1. #51
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    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.

  2. #52
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    Originally posted by HalliganHook25
    Remember - NFPA does not equal law.
    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.

    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.
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

  3. #53
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    Wink Hoods

    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.
    He who says he has finished learning, needs to begin again.

    Go Houston Texans!

  4. #54
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    On a previous thread about hoods somebody posted this photo a firefighter no wearing a hood.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    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!
    FIREFIGHTING IS ALL ABOUT ***, BUSTING OURS TO SAVE YOURS!!

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    Default 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.

    John

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    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.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    Talking

    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.

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    G'day pumper41,

    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?

    Take care.
    Last edited by stillPSFB; 09-12-2002 at 03:02 AM.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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  10. #60
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    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.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  11. #61
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    Just curious, how do you see your helmet faceshield while battling a good attic fire?

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    My department issues hoods and we are all expected to wear them. As a new FF (about 3 years) I was taught to wear a hood so of course thatís what Iím comfortable doing.

    While at the state fire school for a refresher, I asked ďhow do you know when itís too hotĒ (I was taking a 2 day structural FF course). This seems like an obvious question but I have only seen a few structure fires and those werenít serious enough to be worried about over extending myself. There answer was that you would feel it through your bunker gear.

    That seems to be about right. The second day of the class we drilled in a 3 story, concrete fire tower that the instructors heated up pretty good. My team was assigned truck company duties and my job was to do the primary search on the 3rd floor (or attic). Man was it hot, it felt like I had ants inside my coat (everything else was OK). I was just about to tell my partner that I had to back out when we found the victim (a dummy) and pulled him out.

    So now I donít know what to believe. The few working fires I have been in havenít bothered me (at least because of heat, I have been scared silly because I got dumb and got lost). But I have had 2 drills now where I could feel the heat right through my gear, the one mentioned above and another where I got a mild burn on my leg (through the bunker pants) from contact with an iron stairway (I was pulling a dummy down the stairs, again! Well, OK, I am on a truck company so I guess I deserve it). Iím sure itís just my inexperience but to this point, in my experience, my gear tells me when itís time to leave.

    This has been a great thread and Iím learning a lot as well as absorbing some of the crust.

    Thanks!

  13. #63
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    Default 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.)

    FG
    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    LAO TZU

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    "Just curious, how do you see your helmet faceshield while battling a good attic fire?"

    Thank you DFD FF. Again, when people tell me they can see anything in a good smokey fire, that tells me they have never been in a good smokey fire. People, you will not be able to see your shield melt, and if you do, it's too late!!

    When you start feeling the heat in your gear you are setting yourself up for a burn. Your defeating the gear. It's amazing we have not suffered more deaths.
    ** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**

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    When you begin to truly feel the heat through you turnout gear, you are already getting at least a slight burn. Maybe it's only a first degree "sunburn" but try taking a shower after feeling that heat and see what the hot water feels like against your skin.
    At the moment when you begin to feel the heat, the thermal protection afforded you by your gear is already penetrated, and if you are sweating or have wet gear, you are about to be steamed alive. You do not have enough time at this point to avoid a burn by getting out of the room, and if you use a hose to cool off the room, chances are you will end up upsetting the thermal layer enough to send steam and heat right down on top of you.
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    If progressive equals houses burning to the ground, it's not progressive, it's stupid.

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    Does anyone know of a low cost, high-temp warning device? I know they make PASS devices with this built in, but we use Scott's with integrated PASS's. Maybe something you could just clip on your coat that would sound an audible alarm if the ambient temp reached a critical level. We have a Scott Eagle II with thermal readout on it...so that helps a little. It automatically paints the high heat areas red. But it would be nice if there were a small,low cost device that all our firefighters could wear on their coats that would warn them that they were in danger of flashover. If something like this has already been mentioned somewhere, I apologize.

  17. #67
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    Do you really want to count on a machine or technological device to provide for your total safety when your life is at stake? I believe that you should have a device as a backup or secondary warning device, but realistic training and true fire experiance can never be subverted or replaced by technology.
    -----------
    If progressive equals houses burning to the ground, it's not progressive, it's stupid.

    Only a few more years until retirement!!!

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    We rely on technological devices on every fire we fight. Even a bucket is a technological device. I agree that training is important, and that you train with the equipment that you will be using during a real structure fire. However, as this thread has stated several times, the turn-out gear we use, including hoods of all types, have progressed a great deal in the last few years. I personally think that hoods should be worn during all structural firefighting, as well as flaps and collars. But, even experienced firefighters lose track of what is going on during fire attack and get killed by flashovers. Just look at the LODDs. They aren't ALL rookies. I would really like to have a small, low cost device that would transmit an audible warning when temperatures approach the danger level. Today's modern devices are very reliable and go through extensive testing before reaching the market. After that, the opinions of firefighters who have actually used the devices go a long way towards improving them even further. Should we rely simply on devices for protection? Of course not. But think of the devices we have now that have saved many lives, such as PASS, radios, and thermal imagers. A personal temperature warning device seems a logical addition to any trained firefighter's gear.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 09-13-2002 at 05:52 PM.

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    A majority of new In-Line PASS devices include both a high heat sensor as well as a rate of rise and total heat exposure warning.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with technology, but in order to properly use the technology you must have a strong knowledge and experiance base in order to apply the tools at your disposal correctly.
    Last edited by HalliganHook25; 09-13-2002 at 06:50 PM.
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    If progressive equals houses burning to the ground, it's not progressive, it's stupid.

    Only a few more years until retirement!!!

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    OK, so Iím dancing in my gear because itís too hot. This has only happened a few times and that was during training, in concrete burn buildings where the heat and smoke was generated by a controlled, supervised fire. Lots of safety officers and backup (weíre nothing if not by the book, and of course the state fire school is pure NFPA) so I felt pretty safe pushing it a bit (or is that just another sign of my inexperience?).

    Firegod911 (thanks but usually I start to wear on training officers because I ask too many questions), bfd1071 and HalliganHook25, are you saying that by the time you feel the heat through your gear the situation is changing too rapidly to cope with? Is it now too late to bail like I did in the burn buildings?

    See thatís the problem I have getting an answer I can work with. If feeling the heat through your gear is too late, then I can see why some FFs prefer not to wear a hood (in an attempt to keep the thread on track, sorry Jedimike007). They get an early jump on rapidly changing conditions.

    Does the fact that Iím basically a truckie change the equation? Of course that may be why I have not felt the heat in a real fire because Iím either on the roof or searching rooms away from the seat of the fire.

    Thanks for the great feedback!

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    In my opinion, if you are feeling the heat through your gear enough that you are thinking of bailing out, then most definately YES the situation is developing too rapidly to cope with. You might survive an encounter like this, but you will most likely be burned over many areas of your body, not even counting the injuries possible sustained while bailing out.
    -----------
    If progressive equals houses burning to the ground, it's not progressive, it's stupid.

    Only a few more years until retirement!!!

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    Question Looking for the answer

    I have read this thread twice now. I'm still trying to find out how you can tell when it's too hot without a temperature gauge or alarm.

    I'm not staying until my helmet's shield melts as it's made from the same plastic as my SCBA face piece. Most working house fires I've been in you're lucky to see your hand in front of your face. I believe it's too late when it's soaked through the gear because I have seen blisters using that method.

    I'm not trying to be a smart *****. I really want to hear a some good ways to know.

    Until then, level of pain = motivation to exit.

  23. #73
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    Default Thats pretty hot

    If your face shield is melting, you better start putting some water on the fire or find another place to be.

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