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  1. #61
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    To ChicagoFF:

    Just a bit of info for you to chew on while you try to weigh the advantages/disadvantages to boots & 3/4 coats vs. full bunkers...

    My FD is in the process of creating our own bunker specs as we get ready to go to bid on new bunkers for the entire FD (grant money). I'm heading up the committee (yeah yeah, who cares) that's doing the research into what we want in our specs, as well as looking at the diff. manufacturers and what they have to offer.

    Currenly Globe (they also manufacture Cairns) is offering a new line of bunkers called the G-Xtreme. In my 18+ years in the fire service, they are by far THE MOST comfortable and ergonomic bunkers I have ever tried on. That's right, I've only tried them on at this point. Essentially it was a fit test type of thing. Lion Apparel is manufacturing a line of their Janesville bunkers called the V-Force. They're very comparable to the Globe G-Xtreme bunkers as far as roominess and ergonomics go. Morning Prides bunkers were impressive where ergonomics are concerned as well.

    Currenly we're in Globe GX-7's, and while they're incredibly good bunkers, we would like to be in bunkers that offer us even more mobility/ergonomics. Essentially, like you mentioned/questioned, they restrict some of your movement. Coat rise when lifting your arms over your head is also a concern for short coat (32"-35" rise) wearers (we are) because at times the bottom hem on the back of your coat can get pulled up into the belt strap of your SCBA. I guess if you don't use your SCBA belt strap, that probably wouldn't be much of an issue.

    While I haven't had on a 3/4 coat and pull-up boots in a long, long time, I promise you that the ergonomics of the bunkers I mentioned above far, far exceeds the ergonomics of any 3/4 coat and pull-up boots I've ever worn. Just the difference between our GX-7's and those new models of bunkers was quite impressive.

    Obviously body heating issues are going to be different between the two, as has been delved into quite a bit already in this thread by others. The big difference for me though is the thermal protection issue, and that's where the protection offered by bunkers just greatly exceeds that of 3/4 coats and pull-up boots. I work in a dept (bragging here?) that has a reputation for being very aggressive on structure fires. However, we could not be anywhere nearly as aggressive as we are if we didn't have the thermal protection that is offered by our current bunkers. Protecting/saving live's and property conservation... that's usually in the first line or two of most FD's mission statements. My belief is bunkers allow us to go further and deeper in order to do our jobs, hopefully allowing us to save more property and more lives.

    Just as an aside, I have worn leather bunker boots in the past, and they're incredibly light and comfortable, though a bit spendy (FD budgets and all that hoopla). You might want to put a bug in someone's ear that's makin' the decision's regarding what Chicago FD is going to do, and suggest allowin' the guys to try out leather boots if the dept does indeed go to wearing bunkers.

    Hope that gives ya some useful info!

    For those that don't believe SCBA's should be used all the time, take a peek here:

    http://www.ergometricsonline.com/markNoble/play.cfm

    Click the red link at the top of the page to watch the 18 minute video. You'll need Windows Media Player or an equivalent to view the video.

    We can't always be worried about cancer or disease, otherwise we'll just be mentally bound up no-good-for-nothings. However, our own protection and self-preservation is in our own hands. Wisdom brothers, and not machismo attitudes, is the clue here. I don't know about the rest of you, but after I retire from this career I plan on spending the rest of my life with family, and continuing to serve people who desperately need help. I don't want cancer or disease to cut short those opportunities if I can help it.

    One more note, and I don't remember where I heard this from, but national studies have shown that those that choose our line of work die, on average, 10 years earlier than the rest of the general population. Watch the Mark Noble video above and I think you'll have a clue as to why.

    I'll keep wearing my SCBA all the time, thank you very much! Call me a pansy, a sissy, or whatever you want. Life is precious and I don't plan on wasting it... there's too much good to be done with it.


  2. #62
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    I wonder why there are not too many old timers left to share their stories about the days of "leather lids and leather lungs"...

    Another thing I have noticed is that many of the "muchomacho rehab and bunkers are for pussies" crowd come from colder weather climates and have no problem wearing full bunkers when it's freaking cold outside!

    Let's face it.. the difference between wearing the 3/4 boot and bunker pants is just about 12 inches of material and thermal protection. The 3/4 boots only offer protection if you wear them properly... honestly, how many of you who do wear them have the rolled down to bunker boot height?

