1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Juniors/Explorers and Airpacks

    As a junior member of my department, I am not permitted to wear an air pack until I go to the Fire Academy when I'm 18, and I was told that was like the law. Though in the newspaper the other day, I saw some juniors that aren't to far from me wearing airpacks. So what does your department allow you to concerning airpacks?

    Andrew Landstrom
    Station 71
    Spotswood Vol. Fire Department
    Spotswood, New Jersey

    You light 'em, We fight 'em

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think I know what article your talking about, I'm not a Junior FF but EMS But anyway..my friends a Junior FF and supposedly the rule is....you may train on them under VERY VERY Close supervision..BUT CANNOT Wear them on a fire scene...

    South Amboy, New Jersey
    EMS Cadet in NJ

  3. #3
    Turk II
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Laws about a junior firefighter are different from state to state and even from department to department. My personal feeling is that juniors should NOT be placed in any situation that requires them to wear an airpack. This means they do not enter a house during supression or overhaul, they do not enter a HAZ-MAT hot/warm zone, they do not approach a burning vehicle, etc.

    The job of a junior is to watch and learn... I know it sucks sometimes - I spend two years in my department's junior program. Definetely wasn't the greatest standing around watching during a drill, but the knowledge and information I gained as a junior helped me through my Fire I and Fire II certifications.

    - Turk

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I know what article you are talking about also. Technically we cannot wear breathing apparatus as per some OSHA rule. However it shouldnt be a problem if under close supervision and not in a hazardous environment. Every dept is different.

    Exp.Captain J.Manes
    Colonia N.J.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my dept. we are allowed to wear SCBA's on tranning with an officer with us. We can not wear them any other time.

    Tim Krebs
    Exploer Lt.
    Central Campbell Fire

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Yes the law in NJ is you need to have taken FF1 in order to wear packs. But during Hurricane Floyd, when we were limited on man power, there were some jrs investigating active alarms in buildings, with packs.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    [ 07-21-2001: Message edited by: explorer ]

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I don't think it is a matter of who should be in the paper or not. The prevelent issue here is that the standards and rules affecting young people under age 18 need to be revised. Not to say that we should be able to enter a hazardous environment (haz-mat, structure fire, etc.)but merely to be able, under direct and constant supervision, to participate in drills and training. Also when participating in an arificial smoke drill if something goes wrong or the explorer/junior feels uncomfortable with the situation he/she can remove the breathing apparatus and safely exit the training area.

    Jason Manes
    Explorer Captain
    Colonia N.J.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    whats the big deal about wearing BAs my post has 5 scot packs and 2 survive airs that word and many many parts for the scots we dont use them in buildings or anything but we do use them we have hydroed some of the bottles and they are just ours

  10. #10
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    You don't seem to realize that all these rules and regulations are there for your own safety.

    Some of these posts have hit close to the point. And others are just misinformed.

    1. There is a definite difference between a Junior FF, and an Explorer.

    A junior Firefighter is a member of the FD, but in a different membership status, and his insurance is paid for by either the FD that he belongs to, and/or the municipality that he/she serves.

    An Explorer is a member of the Boy Scouts of the USA, and likewise -- there are restrictions imposed by the Boy Scouts that are completely different from those imposed upon a Junior FF. Usually these rules are more restrictive.

    2. These laws are in effect for a reason, and don't need to be changed because a few of you want to wear air packs for training.

    RescueJay --- I don't think it is a matter of who should be in the paper or not. The prevelent issue here is that the standards and rules affecting young people under age 18 need to be revised. Not to say that we should be able to enter a hazardous environment (haz-mat, structure fire, etc.)but merely to be able, under direct and constant supervision, to participate in drills and training. Also when participating in an artificial smoke drill if something goes wrong or the explorer/junior feels uncomfortable with the situation he/she can remove the breathing apparatus and safely exit the training area.
    Jason Manes
    Explorer Captain
    Colonia N.J.

    These rules/regulations/laws are there for your protection, and they are usually put in place due to something bad happening, and requiring there being there.

    Many years ago, I was a Junior FF, and I wasn't allowed to wear an Air pack -- for anything other than training. What you speak of in your posting, may be restrictions imposed upon you by the Explorers, and not the FD.

    Calm down -- get all the training you can; don't worry -- your time will come.


    "In Omnia Paratus"

    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my fire department the cadets are allowed to use/wear air packs. We are trained in using air packs as much as possible. The cadets simulate there own car fires and practice the right ways to put the fire out. We are also told the wrong ways so we don't make those mistakes. At my department we are allowed to go into training house fires so you are also thought what to do when our low air warning goes off. They want us to be very familiar with the air packs in any situation.

    These are my views and mine alone and they should not reflect my department in anyway!!!
    Cadet Captain

  12. #12
    explorer harris
    Firehouse.com Guest


    hi,im an explorer with san rafael fire dept.
    and we are allowed to use scba gear the 18
    year law is only to get into the academy,
    although it is the departments descretion
    to have/not have that rule, im in california
    and it is pretty much the same anywhere.

    Ryan Harris explorer
    post 321
    San Rafael fire, ca

  13. #13
    Jesse Cole
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Any body that is on any fireground should at least be competent and trained in how to use an airpack. Although this is not always how it goes, we shouls use our training to be sure we all know how to. If exp/jr show up on a scene and who knows, maybe they need to wear SCBA for fumes, smoke, or maybe for the PASS device on it. Training should at least be a walkthough of the pack & how to operate it. The earlier you learn the more you will know about them.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree that Explorers and Junior FF do get acquainted with air packs. They are as much a part of fire fighting as hose.
    It is my opinion that practice with air packs consisting of house searches, exertion and general air pack use under extremely close supervision is very important.
    We often as qualified fire fighters tape the eye pieces so there is no visibility and enter and search a building that we have no knowledge of its layout for practice.
    I think that no fire fighter that is not qualified in the use of SCBA under any circumstance be allowed in or near a fire that requires SCBA.
    The whole idea is to give you guys experience and learn by watching and listening.

