up with some reasonable alternatives and sell both management and labor on them.

    Good luck!
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
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    RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Oct 1999
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas


    When I retired five years ago we had brush fire overalls that we wore on grass fires, MVCs, medical calls and the sort. We still had our structure fire gear that had to come with us at all times but it was nice wearing the overall in the Texas summer.

    I don't recall us having a written policy mainly since we were such a small volunteer department.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  4. #4
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    NFD-Firefighter's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    You wear structural for brush fires? That's just over kill! Buy some nomex brush shirts and pants...
    Firefighting - one of the few professions left that still makes house calls.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
    Northeast Coast


    We have policies for just about everything we do, and part of each is the appropriate PPE for the incident type. Sadly leaving the choice up to the firefighters to make the right decision resulted in poor choices. As a matter of fact our insurance compliance officer requires we have a sheet specifically addressing PPE for every task we do. It's really a PITA, but one form with check off boxes can be used from sweeping the bay floor to haz-mat entry.

  6. #6
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    IronValor's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Richmond, Kentucky


    We have wildland gear issued to us. I personally use a two piece Nomex extrication suit that is light weight and easily deployable and of course a Hard hat with a wide brim.
    Do not let the ghosts of our fallen brothers gaze upon you and ask " What have you done to my profession?" FTB DTRT EGH

  7. #7
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    RyanK63's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Fleetville, Pennsylvania


    We have a similar policy. Turnout pants at LEAST for brush fires, full turnout gear for MVAs, alarms, fires, etc, and medicals whatever we had on as long as it's clean and doesn't offend anyone. It's been mentioned about wild land gear but we just don't have the extra money to outfit everyone with it.
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    - Firefighter 1 / HAZMAT Ops / EMT-B

  8. #8
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    N2DFire's Avatar
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    Feb 2000
    S.W. Virginia


    We currently do not have a PPE policy addressing the proper gear per call type however I must add that requiring Structural PPE for brush fires is just asking for an injury or heat related emergency.

    Good luck in getting a policy in place & the correct gear to go with it.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless

  9. #9
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    Feb 2009
    Northwest PA


    A local department had a LODD quite a few years ago of a firefighter wearing full bunker gear on a brush fire. Died of hyperthermia. Sadly, we still have departments that are wearing bunker gear on wildland fires.

    My department issues both bunker gear and wildland gear. On MVAs, engine crew must wear bunker gear, squad crew can wear either bunkers or wildland gear. On wildland/tech rescue calls, wildland gear. Both sets carry safety glasses, members are issued one set of extrication gloves but most also have a personal set so they have extrication/rescue gloves in both sets.

  10. #10
    Back In Black
    ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The Nice Part of New Jersey


    I kid you not that I went to a brush fire once as a State Forest Fire Warden and the structural company was in the woods with SCBA on....

    Seriously..... talk about heat stroke.
    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."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  11. #11
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    Dec 2010


    I wouldnt think the powers that be would want you ruining your structure gear fighting brush fires; snags, rips & tears associated with crossing fences, etc.

    Our department issues us wildland gear that we wear over our clothes, complete with boots and leather gloves. This gear is worn for all grass/brush fires. Structure gear is worn for structure fires and MVA's. Wildland gear can be worn for other night operations where reflectivity is needed.

    I live in the desert southwest, so it is very hot here, most of the year. If we only had structure gear, there would probably be alot of guys having dehydration or heat related issues. We have ALOT of grass/brush fires here.

    If your department doesn't want to buy nomex pants and shirts for everyone, they should at least consider the coveralls, or over pants with jackets. The ones we are issued are cotton indura, so they are a little lighter/cooler than straight nomex.

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