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  1. #1
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    Question Bunker Gear use in LARGE CAREER departments

    just a few questions...

    I was reading the story about the Chicago church fire & saw the pictures... Is there a reason Why the Chicago firefighters on the pictures are not wearing full protective BUNKER gear?
    Is there a specific reason why not?
    Is it a question of a)cost...b)tradition or c)something else?
    Are any other full time career departments the size of Chicago doing this also?

    On a health & safety point of view... WHY AREN'T THEY ??????

    In 2006 it's hard to believe that this is still going on & TOLERATED.

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    Why do you care what the Chicago Fire Department wears or dosent wear?
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    I lived right next door to Chicago for 12 years....

    Let it be....

    Thats what they wear, they like it, very few injuries from it.

    Thats all you really WANT to know why....

    Anything else will brew up one helluva firestorm!
    Last edited by fieldseng2; 01-07-2006 at 10:40 AM.

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    Me thinks he wants to brew up a firestorm.

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    Firehouse had an article with former CFD Commissioner Joyce a few years back where he stated that they have not had the burn injuries experienced in places like the FDNY, hence they haven't changed over to bunker gear. If it's working for them so be it.

    As you may know in Boston we have the option of wearing bunker gear or 3/4 length boots. Personally I wear the 3/4 length boots in the summer. We experienced numerous cardiac related problems (including active member deaths) that may have had a correlation from the stress of bunker pants. This is one of the reasons why 3/4 boots remain an option for members. It seems to work for us as well and we have had few burn injuries as well.

    I know a number of guys on some busy CFD companies. They're excellent at what they do and one of the few cities that still has any meaningful fire duty. Why change it if it's not broken?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rk1972bfd
    Firehouse had an article with former CFD Commissioner Joyce a few years back where he stated that they have not had the burn injuries experienced in places like the FDNY, hence they haven't changed over to bunker gear. If it's working for them so be it.

    As you may know in Boston we have the option of wearing bunker gear or 3/4 length boots. Personally I wear the 3/4 length boots in the summer. We experienced numerous cardiac related problems (including active member deaths) that may have had a correlation from the stress of bunker pants. This is one of the reasons why 3/4 boots remain an option for members. It seems to work for us as well and we have had few burn injuries as well.

    I know a number of guys on some busy CFD companies. They're excellent at what they do and one of the few cities that still has any meaningful fire duty. Why change it if it's not broken?
    More or less the only reason the FDNY has bunker gear is due to a lawsuit after a LODD fire. Not because most members wanted it or the city wanted to pay for it. Basicly the city lost a case which opened the door to more lawsuits for any burns and it was cheaper to pay for the gear. Many at the time thought even if they were issued the gear they would have a policy more like Boston's. There is alot of disagreement here about the gear...there are many guys on both sides of the argument.

    There are alot of advantages to not having that all encapsulating gear and as I've stated before...I feel Boston has the best policy where the user can decide if based on their postion for that tour that they should or should not wear the pants. Here they've used a decrease in fire duty(and comparable reduction in burns) to argue burns are down when there is no corelation between the two. Do a search there is alot of threads on this already.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireboy76
    On a health & safety point of view... WHY AREN'T THEY ??????
    Because we don't want to.


    In 2006 it's hard to believe that this is still going on & TOLERATED.
    Tolerated by who?

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    I've used both. If I had to make my own choice..I'd keep wearing my leather, but would probably op for bunker gear instead of 3/4's. Chief Officers are allowed to wear 3/4 boots here.

    For the record..If thats what Chicago uses, and thats what they want...THATS FOR CHICAGO TO DECIDE!!!

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    I’m not sure why so many feel compelled to tell others what they should or should not wear, in regard to turnout gear. The NFPA is a non-factor; they have no authority, and very little practicality.
    Personally I have never worn the long coat with ¾ boots; however, I work with several guys who have. I have also talked, and met with guys from other departments who also have worn the ¾’s.
    Mostly their opinions were varied, basically depending on what their fire ground duties were with regard to engine, truck, or rescue company assignments.
    I am of the opinion that it should be department choice, then members choice based upon what they feel is right, and what their comfortable with.
    Criticizing any department in their PPE choice is wrong, and uncalled for, due to a variety of reasons; and, if you don’t agree with that policy, you can always work for a different department.
    Last edited by jasper45; 01-07-2006 at 02:49 PM.

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    I've never worn the 3/4's either, as our dept does not issue/allow them. I will say that the bunkers are hot as hell in the Florida heat! It would be nice to have the option, but I don't see it happening here anytime soon here, if at all.




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    Having worn both, I will never go back to the 3/4's unless I was purely a driver. The increased heat burden of the bunker pants is a fair tradeoff given the increased protection. On my department, we don't use the bunkers for brush fires, just station pants, coat and helmet, and often work without bunkers on MVA's (unless actually working the tools) due to the heat.

    As other posters have said, the decision of what a department is to wear is up to that department. If you don't like it, don't work or volunteer for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45
    I’m not sure why so many feel compelled to tell others what they should or should not wear, in regard to turnout gear. The NFPA is a non-factor; they have no authority, and very little practicality.
    Personally I have never worn the long coat with ¾ boots; however, I work with several guys who have. I have also talked, and met with guys from other departments who also have worn the ¾’s.
    Mostly their opinions were varied, basically depending on what their fire ground duties were with regard to engine, truck, or rescue company assignments.
    I am of the opinion that it should be department choice, then members choice based upon what they feel is right, and what their comfortable with.
    Criticizing any department in their PPE choice is wrong, and uncalled for, due to a variety of reasons; and, if you don’t agree with that policy, you can always work for a different department.
    OSHA however is a different story, and the NFPA will be the cross that you are nailed to after its over. But I agree about not criticizing others departments.....

