1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emberxx
    This guy is on a fireground. You never know what is going to occur, that's the reason why you bunk out before you reach a fire scene. Ninety degrees or not - it only takes seconds for the conditions to change.
    Okay, not to pick on you, Emberxx -- you just supplied the jumping-off quote...

    I don't know enough about the Boston incident to say whether I think they ought to have been in bunkers and SCBA or not. I do know that it's been damn hot and heat stress is not something to ignore. But let's ignore that a moment and look at the quote:

    This guy is on a fireground.
    Okay, he is. The implication is that, since he's on a fireground he ought to have bunker gear and SCBA on no matter what the circumstances. I disagree.

    We often talk about the need for the fire service to develop a "culture of safety" and I agree. What I worry about is what sometimes develops instead: I call it a "cult of safety". A culture of safety requires knowledge and respect for hazards and an informed process of making safe decisions. A cult of safety relies on sweeping generalizations about safety regardless of whether they apply to the hazard at hand.

    We're all familiar with the old aphorism that says, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." I often see this happen with bunker gear or, more accurately, interior structural firefighting gear.

    We've indoctrinated our probies with the rule that Bunker Gear is Good and should always be worn at structure fires. And then we procede to require them to wear it, not only to structure fires, but to brush fires, oil spills, CO calls, EMS runs, confined space, etc., etc., etc. All because Bunker Gear is Good and, since it's usually the only PPE we've got, every incident starts to look like a nail.

    The truth is, sometimes bunker gear isn't good. It increases heat stress, hinders movement, gets contaminated, contaminates us, and loses a little bit of its useful service life every time it's worn. A healthy culture of safety would tell us to wear bunker gear when it's appropriate -- for interior structural firefighting -- and not to wear it when it isn't.

    You never know what is going to occur, .... it only takes seconds for the conditions to change.
    If that was true, we'd wear our bunkers 24/7 in the firehouse. Just in case. If we accept it unquestioned as fact because it's for "Safety," we build a cult -- not a culture.

    Case in point: I just watched footage of a mill fire last night. Vacant building, exterior attack, surround and drown, 90+ degree temps. And firefighters standing around in full bunker gear. Not just the handful of firefighters operating master streams (including the guys operating from a bucket where they didn't belong anyway) -- everybody. Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. Do you think they might have avoided that if they had just pulled back personnel not actively fighting the fire and gotten them out of their bunker gear?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  2. #52
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    But 90% of the departments in this country do.

    If you really belive that you need to get out more.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  3. #53
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    "Okay, not to pick on you, Emberxx -- you just supplied the jumping-off quote..."

    Lord, has anyone seen that Dead Horse? I swear he must have run through here about five posts ago... ~sighing... I knew the peace couldn't last.

    Okay, lets begin at the beginning. You might not be talking about the Boston incident, but I was. That was what my post was about, and the fact that in that particular picture that guy is pretty close to some fire. (Let's not go through how far away he was again, gentlemen - it's not length that matters!)

    I don't know enough about the Boston incident to say whether I think they ought to have been in bunkers and SCBA or not. I do know that it's been damn hot and heat stress is not something to ignore.

    Well then, let's not ignore it. According to the study done on Boston - again, link above - since the introduction of the new bunker gear policies in 2003 they have had an INCREASE in heat stress injuries. But, go on...

    "If that was true, we'd wear our bunkers 24/7 in the firehouse"

    Are you kidding me? Surely with the amount of education required for your position you could come up with a better argument than that.

    Okay, he is. The implication is that, since he's on a fireground he ought to have bunker gear and SCBA on no matter what the circumstances. I disagree.

    What implication is that exactly? Oh...wait do you mean the thousands of studies that have proven the detrimental effects of smoke and toxins on our lungs? Or the studies that show the decrease in burns since the introduction of full bunker gear to structural firefighting?

    We often talk about the need for the fire service to develop a "culture of safety" and I agree.

