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  1. #1
    Junior Member sidney251's Avatar
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    Default Shorts under Bunker Pants

    Looking for any written information about departments allowing their members to wear shorts or underwear (night-time) under their bunker pants. If your department written information about this please contact me.

    I am not looking for the actual SOP so much as I am looking for the documentation of safety that allowed the SOP to be put in to place.

    thanks


    sid

    sidney251@aol.com


  2. #2
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    Check with the FDNY....

    They have been doing it the longest as far as I know, I am sure they have some documenattion about it.

    Dave

  3. #3
    Forum Member mfgentili's Avatar
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    Our collective bargaining argreement allows the wearing of shorts between 8AM and 6PM during the months of June, July, and August. Shorts can be worn any time of year between 6PM and 8AM. As part of our contract, if shorts are worn, bunker pants must be worn during all responses. That includes medicals and odor investigations. It also includes apparatus chauffeurs. I believe our union negotiating committee and the city simply negotiated our right to wear shorts because of the heat stress associated with full PPE. I don't know of any specific safety documentation used to support or dispute either argument.

    I am unaware of any injuries being caused by our members right to wear shorts.

    When the argument about full leg coverage under bunker pants because of thermal protection comes up (as it does on these forums every year), I simply ask if that should also apply to full arm coverage. I don't think there is a department around that does not allow T-shirts or short sleeved shirts to be worn alone under fire coats. Is arm skin tougher than leg skin? Will it not burn just as easily? Just food for thought.

    BTW, I personally do not like shorts but only because I think they look unprofessional (just my opinion). I must confess to wearing them on a couple of occasions though, when temperature and humidity were both high. Another reason I dislike shorts is because I don't like wearing bunker pants to med calls, which these days comprise the bulk of our responses.
    Mike Gentili
    Captain, E1, NBFD

  4. #4
    Member FDirish's Avatar
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    Default PPE & Shorts

    Be realistic. We used to have afire chief that was NFPA that he conuslted it at night prior to sleeping with his wife! We had to wear nomex duty uniforms (trousers & shirts) to include FR cotton t-shirts. We couldn't even remove out nomex button shirts prior to putting on our gear. Ptoection, protection, protection. 110 degrees with 98% humidity, we still were in full uniforms. He felt this would save out lives. Be realistic. IF your gear suffers such catastrophic burns that it gets to your nomex uniforms, then your mask and nomex hood have most likely been destroyed too. Let me freakin die at that point. A nomex uniform won't save you. we wear poly cotton now and the fatigue is less and so is the price tag. Your gear is for protection. Let it do the job.
    celer et audax

  5. #5
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    Default correct me if I am wrong...please

    I thought that the big reason for wearing nomex or flamex or whatever was to reduce the chance that the material would burn adding to your already painful burns. Maybe this is semantics, but it was not to protect you from getting burned as much as it was to decrease the complications and debrieding(sp) from having poly melted on your skin.

    We now wear mostly 100% cotton. Pants and shirts. We do not have a shorts policy excpet for bike details and the like. And Mike makes a valid point about shorts and short sleeve shirts.

    Dave

    ...waiting to be told.......
    Last edited by hfd66truck; 06-01-2002 at 06:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BFD196's Avatar
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    All the guys that work at our station wear work pants, with either a Belltown Fire Department T-Shirt, or something appropriate for the weather. When a medical comes in, they go as is, just throw the gear in the back of the rescue. If a fire call comes in, they all put their hitches on right over the work pants.

    They obviously can`t have a dress code for volunteers, so we wear whatever we want depending on the weather. When it`s cold, almost everyone goes with their jeans on, now that the weather got warmer most guys loose the shorts and pull their hitches up over just boxers, to try to keep a little cooler. For medicals during the winter, I used to just throw my coat on since I would always have pants on, now I just throw my hitches on instead so I don`t have bare legs.

  7. #7
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    We are allowed to wear shorts during PT time and evening down time, and wear either bunker pants or brush pants for responses during these times. The rest of the time, it's good old Lion pants.

    Personally, I think that once the thermometer rises past 90 the uniform pants should be restricted to "dress duty" only, but that's just my opinion. I've always considered long pants to be more of a liability than an asset, especially with the advent of better turnout gear - with modern gear, the pants serve no purpose other than extra heat and sweat retention. I've burned my knees with both pants and shorts, and really don't see much of a difference in protection wearing either one.

    I hate to be wearing sweat soaked pants to medical and service calls, and typically change 3 or 4 times a day to prevent this. The brush pants dry out pretty quick, and don't show it anyway. Maybe I've been baking in the desert too long, but in reality I'd be happy to see a universal shift away from the pants for daily uniform to shorts,allowing both with discretion given to individual firefighters and/or company officers for determining the uniform of the day.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default

    Interesting thought here. This discussion came up during practice the other night. The Chief's answer to this that while he would prefer that we did not wear shorts to a call (we are volly's and of course could be dressed in pretty much anything prior to the page out), he did specify that if we wore shorts, it would be better that they were at least cotton or natural fibres. The reason for this was mostly in case things got really hot in the fire, the nylon material would likely cause trouble long before the cotton/natural fibres would.

    I will definitely agree with the concern for dehydration and heat stress/exhastion issues. Lightweight clothing is the way to go, for sure.

