1. #1
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    Default Turnouts or coveralls for extrication

    Just wondering what different departments are wearing for PPE?

    In my departments SOP's the guys on the rescue are allowed to wear coveralls for vehicle extrications. The guy's coming on the engine which is the second piece out are required to wear full turnout gear just in case. Normally in the cold winter months we all wear turnout gear just to stay warm. Then of coures everyone wears eye protection, gloves, helmets, ect.

    Just wanted to see other peoples thoughts on coveralls..............
    Last edited by 10-75k; 04-25-2002 at 08:22 PM.
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    Just wondering, when you say coveralls are you talking of the rack store bought coveralls or RESCUE GRADE Coveralls such as those from American FireGear or Miflin Valley? I personally lean toward the RESCUE GRADE COVERALL, Especially when it is backed up with good Scene Stabilization IE a Hose Line Crewed and Redy
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    Rescue coveralls, Galls stuff like. I would be a little leary of off the shelf stuff.
    "You can't volunteer to be a doctor on the weekends"

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    Gotta go with turn out gear. I am sure coveralls allow you to move a little more freely and are lighter to wear then turn out gear, but I just wouldn't feel right working an MVA without my gear on. I guess that because I have always been trained to wear it.

    I can see the advantages and disadvantages.
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    10-75k,
    Our department does not require the use of turnout gear for MVA's but our Engine/rescue company wears them on all MVA. Mainly because of fire potential. With the thought in mind that "better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them" on. Many other station company use their "Brush Coats" for MVA's especially during summer ops'. I still don't condone this practice here at our company. Even some of the rescue grade coverall don't offer as much "shrapnel" (sharps) protection as our turnouts do. Food for thought...
    fraternally, JW@nb87
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    I concur with FF26, mostly cuz we come from the same station, but it also only makes sense as was pointed out by JW@NB87 in the reference to sharps in particular. True turnouts are very bulky in some situations, but at least you the rescuer are better protected that way.
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    We require full turnouts.

    I nsee some problems with jumpsuits. are they issued? the department will have a huge liability problem with firefighters making there own decisions and privately purchasing PPE. what testing and standard does the manufacturer use to qualify the suit as PPE.

    How do they do in a flashfire? how do nylon extrication gloves do in a fire? how well do they protect from slicing injury or puncture type wounds? how well do they protect from battery acid or other fluids.

    they are cute though.

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    This is not a sales pitch and is posted strictly for information. The jumpsuits that I handle made by "American Firewear" carry the NFPA 1977 rating. Quote : "All American Firwear Special purpose response clothing meets the requirements of NFPA 1977, Protective clothing and equipment for wildland firefighting and CAL-OSHA article 10.1 section 3406(c) Protective Clothing other than turnout clothing." This means in plan english that it has Cal-osha and NFPA's blessing for anything other then structural firefighting. I would suggest that if you or your department is considering jumpsuits that you follow the min. standards for them. Sometimes when we use generic words we get generic goods. "Jumpsuits" can be purchased form any farm supply store. "Approved Gear" can only be purchased from approved gear manufactors. My personal opinion, a full set of NFPA approved turnout gear that will allow you to walk through the gates of hell is currently running around $1500.00. Approved "Non-structural garments are a little over $200.00. Why tear up the expensive stuff on wrecks, tanker shuttles, training, confined space or SAR work? Use the "gates of hell stuff" when you need to walk through the "Gates of hell" and the more expendable stuff when you don't. By the way, they Fire Retardent Indura Cotton has a higher flash rating then Nomex. (I knew that arguement would come up), Nomex is better for "Substained burn". Once again the major diff between structure and non-structure. To each his own, but if you do decide to "dress down" do it properly. They can give you more info at www.firewear.com

    Zmag

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    Hmmm, interesting comments Zmag. We have been having the turnouts vs coveralls arguement off and on for sometime now, but the Chief made the decision for turnouts to all calls. Then dress down as appropriate to the situation. We have discussed the topic to death in the Station, and as always with this thread, it ends in a stalemate. Of course no one has any real info on the pros and cons of comparisons between coveralls and turnouts.

    Your information has given greater cause for thought, and is something that I will bring up the next time the discussion comes up. I do know for a fact that regardless of which way we take for how to dress, full gear will still go with each of us to every call, just in case it becomes one of those really stupid nights with two or three calls all at once.
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    With respect to z-mag, but the expensive stuff i'm concerned about tearing up during vehicle rescue is not the PPE but whats inside.