    Check your EMS books about assessing burn injuries and the "rules of 9's"... you will see that your "manhood" is listed as 1% of the surface of the body. I don't know about you "mach macho men", but Mrs. Gonz would like me to keep that 1% protected (yes, even after 26 years of marriage!)and that's another reason for the bunkers!

    The coat, whether it is 3/4's length or 32" to 35" long is made of the same material and thermal linings.

    Call me a "pussy" if you want... but this "cheshire cat" plans on smiling long after he's disappeared from the firehouse in retirement!*

    * For those who don't understand this statement...refer to "Alice in Wonderland" for the reference!
    ‎"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."
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  3. #63
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    I think the reason for that is that they DO remember those days.

    Although I actively fought fire in a volunteer FD, in the early days, traditions like stretching the first line w/no SCBA and sucking air off the floor were there. In retrospect, it is a wonder that no one was killed.

    Change for change sake is usually not good. Change because research has shown how dangerous these actions are is good. Change because equipment has continued to improve faster than we care to admit is good. Change because there are fire service professionals who develop techniques to fight fire just as efficiently, with less risk to our personal health and safety is good.

    I notice that the mutt who mouthed off about the '70's has disappeared. I, for one, resent being told that if I am not willing to jeopardize my health, then I am less of a fire fighter than reckless cowboy who has a Backdraft mentality. I was there in the '70's dirtball, and I am glad that things have changed for the better.

    For the "I'll never give up the line" crowd, do you have four-hour SCBA? Do you run with supplied air? Or do you just talk out of your butt? The bottom line is you do whatever it is the IC tells you to do...including giving up your line. To do otherwise flies in the face of the discipline the fire service demands to do the job properly.

    Oh yeah. One more thing...

    ...you will see that your "manhood" is listed as 1% of the surface of the body.
    Thanks for reminding me. Is that a slam against those with a Gaelic heritage?

  4. #64
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    I had a guy on my group (long retired) who was as Irish as Paddy O'Grady's pig. In reference to his "manhood" he would say "it may be small, but my wife says it's cute!"

    No slam intended there, George!
    ‎"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

  5. #65
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    I had a guy on my group (long retired) who was as Irish as Paddy O'Grady's pig. In reference to his "manhood" he would say "it may be small, but my wife says it's cute!"

    No slam intended there, George!

    What are you doin talking with another guy about his manhood Capt. Is there something about you we don't know sir.. LOL


    But if you look at a burn chart, it is also written that if you burn that 1%, even with a first degree burn, you should be treated at a burn center. Not unlike a 1st degree burn elsewhere.

    *shivers at the thought of a 1st degree burn there*

    stay safe..

    Jason
    Jason.
    Career Paramedic/Volunteer Firefighter
    Saving Lives or Basements everyday.
    Member of the IACOJ

    Goalies are the best btw :P

  6. #66
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    Default When Re-hab attacks

    I have nothing against rehab. I do have something against certain firefighters that use rehab as an excuse to be plain old lazy. I am blessed to be with people that work hard and keep working. If we need a breather we take one. We dont hang around getting our B.P.'s checked and watch everyone else do the work. We dont get fires each and every day, but we do get them. We get them is the dead of winter and in the heat and humidity of our Chicago summers. Rehab is NOT a "one size fits all" proposition. Now get to work.
    Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 05-23-2005 at 01:55 PM.
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  7. #67
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    "We can go faster and deeper with full gear".Mebbe so.I started my career in 3/4s and a long coat.I don't remember fires then being any cooler than fires now.But a couple items of note has changed,radically and for the worst.One is the increase in synthetic materials.The other is the drastic reduction of staffing and the loss of good truck work.Now before you trucky puffies get all horned up:There are still places where good truck work is done.There are twice as many more where it is a lost art.The reason we were so successful in the old ensemble was the truckies got it opened up quick,there wasn't as much plastic "gas"in the room and the gear didn't beat the water out of you.And the old guy to the "new"guy mentoring was different.A lot more hands on fire training was possible since everything around you was on fire.Yeah,I'm talking about the 70's and the eighties.Before the cell phone,before the ADT in every building.Being down on Commercial St. in Portland on a third or greater alarm about every Friday night.Urban renewal,building by building.Rehab was an afterthought then,but you didn't need it as bad because you didn't get as heat stressed.'Course in the winter it was a different story,you froze your butt off.So to tell me you can't fight fire in the old stuff:BULL! But I also agree that with todays staffing and mind sets,you're definitely safer in the full gear.It will be interesting to see how Boston's new policy works out,I think they will be able to validate some pretty interesting data.Only time will tell. T.C.