    If anyone has anything to add to the above points, or good arguments for or against the above, please send me a private msg. Thanks.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 06-01-2002 at 08:46 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default

    Good point - our normal PT shorts are cotton knit, with our departmental logo printed on the leg. I've got a few pairs of FR cotton EMS type shorts from days gone by that I think would make an ideal warm weather uniform.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    We live in the deep south, where it stays so humid you can cut through the air during the summer. We used to wear shorts during the summer, but that ended about 10 years ago.

    At night we can wear shorts under our gear, since we wear shorts to bed anyway (especially in the co-ed dorms). I have been burned on the knees before while wearing shorts, but I don't think wearing long pants would have helped- both of my knees were burned, or shall I say, boiled, while fighting a fire in a non-combustible multi-family dwelling. I have heard both sides to the story, but it's my unsubstantiated opinion that more people are injured by heat exhaustion than are burned on the legs.
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

  11. #11
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    We have the policy to wear shorts during all the hot days that we all hate. We also wear them during inspections as long as we are all wearing them. If one does not want to wear them then we all have to go to pants. I have had them on under my gear for many fires and have not suffered any burns or injuries becouse of this. The whole company is happy with this policy and that is what is important. By the way we wear EMS style and they are just as perfessional as the paints.
    Just my 2 cents.
    You have to love this line of work.

  12. #12
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    The dept. here is a pro dept so they wear uniforms and their pants are cotton uniform style pants. Atleast I guess that what you call the style thats what my family and I have called them my whole life. And truck6alpha, I think we've got you beat. If you live in the deep south then I must live in hell. I live in southern Louisiana about 50 miles north of the big easy. On an average summber day the temp is anywhere from 95-105 degrees and the himudity never gets below 99.9% You cant stay outside for more than a few minutes at a time sometimes
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  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber truck6alpha's Avatar
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    ffmatt- I'm sorry, you are absolutely right. I was in New Orleans for a conference a few weeks ago and you do live in a much hotter environment than we have here. I bow down to you guys...
    Michael "Mick" Mayers
    Acting Director, Urban Search and Rescue
    South Carolina Emergency Response Task Force
    www.sctf1.sc.gov

  14. #14
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    100% FR cotton. Have to have our name and the orignal pair I got had FDNY on them also. Still wear steel toes with protection from blood borne pathogens. Can wear white socks, though it does look horrible, IMHO.

    I wasn't around much after shorts got authorized, however, from what I've seen on my trips home, pretty much wear them all the time on duty now. Helps in the bunkers big time.
    Doc DC3<br />ex FDNY (E74)

  15. #15
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    RE: sidney251 ,our union safty trustee work in conjunction
    with the bunker gear manufactor through bunker safty test
    and wearing cotton t-shirt and shorts had no
    negative effect on the test. So get in touch with the
    bunker company and see how they run there test.
    Just a little thought about NYC FDNY they run alot of
    5,6 and 7 story walk-ups , shorts under bunker pants
    makes a difference..

  16. #16
    Senior Member crashbgfdchick's Avatar
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    My former VFD issued coveralls made of the same material as station pants. They were VERY handy to have in the summertime when sleeping attire is more abbreviated than winter. And the fact that I didn't ruin a clean pair of jeans and a t-shirt with sweat for a false alarm made the coveralls more convenient. I wish my department now would issue coveralls.

    I don't know of a department here (Madison WI) that has uniform shorts as part of the professional dress code. I think it doesn't look very professional either (but then again we don't get the heat they get in the south.)

    In the wintertime I've showed up for calls in about everything...flannel PJs, sweats, you name it. My first fire, though, I just came home from a date and still had a cashmere sweater and leather pants on! The smoke never really came out of that!
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  17. #17
    Forum Member Medic946's Avatar
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    My vollie company allows you to wear shorts or whatever because on all fire or rescue calls you must wear the PBA/Kevlar bunker pants. We also have ems pants that are made out of somekind of bloodborne resistant and cut/slash resistant material for medical calls. You just jump into them and away you go. We used to have a chief that would respond to the firehouse a night in his boxers (Not a pretty sight ) and slipped into his bunkers when he got to the station. No one to my knowledge has gotten burned/injured through their bunkers. Most injuires we have gotten at any fire is inhalation stuff, from guys getting their masks pulled off or minor ear burns from guys who forgot to put up their hoods, and the occasional glass in the giner from MVA calls.
    Nationally Certified EMS Dinosaur

  18. #18
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    In our Vol dept nobody (well apart from me) seems to pay much attention to what they are wearing, which is unfortunate. I compete in motorsport and was on the way home from a test session one night still wearing a triple layer nomex racesuit when we got called for a working structure. Got on scene and saw that things were sort of well out of control so didn't have time to rip off the racesuit before jumping into the gear. Fortunately it was the middle of winter but boy did I get a ribbing back at the station later.
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  19. #19
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    we are allowed to wear uniform shorts from may to oct. we have cotton work out shorts that we wear all year round after 8 pm or when we work out but if we have a call we have to wear our bunker pants when we have our cotton shorts on. i have never been burned when wearing shorts but it seems to get a little hotter but it is alot cooler in the summer then wearing pants and boots. we have to wear black shoes when wearing our uniform shorts the only problem with us wearing shorts is everyone has to see our white legs
    I PROVIDE A NAMELESS FACELESS SERVICE TO A COMMUNITY THAT RARELY KNOWS HOW MUCH THEY NEED ME IF I AM CALLED FROM A SOUND SLEEP TO SACRIFICE MY LIFE TRYING TO SAVE THE PROPERTY OR LIFE OF SOMEONE I DO NOT KNOW I WILL DO SO WITHOUT REGRET
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