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.