Thread: Wildland PPE
06-21-2000, 09:12 PM #1bicbicFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all the Info on OSHA. I am now wondering what if any Fliter is being use by your dept other than the bandana.
What does your Dept use for respiratory protection?
06-22-2000, 09:35 AM #2cbp3Firehouse.com Guest
bicbic..since there are no standards for respiratory protection, the types of filters vary. The biggest concern is that the filter allows sufficient airflow while engaged in arduous activities. If it cuts down your ability to breathe, it ain't doing the job!
In general, I haven't found anything significantly better overall than the plain bandanna, although I know there are a lot of companies out there working to supply something better. I'm sure the day will come.
Meanwhile, I'll try to filter the particulates through the bandanna, and try to minimize heavy smoke exposure to me and my people.
Stay safe, remember rule #1
06-22-2000, 12:08 PM #3MtnFireFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with cbp3. The problem with using any kind of wildland respiratory protection is exactly what CA has recently gone through. CALOSHA requires that all respiratory protection must be NIOSH certified, which we have seen does not exist for wildland. Last year they had a Capt go down and it was established (among other things) that he was using a non-certified filtering device (Whiffs or Hot Shield, I'm not sure). As I recall as a result of this a letter went out to all CDF stations indicating that the use of these things is prohibited.
So the question has to be asked, why are they needed? The only time I even use a bandana during line work is during mop-up, and for me the purpose is to keep the larger particulates, mainly the kicked up dirt and ash, out of my throat, and it seems to do fine. As far as during direct attack, if I'm in the smoke so bad I can't breath without assistance, I am in wrong place and need to be using my breath and energy getting out. Yes, that has occurred, but all I lost was a little more grass than I would have if I had been able to stand my ground in the smoke and put the thing out.
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