Don't waste your time with nomex. Check out he Reed hood by Globe. :D :D :D
Don't waste your time with nomex. Check out he Reed hood by Globe. :D :D :D
Hoods were NOT designed for us to be able to go deeper in the structure, they were designed to protect us better. I believe the problem to be is that some people think that they can go deeper in the structure because of these hoods, the hoods are insurance. Yea you can go deeper into a structure with a hood on, Just like seat belts, just cause you wear your seat belt doesn't mean you can drive the car faster, it means that in case you do get in an accident you have better chance of living. Same thing with hoods.
Like one person said that you can stand up with the red hoods, well sure you can, dont use your gear to the limits cause if something goes wrong then your gear will fail and you wont have time to get out, it will stand up to this torment so that when things do turn bad then you have time to get out. You want to keep that buffer zone just in case.
Hood or no hood, I think it should be a personal choice, some people came up and learned how to fight fire that way, and that is fine use. your head, pay attention, and get some.
You're right ggtruckie. Hood or no hood, its a personal choice. (If you take NFPA out of the picture) I respect your opinion, whichever it is. For those that choose no hood (or even a sock hood), you'd better have that doorway blocked well, cause the boyz in the hood will run right over you and put out your fire! Seen it happen. :D
I am a hood man myself. I have been there without a hood and with it. Like Stan said I don't like using my ears and neck for thermometers.
There is no dress rehersal in life.
Be safe everyone.
I think some of us are saying the same things, but comming from different directions about it.
As has been stated before, there are always 'veterans' with only training fires, or car fires, or they work in a slow department that sees a couple hundred calls ayear. I think these guys start as many of the "which is better" threads as they chime in on.
HalliganHook, Mikey, Firstin, GGtruckie, we are all danceing around the same issue: TRAINING and EXPERIENCE.
Older guys who learned to use their ears have a valid reason to not were hoods. They were trained that way, and have experience with that use to back it up. They use their traing and experience to fight fire and no how the fire is progressing, and get a 'feel' of when it's time to pull back.
Newer guys have been trained while useing the "fully encapsulateing" gear includeing hoods. They have been taught the limitations of thier gear, and it's drawbacks. They have also been taught ways to replace the drawbacks of their gear. they have worn their hoods and have experience with fighting fire without 'feeling' the heat on their ears, but watching the ceiling, hearing the fire, and feeling the relative heat through the mask and coat.
It really amounts to the same thing! What both camps have in common is they are useing their training and experience to do what they do.
If we are talking about the same level of trainging, and the same level of experience (with whichever meathod you use), it's not which one is better, but which do you prefer.
Personally, I have seen and felt the difference and I will take the hoods, and use the other methods I have learned to keep me from getting to far in. Halligan, I suspect you will use the ears. Neither of us is 'better' than the other, we just do things differently.
I think we owe it to those that have come after us to have them use what ever training they have, and not just copy what the old guy does. The 'Old Guy' can do things that would get the newbie hurt, because he has the experience to back it up.
:D The best thing for newbies would be to force them to wear hoods, or put them on the truck, that way us hosers would have the fire out by the time they get in.:D
To qualify my statements, Im not someone that just has book experience or whatever or am on a dept that only runs a couple hundered calls a yr. On avg I prob go on around 40 structural fires a year. I dont know everythig but i do know a lil based on my actual experience. There are fires when u know u are goin to take a beating and u have to be aggresive, wearing a hood alows me to be more aggresive when i need to be. Thats what i was getting at.
Are we overprotecting them or undertraining them? Perhaps if they were better trained, they wouldn't get into trouble?Quote:
Originally posted by captstanm1
I am still reminded of the quote from an seasoned and well respected fire service leader that I used earlier in this thread.
..."Stan...I believe that we are at a point where we are overprotecting our people to the point that before they realize they are in trouble they are dead."
NFPA standards require the use of full PPE at all structure fires. Common sense requires the same. The equipment is designed to protect you. How you use it determines if it really does. I have been inside working fires and had conditions change so rapidly that if I had not worn my hood I would have been badly burned. You never know when a window will blow out(or be broken by some ambitous pup with a pike pole)and give the fire the extra O2 it needs to take off. Too much protection is an oxymoron. However, if beeing too protected is a concern, I would suggest you focus more effort on training your people to discern the signs of incipent flashover than permitting them to remove safety gear.