    I'm in california. we all carry nomex all the time. it does not protect from cutting or penetrating injury like as turnouts. it has very little fluid protection, basically it just absorbs. it has very little thermal protection. it is basically cotton treated not to sustain a burn.

    here is the osha standard you mentioned.

    Article 10.1. Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment for Fire Fighters
    (c) Protective Clothing. Protective clothing, other than turnout clothing, shall meet the following minimum performance requirements:

    (1) Flame Resistance. When tested in accordance with Federal Test 191, Method 5903.2, "Flame Resistance of Cloth, Vertical" (Standard small scale test), test results shall not exceed the following limits:

    (A) 2.0 seconds after-flame (maximum)

    (B) 8.0 seconds after-glow (maximum)

    (C) 6.0 inches average char-length.

    (2) Ignition of the material shall not produce any melting and dripping of molten or flaming material. It is specifically required that upon exposure to flaming ignition, or to heat sufficient to char the fabric, the material will not adhere to the skin of the wearer so as to cause or contribute to the severity of burns.

    EXCEPTION: Outer garments of 100% wool, with a weight of at least 14 ounces per lineal yard of 54-inch width shall be considered as sufficiently flame resistant for such use.

    (3) Certification. Garments shall be certified to meet the requirements of Section 3406(c)(1), flame resistance; and as defined in Section 3402.

    (4) A durable label shall be permanently attached and shall include the following information:

    (A) Lot Number;

    (B) Name and number of specified test; and

    (C) Date of specified test.

    so you see it says nothing about being acceptibal for crashes, body fluid, cut resistence, gas fire, battery acid.

    what the same standard does say about turnoutds is this.
    (D) Turnout coats in combination with turnout trousers, or turnout coats and protective clothing meeting the requirements of Section 3406(c) shall be worn on all structural fires. Body protection provided for other than structural fires shall be appropriate for the potential hazards.

    we feel that the potential hazards at a crash call for turnouts.

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    Our department requires the wearing of turnout gear on all MVAs. We feel that the gear provides better protection than coveralls would, especially when there is the possibility of fire.

    Sometimes our EMS personnel will arrive from a pervious call and not have their fire gear with them. In these cases we keep them out of the work area for their own protection. All of our firefighters are EMTs, so there is still adequate patient care delivered before they are transferred to the ambulance.

    While the turnouts are bulkier and hotter (especially on the highway in the summer), the protection they provide outweighs any discomfort. And if the situation changes to where we don't need the gear on, we are able to take it off to stay cool or comfortable.

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    Default Turnouts or Coveralls for Extrication

    As far as I know, our department wears full turnout gear to all MVA's for a few reasons, including the possability of extrication. Our first out to a MVA is a Heavey Rescue which carry's all the extracation equipment.
    I myself attended the Georgia Extrication Seminar this year, and after seeing some of the videos, I would not consider extrication without turnout gear. I was in full turnout gear and had the Jaw's pop out of a purchase point, my knee is still not healed fully and I had on turnout gear. I wouldn't want to imagine what would have happened to my knee if I wear not wearing it.
    As for the coveralls, the ones issued to me are not going to protect me from all the possible things that can happen at a MVA.

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    Our dept wears bunker gear but i have a backup coat that i took the liner out of and use for grass fire season and extriction. i still always carry my regular coat in case it's needed. several others on my dept do this as well.
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    I would much rather wear my turn-outs and not need them than to need them and not have them. True, they don't provide the ultimate protection from cuts and slices and stuff but they do provide more than jumpsuits. True, they cost a lot of money but do the math...1,500 for a new set or however much you might lose being hospitalized or unable to work. Also, turn-out gear can be repaired and still meet NFPA standards. True, it may be uncomfortable but that is a price I am more than willing to pay. Besides, as many of you have said - you can always dress down according to the situation. My vote is definately for turn-outs.
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    Default By the book...

    Bunkers should be worn at all times. You never know when you make a cut or pry if a spark will ignite something. As way out in right field as it might be, there are people who will douse inside of cars with flammable liquids that we don't know are there.

    Second, bunkers will provide better protection against any blood-borne pathogens.

    And lastly, I know when I weld, I hate getting hit with embers, hate it too when cutting into a vehicle
    Doc DC3<br />ex FDNY (E74)

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    My department uses rescue grade coveralls for all extrication calls. Turnout gear is optional but a lot of us bring it along in case we get another call, or depending on the weather conditions.

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    Here is a sad story to emphasize my point.

    Yesterday, we had crews (including my engine and firefighters; I was not there) mopping up a 2,000 acre fire along a busy road in my response area. They were wearing their wildland nomex, which is essentially what some are talking about here for extrication (jumpsuit or two part - pants and coat).

