Being a firefighter is one of the toughest jobs around. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most essential occupations because firefighters keep us safe. However, since firefighters can’t fight fires with their bare hands, they must use helpful equipment to get the job done.
If you are a current firefighter or plan on becoming one, you need to know which types of gear are essential for this line of work. Firefighters use many different kinds of tools for a variety of purposes, and in this guide, you will learn about all of them. With this in mind, here are the essential pieces of equipment every firefighter needs.
When you are trying to rescue people from a burning building, time is of the essence. Therefore, wasting time
opening doors could end up costing someone their life. To prevent this from happening, firefighters must bring door wedges with them so they can prop open a door quickly and efficiently.
These items are easy to use and dirt cheap, so replacing them is a breeze if they don’t survive the fire. Wedging a door open allows firefighters to maneuver through a burning building faster. Depending on how many doors are in the building, you might want to bring about seven or eight wedges with you to each place, but since they are small, it won’t feel like a burden to carry that many.
Due to the potential visibility issues that might arise from the presence of smoke and lack of electricity, firefighters must carry flashlights with them before leaving the firehouse. Bringing a flashlight is especially important when you’re dealing with a nighttime fire because street lights won’t provide enough brightness for you to see clearly. You need to have access to light at a moment’s notice if you want to save lives, so having a personal flashlight with you will ensure that you can always see clearly.
If you are wondering what a flash hood is, it offers protection for your neck and hair so that you can still hear and talk with your coworkers while fighting a fire. In addition, you might want to carry extra flash hoods with you in case someone forgets theirs or your hood becomes ripped or damaged.
All you must do is store the extra flash hood in your helmet to transport it easily with you to the scene. However, if you plan to purchase some extra ones, make sure that they are flame-retardant because there are similar types of flash hoods that are vulnerable to fires.
Firefighters must protect every part of their body before entering a burning building, but the most important body part to protect is the hands. You can’t operate tools such as a ladder or hose without your hands, so you must protect them at all costs with heavy-duty extrication gloves.
These gloves prevent your hands from getting burnt, so you will want to bring two pairs with you to each fire in case one of the pairs becomes lost or damaged. Extrication gloves also protect your hands from debris, abrasions, and cuts, so your hands are fully protected while you fight the fire.
Any first responder knows that bringing a multi-tool is critical for medical assistance. Some multi-tools even
contain something to help pry open a door like a shove knife. The reason multi-tools are so helpful is because they are lightweight and allow you to bring many different tools with you into a fire without weighing you down significantly.
Since all your tools will be on one device, you can use it for almost any circumstance you encounter when fighting a fire. Nonetheless, you must familiarize yourself with the specific multi-tool you have before entering a fire, or else you could waste time trying to figure it out at the scene.
Doors are a major obstacle when you’re fighting a fire. If you are fighting a fire and run into a door that is locked or jammed shut, then you would use a shove knife to separate the door from the frame.
Using the door frame as a fulcrum, the shove knife serves as a lever that forces the door open so that you can run in and help people. If done correctly, you won’t even damage a door by using a shove knife. However, this all depends on whether any complications arise during the process.
Driving to a fire with a tangled-up hose will guarantee that disaster will strike. Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening by using hose straps to tie up your hose nicely.
Using nylon hose straps can help you easily store your hose so that it’s ready to go when you arrive at the scene. Hose straps also serve other purposes, such as helping to stabilize a burn victim during transport, securing a door open or closed, and keeping your hose line straight.
Snagger tools are extremely useful for firefighters because they can assist you with many tasks. In essence, a snagger tool is just a piece of metal shaped like the letter S with a spike on the end of it.
Nonetheless, you can use a snagger tool to get a better grip on your fire hose, smash through gla
ss windows, remove a windshield to help someone escape a burning vehicle, and cut through drywall and ceiling boards to get someone out of a room. The snagger tool takes the brunt of the damage, so a firefighter won’t have to risk injuring themselves when they use one to cut through a wall or window.
Finally, every firefighter can consider bringing an escape rope into a fire with them, so they don’t wind up being stranded on the upper levels of a building. Escape ropes allow you to climb down safely so that you can quickly reach the ground without injuring yourself. If you are strong enough, you should also be able to carry other people with you by using a harness to rappel.
Overall, having the right tools is a critical factor in your success as a firefighter. Additionally, you will want to purchase a firefighter pull-out truck bed storage unit so you can transport all your gear and access it easily. Now that you know about the essential pieces of equipment every firefighter needs, you can effectively work towards saving lives whenever the next fire breaks out.