"in our years of conducting firefighter training, without fail, the longest delay in beginning firefighting operations result from the time taken to don the SCBA face piece and create the face piece/hood/helmet protective ensemble... there is no excuse for anyone taking more than 30 seconds to go from SCBA on back to fully encapsulated, face piece on, hood applied, and helmet with chinstrap in place breathing supplied air. If you cannot do this in that amount of time, this must become upper training regiment until you can!"
It is all about shaving seconds... SAVED SECONDS when it comes to fire and firefighting can SAVE LIVES. Fire growth with modern furnishings have decreased the time to flashover, and also provides our civilians a significant reduction in their time to escape the residential dwelling. That said, the faster we can make entry for search and get hose lines to put water on the fire , it increases their chances for survival... once we arrive.
Time is not on our side... we must move with purpose, deliverance and efficiency. 'Masking up' is one function of firefighting that must occur each time we cross that IDLH threshold.
There are many variations as how members have mastered the way that they 'mask-up' quickly. No one way is better than the next. The end result though must have the member fully ready to go (including gloves on hands) in less that 30 seconds. Repetition and consistent practice will yield success... Start with individual goals, but know that this must also translate to your entire crew. If you are ready and no one else is, where does this leave us? We are all in this together... teamwork, support and encouragement.
It costs nothing but YOUR TIME to master this skill. Get your PPE off the rack, grab a spare SCBA and get to it... the seconds you save may just safe a life. And that, it what it is all about.