1. #1
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    Cool The Joys of Winter Firefighting.............

    As I enjoy a second cup of Maxwell House and look out the window at the first snow of the season falling, I get the urge to yell, HEY CJ, IT'S HERE!!! Actually, I wanted to ask if those of you who deal with more snow than we do here in the Chesapeake Bay area, might share some winter "Tips of the Trade" with us. Like, carry a couple of hair dryers on the rescue truck for frozen buckles on your turnout gear and a 5 gal bucket of sand/salt/kitty litter for ice, add a couple of snow shovels to the regular tool list, Etc. Etc. Thanks and Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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    Smile

    An extra dry hood, gloves and socks. For those long cold nights. Also if you get a fire that involved a house with a wood stove. Don't put the wood stove out right away. They as we all know are great for drying off and warming yourself up. Also keep Hydrated. There is as much danger of dehydration in the winter as there is in the summer months. "And Don't eat Yellow Snow" or lick a cold Halligan
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

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    From grwoing up in Frostburg, Maryland. (Yes, the name is very descriptive of the winters). Dton't stand in one place too long! One good source of warmth is the motor cover of the engine. That's where I like to go when you're rotated through for rehab. Since we went to leather boots with gore-tex lining, the feet have been a lot more comfortable. If you have access to them and they will fit in your firefighting gloves, latex gloves will keep your hands dry if your firefighting gloves get soaked through. Of course, I'd only use them for exterior operations.

    The Frostburg Fire Department used to have a 1967 Dodge Power Wagon mini pumper with very wide tires. They used to run that in front of the engines to "break a trail" when the snow was deep. Between the brush truck making tracks and using chains on the engines, they were able to get just about anywhere they needed to go. If things got too bad, the mini pumper had a deck gun and a coulple of hand lines. If the engine couldn't get to the fire, you could get the mini pumper there. Then you laid a line from the engine to the mini and pumped through it to supply the deck gun and hand lines. Pretty labor intensive, but it worked pretty well.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

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    Once it gets below 20 degrees or so, if you are moving water - DON'T STOP!!

    If you are drafting and filling tankers, keep a small line flowing in a ditch off to the side so your pump doesn't freeze.

    If you are supplying handlines and the attack crews are taking a break, remind them to keep the nozzel cracked open so the line doesn't freeze.

    When a crew is done with a line, break open all the couplings immediatelt on shutting down the gate valve. Walk the hose and drain it immediately. The hose material will freeze and get stiff but at least you won't have the long icecicle stick inside.

    Wet, exposed skin freezes quickly - keep covered and keep dry.
    Remember, it IS as bad as you think and they ARE out to get you!

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    Thank you soo very much for Automatic Snow chains, sure is nice not having to chain up all winter, just a push of a button and off we go. For big storms, we have a Fire Plow that we use to plow the roads ahead of us in those hilly areas.

    Latex gloves in the Winter, I have never had my hands soooo cold than being on traffic accidents in the dead of winter and having to wear those in the winter chill. It must make the air fill 20Degrees colder than it really is.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    UTFFEMT
    Latex gloves in the Winter, I have never had my hands soooo cold than being on traffic accidents in the dead of winter and having to wear those in the winter chill. It must make the air fill 20Degrees colder than it really is.
    Put your latex gloves on then put on a pair of either leather work gloves or fire gloves. They may be a little more expensive to replace but I know that frozen fingers dont work too well. Your hands will still be cold but not numb.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    Put your latex gloves on then put on a pair of either leather work gloves or fire gloves. They may be a little more expensive to replace but I know that frozen fingers dont work too well. Your hands will still be cold but not numb.
    Well that is fine if I am in a support role, but if I am to have any contact with a patient ie: taking vitals or C spine I think it would be a big nono to have Leather(an absooooorbant of bodily fluids) But I will try your offer if Not going to have Patient contact.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong

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    Bring Cheffie with you....the snow and ice just melt!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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    Call for the sanders early!

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    UTFFEMT
    Well that is fine if I am in a support role, but if I am to have any contact with a patient ie: taking vitals or C spine I think it would be a big nono to have Leather(an absooooorbant of bodily fluids) But I will try your offer if Not going to have Patient contact.
    Actually I am talking about pt contact. If it is that cold while you have contact with the patient then you should be making every effort to get them out of the cold. I have used cheap leather work gloves in the past and eventually convinced the cheif to begin buying them for that reason. If you get blood on the gloves then pitch them. Get a new set. The latex/nonlatex exam gloves normally used are not sterile. Dont take care of an eviceration with them but lacs, abrasions, and other wounds can be dealt with using leather gloves.
    Vitals can wait until the pt is in the back of the bus.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    The joys of winter firefighting...

    digging out hydrants....trapaising through snowdrifts with a ground ladder.....falling on your keister stepping out of the rig....falling flat on your face trying to get back in....freezing from the mist coming from a master stream...warming up nice and toasty when the wall collapses..... hot coffee from the firebuff's canteen truck....

