Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Forum Member firespec35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milford MI USA
    Posts
    213

    Default Need help with reasons for replacing turnout gear

    Ok yall here's the story. For those who don't know me, I work for one of the big 3 as a contract security officer/ firefighter. My dept is officially an Interior Structural Fire Brigade. I've been told that this is essentially an Industrial FD w/o the reporting requirements but don't quote me on that. Our turnout gear is old and crappy. We are trying to convince our client to order us 10 sets now and 10 sets in 1 year (the client provides all firefighting equipment). Unfortunately the people holding the purse strings are not firefighters so we have to put together a presentation to "prove" to them our gear is old and crappy. We have 69 firefighters, most of our gear was ordered in 1981 and 1989. We have a few sets from 1997 and 4 sets from 2002. For a long time our gear was not cleaned right (once every couple years). Where we stored our gear had outside windows in the room so a lot of it is really sun faded. A lot of it has the heels walked out of the pants from the pants being too long. A lot of it doesn't really fit too with people either being in too big or too small gear (we have a set of size "26" pants and a lot more around that size. What were they doing equipping 12 year old boys?). Before I got my new stuff in '02 my pants were so small I had to use a key carabiner to hook them closed and had to be peeled out of my coat. Even though we really don't get a lot of fire we are hard on our gear, because even when we are acting in a security capacity we drag our gear around with us in the security vehicles. I know NFPA 1851 covers cleaning of gear but, Do yall know of any NFPA's that cover inspections and when to take gear out of service. Also when do y'all take gear out of service or what kind of rotations do you have for ordering gear. Any other suggestions for our report would be helpful.
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,575

    Default

    Ask the "bean counters" if the big 3 would still be in business if they still controlled the car industry.

    Of course, we all know that the answer to that question would be a resounding no! They came damn close to destrying it!

    The US auto industry turned around when they let "car people", ie, designers, engineers, etc. take over. Thery started building cars that people wanted and a were actually fun to drive.

    You have to make your pitch for new turnout gear appealing to the engineering mindset, quoting advances in fire resistant fiber technology, as well as safety issues.

    If you have to deal with a @#$%^&! bean counter, put it in a term they will understand... they can pay about $20K now for new gear instead of $20 Million in a wrongful death suit should the worst case scenario happen.
    ‎"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

  3. #3
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    check NFPA standards, I think they have something about gear life expectancy. Also, check with the gear maufactures as well about the sun fading breaking down fibers in coat/pants. Who cleans the stuff ? I knwo of a place that inspects stuff for cleaning and will de-certify it for use if it has breaking down moisture/thermal barriers. And I would certainly use Gonzo's approach as well. Good Luck.......and oh ya ........another thing ......tell them the more sets you buy the cheaper they may be .........anyone else ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  4. #4
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857
    Last edited by Weruj1; 06-10-2004 at 08:37 PM.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    633

    Default

    Chapter 8 of NFPA 1851 discusses removing gear from service

    In addition to Gonzo's comments about the cost of a lawsuit, you can also put it into the terms of a lost time injury due to burns. How much will that cost for treatment, rehab, workers comp, etc.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central ND USA
    Posts
    451

    Default

    If I remember correctly most gear has an life of 15years max. I would definately tell them about the advances in the gear in the years since the old stuff has been around, new liners, and new outer shells that protect you up to around 1300 degrees, and the fit will help you do your job better, which in a fire situation means you can fight fire better and more fire will go out. And for the exposure to sunlight i'd say its pretty well gone and needs to be replaced i've seen gear in that condition before.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    In 1998 London Fire Brigade took out a contract with US Turnout Manufacturer Lion Apparel. We had been using Bristol Nomex Turnouts since about '89, but as with any large City FD we were able to order new whenever it got too old or worn looking...trouble is looks do not tell the whole story!

    We were finding that Firefighters were getting burned on the back and around the knees and elbows on jobs...especially in older turnout gear. Gear that had been sent off for washing every few weeks or even more often in some cases begins to deteriorate at the extremities...where the joints pull it tight over your body (Back, Knees, Elbows).

    Further investigation determined that all of the protective material within the garments was falling to the bottom or edges after continued wear or washing...thus exposing Crews to burns...and the FD to days lost on sickness and injury claims (The £$£$£$ bit to make the bean counters sit up and listen)

    It was then decided that instead of buying new Turnout gear for London's 7000 Firefighters we would go for a Lease plan, where the gear is provided by a company, they are responsible for cleaning the garments and inspecting them periodically and replacing it after every 10th wash...Now I'm not suggesting for one minute that you need the sort of service given to one of the Worlds biggest FD's but the point is, old gear will cause injuries and worse.

    Maybe you can get in touch with Lion Apparel in the US (I Know one of the Senior Guys, Dennis Smith was heavily involved with the London Project) They may be able to provide you with evidence of what I have said to convince your 'bean counting' chums to do the right thing...lay out for decent kit for the People who are protecting their lives and property instead of paying out for an expensive lawsuit.

    I realise that NFPA standatds are different from European Fire Kit Standards (have you seen our silly Star Wars Fire helmet )but they are all pretty much designed to protect us delicate flowers from the hot stuff.

    Good luck!!!
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  8. #8
    Forum Member spearsm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Lowndes, MS USA
    Posts
    742

    Default Honorable mention..

    If the regulations and standards don't mention it, you may also point out that gear that tight does not offer the "insulation" value. Tight gear will get you blisters at the very least....

    As far as the "walk to length" pants....you better bet that is a invitation to trouble in a fire....could end up under the hose yourself.
    Just my thoughts...
    YGBSM!
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    If all you have is a hammer, then your problems start to look like nails.
    ___________________

    IACOJ
    Southern Division.

  9. #9
    Forum Member firespec35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milford MI USA
    Posts
    213

    Default

    Another thought.....

    Anyone with an approximately 70 man dept, on average what do you spend a year for gear or how many sets do you buy a year on average? Maybe if we show them that the expendature isn't out of the ordinary we will get farther.
    Never Forget 9-11-01!!!!!!
    There wasn't just 343, the other 73 rescue workers deserve to be remembered too!!!!

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    If the gear is not in good repair, which is an opinion call, or more importantly, not in compliance with current NFPA or OSHA standards, your group should simply make a notification to your employer and OSHA.

    From: http://www.nvfc.org/regs03.html
    Although a handful of state OSHA jurisdictions have issued their own regulations that apply specifically to fire and rescue departments (including California, Michigan, and Washington), most state OSHA jurisdictions have simply adopted the Federal standards. This means that in most state OSHA jurisdictions, public sector agencies, including state and local fire departments and rescue agencies, must comply with the Federal OSHA standards. Fire departments in state OSHA jurisdictions should contact their state occupational safety and health agency to determine what standards apply to them.
    Once a complaint is sent through OSHA, your employer cannot leagally take punitive action against you. If every individual is named in the complaint you MAY provide some protection from layoffs, etc. being made to offset costs.

    My guess, the 10 year old gear is not up to todays standards.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Posts
    32

    Default

    NFPA 1500 States (7.17.3) "Members personal protective ensembles manufactured prior to th 1986 edition of NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Firefighting, shall be removed from service, regardless of testing or inspection procedures"
    I.A.C.O.J. - Getting crustier every day

  12. #12
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    The Nice Part of New Jersey
    Posts
    6,981

    Default

    Seems like a pretty old thread.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts