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Wildfire PPE


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With the recent increase in wildfires, do any services offer shorts to the crews for spate conditions in high temperatures? I spent 6 hours at a grass/wood fire yesterday with my RDS and can say that wearing shorts as opposed to the combats i would wear in my WT service under my PPE was a godsend. The only issue ( if you can call it that ) i faced was taking off my leggings afterwards to find my legs blackened with soot.

I know the counter argument is that you could get hot ashes up your leg but with the advent of wildfire training, the LACES protocol and crews using common sense wouldnt it be a benefit.? Especially with services stretched, other jobs on and ( in our case the fact that H&W are predominantly RDS, many of which were off the run yesterday ) crews having to work longer at jobs with less staff/appliances

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@Luminoki something that my watch have been discussing too. Apparently our service used to issue them years ago, but stopped for some reason, probably cost related.
I’m lucky to have a sensible gaffer who’s happy for us to dress down to pt shorts and t shirts when it gets stupidly hot.

We’re also issued wildfire PPE (godsend this summer) and the service order does actually state that the leggings should be worn next to skin whenever possible to avoid heat injuries.


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I don't know if it's a cultural thing but almost everyone I know just just wears pants under their leggings. The normal working rig trousers come if and on go leggings. 

The soot phenomenon is definitely real, so why contaminate your your working rig too? The emphasis here at least is getting back and showering asap.

Tbh this summer has been like no other and there have been some very dynamic of dynamic risk assessments happening regarding PPE and dressing down. 

Since we've had the Bristol stuff it's my understanding the hi-vis rescue jacket for RTCs is rated for small fires and offers enough protection for incidental fire exposure.  I could well be wrong though.


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Many services have two jackets(rtc/light weight) and full firefighting. But same leggings. Msa /bristol have always done a wildfire ensemble Msa bristol I heard that the service I recently retired from has secured funding to kit out all ff with these.*it's been discussed for the past 10+ years to be honest - I remember submitting a business case for these and having it rejected, times have changed with a realisation that things are only going to get worse.

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9 hours ago, C_Iain said:

We’re also issued wildfire PPE (godsend this summer) and the service order does actually state that the leggings should be worn next to skin whenever possible to avoid heat injuries.

Seems strange C_Iain, we've had a lightweight wildland PPE for years and are issued a long sleeve T shirt to avoid contact with the skin. Also if I'm remembering a conversation correctly with some of our CFFT instructors, they were recommended to wear additional layers to provide protection from heat injuries.

With the ongoing debate regarding contaminants, does it not recommend wearing working rig under fire kit to minimise the exposure to skin? The theory being you're removing the majority of the contaminants by simply taking off your clothes, the rest by showering. It does make sense if you think about Remove, Remove, Remove.

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That’s interesting @Keith, I know that’s the logic for compartment firefighting, more layers to absorb the heat before it reaches the body etc.

In a wildfire situation, would the thinking not be that we’re at greater risk from overheating from the inside out (heat stroke from grafting etc) rather than overheating from the outside in? As we’re in open air and not confined in a room with fire gasses.

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