  8. #68
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    Why would you not want the protection of full bunker gear and a hood? You don't know what you're going to sometimes. It could be a meth lab for all you know, or maybe your making entrance into what you think is the kitchen but, it turns out to be a part of a garage with acetylene and oxygen tanks. If you feel like you can't hack it in full gear, get in the gym and on the track. If you don't want to take the time to improve on the physical part of your profession, go set up rehab and give me some gatorade.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: When Re-hab attacks

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    I have nothing against rehab. I do have something against certain firefighters that use rehab as an excuse to be plain old lazy. I am blessed to be with people that work hard and keep working. If we need a breather we take one. We dont hang around getting our B.P.'s checked and watch everyone else do the work. We dont get fires each and every day, but we do get them. We get them is the dead of winter and in the heat and humidity of our Chicago summers. Rehab is NOT a "one size fits all" proposition. Now get to work.
    Not for nuthin' Mikey, but this is more of a command and leadership problem than it is a rehab problem.

  10. #70
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    Jake,For some reason you think we didn't have Oxy-aceteylene hazards in the 3/4 days?Probably weren't as many Meth labs but there were plenty of other hazards.My point was,in those days that WAS your PPE.That's as good as it got.And THERE WERE LESS HEAT RELATED INJURIES.And I believe,right or wrong,that generation of FF was more aware of their surroundings.Now I started my career on 3/4s and long coat,but I DID have air:A Scott 1.And I still have days I'd rather have my old ensemble over the new.And as far as physical conditioning:I'm not in the shape I was at 25 but I can outdo a majority of my younger counterparts.And if YOU believe you can do at half a century plus what you do in your twenties,EVEN WITH PHYSICAL CONDITIONING,I believe you're in for a bit of a shock.Study our history,we went from SS to fog and now back again.Study injury and loss(Important for those of us in safety)and tell me again how great bunkers are.Like EVERYTHING in the Fire service,there is a trade off.Go deeper into harms way and survive?You know you can,But: Is it smart to do so,does the gain outweigh the risk,and if no life hazard exists did you ACTUALLY gain anything? I cannot answer these questions for YOU,but hopefully they will cause you to reflect on a process we ALL need to get better at: RISK MANAGEMENT.It's kinda funny,the more we evolve the more things stay the same.In two hundred years what do we ACTUALLY do different than the bucket brigades of our forefathers?We just use bigger "buckets". Think about it,How far off am I? T.C.

  11. #71
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    How far off am I?
    About as far as you can be. Your "argument" is as rdiculous as it is insulting.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    About as far as you can be. Your "argument" is as rdiculous as it is insulting.
    So somebody disagrees with you on an issue, states his opinions in a non insulating way, and you respond with that? Well then again, you are a cop.

  13. #73
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    Originally posted by erics99


    So somebody disagrees with you on an issue, states his opinions in a non insulating way, and you respond with that? Well then again, you are a cop.
    Look junior, being a (retired) cop has nothing to do with it. What is non-insulting about comparing a progressive modern fire service to a friggin' 19th centruy bucket brigade? It is a blatant insult in order to maintain some stupid macho attitude. And besides, he asked the question, not me.

  14. #74
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    Rescue101, I'm all for being aware of your surroundings and risk management. I understand your argument about,"being able to go deeper" when there is nothing to save. We as firefighters do that stupid stuff all of the time, and it needs to stop. But, bunker gear gives the protection you need when you end up in a place you shouldn't have gone to begin with. No one catches fire everyday or so anymore. So, we've got alot of eager firefighters without that oldhead experience just ready to get in there and get after it. This job is notorious from learning from our mistakes, rather than figuring out what's going to happen beforehand. It sounds scary, but bunker gear gives you the opportunity to learn from mistakes a little safer. You can put it all in books and be able to quote all of your firefighting manuals, but the fireground is where you become a firefighter.

  15. #75
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Okay, if your FD let's you wear PPE that is non-compliant with NFPA and you are comfortable with that super and good for you. However, I choose the right to tell you to get the Hell off of the line I am taking interior because I don't want you bailing out on me when I can stay longer and safer than you can. I understand knowing your environment, I understand flame and heat spread, I know when it is time to leave and I am comfortable doing that in full PPE including an SCBA.

