We are the most technically advanced nation in the free world but yet we have not been able to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities over the years. Its one of the great mysteries of the world today. Our gear is better than what they wore thirty years ago, its better than what they wore ten years ago and we still lose an average of one hundred firefighters every year. I know that not all are dying in structure fires but just one is one too many.
Today we have many of our guys who like to push the envelop. Our gear is the best and it will protect us in any kind of conditions. But is still has limits. You may be protected from the heat and fire to an extent but you can only go as far as the SCBA will let you. You are going to run out of air sooner or later. Years ago the firefighters that come from what I like to call the old school didn’t wear nomex hoods. They were told when your ears start burning your in too deep and its time to back up. We wear the hoods now and cover every squared inch of our body and we don’t know when we have gone too far. We are sufficiently covered up like a cocoon and we get our self into environment we shouldn’t be. But our gear won’t let us down it’s the best. Training I feel is very lacking in the fire service today. I had more of what I call fire suppression training in my rookie school than I have had in the last seven years that I have been a firefighter. Now I’m not saying its wrong and that we should do away with it but we do a lot of life safety education today and not any fire suppression training. We do a lot of “table top” exercises and not a lot of actual “live burn” training. Our area is currently on water restrictions. So when citizens can’t water their lawns or wash their cars we can’t flow water and have “live burn” exercises. We don’t want to hear the citizens complain about us “wasting” water while they have a dirty car and their shrubs are dying. Incident command is...
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