    ~tapping Fire Marshall on the shoulder - ummm, no you don't! See above comments...

    What I worry about is what sometimes develops instead: I call it a "cult of safety". A culture of safety requires knowledge and respect for hazards and an informed process of making safe decisions. A cult of safety relies on sweeping generalizations about safety regardless of whether they apply to the hazard at hand.

    Now that's a comment that I can get behind. (And under as the case may be ). Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with what you've just said.

    We've indoctrinated our probies with the rule that Bunker Gear is Good and should always be worn at structure fires. And then we procede to require them to wear it, not only to structure fires, but to brush fires, oil spills, CO calls, EMS runs, confined space, etc., etc., etc. All because Bunker Gear is Good and, since it's usually the only PPE we've got, every incident starts to look like a nail.

    Since most departments have different ways of doing things, let me explain what we have at hand. Hazmat teams have hazmat suits. ARFF teams have special gear. Rescue trucks carry trauma sleeves, gowns, glasses, masks... Again. Departments are different.

    If your department sees everything as a nail then I think that you should strive to make a positive change for the men you work with.

    The truth is, sometimes bunker gear isn't good. It increases heat stress, hinders movement, gets contaminated, contaminates us, and loses a little bit of its useful service life every time it's worn. A healthy culture of safety would tell us to wear bunker gear when it's appropriate -- for interior structural firefighting -- and not to wear it when it isn't.


    Again, agreed. Are we done with this yet?


    Oh, wait...Dave - Apparently!
    Last edited by Emberxx; 08-14-2005 at 06:57 PM.
    "When you throw dirt, you lose ground."

    IACOJ

  4. #54
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    Deputy:


    The cult of safety is the haven for absolutists. That is why serious discussions often end up with terrible endings. Much of that stems from lack of experience - even with people who otherwise consider themselves experienced. Plus, for people who don't study fire and the fire service, there is the added disadvantage of having no foundation from which to build on.

    .
    Jacktee

    IACOJ

    "Insert quotation here."

  5. #55
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    Wow Jack...if I was the kind of person who took things to heart that mighta hurt!


    Buttttt (No, not seymore) I think I'll let bygones be bygones. Ahem. So to speak.
    Last edited by Emberxx; 08-14-2005 at 08:56 PM.
    "When you throw dirt, you lose ground."

    IACOJ

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    Thumbs up

    As mentioned by many on this issue if your Department allows this to take place then that's your business. I know in our Department we have SOP's that govern our PPE, and it would require full PPE with SCBA on this type of incident. We also have a Safety Officer assigned to each shift, and he responds to all working fires, entrapments, and calls he feels would require him, or if requested by the IC to oversee the Safety aspect of our JOB. If CFD has a relaxed gear SOP then they will follow it to the T, I do not not agree with it, but they allow it so they have to deal with it should the situation get ugly.

    I know as a responsible Company Officer my job is not to let this take place on my shift. I owe it to my Firefighters to make sure they show up at 08:00 hrs & return home to their family at 08:00 hrs the next morning, and I feel great each morning this happens. I think we all understand it's hot in our gear but it's worn for a reason, use it when necessary, and relax it when necessary. We were promoted to make sound decisions for our personnel do the right thing for you and your crew. STAE SAFE.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emberxx
    Chicago -


    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthre...5&page=3&pp=20

    I could say more - but why?

    Cheers.
    Many agreed with me on that string. I think what it boils down to is that there are vast differences in attitude between cities and less urban areas. Full gear on an auto or a dumpster seems crazy to me. We would need new bottles 10 time a day. As far as structures go, I don't mask up unless I have to. Not saying it's right, but that is how most do it here. No one wears a mask for overhaul or meat on the stove or any of the thousand other calls that you might. We'll just have to disagree on this one.

    P.S. No one else thought the manhole quotes were funny? C'mon!

