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For as long as I have been in the fire service, there is one question that I always seem to hear..."Hey, what do you carry in your pockets?"  


For some this is an easy question to answer, but then there are those who have to pull everything out of their pockets to actually see what is in there.  I have seen everything from screwdrivers to pliers, wood chocks to channel locks, moldy cheese and other things that many would be scared of!  I have run the gamut of what I carry in my pockets and after 15 years think that I have got it right where it needs to be.


For me it is definitely easier to get to my pants pockets, so these are what I use as my "lifesaving pockets."  You may ask yourself, what are lifesaving pockets?  Well, I am about to tell you!  Lifesaving pockets are the pockets that carry all the things that can help save my life or the lives of my partners or civilians.  My right pant pocket contains my bailout kit and nothing else.  I don't want to have to go searching for my stuff should I need it in a hurry.  There is nothing worse than reaching to get something out of your pocket and then pulling out a whole slew of things causing a yard sale on the floor. My left pant pocket carries an easily accessible 22 foot piece of looped webbing and a pair of wire cutters.  Items in these pockets need to be easily accessible with little, if anything, in the way as they are coming out.


For the rest of your pockets it is all a matter of preference.  Many times these pockets are not as easily accessible, so this is where the less essential stuff should go, not things that you will need in a life or death situation.  Hopefully this little blurb makes you think about what you have in your pockets and to make sure that the things you may need to save your life or someone else's life are easily and quickly accessible.  


Stay Safe!!



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Comment by Brad Hoff on April 15, 2011 at 4:13pm

What's important is to have just enough but not too little. Along with that goes without saying that if your pants weigh you done and make it hard to maneuver, it's time for some "Spring cleaning"!


Like many I carry a two sets of webbing, a pair of dykes and an adjustable small handled wrench that I have taped some webbing to to make them easier to grab and also to go around my wrist so I don't loose them in the dark. Whatever I may carry like my bailout bag of rope and my fire compass, I carry on my "Gut Belt" and also a few caribiners, a clip and some braided rope for the axe to set in.


I know our Brother Raul Angulo from Seattle did some series on this a while back in the Fire Apparatus mag. I think it's interesting to hear about the "What's in your pocket" stories across the fire service. Hey looks like we need to form another


Stay safe fellas

Comment by Michael Bricault (ret) on April 14, 2011 at 6:03pm

-Chris, I've commented on this topic so many times I will refrain from going in to the usual diatribe that it necessitates from me. I'm sure you can find one of those longer rants on here somewhere.

-Suffice to say that if you carry something, said tool should be retrievable from your pocket while wearing structure gloves. Said same tool should also be employable while wearing structure gloves. That emphatically rules out most crap people carry, especially things like Leatherman tools. 

-If you cannot retrieve and implement a carried tool while wearing structure fire gloves then you do not need to carry that item. Period. Most guys usually carry to much sh!t in their pockets anyway.

-Someone once pointed out that you can identify the new fireman by how much unnecessary crap he's carrying in his pockets.

-If the defense is that the tool is for convenience or for after the fire then, walk your lazy a** back to the truck and get the proper tools for the non emergency job at hand.

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