1. #1
    WFD 507
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry Need help, please!!!!!!

    I am with a small town dept., that needs to get its priororities right. That is the city council any way. We have turnout gear that is at least 10 yrs. old. Some of it is torn, knees wore out, thermal barriers that don,t meet specs. any more. My gear alone has a small hole in the knee.

    We can't seem to get our city admin. to understand that this is very much in diers need. But his gripe is that two sets of gear was bought 4yrs. ago, and one of them was ruined in a fire. (The outer shell had melted and exposed the thermal barrier which charred real bad, and was taken out of commision. It done its job, it protected the FF from burns. I just recently found out that the city ad. said it was the FF fault the gear burned up, "he should have been more carefull".) That was 3yrs. ago when the incident happened. The other set was given to the DC. Who only puts the pants on to do inv.
    PLEASE, PLEASE respond to this, and let me know some info that might help change the city adm. mind.

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    P.S. I have heard through the grapevine that it will be at least 2yrs. before any is bought.



  2. #2
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It sounds like you have a bunch of bozos "micro managing" the fire department budget. Where is your chief on this issue? If he cares about the personnel in his department, he should be at the forefront of this issue.

    Ask the city administration if they would send the police out without bulletproof vests and other equipment. Then bring in the charred gear (if you still have it) and explain that it was the like the vest the PD wears...it saved a life....the firefighter who was wearing it.

    If you do any live fire training, invite the council...put them in the gear and show them what it does...I guarantee that they will bail out of there quickly when they start to feel the heat...then show them what you do and why new gear is needed. It may change a few minds. You can also do a cost analysis for the price of turnout gear versus the hospitalization and rehabilitation expenses for just one firefighter if they should get severely burned...turnout gear is a hell of a lot less expensive! Good luck and keep us posted on what happens.

    Take care and stay safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited February 29, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with Gonzo. Take the bureaucrats out to the training center and let them see and feel what it's like in the heat of battle and why equipment and protection is so important.
    Unfortunately some of these politicians, and remember most of them ARE ELECTED, feel that the town garbage truck needing tires is more important than the firefighter needing gear.
    Press the issue and don't give up. Get everybody to stand behind you, especially the voting members, and let the media and the public know of your plight.
    If the money spenders know that people are watching them, they usually change their tune.

    Rescue Lt. Kevin C.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You might try giving them a copy of OSHA and/or NFPA. Also point out the liability.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'll second Petes comments and while your at it drop a dime on OSHA as well as your state labor dept and a good attorney

  6. #6
    chevelle ss
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Wrench is right, someone in our dept.called OSHA a few yrs. ago and and inspector showed up for a gear inspection, they also checked some records while they were there.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I would just keep on letting them know a little word called "LIABILITY".

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Go for the gusto -- are any of your Congresspeople or Senators members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus?? They'll be able to get you a ton of facts and information!

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    How about the union and fire chief going in together and pounding on the desk! Get the firefighters and public behind you. In my dept we are constantly in the public. Every day in the nice weather its either bike safety for kids or in the schools, at community groups and neighbor hood block parties etc.... It has paid off BIG!!!
    We are held in high reguard now compared to 10 years ago.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If I was in your shoes I would remind them not only of NFPA and OSHA standards as well as the fact that PPE is a life line in the fire service and with out the propper stuff they are gonna hve a much more expensive article to replace better yet something that cant be replaced a fire fighters life,you know the man/wemon that will be protecting thier husband wife daughter son mother father

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Become the teacher of the bean counters. And then document the state of the turnout gear. NFPA has a good PPE inspection form. If you can't find it email me and I will send it to you. We had a similar problem and we found a win win solution by just calming down and teaching them what they didn't know. So do what we do best in the fire service, rescue them from themselves.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with everyone so far. Get the form from the NFPA. Then maybe have some of the council members go and inspect the gear. The gear that fails is put out of service. The other item is that the Officer's know about the problem and have duty to it's members to have safe running gear. Maybe look for other funding to keep your gear in better shape. Ask your local dealer if the gear can be fixed. They can now repair gear with some small holes in it with the same material and thread. Our town commissioners do they sam ething. We don't asked them anything no more. Sometimes you have to learn how to paly the game there playing. Once you do then vote them out. Get some of your members to run against them. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Your problem is a seriuos one. You must give the council a copy of nfpa standards.The proper chain of command is the utmost importance.Give the chief the copy which you can get at any library and have him present it to the council. Then explain that this gear is what protects the firefighters from harm and "large civil actions" against the city or town. Please reinforce the fact that there are too many line of duty injuries that result from inferior gear. Also we (the fire service) are just getting tired of going to the funerals of our fallen brothers.

    Pete Rizzo 1st Lt
    Heavy Rescue Co 1
    Elmont FD Elmont NY

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    PFD is right!! If your municipal administration doesn't think that new firefighting clothing is fiscally appropriate, I wonder how they would feel about some OSHA fines? "Liability"....the big stick. Don't be afraid to use it.

    Your official Firehouse Lawyer =)

    The views expressed above are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of my employer, or any other member of my department. P.S. KEEP IT REAL!! BE SAFE.

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