    A Mustang with two lookie-looís slowed to see what was going on, and were rear-ended by a Taurus full of lookie-looís who did not see them slow down. As the crews were doing the obvious and approached the vehicles, the Mustang burst into flames. The crews in their wildland nomex could not directly approach due to INADEQUATE PPE FOR THE EMERGENCY. Not their fault, of courseÖ they were already there wearing appropriate PPE for their job, the wildland fire. Driver fatal. Passenger badly burned.

    Hereís my point; What if you pulled up in your nomex extrication jumpsuit and had the car catch fire like this one did. You would be ineffectual in performing your job as a rescuer until you changed into the correct PPE while your victims burned. If you were already in the vehicle (say rendering patient care), you would probably be a victim (or a fatality).

    Turnouts provide better mechanical protection, better thermal protection, and better fluids protection. They also provide (as this scene points out) better PATIENT protection.

    My vote is for Turnouts.

    Tim
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    As this debate continues, let me say this and I have not talked with Tim about the specific details. PLEASE, let us not think that structural gear alone would have changed the outcomes. If we as fire protection proividers feel that standard structural gear would allow us to enter and rescue a person or person(s)from a gasoline feed fire we are in SERIOUS trouble. I will say that Structural gear does provide better fire protection, but in this case and most cases we deal with, WATER or Class B foam and/or Dry Chemical will be the single largest deciding factor for a positive outcome! No mater what you use for extrication PE, if you aint backing it up with a hose line YOU are NOT protected!
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    Agreed Carl,With proper hoseline or dc protection the nomex extrication or wildland set should provide some protection for initial operations.Gasoline is at best a high BTU somewhat unstable compound.The lighter weight response ensemble has the advantage of greater mobility and less thermal stress however these are traded off for higher short term heat exposure in structual turnouts.T.C.

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    Come on, guys. Of course they were pulling lines.

    The point here is that no one is going to send in Firefighters to attack a vehicle fire in wildland gear. It is insufficient PPE for the job, and puts the Firefighter at much higher risk of injury. Would you attack a gas fire in your extrication jumpsuit? I think not. Yet you are willing to put Firefighters in a position where there is an inherent danger of just that, with the increased danger that the Firefighter might get themselves into the wreck where they cannot escape a flash fire quickly.

    What if my Firefighters had started working this wreck, put someone in the back seat to marry a head, THEN the fire flashed? It was enough to kill the driver. What would that Firefighter have looked like? There would have been a charged line that would have cut loose immediately, but fast enough to stop injury? Improbable. You have all fought vehicle fires. Do they go out as soon as you hit them with water or foam? No, particularly if gas fed.

    Here is a summary of this discussion as I see it:

    Jumpsuit Pro's;
    Cooler
    Cheaper
    Added maneuverability

    Jumpsuit Con's;
    Less protection for the Firefighter in...
    Resistance to mechanical injury
    Resistance to bloodbourne pathogens
    Resistance to hazmat fluids (battery acid, etc.)
    Resistance to fire or hot surfaces/fluids

    Turnouts: The way I see it, I can protect my Firefighters from heat exhaustion (it gets up to 116 degrees here, so we have practice) by rotation and good rehab. I don't care about price of turnouts, since all Firefighters have turnouts (actually would be very expensive to buy them all jumpsuits). I have never been restricted in an extrication by lack of maneuverability of turnouts.

    I can't protect them from getting cut, burned or infected because they wore a thin jumpsuit.

    Tim
    www.rescue42.com

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    I donít know how many departmentsí SOGís call for wearing an SCBA during extrication but I donít know of any. Itís not the flames through the jumpsuit itís breathing that is the problem. I donít have any data to support this but I think the jumpsuit provides enough protection to get you out of a flash. By the time you need the added protection of turnouts your lungs are toast.

    I also believe that you need to have your turnout gear in the truck for the second call.

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    Ok, I'll throw a different wrench in the works. My first aid squad handles extrication. We count on an engine showing up to provide fire protection and such. The engine crew has normal firefighting ppe and scba. They always pull a 1 3/4" connected to an inline foam system, so bubbles are seconds away. The slightest hint there is gas leaking/spilled, we bubble up the whole area (makes extrication fun when the ground disappears and tools are dropped). First aid squad simply can't afford $1500 ppe for 15 members so they use non-NFPA approved fire gear. Which is better? Non-NFPA approved firefighting gear or NFPA approved jump suits? Yup, more protection is probably better, but should a fubar occur, which gives less liability for lawyers? Just a discussion...

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