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  1. #1
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    Default Bunker Pants in Flood waters?

    I see lots of pictures of FF wearing their bunker pants while working in flood waters. Flooding has not been a problem for us (we live on a mountain), but why do they wear these heavy pants?


  2. #2
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    I would assume they havent had anybody sink in them yet. the only benifit is the added protection they offer from debris. Other than that they are a good way to get hurt in deeper water.

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    I see this a lot we well, especially with all of the news about the hurricane. There is a lot of it going on. I think dfdems is right, protection from the debris.
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    Obviously the flood waters were not over the rescurers heads so wearing bunkers while walking on the ground make sence

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    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    "Don't fear the water... fear what's lurking in the water."

    I would *definetly* want to wear my bunker pants/boots if there are snakes, etc. swimming around with me.

    You do not sink with turnout gear. You lose mobility. In moving water, your ability to maneuver is severely restricted and then the gear becomes hazardous.

    If you have not conducted in-water drills in turnout gear to feel what it is like, I highly recommend dedicating a set of old, cleaner gear (wash it several times) for pool play. You will see how buoyant gear is before it becomes waterlogged. You will also see how you can trap air in gear, boots, and helmet. If you have an old SCBA around, you can see what it would be like if you were to accidentally fall in while on air. It's surprisingly buoyant.

    Obviously, have people standing by when you do this drill without a PFD. Otherwise, always wear PFD's around water.
    Last edited by Resq14; 08-31-2005 at 11:11 PM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Most departments are not going to have nearly enough swiftwater, or flatwater gear like PFD's and dry suits for an operations like this, so the turnouts may provide some degree of protection from unseen debris. Infection from a laceration would be almost certain, and difficult to treat in that environment.

    Definitely a bad idea in any area where you may encounter a current or drop off though. Treading water in turnouts would be exhausting.

    I think it is important to note that we can't second guess these guys. They are dealing with their 9/11 scale incident right now, in that they are completely outside their normal capabilities, and desperately working to save what lives they still can.
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    MembersZone Subscriber firepimp's Avatar
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    Yep I agree the gear is for protection same as the other gentleman have said.
    " We are not extraordinary people , we are people caught in extraordinary situations. " Chapter 1 IFSTA Manual

  8. #8
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell

    I think it is important to note that we can't second guess these guys. They are dealing with their 9/11 scale incident right now, in that they are completely outside their normal capabilities, and desperately working to save what lives they still can.



    Everyone seems scared to say that the aftermath of this hurricane is equally bad or worse than 9/11. Why?? The events transpiring now are obviously much more devestating than 9/11. The reason that 9/11 happened is the only thing worse. New York lost a handful of large buildings and they evacuated lower Manahttan.

    Today, CITIES are destroyed. CITIES are being evacuated. When it is all done with the death toll will be much higher as a result of this storm, I am sure. People still there are without food, water, and gasoline. Sound like 9/11?? No, that didn't happen.

    I am not trying to minimize the tragic events of 9/11, but if everyone is honest about it, this is worse.

    Edit - sorry for this having absolutely nithing to do with the topic. I would not wear turnouts in water over my boots.
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  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    They probly dont have the option but we wear our wildland Advace pants (no liner of course) in such situations. Gives the abrasion/cut protection but doest absorb 20 pounds of water.

    I cringe when I see guys working in bunkers and such in swiftwater rescues...

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    I was one of you who used to think you would sink to the bottom, boy was I wrong. You will not sink, sure it will be harder to walk around but you dont have to worry about sinking. If I was to wear my bunker pants I would make sure the bottoms are tied off around my boot, dont want anything swimming up my pant leg!!

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    My department has done some drills where we rescued some people from rivers and such and we had bunker pants and boots on but we also had PFDs on as well. It doesn't look like there is too much swiftwater there. Unless you are by one of their levees most of it is stagnant water. And from the majority of pictures I have seen, its only waist high or so where these people are walking. Like others have said, you lose mobility in bunkers but I think it would be ok, especially if that was all you had for protection. If that is the case, well, wear them.
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    If I were faced with the situation, I too would be wearing my bunker pants for protection

    The "water" is a concoction of water, hazardous materials, biohazards and debris. You cant see what's under 1 inch of it, let alone waist high or deeper.

