Can you put your facepiece on with fire gloves on?
This past week an instructor posted a question about placing our facepiece on without taking gloves off. Really, it isn’t a question that I have spent even two seconds on. My fellow instructors and I have been teaching firefighters to not take off their gloves when placing facepieces on. Is this a wrong way of thinking?
It all started for this firefighter one day while participating in live fire evolutions with a spirited group of recruits during their final evolutions with live fire. My role was a safety supervisor and I was assigned to division 2 to keep an eye on the recruits as they did Vent Enter Search evolutions.
Positioned beside the VES window I was sitting on my knees when in came the recruits. One, two, three, and then it happened. Number four recruit came in and smacked my facepiece sideways on my face. Now what?
There were only two options.
- Rip off my facepiece. (this really wasn’t an option as we were in live fire)
- Pull my facepiece around and hold it in position while adjusting the straps
- Pull my facepiece into place and make my way to the window.
I choose number three and made my way to the window, hung my head below the neutral plane, and attempted to fix the problem. Now what? Do you take off you fire gloves while halfway inside a superheated environment?
Needless to say following this day at the burn building Ryan made a decision to become proficient at placing a facepiece on with fire gloves on, period. Is there drawbacks, maybe. Do we worry about carcinogen exposures, perhaps?
The main point is we do what we are comfortable with, period. If you don’t push yourself out of the comfort zone and learn this skill you will NEVER be good enough to use it.
What is your opinion about the practice of placing your facepiece on with fire gloves on?
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