1. #1
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    Default Responding without bunker gear

    I worked a quiet 12 hour shift last night and at 6am headed home to get some sleep. Less than 30 minutes later, just as I was getting in bed, my department was paged to a over turned tanker truck. The 2 paid FFs on the day crew rolled out in the first out pumper and our Service/Rescue truck. I resonded POV to the Station and picked up our second out pumper/tanker. The Chief responded from home and picked up another pumper from one of our unmanned substations near his house. Our 2nd Assistant Chief stopped at our main Station and picked up the Brush/backup EMS truck. Within minutes we had 5 department vehicles and 5 personel on scene along with city police, sheriff's deputies and 2 ambulances from Acadian Ambulance Service. After State Police and DEQ discussed the plan to offload the Caustic in the flipped over tanker they stated that at least 2 FFs dressed out in full bunker gear should be standing by with a charged handline for safety. There were only 2 of us on scene with bunker gear. Me and one of the 2 on duty paid FFs. The other Paid person, a female FF/Paramedic, did not have her gear with her nor did the Chief or the assistant Chief. And while I was the only one on scene with FF1 certification you shouldn't need that to know that when you climb behind the wheel of a firetruck you should either be wearing your gear or have it in it's bag sitting on the passengers seat of the truck.
    In the end, DEQ allowed 2 of the FFs on scene to pull the reel line and standby in regular work uniform, ie jeans and FD T-shirt. I was releived because I didn't have to suit up and worry about who would come to my rescue should I get in trouble. And now I'm back home, about to go to bed and hoping that if I get a working fire during tonights shift, my coworkers and the vollies responding from home will have their gear with them when they arrive on scene.
    Be Safe,
    Cellblock
    Last edited by cellblock; 08-05-2004 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    I was the only one on scene with FF1 certification you shouldn't need that to know that when you climb behind the wheel of a firetruck you should either be wearing your gear or have it in it's bag sitting on the passengers seat of the truck.
    No, it shouldn't take a genius to know you need fire gear when going on a fire call. We've had the same problem in the past but our chief got on the PPE bandwagon and it really isn't an issue now. Even those on ambulance duty will place their gear in a compartment on the ambulance or engine so it will be available if they get on scene and have to pitch in with suppression activities (for clarification, our SOP is that the ambulance crew only does EMS support unless personnel numbers are low).

    In your case, it sounds like the chief is part of the problem. Keep on setting a good example and maybe others will join you.

    Good luck.

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    It seems kinda odd that you wouldn't take your gear, AND that you wouldn't wait for someone else to show up before rolling. The driver should never be operating the radio while the truck is moving. That is the job of the person that jumps in the officers seat.
    -Bozz

    Air Force Medic

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    The on duty paid crew didn't have FF-1? You had one crew and 5 pieces of equipment. The boss didn't take gear. Have you ever had any kind of PPE training? Having your gear is a no brainer or at least should be.

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    Exclamation Leadership problem

    This is a no brainer. Firefighter II or you don't ride the first out unit. All people on scene have full gear, no excuses. If it's a medical than gear is not on but with you, no excuses. Sounds like a leadership problem to me.

    Oh, yes, get rid of the reel line. I would never staff a hose line at a hazmat incident with less than a charged 1 3/4 line with two more people fully suited up ready to pull a back-up.

    No wonder we keep killing outselves.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    I am not going to reiterate what everyone has been saying because this will begin to sound like a commercial, so...



















    Ditto.


    Fortunately we don't have that problem; we always get enough FF's for operations.
    JLS
    MFC
    51 Pride - R.I.P. Sandy
    Alarm 200644004, I won't ever forget.


    Remember you only have 1*.

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    I still don't understand why you wouldn't wait for a crew to arrive. Here, if you don't have a crew, you don't go, someone else gets the call.
    -Bozz

    Air Force Medic

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    Originally posted by fdmhbozz
    I still don't understand why you wouldn't wait for a crew to arrive. Here, if you don't have a crew, you don't go, someone else gets the call.
    I disagree and will always disagree on this point. I got my start in a combination department that covered a good chunk of land -- more than 100 sq. miles for suppression and about 800 sq. miles for extrication. That department had lone engineers at its two stations who rolled the rigs when the call came out. Volunteers were so spread out through the district that it made sense for them to respond to the scene.

    For the last two years, I've been in a similar situation at my job working for a Department of Public Safety. Fire Division personnel (sometimes there's only one of us on-duty) respond in the engine. Police officers and voluteers roll additional apparatus and/or respond to the scene. Of course, we're about to create a fully-staffed engine company at the end of the year, split from the DPS and I'll hopefully never be the only member responding on a rig again.

  9. #9
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    Coz described our SOP exactly when discussing how the departments he's worked with respond. Each paid guy and vollie pick up a truck and get it to the scene where others will meet it after responding via POV. Thanks for breaking it down Coz.
    ----The on duty paid crew didn't have FF-1?--- FF1 is not required to vlounteer or to work part time or full time at our combo department. Until I found and enrolled in a FF1 class 2 years ago nobody in my FD had attended FF1 classes and gotten certified. Neither of the 2 paid people working today have FF1 nor do any of the Chiefs in the FD.
    ---Firefighter II or you don't ride the first out unit.---- There's only one FF in our department with FF2 and that is a guy from ST George FD (East Baton Rouge Parish)we hired to work a parttime paid slot. Except for this professional who works for an all paid department next to Baton Rouge we have no FF2s.
    ---Having your gear is a no brainer or at least should be.-- I can't agree more which is why I was so frustrated and had to post this thread upon arriving home. Just had to blow off some steam. Thanks for reading and responding.
    ----No wonder we keep killing outselves.--- I'm just trying to watch my back and stay alive in a halfass FD.

