Capt. Gonzo- What a funny coincidence that you grabbed a magazine that had a picture of LHS in it as you were taking a sh*t. Did you use the picture to wipe?
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Thread: Helmet Chin Straps!!!
06-22-2001, 11:55 AM #41mamalukeFirehouse.com Guest
06-22-2001, 12:43 PM #42LHS*PATROLFirehouse.com Guest
Be nice or i'll have to peepee wack you!
06-22-2001, 01:54 PM #43Fire LineFirehouse.com Guest
Great another thread that has degenerated into TRASHING one another.
06-22-2001, 02:05 PM #44mamalukeFirehouse.com Guest
Its not people trashing one another, its a few of us trashing one person- LHS. He blew it, now he gets to listen to us everytime he opens his mouth. Firemen are not the most mature people on the earth- so what do you expect?
06-22-2001, 02:23 PM #45E_man9RFDFirehouse.com Guest
Well, I've been in the fire service for 17 years. I only where my helmet strap (Millwaukee) when I'm working a fire (including training). Say what you will, thats just how I do it.
By the way, bfd, I have driven Storrow
Drive several times. (Used to live in Woburn) It's a bear just in a car!
Been to Fenway many a time. (And then to the Cask and Flagon!)
Eng. Co. 9
"In all of us there are heroes... speak to them and they will come forth."
"In order for us to achieve all that is demanded of us, we must regard ourselves as greater than we are."
06-22-2001, 04:02 PM #46bfd1071Firehouse.com Guest
That right eman, there are 2 roads i avoid, If I can, with the apparatus....Storrow drive and the J-way. To narrow and way to many curves. If the tree can talk they would tell you horror stories.
** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**
06-22-2001, 05:07 PM #47TImanFirehouse.com Guest
Before we get lost talking about traveling in Boston or LHS, let me try to bring a point home.
The topic was about wearing chinstraps, which also relates to the bigger picture of PPE (personal protective equipment) and safety.
A couple of quick facts (not opinions):
1. As firefighters we must face all types of hazards including heat, impact, etc.
2. PPE (hoods, bunker gear, etc.) is intended to protect us from the hazards we face.
3. We can take actions to minimize the hazards we will face, but we CAN NOT ALWAYS identify all hazards or predict when a hazard will impact us.
My argument (opinion):
I know I am going to face hazards, and I know that even doing my very best I will never be able avoid those hazards 100 % percent of the time, then my best bet would be to wear the PPE that is available so when I face a (unexpected) hazard it is with the best level of protection possible. Seems to make sense to me.
I know many are still emotional over the recent loss in FDNY and I do not want to upset anyone, but I hope we can learn many lessons from it, and as such bring something positive out of the loss.
You will not find a more qualified or experienced group of individuals than the ones who responded to that incident in Queens. But even with the many years of experience no one predicted the event that took 3 lives. Reality is no one could have foreseen what happened and that is the reality that we must face from time to time. As such I believe anyone who thinks their years of experience are always going to make them ready for whatever is coming is sadly mistaken.
The brothers who faced this incident faced some of the most hazardous conditions possible, heat and fire, toxic smoke, pressure from the blast, and all kinds of falling and flying debris. Unfortunately even with the best PPE available we will not always walk away. However I am sure if you talked to some of the brothers who did walk away they would credit the PPE they were wearing, and the valiant efforts of their fellow brothers, for being able to walk away.
A brother's loss should not be in vain, let us learn from it, so another brother may not be lost in the same manner.
Another incident in FDNY also comes to mind, and I am sure many of you have seen the incident illustrated in a Morning Pride Bunker Gear advertisement. Units responded to a working fire in a store. The storefront was protected with a roll down gate, so a crew was assigned to open it up. As they worked to open the gate, a propane cylinder in the store BLEVED, engulfing those working out front in flame and debris. Fortunately, the individual who took the brunt of the explosion was wearing full bunker gear, which had just been recently issued. While he did sustain injuries there is no question they were significantly less than if he had been wearing only a helmet, coat, and boots. Once again this was an unpredictable event that could have just as easily happened to anyone of us. Think about the PPE you choose to wear, and how you would have done in that situation, when you unexpectedly find yourself being struck with a blast wave, flying debris, and are engulfed in a fireball. If you think you would have walked away unscathed wearing only a helmet, coat, and boots you are very out of touch with reality or have watched "Backdraft" way to many times.
Hopefully everyone will realize we can't always see what is coming and as such we need to be prepared as best we can at all times.
Hopefully we all now agree we need the PPE, but that brings up another issue, what level of PPE is appropriate? In industrial safety there are usually hard rules for which PPE is appropriate for any given situation. Of course in industry they also tend to be working in a much more predictable and controlled environment so it is easier to do. We obviously do not always have that level of predictability, however we can learn a lot from the "Safety Police". Some simple steps that work pretty good:
1. Identify the hazards, when in doubt assume a hazard exists.
2. Deal with the hazards 1 of 3 ways: eliminate it, put a procedure in place to negate its affect, or wear appropriate PPE.
Of course this is not always as simple as it seems. As illustrated earlier we don't always know what we are going to face, so in a lot of cases we have to assume worst case until we can prove otherwise. This means a lot of the time we should start off in full Bunker Gear or a Level A Suit. Of course if we do this we have also created another hazard we need to recognize and address (as many of you have pointed out). No question the weight and heat buildup associated with this PPE is a hazard that must be recognized. This means we have to keep evaluating things, and when we are confident the hazards have been identified and controlled, we adjust the level of protection accordingly.
Unfortunately it seems that in the Fire Service we have a problem doing this. We force everyone to wear full bunker gear all of the time (because we have a lot of John Waynes out there) and ignore the fact we will be creating causalities from heat exhaustion. On the other hand we recognize the potential for the heat exhaustion and fatigue and reduce the level of protection but we do it at an inappropriate time when the hazard level is to high or unpredictable. We have got to do whatever it takes to get somewhere in the middle and make it work.
I don't buy any of the "dept research" that is going on because it is anything but complete or scientific. It is interesting that all of the health problems and heat exhaustion problems are because of the bunker gear, anyone bother to figure out if it has anything to do with the fitness level of the firefighters wearing it? If a guy can work 30 minutes without bunker gear and 15 minutes with bunker gear do we throw out the gear? What about keeping the gear and arranging to have crews relieved every 15 minutes? It doesn't take a scientific study to figure out if you fight a fire in full bunker gear you can't go on forever. Anybody want to learn about the real impact of wearing full bunker gear, don't talk to anyone who works in an administrative office, go talk to someone who works in a major burn unit or rehab center, or better yet go talk to a couple of the firefighters in one those facilities.
Ask your average police officer if they want to wear a bulletproof vest, the response is "no". They do not need to wear it because; they can read a situation and stay out of armed conflict, they have been on the job for 15 years and have never had a gun drawn on them, the vests are hot, heavy, and cause back problems. Ask any police officer who is still alive because they were wearing a bulletproof vest when they were shot if they would ever go to work without wearing one. You know what the answer is!
Should you wear a chinstrap, hood, bunker pants? YES! Why, because not wearing them can only increase the chance of you being injured or killed. Making them part of an intelligent fire operation can only increase your chance of preventing an injury or coming home at the end of the shift.
Just because you have been doing it and getting away with it for 15 or 20 years doens't make it right, it just makes you lucky.
Good Luck, Be Safe,
Mike "TIman" Richardson
"The opinions expressed here are strictly mine and not the opinions of my employer"
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