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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    Default Extricatoin coveralls

    Our department is looking at the Pro's and Con's of getting extrication coveralls. Everyone has a full set of bunker gear, but some people are pushing for a 2nd set of lighter coveralls for extrication. They complain that the bunker gear is too heavy and restrictive when working in small spaces.
    Any input would help?


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber rmoore's Avatar
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    Once your organization decides that use of something other than structural PPE will be accepted at crash scenes, you have several options. Coveralls is one of them.

    On one side, coveralls do cover the rescuer's body. They come in various colors so you get your choice there. They can have reflective trim, lots of pockets, plus agency logos placed on them easily.

    In contrast to this, coveralls have to fit the entire person. Long legs, long arms, big belly, all factor in to the sizing of the one garment. You have to take your shoes off to put on coveralls. To be effective they have to fit and to fit they pretty much have assigned to an individual and sized to that person. Not that this is wrong but it's just the way coveralls work.

    Another option for lighter weight clothing at crash scenes is California-style wildland brush jackets and pants. The department I'm running with now is experimenting with our team of extrication instructors. We purchased a brush jacket for each of the 11 instructors. About $100 each. They will be wearing these at all extrication training sessions and rescue demonstrations we conduct so we can get some idea of how the jaskets work and if we want to implement them as standard gear for all personnel. We'll continue to wear bunker pants for lower body protection along with helmet, gloves, and safety glasses.

    We bought these jackets made from a special blend of cotton that has a fire-resistive, invisible to the eye thread woven into the outer layer of the jacket. It's the new competition to material like Nomex. The jacket is really, really comfortable and we hope, durable from tears and abrasions. We're also interested in seeing how the jacket cleans up after becoming dirty or soiled.

    If we ever modify our SOPs to be like so many of the West coast fire departments I've trained with and do allow brush jackets at extrication scenes, I think our SOP will describe certain times when full PPE would still have to be worn. The inside rescuer, the tools crew, EMS personnel for example, all will be allowed to wear the jacket with their bunker pants. If there is a significant fire hazard or if an individual is assigned to fire standby duty at a crash scene, that person probably will be required to be fully bunked out.

    As team leader, I had the choice for a substitute to the heavy bunker gear and I selected brush jackets instead of coveralls.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Mr. Moore is right about the coveralls having to fit one person.Our department purchased the members coveralls several years ago, and we are very happy with them. They are of fire resistant cotton Indura material, with reflective striping across back, on legs, have cargo pockets, reinforced knees, radio pockets, glove keeper, velcro straps to take up slack on wrists and legs. More important, the legs unzip so you don't have to take off your shoes. We use these for fighting brush fires as well. Over here in the desert, it is dang hot during the summer time, so if we don't have to wear our turnouts for extrication, we don't. But this is just one man's opinion. You should weigh all of your options, and possibly you could get some loaner gear, and try them out to see if you like them before you purchase for the whole department.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Mr. Moore's dead on about the coveralls. We've got support personnel that are trained as first responders but not structural firefighters and we wanted to equip them with some form of PPE that would be useful for various scenes like MVAs and support activites on the fireground. We experimented with both coveralls and wildland style gear. They overwhelming opted for the two piece ensemble. The jumpsuit was just too hard to get on and off and some said it was too constricting for doing a lot of bending. They're now equipped like a wildland firefigher: boots, helmet, gloves, goggles, coat, and pants but no pack or fire shelter.

  5. #5
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a story in the letters column of the magazine recently from an Air Force firefighter who was working a tool when it sustained a 1/16" leak in its supply line? He said it felt like someone pushing strongly into his side, and I think he indicated his turnouts were destroyed around the thigh where the leak was hitting him. I've decided not to risk wearing just my jumpsuit on MVAs from now on because of this very story.
    --jay.

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