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    Many agreed with me on that string. I think what it boils down to is that there are vast differences in attitude between cities and less urban areas. Full gear on an auto or a dumpster seems crazy to me. We would need new bottles 10 time a day. As far as structures go, I don't mask up unless I have to. Not saying it's right, but that is how most do it here. No one wears a mask for overhaul or meat on the stove or any of the thousand other calls that you might. We'll just have to disagree on this one.

    Look, not sure how I ended up being the person defending myself...but to clarify - I'm NOT saying that what you're department does is wrong. You guys have reasons why you choose to wear or not wear specific gear. It's tradition, it's comfort, it's safety - it doesn't matter - it's your choice. If your department allows it - then they must feel that it's safe.

    I never meant to come across as judgemental, but apparently I did, and for that I apologize.

    I also don't necessarily agree that PPE is always required - but hey - when I get backed into a corner I tend to come out swinging. It think it goes back to that whole 'fight or flight' thing - I don't have the flight in me!

    Whadya think Chicago - we could always follow Mcaldwell's suggestion and do the poster death match thing!! Of course I need to see how you look in those wrestling tights first!


    P.S. No one else thought the manhole quotes were funny? C'mon

    Okay...so it was a little funny...just a little.

    ~shake? (not your leg ya dork - hands! geesh!)
    "When you throw dirt, you lose ground."

    IACOJ

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    Nah - no wrestling. A good old fistfight.

    Anyway - these pretzels are making me thristy.
    Jacktee

    IACOJ

    "Insert quotation here."

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    Oh, great- I get back from work and the whole argument's over . I even missed the freakin' hug!

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    I would wrestle but you would run as soon as you saw me in the tights (from disgust mostly!). Sorry you had to carry the torch for the safty side this time, but you saw me get beat up by others on the other thread so you aren't alone. This ones used up now - bring on the next fight! How about initial attack using just your 500 gallons of tank water?

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    He He! Awe shucks Chicago - I bet you look purty cute in them tights ~grinz...

    And yes, I don't mind getting beat up. It's how you learn that your opinion is nothing more than that - your opinion.

    I think that I'll just leave that last comment alone!
    "When you throw dirt, you lose ground."

    IACOJ

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    Yeah - the tank issue would get uglier. I don't know about the rest of you but Ember did very well carrying the ball for safety.
    Jacktee

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    "Insert quotation here."

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    You know, I hate to beat a dead horse (I would rather lurk and watch other people beat it )....

    This BFD wearing bunkers or not, SCBA or not subject is rather fruitless, but I wanted to mention one quick item that I haven't seen in this thread yet. The study that is oft quoted in this thread makes the assertion that heat related injuries have gone up since the modified bunker policy went into effect, based on these numbers:

    1/1/1996 - 8/2/2000 - 556 (9.4%)
    8/3/2000 - 8/31/2000 - 297 (12.0%)

    Total numbers of injuries for the same above time periods is as follows:

    1/1/1996 - 8/2/2000 - 5889
    8/3/2000 - 8/31/2000 - 2469

    Now, my math may not be the best, but does anyone else see a problem with the above numbers? 2500 injuries in less than 1 month, when they only had 5900 in 54 months prior? What numbers are they not including in the study, or what numbers are they including with the second half and not the first?

    Statistics are so easy to manipulate, my belief in them is about nil. I would like to see hard workers comp claim numbers to get a good handle on the actual numbers of injuries before and after the policy went into effect.

    Great discussion by the way (especially like the discourse between Ember and Jack...makes the work day go faster).

    Respectfully
    All statements made here do not reflect in any way the opinions or feelings of my employer.

    Other than that, stay safe

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    ~tapping Stonehawk on the shoulder...

    Point made on the stats - good one at that. And I also agree that the discussion was great...I think I learned a lot (ha ha guys! )

    But if you really don't want to beat a dead horse, then come and join us...we're over here drinking beer and mud wrestling:

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=72886

    "When you throw dirt, you lose ground."

    IACOJ

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    Stonehawk :

    Good questions.
    Jacktee

    IACOJ

    "Insert quotation here."

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