There are tools on the market to detect the conditions changing...heck, there are gizmo's for everything - Thermal imaging camera's with gradient heat sensors, coats that change colors, I've even seen a coat that goes into audible Alarm, when exposed to too much heat(past issue of American Heat).
All of those are tools to be used, but remember that your people are only as good as you train them. I would recommend wearing your full gear at all times, but recognize its limiations and train, train, train your people around those limitations. Don't remove PPE to stay safe, teach your people how to function with Full PPE so they are safe.
I'm lincesed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and no where else so I cannot comment on other states laws, however, I'd recommend you Check with your workers comp carrier or department lawyer to see if this activity risks your coverage. Some Insurance companies could deny your claim if full PPE is not worn and an injury occurs. That is a possiblity under PA law. Depending upon your states laws, you could also be potentially exposing your fire dept to potential civil liability for ...failure to supervise... failure to train...etc., if you permit that kind of conduct to contine. Talk to your dept lawyer to get an opinion on this matter under your state law if this is going to be a common practice.
That's my two cents for what's it worth.
When you're wearing your hoods, do you still wrap your neck collar around, fastened and raised? Do you still pull your earflaps down? If so, good. If not, sorry, not "NFPA compliant". I have seen too many guys say they don't need to use the ear flaps and neck collars since they have hoods on.
Remember - NFPA does not equal law. Only OSHA is law, and even then, only when the state has adopted an OSHA administration.
Also, as far as training goes, we still train our new kids without hoods. From what I have seen, the only ones that wear hoods are laterals from other smaller departments who were not taught the "no-hood" technique to begin with, and who buy their own.
I agree NFPA standards are not law. If you are an instructor and you teach someone to engage in a practice that deviates from a nationally accepted safety standard - such as an NFPA standard, you do so at your own risk. You do not have to "break a law" to be found negligent. For example, if you teach "don't use the hood", and someone is seriously burned, either in training or on the actual fire ground, then the NFPA standard becomes relevant in the negligence action that will likely follow. Negligence in PA consists of a DUTY, a BREACH of that Duty, and a CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP to an INJURY. It's a Four part test.
To establish the DUTY aspect of the negligence action, a Plaintiff's lawyer will use that standard against you in court of law. You have to understand how the standards are used in court to appreciate the seriousness of the issue. For example, the Plaintiffs Lawyer will stand there and read the NFPA standard on full PPE to you in front of the jury and have you admit that you taught someone to do something different, ie. that they did not need to use that protective equipment. That testimony establishes your duty and the breach of the duty. ie..deviating from the standard.
Then they will put a medical expert on the stand to testify that the burns the deformed man sitting at plaintiff's counsel's table has could have been avoided, if he was only wearing a hood. That's your causal relationship and the injury part. It's a simple case to prove, if the action can be brought in your state.
I'm a Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Local Level instructor. When I teach students, I do it by the book. (Essentials of Fire Fighting 4th ed.) That way if they screw up in the field and try to blame me for their injuries, I have the protection of the standard to assert as a defense that I taught them properly, but that they chose to do their own thing. If you want to take the risk of making up your own standard...its a free country, ... but I think you do so at a risk.
Can this happen in your state? If its anywhere other than Pennsylvania I'm not licensed to comment, but, it could in Pennsylvania. Just a thought.
No, but NFPA is a recognized national standard. Two of the biggest problems with the fire service is the lack of standards and the lack of a common voice. NFPA is only good to firefighters when it supports what they want or supports their argument. But when that annoying little standard is not in accordance with what a firefighters argument is, watch out. "Its not law." "Its only a suggestion." etc.Quote:
Originally posted by HalliganHook25
Remember - NFPA does not equal law.
Of course, depending on where you are, the argument that its not law may actually be incorrect. Here in NJ, many NFPA standards are "law." Our Divsion of Fire Safety or Department of Labor has adopted the standard by reference.
For example, the New Jersey Administrative code (12:100-10.6) provides:
1. Protective footwear shall comply with NFPA 1974-1987, Protective Footwear for Structural Firefighting.
2. The use of three quarter length boots may continue for volunteer firefighters until replacement of the boots is necessary. At time of replacement, bunker pants and bunker boots as required by NFPA 1974-1987 must be purchased.
And as far as hoods go in NJ (12:100-10.9):
12:100-10.9 Protective clothing; head, eye and face protection
(a) Head protection shall consist of a protective head device with ear flaps and chin strap which meet the performance, construction and testing requirements of 29 CFR Part 1910.156(e)(5) or NFPA 1972-1987, Helmets for Structural Fire Fighting.