    God, I love this job!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Don't forget the ice in the mustache, if you have one.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

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    Gonzo
    The joys of winter firefighting...
    digging out hydrants....trapaising through snowdrifts with a ground ladder.....falling on your keister stepping out of the rig....falling flat on your face trying to get back in....freezing from the mist coming from a master stream...warming up nice and toasty when the wall collapses..... hot coffee from the firebuff's canteen truck....

    God, I love this job!
    Are you sure you havent spent some time on the job in Western NY?

    Stay Safe out there!
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Talking Hair Dryers????

    A friend (yes, I have one) who read my post that started this thread asked about hair dryers. So... Acquire a few cheap (under $20.00) hair dryers and carry them on whatever rig(s) suit your local operational style. Crank up the generator, plug in the dryer and go to work with 1500 watts worth of hot air. use it to thaw couplings, warm hands, noses, ears, etc. I've seen people get back to the station with frozen buckles on their turnout gear, and try to use a tool to break the ice. This usually results in broken buckles, putting the coat out of service. Thaw the buckles with hot air. Using a dryer instead of a flare to thaw couplings avoids damage to the coupling and gasket. I've also seen people hold couplings up under the exhaust pipe on the rig to thaw them out. If you can't do it with a hair dryer, the next best source of hot air is anything with a lot of bugles Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    If it's really cold and you're starting to slow down, all your drain valves will plug up with ice. I'm talking into the minus numbers here, but you may want to consider cracking them open and letting them spray (once you've got a draft on the master drain) so you'll be able to drain out before driving home. Otherwise you may freeze a pipe or even the pump on the road back to the station. Just be careful that the water does not create a skating rink in front of your panel.

    On spots are so sweet, otherwise put the chains on before the snow starts. Call the DPW and get a sander crew rolling to you ASAP, and once he's on scene forbid him from leaving w/o checking in with the chief. A coffee maker on the truck!

    I'm considering buying some of those boot cleats for icy work in the interstate, anyone have any experiance with them?

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    For personal comfort in winter, I wear a pair of SealSkinz waterproof socks instead of wool. These things are great and really keep your feet warm and dry,even when the snow and water have got in from under your turnouts. They also do gloves of the same material, which I normally use when mountain biking, but are great if you are going to be standing about or making up hose, as they don't soak up any water, as the leather gloves do.

    On a bigger point, always make sure the forecourt of the station is gritted. Nothing like NOT beingable to move the truck off the station coz the wheels won't turn!
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    Let us not forget the joys of watching the new guys on the fireground learn the little things like nozzle recation when standing on ice, picking up hose frozen into the ice, iced over facepieces on the SCBA and all the other little things that make winter ops so enjoyable.

    Hot coffee or choclate is a must as is a means of rehab to thaw out.

    Stay Safe

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    Don't forget to double check the hooks on your roof ladder once you get some snow.It's not nice to discover what you thought was the roof peak was actually only crust.And not Gonzo's kinda crust.A bad ride!T.C.

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    Well, way up here in the Great White North it gets DAMN COLD!!! But I agree with all of the other posters on their suggestions.

    We have strict restrictions on training when it gets too cold, for instance if it is 20 degrees or lower, we can only be out pumper training or driver training for an hour. If it get to 10 below, we can't go out at all, except for emergency responses.

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    Also make sure that the roof ladder is in the right location the first time. Its a b!tch to shimmy the ladder across the roof with a foot of snow on it! Learned from experience!

    -steve

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    MY advice, watch out for the idiots in cars. Somehow, they fail to realize that Mr. 30,000 pound truck can't stop all the fast.

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    Just reminded of a couple last night...

    Two rooms, attic and front porch rolling on arrival. While two main lines are inside, trash line is mopping up embers on front porch. Made the porch stairs very icy. Next, whoever had the trash line shut the gate all the way. It is 6 degrees F last night. Nozzel frozen stiff. Solution without buying hair dryers? (besides hitting offender with said frozen nozzel) Dunk the bail in the huge lake of unfrozen water under the pumper (it is just bellow freezing) and shortly the ice on the bail will be thin enough to move. Remember, this is only used if it is time to tear the line down, the whole thing will ice up if you leave it out and expect to use it again.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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    If you are lucky enough to have spare gear keep it handy...there is nothing worse than climbing back into wet, heavy, ice-cold gear at 2AM after a short nap for that car fire.....and those woolen mittens are great after you come out or if you're on the pump. Can't do much in them but they'll get the blood moving in your fingers again and you can hold a coffee cup if you use both hands.....

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    2 years ago we had 22 feet of snow, I hate winter

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    We had a guy vacuum seal a pair of underwear, socks, and a hood into about a 24 square inch pack, then stuck it in his inside coat pocket.

    BTW, he used the food saver 2000 to do this. It kept us occupied for almost an hour.

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