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As firefighters actively prepare themselves for the next emergency, some recruits may not know why it’s crucial to have the right work tools. As a new fire department member, here’s a list of items that need to be in your turnout gear before heading out for any emergency situation.
The first thing to have in your turnout gear is gloves. Gloves help when workers interact with extremely hot objects, such as windows and door handles.
Make sure that your gloves meet NFPA standards, which require them to be made of thick leather and have a Kevlar lining. The knuckles not only feel more free, but a tight fit doesn’t constrain your hands, either.
While inside a building, make sure the door stays open during the remainder of an emergency. The emergency doors in many facilities, especially commercial ones, immediately close after opening unless you have something to keep them open.
A door wedge can keep the door open while you search a room or hallway. Any wedge type can work, as long as it has a strong grip and doesn’t slide across the floor.
When searching around in the dark, you need a source of light to navigate your path. Keep a flashlight or another type of electric torch in your pack. Even when you’re on foot in the wilderness or a building, it’s essential to have light, so you’re more aware of your surroundings.
You don’t want a light that’s too bulky or too thin; otherwise, you risk losing it and have to buy another. When selecting your flashlight, make sure that it has grooves around the body of the light; that way, it has an easier grip.
During training, you learn about the different tools used in many emergencies. Sometimes, you need to break a window to force your way in when every entrance is blocked off. In some cases, you may use an ax, but you might first opt for a window punch, too.
There are two different window punch versions: springs and others that don’t contain a spring. Both are handy but have different mechanics. For starters, a non-spring version requires the user to break through the glasses center. This version leads to glass shattering around the area.
However, the spring version has the firefighter break the glass in a gentler motion by pushing; this causes the glass to shatter lightly. If you want less mess when smashing glass, go for the spring window punch.
While learning what items firefighters need for their turnout gear, take note of these items to ensure you have the right firefighter equipment for each crisis. Your work tools matter a lot, especially when confronting challenging emergencies. So take caution and prepare yourself with the right tools and uniform before heading out on a fire mission.