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  1. #1
    Senior Member FFMcDonald's Avatar
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    Default Chicago wearing Bunker Gear?!?!

    Low and behold -- I was cruising around the internet.

    And found myself on the 5-11 Club's website (Buff Group in Chicago) - and they have pictures of their recent incidents.

    If you follow the link below...

    http://www.5-11club.org/2600_s__kedzie.htm

    And look at the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th pictures in the series... you can see Chicago FF's wearing what looks to me like Morning Pride gear - very similar to FDNY spec....


    Is this the end of an era???

    Chicago members of the Forums - let's hear what you know...
    Marc

    "In Omnia Paratus"

    Member - IACOJ
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    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.


  2. #2
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago wearing Bunker Gear?!?!

    Originally posted by FFMcDonald
    http://www.5-11club.org/2600_s__kedzie.htm

    And look at the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th pictures in the series... you can see Chicago FF's wearing what looks to me like Morning Pride gear - very similar to FDNY spec....


    Is this the end of an era???

    Chicago members of the Forums - let's hear what you know...
    CFD is testing turnout gear (again), evaluating four brands. A fixed number of sets have been distributed to fire companies for testing. Apparently, each testing company is supposed to wear all four brands for a fixed amount of time (not all at the same time, of course), then recommend a manufacturer.

    I am not personally involved, but I "know people." This is allegedly ly the third evaluation in the past 6 or 8 years.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  3. #3
    Forum Member codeblue81's Avatar
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    Default Correct me if I'm wrong

    I remember reading something awhile back that OSHA was trying to ban 3/4 fire gear. Anyone else heard the same?
    Also there was something about OSHA frowning on black turnouts...again anything from anyone else?

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
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    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

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  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not intending to cut on anyone or frown on any traditions. I totally understand traditions and believe in a few myself. I know this is a touchy subject with a lot of people but I have to say this.

    I started 12, going on 13 years ago and no, I do not know everything, far from it. I was issued 3/4 lenth boots for about 4 months during my probationary period while my pants were on order. I worked 4 structure fires with them and I have to tell you, they sucked big time. The difference between pants and boots were like night and day. No heat protection at all, no reflective material (not much at all in those days on anything) and didn't burn my knees with pants like I did with my boots.

    Granted I am in small town Wisconsin but we have been and still are pretty progressive for our area of the state. First to do and get a lot of things in the area.

    Boots or pants, no question here.

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    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  5. #5
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    Default Tradition

    I'm not an expert in this area as I've never worn 3/4 boots in my career. My opinions are based on the opinions found in these fire departments (such as Chicago) who still wear hip boots. I'm sure they have their reasons for them, I'm not a member there, I don't know their reasons. I know in my personal opinions and past experiance, I wouldn't want to wear anything but my bunker pants, but if it works for them, more power to them. I'm sure they have their reasoning and I'm sure they realize better than any of us the pros and cons of the fact.
    I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are making good educational decisions and have very good reasoning for doing things the way they do. So like I said, more power to them.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Jason,Burned knees in 3/4?Nobody showed you how to "duck walk"?Having spent the first third of my 35 years in 3/4 I can tell you that there are pluses and minuses on both sides of the fence.For you "youngsters"you think pants are the only way to go.Some of us in the dinosaur generations have mixed feelings.In the summer you could work longer with less heat stress in the old ensemble.We didn't have any more lost time injuries back in those days then we do now.Get burned in the "old" stuff?Sure you can but you're not exempt in your full gear either.One of the Firefighters best tools is their brain with PROPER conditioning thru PROPER and comprehensive training.T.C.

  7. #7
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    Default

    The Chicago Fire Department has every right to wear 3/4 gear. When properly trained you can probably go through every situation as someone wearing full gear. I have never worn the "old" style, but if tradition holds than OSHA should let them keep it.

  8. #8
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    Default picture 3

    there a pair of boots in the lower left that don't look like 3/4's on a firefighter.

  9. #9
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by concord727
    When properly trained you can probably go through every situation as someone wearing full gear.
    then why have the majority of the fire departments in the US stopped using 3/4 boots and switched to bunker gear?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  10. #10
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    Default Chicago Knows whats best for them

    Has anyone else here considered the possibility that Chicago knows what is best for them and that's why they're doing what they are?
    If the 3/4 boots aren't working for them anymore, I'm sure they would switch. It is widely known that there are both advantages and disadvantages to both. 3/4 boots have their good points as do bunker pants.
    If Chicago wants to wear them, have at it. I don't see the big deal. If they had abnormally high burn or injury rates do to the 3/4 boots, I'm sure they'd switch.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Dr. Parasite,two words come to mind.Federal mandate. Unfunded as usual,which does not in all cases equal a better system.Have you noticed that more and more stuff is getting forced down our throats regardless of our ability to fund said changes?Perhaps you've noticed that your apparatus is getting bigger and bigger?Big brother helping you out here too.

  12. #12
    Senior Member FFMcDonald's Avatar
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    Ughhh - Folks - I was merely bringing attention to the fact that a fire department that has classically worn 3/4 length coats, and 3/4 boots - may be making the switch to bunker gear. They have field tested gear in the past - and remained with 3/4 gear.

    Also -- Rescue101-- if it is a federal mandate to wear FULL BUNKER GEAR -- why is Chicago, and Boston for that matter- Still wearing 3/4 length coats and pull-up boots?

