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I am seeing more and more firefighters jumping off the truck with their face piece doned. Looking for thoughts about and reasons for doing this.

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My opinion is this is not a good practice. With your facepiece donned your visibility is limited by the facepiece and also by fogging, this can possibly lead to not seeing the moving vehicles on the street when dismounting the apparatus or other items of concern. I also believe that taking 20 seconds to don your facepiece on the fireground is a great opportunity to make your size up of the situation. While donning your facepiece you can be looking for signs of the fires location, the number of stories of the building, possible victims in windows and secondary means of egress among other things.
I agree with Ricky Teter. I used to be one of those guys that would mask up when we got close to the street that the fire was on. I thought it saved time and got me to work faster, but now I will follow Ricky Teter's advice and take that 20 seconds to look up and around the building and down on the ground for any hazards, egress, etc...Thanks Ricky Teter
I think Ricky covers it well. We do not mask up en-route. Additionally the officers do not don an airpack until they exit the truck, allowing them time to read conditions.
We just got through talking about this same thing this morning with one of my new ff's assigned to my engine. I told him that I did not want him wearing his facepiece until we were ready to make entry. My reasoning is for some of the same reasons already listed; take a min. to get a good clear picture of the building without the fogging or scratches in the mask. It's easier to see, feel and hear hazards without the facepiece and nomex hood. Once these are in place we have completed our encapsulation. Another similar item we talked about was taking the hydrant without an SCBA at all. When laying in, I see ff's dropped off at the plug in full PPE including SCBA (sometimes even wearing a facepiece). Why does a ff need to be wearing a pack when laying a line. Reduce the weight, visibility problems and entanglement hazard and let them pack out when they get back up to the rig.
That's a great point Cap! The junior ff's on my rig have recently started catching plugs without their packs & they love it. Some times its the simple things that we overlook that could make our jobs alot easier. Sometimes it's hard to see and think outside of that box.

Brian Arnold said:
We just got through talking about this same thing this morning with one of my new ff's assigned to my engine. I told him that I did not want him wearing his facepiece until we were ready to make entry. My reasoning is for some of the same reasons already listed; take a min. to get a good clear picture of the building without the fogging or scratches in the mask. It's easier to see, feel and hear hazards without the facepiece and nomex hood. Once these are in place we have completed our encapsulation. Another similar item we talked about was taking the hydrant without an SCBA at all. When laying in, I see ff's dropped off at the plug in full PPE including SCBA (sometimes even wearing a facepiece). Why does a ff need to be wearing a pack when laying a line. Reduce the weight, visibility problems and entanglement hazard and let them pack out when they get back up to the rig.
True Story.. We were at a working struture fire and I was watching a firefighter don his face piece at the truck. We always preach to not do this but wait to don it before entering or when needed.. Anyway for what ever reason he donned it and was asked by the RIT leader to assist with a ladder as he was assigned to RIT. He went walking over to the house and tripped over a 4" HiVol hose & landed flat on his face.. Broke face piece and almost had a halligon go into his gut.
NOTE: This was daytime.. But cold out and his face piece fogged up.
Now we make sure we never mask up until needed. So my opinion its a safety hazard to don facepiece unless needed. And by coming off the truck straight in the building??? Sizeup etc.
Wayne Benner
I concur, do not don the face piece until you are ready to enter the fire building.

With that being said, make sure you and your troops practice donning the face piece with gloves on. You have all seen how long it takes to get gloves on after you have done some work and your hands start sweating. That extra 20 seconds may be more like a minute when you are fighting you gloves back on.....
I agree with all the replies, this is an unsafe thing to do. You are going to trip, miss something on your personnal size up.
I agree ,your vision is poor.There is a possibility of tripping. Communication is also poor. You can't get a clear picture of whats going on on the fireground. (Downed power line and fogged mask don't mix) Take Care be safe
I agree, this is not a very good practice, by the time your boots hit the pavement your mask is fogged up, and it becomes a hazard even before you hit the door. I also believe that every firefighter on an incident needs to be doing your own size-up upon arrival, whether your in command or not, doing this provides knowledge about the incident and how the fire front affects the job your assigned to do.(truck work, engine work, etc.) None of this is possible without being able to see when you step down from the apparatus. I've seen FF with 25 yrs and new FF don face pieces enroute, however I've never seen a benefit to where it would change how I practice getting ready for a incident while enroute.
I agree. Masking up in the truck is not a good idea. From the Academy I was taught get a good size up before going in. If conditions allow take a quick peak into the doorway of the building at the floor level as this may help give you a clue as to building and furniture layout. Limiting ones vision by wearing your mask when not needed is an unsafe practice. One might as well jump off the rig blindfolded..
I wholeheartedly agree, wearing a face piece when getting off the rig is a bad idea. I work overseas, and our officers are former Air Force firefighters. And we use Interspiro airpacks, very old packs. The face pieces of Interspiro have what is called the Spiro hatch. It allows you to breath normal air, then close the hatch and breath pack air. The problem with this thinking is when breathing through the hatch, you are still breathing through a mechanical device, which I find very restrictive to breathing. While wearing this face piece they have us pulling hose, laddering the building. All this does is add more stress to the firefighter, burning them out quicker, not to mention the safety issues raised here. I have gotten into heated discussions with my officers over this line of thinking, the old “that is the way we did it back . . .”. I am much more in line with Troy and the rest of the posts here. Wait till the “team” is in place, and ready to go. I personally feel taking the extra 20 seconds to don this face piece as a team, and checking the building you are entering, and looking to see what is happening with the fire is the right way of doing our business. I personally will never understand the rush to get in the fire. Taking the time to look at what we are going, allow us to move as a team, and ensure our safety.

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