    God bless the Brothers and Sisters in the Gulf area.. the problems they are facing are Mount Everests in comparison to the anthills we are dealing with.
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  13. #13
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    Last year,we went to Gilbertsville Ky and heard a lecture from a FDNY water rescue LT who told us and showed us pictures of a FF in full turnout gear floating in a pool for thirty minutes,no pain,no strain.
    Now,in a current,you'd be concerned but in that situation,you'd be turning the call over to the swiftwater troops.
    I used to work on the river out of Memphis-Wepfer and Economy Boat Store for reference,MemphisE34-and we wore Type V work vests which provide 17 pounds of flotation.Since a 180 lb man in water weighs about 12 or 13 lbs due to the body's natural flotation,this is considered an adequate margin.
    Deckhands were required to wear them at all times on the boats while the pilots rarely wore them.Something about the license enabling them to walk on the water. I never subscribed to that thought and when I moved here to Kentucky,I refused to wear a blue float jacket issued by the company I worked for as a pilot,instead wanting as much visibility as possible so I stuck with my blaze orange Mustang type float jacket from Stearns.
    There's enough risk just walking the tow like falling overboard and getting crushed between barges,or run over by the tow,sucked into the wheels that I wanted as much flotation as I could get.Not gonna say I seen it all on the river,the bad stuff that can happen but I seen enough and lost friends in that line of work.
    DO NOT TAKE CHANCES on the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
    We don't wear bunkers when working in our near the water. Something about getting them wet and sinking to the bottom.
    Last edited by doughesson; 09-01-2005 at 12:28 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    [/B]


    Everyone seems scared to say that the aftermath of this hurricane is equally bad or worse than 9/11. Why?? The events transpiring now are obviously much more devestating than 9/11. The reason that 9/11 happened is the only thing worse. New York lost a handful of large buildings and they evacuated lower Manahttan.

    Today, CITIES are destroyed. CITIES are being evacuated. When it is all done with the death toll will be much higher as a result of this storm, I am sure. People still there are without food, water, and gasoline. Sound like 9/11?? No, that didn't happen.

    I am not trying to minimize the tragic events of 9/11, but if everyone is honest about it, this is worse.

    Edit - sorry for this having absolutely nithing to do with the topic. I would not wear turnouts in water over my boots.
    343 firemen have not been killed during this disaster. You know, our brothers.

    But you make some good points.

  15. #15
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    I am not trying to minimize the tragic events of 9/11, but if everyone is honest about it, this is worse.
    Okay, im starting the pool; how long until George W. declares war on mother nature?

    A problem with flood waters is that you tend to loose all your utilities. Such as water, power and the most dangerous of all: sewage. Burst sewage pipes infect the flood waters, thats why so many people are ironically without any water to drink. A firefighter wading along cuts his leg on a piece of structural iron from a collapsed building. He doesnt take too much notice of it because there are many more people worse off then him. He walks into another pool of water which happens to be contaminated. A piece of excrement floats past and brushed against the cut in his leg.
    I bet he will be feeling really stupid for not wearing those bunker pants in a couple of days time when the infection gets real bad and there is not enough aid for him to be treated.
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    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  16. #16
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erics99
    343 firemen have not been killed during this disaster. You know, our brothers.

    But you make some good points.

    Absolutely Eric. My point is that by saying this total situation is worse than 9/11 should not mean that you are taking anythign away from that day. Our 343 brothers are not forgotten by me or anyone else in the fire service, I am sure.

    I just don't think it is wrong to say that this situation is worse in terms of a total event.
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  17. #17
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Apples and oranges.Both horrendous tragedies. No need to compare them.
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    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erics99
    343 firemen have not been killed during this disaster. You know, our brothers. But you make some good points.
    The 343 will never be forgotten by any of us. However, just because a large number of brothers were killed doesn't automatically make a disaster worse. It makes it worse for us... but the world is bigger than just us firefighters.

    As Memphis said, you have entire cities that practically don't exist anymore. In New Orleans, you have a city of 500,000 shut down. In the end, I think there will be more dead along the coast than there were in NYC.

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    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Apples and oranges.Both horrendous tragedies. No need to compare them.
    See above.
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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    lets get this back on track ...........see above ....above ...............
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