    The comments about how little firefighting has actually progressed are frightening and ridiculous if you actually believe that Rescue101. If you compare today's firefighting with the bucket brigades and seriously think that is valid I thank God you are not on my fire department and certainly not on my village board that controls our money. We certainly have better protective clothing than the bucket brigade days (Oh wait, that's a negative in your mind). We have engine companies that can supply more water, more reliably, and more quickly than any bucket brigade could dream of, with 1/100 of the manpower. Let alone add Class A foam, Cafs, or Class B foam with the mere flip of a switch. We have better hose, nozzles and appliances than ever before in the history of firefighting. How about more technology? Thermal imaging cameras have made overhaul and search and rescue dramatically easier. CO meters let us know when even the die hard no mask crowd can safely be inside the building. Yepper, I guess you are right, we are no farther ahead than the bucket brigades. I guess I should have asked FEMA for 1500 buckets instead of a 1500 gpm pumper this time.

    I am a grizzled old timer myself, I have been around since 1977 and I would buy my own bunker pants if my FD ever decided to change back to long coats and pull up boots.

    FyredUp

  16. #76
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    Default In defense of Rescue 101... and George (again!)

    Tim does wear his PPE. He has more time on the line than many of you "take the mask off for a sec to get a little black snot and impress the old guys".

    He just made reference to how history repeats itself. If you research a few of his posts, you will see that he is extremely safety concious and as an officer on his FD he has pulled peopel aside and reprimaneded them for doing stuipid things, like not waering their PPE.

    Erics99...

    You only seem to post whenever you see an opportunity to give George a shot. What's the matter... did he spank your pee pee when he was a cop?
    ‎"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

  17. #77
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    but this "cheshire cat" plans on smiling long after he's disappeared from the firehouse in retirement!*
    I am with you on this on e Gonzo.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  18. #78
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Get your attention did I?If any of you had bothered to look two posts back instead of just one,you would see that I'm ACTUALLY in favor of our modern gear.And Gonzo, who takes the time to read the WHOLE post gets the concept.George,I know you come from a real progressive FD.But you know what?I bet you still got "parking lots"even with ALL that modern equipment,just like the "old" days.Don't try to overread my intentions.Sometimes I'll overstate someting to stimulate your thoughts.Probably a poor choice of analogy,but we're still killing over 100 FF's a year:Not acceptable! We did'nt/don't seem to learn lessons from history as well as we could.The fact you STRONGLY disagree with my thinking will not cause me to lose much sleep.I greatly favor your opinions but if we happen to disagree from time to time and someone else benefits from our disagreement;Where's the harm? Yeah,sometimes I go a bit overboard.I've been doing this job in a reasonably busy outfit/outfits for the better part of 37 plus years,I've still got all my hide,fingers.toes and appendages so I guess I'm not all that "backwards/backwoods". I'm sure we'll have other disagreements,but we also come from different areas. I'm up for it are you? And Fyred nice oratory,well stated! But lighten up a little,I'm not really the bad guy.Not everybody in the country has A/B/cafs 1500 pumps et al.Some still do it with a Barton American 500 gpm.Jake,your second post pretty well sums it up.But it's also where I was trying to lead you.Somewhere along the line,we've lost some of the go/no go skills that were prevalent in the heavy fire days.And protecting our personnel has got to be job 1. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-25-2005 at 09:20 AM.

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    how can young guys in this profession be reasonably expected to respect "more experienced" guys when all your experience has taught you is how to sit around an engine house (or an internet chatroom) and pound your chest about "how it used to be" when everything was on fire all the time, and even the women and children were more manly and had thicker mustaches. if todays firemen are "less aware", "less capable" of truck work and not as plain old good at fighting fires, it's your fault, for choosing to sit around thedayroom table telling stories with the other old fireliars in between crossword puzzles and card games, when you should have been teaching the fng's what you know.

  20. #80
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    Originally posted by chingon
    how can young guys in this profession be reasonably expected to respect "more experienced" guys when all your experience has taught you is how to sit around an engine house (or an internet chatroom) and pound your chest about "how it used to be" when everything was on fire all the time, and even the women and children were more manly and had thicker mustaches. if todays firemen are "less aware", "less capable" of truck work and not as plain old good at fighting fires, it's your fault, for choosing to sit around thedayroom table telling stories with the other old fireliars in between crossword puzzles and card games, when you should have been teaching the fng's what you know.



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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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