    We go in when others are getting out!

    [This message has been edited by ffkiwi (edited 02-03-2001).]

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my post, it is against the rules, as per BSA's rules, to wear an SCBA during an acutal fire incident. However, during training, we do sometimes use SCBA's if our advisor and the Training Officer agrees and we feel confident and aren't sick. If the crap really hits the fan though and an officer says to you to pack up and go in or to investigate a fire alarm, which probably will never happen, you should do as they order. You should sit there and say, "Well, per the rules...." An order is an order, but I must agree that these rules are here for our own protection.

    Anthony D. Ruggiero
    Explorer Captain/EMT-B
    Windsor Locks Fire Dept. Exp. Post 50
    Windsor Locks, CT

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    in my department even firefighters are not allowed to wear airpacks until they have completed the county rookie course, much less the explorers, but during training i understand.

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my post, Explorers are allowed to use SCBA's. We train on them often and are required to use them if we perform ventilation, overhaul, or any other task requiring them while on-scene.

    Nick Funk
    Explorer Captain
    Swartz Creek Area Fire Dept.
    Post 41

    "FireFighters Walk Where The Devil Dances."

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sorry, Wisc. has the same ruling...gotta have that state cert. to use them. But, you can train until you are blue in the face (that means you are out of air! ha, ha). Also, even if state law didn't require it, Exploring rules for insurance guarantees that NO Explorer shall enter a burning structure under any circumstances!!!!! So you are stuck living with hte rules no matter what. Just think...you will probably be a real firefighter in a short time anyway...let someone else do the dirty work...for now! Have fun anyway and enjoy learning!!!

    Check out our Exploring Post website at www.geocities.com/cfdexplorers !!!

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We've played with SCBA's before, at training sessions and out on runs. One of the most memorable times I remember using one was during the tornado when we were working inside a house with a major gas leak. Another time was during a training session when we lit up some barns. But our department just classifies us as Junior FF's when we are really Explorers. Insurance doesn't matter, each member has his own. We follow the light rules set up by our department, and that's it. We do almost everything that the LT.'s tell us to do, including fire suppression on the exterior of burning structures only. By the way, the house with the gas leak had no power or pilot lights. We checked. Have a nice day!

    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm with Hershey Volunteer Fire Company, and we only wear Air when training, and when doing overhaul, so we don't breathe in any of the crap in the air. Otherwise we don't wear them.


  21. #21
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I am an explorer Firefighter and I am able to wear an SCBA (airpack). My Post trains on them often. Every member must pass a test and be proficient in the use of them. My post also allows explorers to wear an SCBA on the fire ground. I feel they are an Essential tool to have and use on the fire ground and in trianing. They are for everyone's benefit and protection.

    Blake Meester
    Explorer Lieutenant
    Butte County Fire-Rescue
    Chico, CA

  22. #22
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my post, we are allowed to wear SCBA's in training, which we do alot. We wear SCBA's as much as we can to get us all used to breathing through them, and feeling confident wearing them. We do training which consists of the explorers doin search and rescue in an apartment complex packed up, but as soon as they feel they cant continue, or as soon as that low warning bell goes off, theyre out.

    Brendan Hind
    Explorer Let.
    North Syracuse, NY

  23. #23
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey guys, I am a 17 y/o firefighter in california. I run with a volunteer company in a large contract city with CDF. First, I want to comment about that Jr. FF being in a situation with a major gas leak! That is stupid, what the heck were you doing in there. One of the first things they teach you in FF academy is personal safety. I think it would be ok if Jr. FF's are allowed to wear then in training but if they are on a scene they are there to basicly observe, and do minor stuff. I know it must drive you all nuts to stand there but oh well. Another reason I don't think why your dept's is letting you use them is because the expenses with doing fit test's and such plus and issueing masks. We wear MSA airpacks. Another thing is if you are untrained and airpack can get you killed real fast. You need to know how to reduce your profile and such. Airpacks snag real easy on stuff. Anyways, just wanted to add my 2 senses.


  24. #24
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Cranford, NJ


    We train with them at the station and the suppervision is watching TV as long as we dont take it off off the front line apparatus. But one time we got a call for a CO detector going off and a smell of natural gas. I was took to grab a CO detector and when i got inside they asked me where is my SCBA? But another time i was at the movies for an alarm activation i went in with a FF and after finding no cause he told me to bring down his SCBA. I put it on my back and went back tot the engine to put it back and one of the Lt. yelled at me "You didnt Scot up did you?" i was like Chip told me to bring it back. It really depends on the situation.

  25. #25
    Forum Member
    BFD182's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Stamford, Fairfield, CT


    I am a Post Advisor in Connecticut. I think the confusion here is also when departments do not understand BSA rules vs OSHA rules and where they apply. While I do not have this in writing I was told verbally by staff at our state academy that OSHA does not govern EXPLORER POSTS because they are viewed as a club and not a work place. OSHA does however govern FIRE DEPARTMENTS. One other source of rules is whatever Insurance company covers your department. In the case of an actual EXPLORER POST that is the BSA.

    There is no specific rule about Explorers using Air Packs on the Exploring website, but there are others, such as:

    Explorers may not be substituted for trained personnel.

    Explorers may be mobilized only as a post, with required leadership. Explorers are not on call as individuals.

    Explorers may not enter or perform ventilation procedures on a burning structure.

    So the need for an Air Pack outside of training just is not there.

    Alan Shaw
    Public Safety Post 135

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