1. #1
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    Default personal floatation devices

    I am in charge of getting info on the best pfd to buy for our 2 riggs. it was brought up at meeting last night that if we had a water rescue(mostly lakes and pools around here)we only have a throw rope to use and nothing to use for our own protection. Would like your opinion on the devices out there.What do you use? Got very confused looking at all that is out there. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Mama,
    Ouoooooo ... Ouoooooo ... Oh my!
    Are you in trouble!
    Let me refer you to OSHA Reg 1926.106, enacted in 1999. "Persons work in, over or around water, where the possibility of drowning exists must wear a personal floatation device." That includes emergency rescue personnel.
    With that out of the way, your personnel need a minimum of a Type III (Floatation Aid). This type is acceptable to OSHA under circumstances where there is an immediate possibility of rescue. The Type III allows for greater mobility and comfort during long term use. The recomended PFD is a Type II. This type allows for greater head support and keeps an unconscious person's face out of the water. Whatever type of PFD you select, it must be US Coast Guard APPROVED. Any US Coast Guard approved Type II or Type III PFD will work for you. If there is a possibility that any of your department's personnel may respond to a water rescue, ACT NOW! Do not delay! Get those PFDs on your trucks. In addition, be certain to purchase a couple of Type IV "Throw Rings" and know the rule: 1)REACH, 2)THROW, 3)ROW, 4)GO.
    Swimming out to the victim should always be the LAST resort. A swim rescue should NEVER be attempted by anyone who has not been trained and seasoned in water rescue techniques.
    'Nough said.
    Best of luck. Should you have any further questions, do not hesitate to email me directly.
    Robert
    Marine Services Bureau
    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue null
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  3. #3
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    [ 08-28-2001: Message edited by: Firekatz04 ]

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    Whew! Did I get my shorts in a jam!!! Guys...all I was asking was what was the best pfd to get our job done...we have swimming pools and 1 knee deep brook in our district. We would only be mutual aid on a deep or swift water rescue and we already have in place, same time dispatch of 2 water rescue teams.I should have been more specific...sorry.And I should have held my horses and asked our local team for advice. Thanks for the input anyways

  5. #5
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    Hey,

    I just wanted to mention that our department (Indian River County Fire Rescue / FL) has been using the inflatable PFD's manufactured by MUSTANG and supplied through Dive Rescue International for several years and have been very pleased. We use the PFD's with the automatic inflation device.

    We operate two vessels. In our Rigid Hulled Inflatable (used for surf rescue) we use the Type 3 PFD with four pockets since personnel are expected to get in the water during the launch and retrieval of the vessel and in some cases, during victim rescue. On our 25' Boston Whaler and for shore personnel, we use the inflatable PFD's. These provide a high degree of comfort and inflate VERY QUICKLY when a person enters the water. On the Boston Whaler, we occasionally take waves across the pilot house and everyone can get soaked. The PFD's do not inflate when this happens since water has to work its way up into the inflator mechanism. Personnel can work in the rain without problem too.

    I just wanted to let you know about our positive experiences using the MUSTANG brand. If you need government pricing for this product, call Dive Rescue International at 800-248-3483 or fill out the information request form at: http://www.diverescueintl.com/requestform.html

    Best regards,

    Blades Robinson

  6. #6
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    FireKatz,
    You are impugning my character.
    I suggest that you research your information regarding PFD's and issue a retraction.
    Type I (1), II (2) and III (3) PFDs are "wearable"
    Type IV (4) are "throwable"
    Type V (5) are "hybrid/special use devices" and are wearable.
    In addition, please read and familiarize yourself with OSHA Regulation 1926 - "PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES" Nothing states anything about "within 10 ft. of water."
    Your retraction and an apology on this board will be greatly appreciated.
    Robert

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Firekatz04:

    Robert, I agree with MOST of what you said. If you work within 10 ft. of the water, you need a PFD! The PFD's that are recommended are Type III and Type V (3 and 5). Type II (2's) are the throw rings.
    Sorry, just a couple of minor technicalities. Everything else was RIGHT ON THE MONEY!
    The most important thing is to Train, Train, Train. Make sure that the training is "qualified". It should include "swiftwater" training. A heavy rainstorm may be enough to cause swiftwater conditions. A downed tree or a submerged vehicle may be enough to simulate a "lowhead dam" condition. You should know what to expect. More firefighters are killed by drowning than in fires!

    Stay safe

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by RAD:
    [QB]FireKatz,
    You are impugning my character.
    I suggest that you research your information regarding PFD's and issue a retraction.
    Type I (1), II (2) and III (3) PFDs are "wearable"
    Type IV (4) are "throwable"
    Type V (5) are "hybrid/special use devices" and are wearable.
    In addition, please read and familiarize yourself with OSHA Regulation 1926 - "PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES" Nothing states anything about "within 10 ft. of water."
    Your retraction and an apology on this board will be greatly appreciated.
    Robert


    RAD
    Consider this a retraction and an apology. When in doubt, go back to the book, OR the source. I went back to the US Coast Guard PFD page. You ARE CORRECT, and I STAND CORRECTED.
    Also, it was NOT my intent to "IMPUGN ANYONES CHARACTER"!
    I WILL have to go back to my source and go over a few things!

    PS, thanks for straightening ME out!

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    mamapede73,
    At a MINIMUM, have at least one Type III or Type V PFD per person responding to any water rescue incident and a throwbag or other flotation device. Remenber that ANY personnel within 10 feet of the water should have the proper protective gear on and wearing it correctly. That means zipping it up or buckling it closed. If the gear is not available, then stay away from the water! No turnouts or bunker gear should be worn and if you don't have a helmet suitable for water rescue, then don't wear one at all! I recommend at least a basic level or first responder class for your department. The class should meet or exceed NFPA 1670 standards and sholud give your personnel, including the white shirts, a much better understanding of the do's and don'ts in and around the water....
    Practice response focused training... When times get tough you'll respond as you trained...

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