This could go on forever...
To everyone that feels that wearing a hood is an individuals choice, I respect your opinion - but I disagree. Your individual actions may effect the entire team. For those who do not feel that they should have to wear them or chose not to, does your department or agency have a written policy that gives you the latitude to chose what protective gear is worn?
In my department, hoods are part of the issued gear and we have written policy that states that while engaged in suppressison operations, all PPE will be worn. As a supervisor, I do not have the ability to allow some not to wear the gear, at least not without violating policy. Additionally, on the Virginia First Report of Accident Form (Workers Comp), there is the questions - Were all safeguards provided? Were all used? If a firefighter gets injured as a result of not using issued PPE, can workers comp benefits be denied? I don't know, I am not an attorney. Can I be considered negligent in my duties as a supervisor and be to blame/responsible for failing to properly supervise members under my command? Probably.
I know rules & laws are different from area to area, these are just some of the issues that I deal with in my little corner of the world.
Firefighters in the 'hood
WHF, you are a godsend for training officers. Someone who is looking for education, and not just training in how it's "always been done."
While I'll never claim to be an expert, (which BTW is someone with a briefcase, and at least 50 miles from their home), I can give you some tips.
1) You can't get enough live fire training, ever. Acquired structures, Flashover Trailers, concrete training facilities, flammable liquid props, garbage dumpsters, heck, even ARFF props. They all give you a different sense of what to look, and look out for. If you only have a concrete tower available, discuss with the Drillmaster using different amounts of Class A materials in each burn, or change tactics such as limiting ventilation before, during, and after the attack.
2) Practice hard on ventilation techniques (you're a truckie, so you know what I mean). If you think the area is too hot, IT IS. Re-think your tactics at that point. Did you vent before going in, or is the fan still sitting in the back compartment? Remember to cooridinate the ventilation with your attack.
3) Watch and learn about flashovers. If you don't have a prop available to see it first hand, get ahold of the video "Flashover" by Vincent Dunn. It is well done, and gives you a basic idea of what to look for in a flashover. I would strongly urge everyone to seek out their closest flashover prop (Class A or LPG)and train with it
4) Finally, wear all your PPE. The ears became the designated "Temp. gauge" not because they were the best at it, but only because hoods came late in the game from a technology standpoint. (Good thing gloves were invented first, eh.) :eek: :eek: