Your PPE: What You Should Know
Our most used piece of equipment in the fire service is our personal protective equipment. It is the only equipment that is used at every alarm. Far too many firefighters do not have the proper knowledge of their PPE. Topics include the importance of PPE with case histories of what our PPE cannot do; a simplified review of the NFPA standards of PPE garments with a concentration on NFPA 1970; a step-by-step method on how to specify, bid, and place PPE in service; and the proper cleaning and care of PPE. The fire service has realized that fire is not the only danger on the fire scene—the carcinogens present on the fireground and their levels have increased over the years. Accept that “salty” gear needs to be a thing of the past. If we can reduce our exposure, we can start to reduce the ravages caused by cancer in the fire service.