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Hey troops...

Everyone is now fully aware that Hydrogen Cyanide is a nasty bugger. It is present at the earliest stages of combustion, causes havoc with our mental and physical abilities and is a proven cause of firefighter death.

One of the prevailing solutions to resolving the Hydrogen Cyanide problem is to put detectors on those involved on the interior. My question is where are we going to place all the detectors for the various toxic, carcinogenic and ashpyxiating components of smoke that EVERYONE with a clue knows is present at every fire we go to these days?

Where does the Benzene detector go?
Where does the Phosgene detector go?
Is a PAH detector feasible?
And how effective are these detectors going to be getting banged around in the average fire?

Why trust more technology when we can simply follow the ROAM and not breathe the poisons in the first place?

Just askin....


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Replies to This Discussion


Good prompt for a discussion...

There have been several recent reports, studies, articles, etc...
All acknowledge (on the surface) that products of combustion are bad for our health – we know that already.

All these sources also assert that "further study is needed" in order to determine when lower levels of respiratory protection are appropriate... Huh?
Although I believe in further study to solidify our stance and know our enemy - we know that the likely outcome of such studies will continue to illustrate that post fire environments are BAD. I'd be willing to bet some ICE CREAM that these studies will find even more awful nasty bad stuff in the air...

Furthermore – the fire service has barely scratched the surface on skin absorption. My hope is that the IAFF’s work on CBRN bunking gear will help with that somewhat.
Information is available at:

The stance must be - WEAR YOUR MASK - period ! I know I'm preachin' to the choir here bro' - but the reality is ALL departments must make the use MANDATORY and have the cajones (ie- leadership and accountability) to follow through. Some have suggested this approach is micro-managing - I completely disagree with that concept.
The consequences (short or long term) are far too costly. How many has the SFD lost recently to cancers? Too many.

Again – further study? GOOD. Wearing your mask during overhaul? PRICELESS !!!

Thanks Mike – Stay Safe.



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