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    Better question, why dont their trucks have pumps?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Better question, why dont their trucks have pumps?
    All of our trucks have pumps....................... we call them engine companies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
    All of our trucks have pumps....................... we call them engine companies!
    Nice one, were you at the fire yesterday?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    Nice one, were you at the fire yesterday?
    Nah, too far east for us.

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    "OSHA however is a different story, and the NFPA will be the cross that you are nailed to after its over."


    Not always the case. I can tell you of several experiences where OSHA came in to my old FD....The city pretty much blew them off...Major changes have yet to be made.

    No wonder I left!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Better question, why dont their trucks have pumps?
    Because that pain-in-the-*** FULL COMPLEMENT of GROUND LADDERS and TRUCK COMPANY equipment gets in the way
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireboy76
    just a few questions...

    I was reading the story about the Chicago church fire & saw the pictures... Is there a reason Why the Chicago firefighters on the pictures are not wearing full protective BUNKER gear?
    Is there a specific reason why not?
    Is it a question of a)cost...b)tradition or c)something else?
    Are any other full time career departments the size of Chicago doing this also?

    On a health & safety point of view... WHY AREN'T THEY ??????

    In 2006 it's hard to believe that this is still going on & TOLERATED.
    You don't suppose.......

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    OSHA however is a different story, and the NFPA will be the cross that you are nailed to after its over. But I agree about not criticizing others departments.....

    Is this the same “NFPA cross” cities are nailed to when fireman are killed in the line of duty, due to a lack of staffing? Is this the same “cross” used when a city doesn’t provide its firefighters “NFPA” compliant station wears? How about when a city doesn’t provide NFPA compliant physicals?
    Cities are not held accountable to these standards; they never have and probably never will.

    As far as OSHA is concerned; I looked at their web site, did a few searches, and granted I spent only around 20 minutes looking, but I found nothing on structural firefighting protective clothing. I did find plenty in regard to “appropriate protective clothing for aircraft firefighting”; I found plenty on the “2 in 2 out”; “respiratory protection”; “fire protection in shipyard employment”; “intervals between physical examinations for employee’s performing interior firefighting”.
    I really could not find anything in regard to turnout pants, and whether or not it is a law. There very well could be a law buried where I didn’t see it, or find it; however, I really don’t care, and it’s really not that important that I devote anymore time to the matter.

    If the CFD wears ¾ boots, and they do, and the CFD obviously does their job, and do it well, who really cares what they wear.
    I myself am a little bit jealous, of the ¾ policy that is.


    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/sear...+firefighting+

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    You don't suppose.......
    Uh-Oh.............

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    I’ll put this as part II …

    I found this after just a little bit more looking. It clearly states in this part, from the OSHA web site, that it is a city/department responsibility to establish what is appropriate to wear when firefighting.





    http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...RDS&p_id=12978



    Required written policy information.
    1915.505(b)(1)
    Internal fire response. If an internal fire response is to be used, the employer must include the following information in the employer's written policy:
    1915.505(b)(1)(i)
    The basic structure of the fire response organization;
    \ 1915.505(b)(1)(ii)
    The number of trained fire response employees;
    1915.505(b)(1)(iii)
    The fire response functions that may need to be carried out;
    1915.505(b)(1)(iv)
    The minimum number of fire response employees necessary, the number and types of apparatuses, and a description of the fire suppression operations established by written standard operating procedures for each type of fire response at the employer's facility;
    1915.505(b)(1)(v)
    The type, amount, and frequency of training that must be given to fire response employees; and
    1915.505(b)(1)(vi)
    The procedures for using protective clothing and equipment.

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    Why is it such a big deal about Chicago's gear this works for them since on every still alarm they always get 2 trucks minimum plus the RIT truck which means that the roof and windows get opened (VENTILATION) when the engine is doing it's attack (SUPPRESSION). For those of you out there that don't know what this method of firefighting is called it's called a co-ordinated fire attack which in turn means when the engine is doing it's job (SUPPRESSION) all that steam that expands at 1,700 times what it used to be has somewhere to go out the hole in the roof or the windows that are broke out (VENTILATION). What I can't understand for the life of me is everybody always picks on Chicago but what about the Cali boys who wear short coats no hoods and wool pants with their station boots. I'm not knocking those guys either I'm just using them as a point. My only question about the city is why you guys don't use the mains for venting windows anymore. That was always so cool to see on tv.


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    Last edited by TRUCK61; 01-07-2006 at 06:52 PM.

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    They warned you not to open the can of worms about the 3\4's. CFD and Boston love them. From what I have heard only very few don't, those mainly being the guys on the Engine companies. The Truckies supposively love them for the added mobility they provide. But hell CFD and BFD fight a whole heck of a lot more fire than most of us do, and those departments are a lot older than most, so who are we to dispute what they choose to wear. Thats just my 2 pennies worth.
    KTF-EGH

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    You don't suppose.......
    This would be the 4th coming. I think you're right on the money.

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