    God -- I hate those unfunded mandates that make the fire service safer - like the ban on riding the tailboard, the fact we have to wear SCBA, so we won't get cancer ..... Oh - and don't forget about those horrible enclosed cabs with all those seatbelts..
    Marc

    "In Omnia Paratus"

    Member - IACOJ
    "Got Crust?"

    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    Good snicker Marc!First a lot of towns and cities had Scba policy in place long before it was "mandated"mine included.How do cities get away with ignoring federal mandates?Easy,they just DON'T do it.Something in local regulations about if it was never taken out of service and it met spec when it went into service then it's still legal.I'm no lawyer,you'll have to figure it out on your own.But you know what all these geniuses have yet to be able to legislate? COMMON SENSE!If we had a little more of that on the State and Federal level we could probably live cheaper,better,and with less frivilous lawsuits and the accompanying insurances we all have to carry.If you note carefully,I didn't say all mandates were bad.I also did NOT say they were all Good either.T.C.

  14. #14
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Knows whats best for them

    Originally posted by FORTff
    Has anyone else here considered the possibility that Chicago knows what is best for them and that's why they're doing what they are?
    If the 3/4 boots aren't working for them anymore, I'm sure they would switch. It is widely known that there are both advantages and disadvantages to both. 3/4 boots have their good points as do bunker pants.
    If Chicago wants to wear them, have at it. I don't see the big deal. If they had abnormally high burn or injury rates do to the 3/4 boots, I'm sure they'd switch.
    I'm going to hazard a guess that 3/4 gear is still used in Chicago for 2 main reasons: tradition and money. The second may actually be more important than the first. Think about it...5000 members at $1200 each is $6 million. That's a lot of money in a city with a deficit.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  15. #15
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by FFMcDonald
    Also -- Rescue101-- if it is a federal mandate to wear FULL BUNKER GEAR -- why is Chicago, and Boston for that matter- Still wearing 3/4 length coats and pull-up boots?

    God -- I hate those unfunded mandates that make the fire service safer - like the ban on riding the tailboard, the fact we have to wear SCBA, so we won't get cancer ..... Oh - and don't forget about those horrible enclosed cabs with all those seatbelts..
    First, I don't think there is a federal mandate to use bunker gear. OSHA does include regulations for fire brigades, but not for municipal fire departments or for fire protection districts. The use of SCBA in IDLH environments is an OSHA requirement, per 29 CFR 1910.134. Keep in mind thought that only about 30 states actually follow OSHA; the rest have state plans (which, of course, usually mirror OSHA).

    The standards for turnout gear, PPE in general, fire apparatus, and the like are just that: standards. While NFPA standards may be adopted at a state or local level, they are not enforced or required at a national level. Standards carry legal weight if and only if they are adopted as law by a local/state entity.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  16. #16
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Osha is NOT a standard,it is occupational LAW.While there is some truth to the fact that Osha uses NFPA as it's "standard"source it varies State to State how much of the standard they utilize.If for even one second you think that these "standards"aren't "law"and don't apply to cities and municipalities try having a "problem"resulting in a lost time injury that makes it to the court and the lawyers and let me know how you make out.I think you'll find out REAL QUICK how OSHA enforces that "standard"as LAW.It HAS happened here.T.C.

  17. #17
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    Osha is NOT a standard,it is occupational LAW.While there is some truth to the fact that Osha uses NFPA as it's "standard"source it varies State to State how much of the standard they utilize.If for even one second you think that these "standards"aren't "law"and don't apply to cities and municipalities try having a "problem"resulting in a lost time injury that makes it to the court and the lawyers and let me know how you make out.I think you'll find out REAL QUICK how OSHA enforces that "standard"as LAW.It HAS happened here.T.C.
    As we all know from OJ's dodg.., uh, I mean acquital, the standards for civil and criminal court are different. A lawyer can and will use "standards" to demonstrate a failure to act prudently. This does not mean, necessarily, that an enforcement agency can use "standards" to assess fines and legal complicity.

    I am not suggesting at all that fire departments should ignore NFPA standards, or pick and choose which to follow. I feel quite the contrary, as I serve on an NFPA committee. However,I am trying to help differentiate between that which is legally required (law) and that which is legally prudent (standard).

    I guess I should also add to my signature that I am not a lawyer and do not play one on TV....
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  18. #18
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Chicago Knows whats best for them

    Originally posted by firemanjb
    Think about it...5000 members at $1200 each is $6 million. That's a lot of money in a city with a deficit.
    Perhaps, but it's not like Chicago isn't buying new gear all of the time as it is. Old & worn out gear is constantly being replaced with new stuff... and I'm sure new recruits are being outfitted every year as well.

    Of course, I think this issue has been beaten to death... but my two cents is that if it works for Chicago, let Chicago do it.

  19. #19
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    Default

    The number 1 reason we don't have bunker gear yet is
    1. POLITICS!!!!!

  20. #20
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Re: Chicago Knows whats best for them

    Originally posted by cozmosis


    Perhaps, but it's not like Chicago isn't buying new gear all of the time as it is. Old & worn out gear is constantly being replaced with new stuff... and I'm sure new recruits are being outfitted every year as well.
    I think a new recruit is outfitted for about $650. I also believe that once a FF has gear, the city leaves it up to him to replace it as needed. As a result, many are wearing the gear they were originally issued when they came on the job.

    One of the brothers closer to (or on) CFD could clarify that for sure, though...
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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