    Gotta go to work. Here's hoping I have a quiet 12 hours.

    Cellblock

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    We're required to take full turnouts with us anytime we get on an engine or the truck, and during brush season, our full brush turnouts and webgear too. Doesn't matter if its just a water vac call, we still take the gear in case a second call comes in.

    The FFs who staff the ambulance and utility at night also pack their gear with them. The ambo has a side compartment behind the driver's seat where the SCBA's stored that has room for turnouts. Brush gear usually goes on the floor at the front of the patient compartment. The utility has room in the extended cab area.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Incident Command does not need PPE as IC should be positioned safely in the cold zone. Where was Safety and Accountability? There is a command structure with associated responsibility for a reason. Ultimately IC is accountable. Sounds like the Training Officer has some work to do.
    Train Hard. Be Safe

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    Originally posted by FireHAZMEDIC
    Incident Command does not need PPE as IC should be positioned safely in the cold zone. Where was Safety and Accountability? There is a command structure with associated responsibility for a reason. Ultimately IC is accountable. Sounds like the Training Officer has some work to do.
    Well, that's how it might work in an ideal world. However, I'm willing to guess that a large percentage of departments do not operate anywhere near that ideal.

    There are entirely too many FDs that handicap themselves in ways such as limiting their training ("FFI/II is for paid guys") and refusing to wear PPE except when absolutely neccessary ("It's just a car fire"). They usually bust their tails when the pager goes off but then wonder why everything didn't go as it should have.

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    I was told day 1 with my post, when you are at a station on a ride or mtg, have your gear with you, period. I have mind in my vech at all times unless I am cleaning it or letting it air out. Since I only drive 1 vech, it is with me at all times.
    FF I
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    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

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    Default Re: Responding without bunker gear

    Originally posted by cellblock
    ...After State Police and DEQ discussed the plan to offload the Caustic in the flipped over tanker they stated that at least 2 FFs dressed out in full bunker gear should be standing by with a charged handline for safety.
    In the end, DEQ allowed 2 of the FFs on scene to pull the reel line and standby in regular work uniform, ie jeans and FD T-shirt. Be Safe,
    Cellblock
    My question is not only why there are firefighters responding to calls with out proper attire, but, why is an outside agency telling the FD how to do their job?

    While I admit, I don't know who DEQ is (my guess a state environmental agency). Here, no one tells us how to do the job. What is supposed to happen is through unified command, a plan gets developed and then the FD command assigns the appropriate individuals the tasks that need to be carried out.

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    In every department I have been associated with the rule was simple, If you ride on a fire department vehicle your gear goes with you.That includes staff cars. We even take our gear with us when going to a funeral and out of service for the funeral.You never know when you will come across an incident you have to deal with.Do these people know its should be their job to protect themselves first.
    How many times must we say Safety first, safety first, safety first, safety first, safety first.........................................
    and safety first

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    Thumbs down Only one with FF II

    If you have only one firefighter with FF II you would be out of business in Michigan. Don't you have state standards for required training, reporting, etc. What does OSHA or your state equivalant think about this or for that matter your insurance company.

    Again, we are killing ourselves.

    Cellblock, don't take the above personnal. I know you are trying but this situation seems like something from the 1970's.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  17. #17
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    Default No gear...

    No having your gear is a no brainer. What about a cop
    not having his gun?

    Use common sense or go out and get some.

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    This is unprofessional and just doesn't make any sense. I don't even take the trucks for fuel without at least putting my gear in on of the compartments. As an officer, a firefighter without PPE is totally useless to me and will get a serious but chewin' when we get back to the station.

  19. #19
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    Default Certs ?

    The Gear Issue is one thing but Career Firefighters with out F.F.I Training ???? Volunteer Chiefs with out F.F. I Training ???? - Only one Part Timer that has F.F. II ? -- What kind of training do these folks have ? - Sounds to me from reading the thread that certification and training rate low with this particular department

    Com'on F.F.I Is the Basics....How can you be a chief with out being certified in the Basics ? - How can you be a Fulltime Career Member with out basics ? - Scaaaarrryy

    Just to give a small insight - I'm a Career Member of a combo department and in order to even be considered for employment we had to have:

    F.F.I - Pro-Board Certified
    F.F. II - Pro Board Certified
    N.R.E.M.T. - B
    Vehicle Extrication {Levels I, II}
    Certified Pump Operator
    Hazardous Material Level I Certification
    Emergency Vehicle Operator Training

    These were the minimum requirements

    Does this make me a god ? Not by any means training in todays fire service is the key to any succesful operation.

  20. #20
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    Wow, another saga in the land of cellblock's FD. I guess I didn't think it could get much worse than what's been discussed on here before......

  21. #21
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    If you don't have the proper attire to perform the tasks at hand, then you're just another spectator. Stand over there-way over there-and watch!
    Firefighters showing up for a call without their gear begs these questions:
    1) Where is it and why don't you have it AND have it on?
    2) Without it, what good are you?
    3) Did you not bring it so you wouldn't have to do anything?
    4) Bet you didn't forget your cellphone, did you?
    In my mind, when a firefighter doesn't dress for the fight, he's afraid that he might have to do something.
    And it shows a serious breach in leadership if a department allows it.
    IMHO.
    CR
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  22. #22
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    Another excellent post by Da Chief.........

  23. #23
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    And I'm kinda curious about offloading caustics.When I can,depending on container and circumstance,sometimes it's faster and safer to stand them up loaded and swap out the power unit.T.C.

  24. #24
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    Lightbulb Trivia Quiz......................

    Q. What do you call a Firefighter who has no gear?

    A. A well-informed Bystander.
    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

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Trivia Quiz......................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    Q. What do you call a Firefighter who has no gear?

    A. A well-informed Bystander.
    I'll have to remember that one, Chief.....

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