Air consumption awareness is a simple drill that is designed to give each firefighter and the officer a general idea of how long he or she will be able to work off of one bottle of air. Many variables can affect this on the actual fire ground, but it is still a good tool to use when evaluating your company’s abilities. It can be a good wake up call for some of us as to what kind of shape we are in, and there will be some people who will disagree with the whole point of the exercise. This is not a race, but as with anything in the fire house; this will create some competition! There is no running permitted and I will explain the format that my department uses.
We start with by donning all of your PPE, including an SCBA. Your beginning air pressure and start time will be documented. Times and pressure will be documented when you have 50% of your breathing air remaining, when your low air alarm sounds, and when you are completely out of air. When the low air alarm sounds; we stage another firefighter with you to assist with equipment removal when you are completely out of air.
What are the components of your PPE elements? What is the purpose and limitations of each element in your structural PPE? LION is proud to produce the world’s most advanced turnout gear, but all PPE has its limitation. Knowing how much protection your gear provides in a given environment is critical to ensuring you walk out of it.
The fire service and other emergency first responders are currently benefiting from enhanced-existing and newly-developed electronic technologies. Fire fighters are now operating in an ever increasing sensor rich environment that is creating vast amounts of potentially useful data. The “smart” fire fighter of tomorrow is envisioned as being able to fully exploit select data to perform work tasks in a highly effective and efficient manner.
Have you heard of LION”s free NFPA 1851 training series? LION Fire Academy‘s videos walk you through the advanced inspection and cleaning of your PPE.
This week’s video shows you how to perform an advanced inspection on protective gloves to determine if additional inspection or testing is required, if repair is needed or if your gloves need to be retired. It also shows how to perform an advanced cleaning of your protective gloves.
In either a career or volunteer fire department, there is an element of being ready to go at any moment. This involves everything from the apparatus to the firefighters themselves. This, of course, includes personal protective equipment. And just as much as the apparatus, it needs to be ready to go at any moment.
Being combat ready involves being in a ready state at all times. The firefighting gear needs to be readied so that firefighters can quickly don it. In a volunteer setting, a firefighter’s gear may not be at the truck ready to go, but in a locker along the wall.
Does it have all the required components needed such as the liners installed correctly, the pants and boots set up properly, gloves, flash hood, SCBA face piece if equipped with one, personal flashlight charged, and any other items that are needed? Are they in a readied state for quick and easy deployment?
The city of Yarnell, Ariz. was struck with tragedy this summer when a wildland fire overran and killed 19 firefighters of the Prescott Fire Department’s interagency Granite Mountain Hotshots. At the recent opening ceremonies at the Arizona Fire School, donations were made by different manufacturers including LION.
This year was the 20th anniversary for the annual United Fire Firefighter of the Year Award in Arizona. Breaking with the tradition of recognizing one firefighter, the Prescott Fire Department was presented the award. Further, the Prescott fire department’s Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew was honored for their many previous successes aggressively fighting wildfires and the ultimate sacrifice of 19 of their 20 elite crew members that occurred during the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.
Air monitoring is a concept that has been around for a long time on the hazardous materials side of the fire service, but has become more common during firefighting operations and overhaul. The “smoke eater” days are now behind us and there are countless studies out that warn about the dangerous toxins that are in the air during overhaul operations; when many still do not wear their air packs. It is not uncommon to find levels of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide in the atmosphere at fire scenes during overhaul, and limiting the amount of exposure to these dangerous toxins can prolong your life!
Is your gear “dirty” or is it “contaminated”? Do you have guidelines or procedures for how your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is inspected, cleaned and maintained? How do you handle the “10 year” requirement for mandatory gear retirement? Do you want to know how other fire service organizations are answering these important questions?
The Fire Protection Research Foundation (NFPA’s research affiliate) wants to answer these and other related questions, and we need your help. The Foundation is currently implementing a survey on “PPE Care & Maintenance” for the fire service.
The purpose is to provide an evaluation summary of current practice and policies for fire service PPE care and maintenance, and thus clarify the intended approach in national standards requirements and support future important research on this topic.We would like to obtain some basic information about your fire department. This should only take a minute to complete, and your answers will be used in combination with responses from other participants. To participate, please click on the following link:
The results of this study will help emergency responders avoid adverse exposure from dirty gear and clarify gear replacement policies. A final summary report is scheduled for completion in December 2013 and will be available through the Foundation’s website. We appreciate you taking the time to send us your department’s information on this important subject.
LION Fire Academy was created to give those preparing for the fire service the information they need to start their career geared for success. We make sure fire fighters are equipped with a strong knowledge of PPE and a community of fellow fire fighters lending their expertise.
The cold hard truth is that we are nothing without our equipment, and our equipment is useless without us. Each shift we get on our rigs and expect our equipment to function as intended or designed, but what keeps our equipment conditioned is the ownership that we as firefighters possess. We keep our axes sharpened, our saws tuned up, and our metal tools rust free and painted; this is ownership.
You are assigned to the jump seat of the truck on your duty day, you know that seat assignment means you will be responsible for bringing the irons; today those tools are yours. It does not matter who sat there yesterday. It does not matter if the guy yesterday cleaned the irons. It does not matter if the guy yesterday even used the irons on a call; today they are yours and you are going to prep them for your shift and use.
Chances are that you will not begin your shift assuming that your air pack is full or that the person yesterday topped it off for you, it is your responsibility to make sure it is in order for your shift. Taking ownership of the equipment that you are assigned, making it yours, and treating it better than you would treat something that you bought with your own money is rare; in the fire service we see that all the time.
LION Fire Academy was created to give those preparing for the fire service the information they need to start their career geared for success. We make sure fire fighters are equipped with a strong knowledge of PPE and a community of fellow fire fighters lending their expertise. Whether you’re an instructor looking for free training materials or a student looking to prepare yourself for the many dangers found in the line of duty, LION Fire Academy has what you’re looking for.
Watch the videos, quiz yourself on what you learned and then you’ll be sent a certificate showing you completed the courses. For a limited time, you’ll get a free t-shirt for completing the training.