Yikes Brother! I must Disagree with you, but this is where we both learn right! Let's say you have a van with 2 drums leaking and you open the rear doors and there is a spark and the van catches fire. YOU are now have plastic melted to your skin. However, if you do have gear underneath you are now protected from that flame. Yes your right it makes it hotter and difficult but it still protects us. We should protect ourselves everytime as much as posible. They alsop make cooling vests. Whem I chose a Level A suit I make it extra BIG. This way I can have fire gear and I can move the suit around my body.. Thanks for your thoughts
One of my most interesting calls in my career was a fully involved commerical structure that had numerous toxic, flammable and reactive chemicals stored in it. One of the chemicals was Hydrogen Fluoride. According to all of the research I did it stated to the biggest hazard to the crew was the fire but as you know HF can eat through your skin and start attacking your bones. Between experienced officers and doing a risk assessment the Captain of the HazMat team said, I can feel heat through my Level A but I can't feel the HF going through my skin. We fought that fire in Level A's. The next day I looked for any solution to protect the crew from heat and flames while a very hazardous chemical was flowing in our path. Solution at that time was I purchased disposable nomex coveralls to put underneath Level A's when flash protection was not going to protect us and we had to fight a fire with hazardous chemicals
We do not wear bunker gear under our level A suits, Under each suit (excluding turnouts) we put on a nomex coverall, and flash hood (structure issue), this is off course not the highest level of fire protection one could hope for. It is intended to be flash protection. We do have the flash suits to cover the level A, and they would be used if deemed appropriate. The coveralls underneath are for unexpected suprises. Some of the fellas have Air Force issue nomex flight gloves that they wear. This is a great idea, since, in the event of a flash fire, the hands tend to be the weak spot in the fire protection paradigm. I am trying to get this idea on board to be the norm (as with many other things). Wearing structural gear under a level A seems like a lot to me, I would really need to weigh the options, risk vs. benefit and the information from my recon to make that call. If it works for you, then great, and I'm intrested to hear more about it. I'm just not comfortable making that a SOP.
I agree with you Jeff. I don't think it should be an SOP but an option in the tool box for those 1/100 chances that you need to think about entry into a fire with a highly toxic chemical where the bunker gear does not provide us that quick recon protection. As you stated, for my case flash protection was not appropriate, over 100 degrees in temperature was not an option with full bunkers so we had to flip the coin. I did not like to be in that situation so the risk/benefit analysis for future similiar situations was nomex hood (everyone has one), nomex gloves (flight gloves are definitely provide more dexterity) and a nomex cover (we chose the disposible ones so not to worry about the maintenance, size and making sure each member has there available all the time, we just bought about 10 in different, general sizes and put on the hazmat truck.
I think the thought of fighting a fire in a level A hasn't crossed the minds of many. I almost am afraid to go there. Again, that risk/benefit has to be 1st and foremost. I must refer to another thread, and address the need to do that in an LERP, and the emergency response apsect of the need to fight a fire in such a manner needs to represented at the LEPC meetings. Otherwise, fall back, punt and fight the fire from a safe defensive posture.
We wear nomex coveralls(non insulated for summer and insulated for winter) under our Level A suit with cooling vests ontop. Just for those unexpected surprises as Jeff said, if fire is an issue then that is a totally different ball game and perhaps it is time to take a step back and re-evaluate.
I have to disagree:
1-By wearing both you are physically overly stressing the technician with possible Heat exhaustion or Heat Stroke.
2-By wearing Turnout gear under Level A you are limiting the technician’s mobility.
3-Unless you wear full turnout gear that includes Hood, Helmet, and Gloves, you are not fully protecting the vital organs of the body the Head and Hands.
DON’T be the next one, BE Safe!
Great Bro thanks! This is exactly what this forum is all about..... Talking about what we think works and what we think does not work. Great job and Keep it up. Richard Remeber be safe and train as training will save lives-Todd
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