Thread: "Gumby" suits

  1. #1
    1696 Guest

    Post "Gumby" suits

    I am looking for information on "Gumby" suits for their use in water. Originally, my department purchased these suits for ice rescues, and now they have been incorporated into boat operations. I am looking for what other departments are doing, as well as pros and cons of using them in water.

  2. #2
    Robert P Jorgensen Guest


    If you've worked in them think about the ability to use your hands. Yes they provide floatation & warmth. I think, depending on the type of boat work, you'd be better off with work suits and work life jackets. Contact Mustang Survival for info on types.

  3. #3
    Fyrediver Guest

    Thumbs down

    Using "gumby" suits for doing rescues in water isnt a good idea in my opinion, they make lighter weight and less restrictive water rescue suits for this type of work. All that bouyancy makes them very difficult to swim in even with SCUBA fins and they are very warm, you run the risk overheating as well as overexerting your personnel. In moving water the suits make it difficult to swim with the current and avoid strainers.

  4. #4
    Firediver Guest


    Water survival suits are used for just that. They are not designed for rescue other than yourself. Try a mustang suit or Whites drysuits offer a surface drysuit that you can layer underneath for warmth, yet still have the mobility you need.

    Craig Walker

  5. #5
    SBFire333 Guest


    My vote is the use of a Mustang suit.....

    [This message has been edited by SBFire333 (edited July 14, 2000).]

  6. #6
    M G Guest


    Absoloutely go with the "mustang" suit for boat operations. This is a full body covering suit rated as a type 5 work PFD. In swifwater, toss a PFD on over top of it though. They keep you very warm, even when wet, are bright and easy to see and have many pockets. The "Gumby" suit is meant for strictly surface ice rescue and its construction severely limits your dexterity as well as ability to swim. If your personnel are operating in the water or working in floodwaters (notorious for all kinds of bacteria) then use a rescue dry suit with a PFD over it. CMC offers the dry suit, Stearns offers the exposure/"mustang" suit and the ice / "Gumby" suit (available from the rescue source). Oh yeah, as in any case if you are in moving water the swiftwater style helmet is a must. The following catalog pages are available from the rescue source and Rock-N-Rescue The CMC dry suit, swiftwater ranger PFD, stearns exposure suit and stearns ice suit are what we use.

    The information presented herin is simply my opinion and does not represent the opinion or view of my employer(s) or any department/agency to which I belong.

    [This message has been edited by M G (edited July 14, 2000).]

  7. #7
    Mike B Guest


    I agree with others that they are not a practical suit for water rescue. They are just what the are "Survival Suits". Talk about a loss of dexterity. They dont call them Gumby suits for nothing.

    We deal with cold water year round in our area. 20-30's in the winter and 30-40's in the summer. We use reinforce dry suites that have full foot booties, with two thermal layers underneath. We all also wear neopreon gloves and fleece stocking hat under our helmets. I also wear a blaclava {bad Spelling} on my head. "Stops a majority of those Ice Cream Headaches. As long as you layer properly you will stay warm. You can check out for drysuits, ect.

  8. #8
    alaskafireman Guest


    I agree with Mike B, being in Seward, Alaska, we also use reinforced neoprene dry suits along with hoods and mitts, we are going to gloves, but it all works well here in Alaska for us.....especially for our Polar Bear Jump in January when the water is between 20-30.

    Stay safe

    Sean Corrigan
    Seward Fire

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