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Thread: nomex on the fire ground

  1. #1
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    Default nomex on the fire ground

    Does anyone wear the nomex on a house fire or go old school and not wear it? I had a house fire the other night and alot of guys from our assisting departments did not wear 1 when they went in just wanting to get some thoughts on this.

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    There is a segment of the fire service that skips the hood, mostly under the theory that our super-duper gear protects us TOO well and lets us overstay our welcome. The bare ears and neck are your canaries that tell you when it's time to leave.

    I disagree. I think if you go without it, you could end up with preventable burns from sudden flare-ups or changes in thermal movement. The very first interior attack I made, I found that even with a hood on I had a good sense of heat on the back of my neck.

    I say wear it.
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    I am not going interior to work a fire ever without having my hood on.

    By the way, and you aren't the only one I have seen do this, when did we start calling a hood a nomex? My first hood was Nomex, followed by PBI, followed by Kevlar, followed by P84 Lenzing (still my favorite), and now Carbon.
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    Full PPE means full PPE.
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    8054: You are NOT dressing for the fire you think you will face when packing-up. You are dressing for the one that Murphy is concocting to release the DRAGON that will bite your A** off. I'm an old Fart who started with a rubber coat, MSA plastic helmet and 3/4 length boots. I have roasted my N**s, burned my ears, and helped remove others who have scarred faces and missing ear lobes and tops. In the course of 40+ years, I am most thankful for the progress of PPE, and the fact that finally we can be safe (mostly) when getting in and doing what we are supposed to without suffering 1st & 2nd degree "stings" that you shook off because you were a "Tough Guy". Use everything that is available to protect yourself from the "BEAST" and be darn glad you have it. To those who 'Blacken or melt their helmet and equipment as a "Badge of Honor" I silently mutter under my breath "Stupid". because each exposure degrades the safety, and exposes the wearer to unknown mechanical, thermal & chemical dangers and bodily damage. What is it worth if it costs you that last hunting season with your grandson cause you were battling the big C or worse if the helmet that you exposed to the heat cracks when that next brick hits that brittle helmet as it falls from the cornice of the taxpayer you are working on. Your fellow firefighters will still stand at your casket in pairs and salute your dead body if you are 80 or if you are 25.
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    I subscribe to the "too protected" theory. As a personal practice I wear my hood, but do NOT put down the earflaps on my helmet.
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    I do not categorize any of my skin as discretionary.
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    I am definitely not opposed to the "too protected" theory. Especially in the era of no live burn training unless incompletely computerized, controllable burn simulators.
    With that be said, I wear my hood. I don't want my ears rebuilt out of skin scrapped off my a s s, they are already to hairy for my liking....
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    My ears may be a bit on the bigger side, but I like them just the way they are. Wear the damn hood. It's included under the list of PPE for a reason.
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

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    I got both of my ears burned in a training fire when the student panicked and did not do what I told them to do. I managed to get all 3 students out of the fire room before any of them were injured but my ears were burned pretty good. The tops of my ears blistered and the skin actually came off from my earlobes.

    It was probably my third or fourth time going in with crews that morning. I did have my hood on, my ear flaps down and my collar up and still got burned. I can only imagine what my ears would have looked like without all of those layers. Even though I was sold on the idea of wearing my hood before that it sealed for me 100%. If I am going inside I am wearing my hood, no exceptions.

    The only thing that changed after that incident is I went from a single layer Kevlar hood to double layer P84 Lenzing hood. At work now we are issued double layer Carbon fiber hoods. I have never been burned since I started wearing the double layer hoods although I have a built in warning system now, unfortunately. You see, my ears are VERY sensitive to both heat and cold now thanks to that unfortunate incident at the training fire.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 01-17-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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    I use a thinner PBI hood than we are issued. I was raised and trained by mentors who preached the no hood method, that was in the 90's. Well today, we are required by SOP to wear one, plus I like the protection to my ears. My hood lets enough heat through; I can feel the heat long before the rest of my crew, but also affords me the additional protection. My helmet's ear flaps are rolled up for the same reason, but can be deployed quickly if needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I subscribe to the "too protected" theory. As a personal practice I wear my hood, but do NOT put down the earflaps on my helmet.
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    Again, this is a do as you please as long as it complies with your FDs SOG's. My career FD says hood on, ear flaps down.

    Frankly after burning my ears I would do it anyways. But that is just me.
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    No hood = no entry. Just watched my Chief throw a hood-less mutual aid FF out of a house fire last month.

    Burns hurt and heal slow, I'll take all the protection I can get.

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    Being a young gun chaser/explorer and coming from a large city where I don't see many other departments operate on a regular basis, I was unaware that entering without a hood was even an option anymore. Given that fact I say it isn't an option, at least not for me or any departments I have looked at.
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    I allways wear my hood on fires I just moved to the dept im in now about half a year now and it was the first fire I had ran with them some guys had them on and a few officers and firefighters did not i was just wondering if this was going on in other places but thanks for the imput on this.

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    Pretty much SOP around here. You might find an older member without one, but the "kids" are all coming up knowing nothing else.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    When I started out in the mid-1980's, I had a paid fire chief (combo dept.), that believed in the "hot ears, get out" mentality. Therefore, we had no hoods.

    Next dept. I was member of, did not have hoods, but we wore ski masks during the colder part of the year.

    When I started my formal fire-rescue training in another state, that was an OSHA state, that hood had better be on.

    Since then, I always have my hood on. PBI became my friend early on.
    Last edited by FIRE117; 01-20-2013 at 09:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I am not going interior to work a fire ever without having my hood on.

    By the way, and you aren't the only one I have seen do this, when did we start calling a hood a nomex? My first hood was Nomex, followed by PBI, followed by Kevlar, followed by P84 Lenzing (still my favorite), and now Carbon.
    I've never heard a hood called a nomex. I expected this to be a thread about using wildland gear at a structure fire.

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    I always wear my hood inside a fire, and on car fire's. I also wear a hood and mask into ANY IDLH environment. The Hood is designed for safety, and as said above, you can't have enough of it. I can feel the heat through the hood, that is no issue. I've had the hood pull out of the front of my coat before (because I don't wear my collar strap) and it's not a good feeling on the neck hairs... haha

    Hood up, tucked into the jacket, no to the ear flaps (never think to put them down)
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    Default Hood

    Back in the late 1980's, we were in a drought and I had small neck burns while fighting a grass fire.

    We did not have hoods then. Today, I ensure I wear a hood for wildland firefighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I subscribe to the "too protected" theory. As a personal practice I wear my hood, but do NOT put down the earflaps on my helmet.
    Just because we have all this great technology to protect us does not mean we should cease using our brains, training, and experience. Sometimes conditions change faster that we can react and we need every bit of protection we can get.

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