Welcome to the fire service the only job in America where the boss has to put out an order not to report to work to early. I agree with the previous posts, but here is my two cents.
1. A flashlight is the first thing you will need. Get a less expensive one for now if you can't afford a good one.
2. Take is slow and apply the KISS method.
3. Don't overload yourself!
4. Mark your tools to identify them in case you misplace or loose them. This also helps to discourage someone from borrowing your stuff permanently.
Have fun and stay safe.
I have several tool in my little bag of tricks. I wear a gut belt and one side I have a light and the other I have a bag (rope bag) with assortment of small tools;
2-3 wooden wedges
two screw drivers
TFT folding spanner (local salesman give away)
small set of allen wrenches (resetting alarm panels)
small electrical tester for electrical outlets
folding sheetrock saw (actually its hunters bone cutting saw) works great cutting through sheetrock.
In the bunker pants: small flashlight called the hubble light. Its the same thing as the pelican light but found it at a local home center for $10.00 cheaper, pair of work gloves, 2 12ft section of webbing.
Use your imagination, you don't have to spend alot of $$$$. Why go back to the truck and search for your tool, have it with you. Just remember, you can't carry everything.
Stay safe. JB
Thanks for all the ideas and advice. I think I'll take it slow & shop as I go.
Be safe and stay low....
Lot's of great ideas here already, so I'll only make a few short additions to the list. Something very important to carry in your gear is hearing protection, whether it be the disposable ear plugs or the style that you can reuse. Granted it can look kind of goofy at times, but refer to the articles in the magazine on tinitus and you have a good reason to make wearing hearing protection a habit. Also, another inexpensive tool that can come in handy at times is a large construction crayon to use for marking doors/rooms that have been searched. They sell metal holders for them so they don't get too bashed up. Another tip that could be helpful is how you organize the tools and equipment you carry in your gear. I carry my self rescue equipment and a supply of wedges/latch guards in my left bunker pants pocket...left for life. As everyone has said, use what works for you and don't try to carry too much.
Try this link to 145 posts of who carries what, and why. A good read!
Good luck in assembling your arsenal! http://www.firehouse.com/forums/biggrin.gif
We have most of our equipment supplied to us in my volunteer department. As a firefighter and FR level 3 (with spinal) I carry more equipment then those that are not FR qualified. In addition to this, 80% of our calls are MVA's, so that also dictates what we carry. My list includes...
- Pelican Saberlight
- Firefighter gloves
- Work gloves
- First Repsonder (Latex) Gloves
- Seatbelt cutter
- Paramedic shears
- Centre Punch
- Pen and small pad of paper
- Combi-cutters (side cutters and pliers in one)
- Safety Glasses
- Deci-damps (4-5 sets.)
- Pocket Mask (Although always seam to leave this in my locker)
- My ID card. (Name, Age, Blood type, etc)
In my locker I have
- An extra shirt for the winter
- A complete extra set of gloves
- Another flashlight - the cheap kind
Most of you will notice that my gear leans towards to rescue and extrication side. As mentioned above, the 80% MVA rating dictates what equipment I need on hand ASAP. If you work more fires then a few hose spanners are a must.
Like most of the response said....buy a good flashlight. The $2 Wal Mart Garrity lights actually work pretty good, but you need a light with a right angle head to hang on your gear that will aim where you face. The streamlights are nice, but they are pricey. Try looking at your local hardware store for a pelican or hubble brand light. These usually run about $20 or $30.
Also, get some type of window punch. These come in real handy on wrecks.
One great place to get equipment is at weekend fire colleges. I noticed you are in Wimington, NC. NC has at least one college every weekend, usually within a few hours drive away and departments usually will cover some expenses to go. Check out www.firerescueunderground.net for seminars in NC and other areas of the country.
Most of all......
Don't buy anything unless you have the extra money with you. I know how the wife can be if you buy a toy and forget about the bills!
What ever you get, make sure you can carry it easily in your gear.
*****The opinions expressed are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of my department********