(b) Full facepieces, helmets, or hoods of breathing apparatus which comply with 29 CFR 1910.134 and N.J.A.C. 12:100-10.10 shall be deemed to comply with (a) above.
(c) A full protective hood shall be provided for the firefighter that meets the performance, construction, and testing requirements of NFPA 1971-1991, Protective Clothing for Structural Fire Fighting.
1. Firefighters shall be provided with a full protective hood December 7, 1999, provided that if the wearing of the hood interferes with the proper fit of the helmet, a full protective hood need not be provided until the helmet becomes unserviceable and is replaced.
Of course, in typical NJ fashion, you will note that C above requires that the hood be "issued" but not necessarily "worn."
Now where was I on my soap box... oh yeah....
Did you ever wonder why the fire service is the bastard step-child of the Federal Gov't (and most State Gov'ts)?? Perhaps it is because we can't get our act together with standard procedures, systems or equipment standards.
If the fire service ever got organized, we would be the most powerful lobby in Washington. But as long as the group from Massachussetts can't agree with the group from Oregon on what equipment is necessary (such as PPE hoods), any chance of getting more from Congress is unlikely.
When I brought up the subject of the 'Reed' hoods, I knew I would
ruffle a few feathers. I knew it would take the hood issue up one notch. I was also hoping to let everyone out there know there was
an 'improvement' out there.
I am not the best person with words, so thank God for scbaguy,
no_name_ff & capt1_gvfd.
Believe me, I know I have limitations. My hood is made of PBI,but
my gear is only Nomex. This is where training and experience takes
over. I'll go only as far as Nomex will take me and count on the
hood to offer me just a little extra level of protection when some-
thing unforseen goes wrong.
A fellow FF was on a fire with another dept. Someone with a pike
pole got a little too happy with it and caused a flashover. If he
hadn't been wearing his 'Reed' hood he probably wouldn't be with us.
Fires are burning more advanced materials & fuels these days. Our
equipment and training has to be just as advanced.
On a previous thread about hoods somebody posted this photo a firefighter no wearing a hood.
WAT I FIND THAT WORKS PRETTY GOOD IS WEARING A VERY THIN HOOD, BUT KEEP YOUR HELMET FLAP AND YOUR COLLAR DOWN. YOU GET GOOD PROTECTION FROM YOUR HOOD, BUT YOU CAN ALSO FEEL THE HEAT!:o
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.
Interesting thread. Unfortunately we are in a different world down here - hoods are rarely seen, they don't teach you to stay low, they don't teach you about warning signs of flashover, and you are usually certified in SCBA (and thus able to do an interior attack) without ever having dragged a hose into a structure (burning or otherwise). I shudder just thinking about it.
Good to see all the regulars are still on the forums - I've been off the forums for a few months.
In reply to psfb, in the state of New South Wales, Australia, hoods (known as "flash hoods" here) are issued to all SCBA trained firefighters, both career and retained (paid vol) in the New South Wales Fire Brigades and unpaid volunteer in the NSW Rural Fire Service. Personally I wear mine for all interior structural firefighting and high risk exterior fires.
Yep, and you have real structural firefighting turnouts as well I believe - certainly a heck of a lot better than our single layer cotton trousers and woollen coat. I'd also bet that you use SCBA at car fires instead of sucking a lungful of black crap. Somedays I have to ask myself why am I doing this?
Bones....Excellent questions... I can truthfully answer yes to them...but can also say that my collar usually does not stay fastened.
No_name_FF Excellent point on the training issue. Better training is certainly a start. What he was referring to when discussing "overprotection" was this. We continue to improve fabric and technology in PPE as far as materials and liners. But the components of SCBA, Helmets, Facepieces does not keep up. So if you chose the top of the line fabric the firefighter is well protected from the radiant heat by the coat and pants but some of the materials in the SCBA components fail at a lesser temperature. So before the garment reaches it's maximum THL or TPP, the critical stuff such as SCBA has already begun to fail and the firefighter may be unaware that it is happening because of the "comfort level" in his gear.
HalliganHook25...NFPA may not be law...but its' standards are developed by our peers (among others) and they are Nationally Recognized Standards. Whether you chose to adopt them or your state adopts them is up to the individuals involved. However...it has been said over and over and is now being proven...if something happens, the NFPA standards are going to be referenced for compliance. If you have not chosen to follow them...you are going to lose.