Gear and Equipment That Makes a Firefighter
Posted On: Jun 08, 2015

Putting one’s life of on the line on a daily basis is without a doubt the toughest job one can have. Having the resolve to get out of bed every morning with the mindset that you might be jumping into roaring flames takes heroism. In the midst of all the heat, battling flames, and creating a path of safety for complete strangers that need to be rescued; these are things a fainthearted person just isn’t capable of.

All firefighters need the right mindset, they have to be emotional stable, they need to have the ability to maintain resolve in a smoldering environment that is full of pressure and uncertainty, and they also need the right equipment to survive adverse conditions.

Each fire alert poses a new challenge for firefighters. There is no possible way of knowing exactly how bad a situation is until the whole team arrives at the scene. Doors may need to be broken, ladders climbed, creating holes for ventilation, or even breaking down entire walls. Anything can happen. Walls can fall around them, and floors might collapse under them. Proper protective gear and equipment to survive whatever befalls them is an absolute must.

A Firefighter’s Armor

In this section, we are going to discuss the gear and equipment that is mandatory for every firefighter.

Protective gear

Protective fireproof gear is on top of the list.

Turnout Jacket

These jackets are made of fire-resistant materials on the outer layer. The material is strong enough to withstand direct fire contact. In addition to the outer layer being fire resistant, the inside layer is waterproof, keeping the firefighter dry. The jacket being waterproof is crucial because if the suit gets soaked, the intense heat will make the water evaporate from within, making it extremely uncomfortable for the firefighters. This jacket also has a strip of reflective materials so firefighters can identify one another in the dark.

Helmet

When a building is on fire, its very foundation cannot be relied upon. The floors and walls become weak, gradually causing parts of walls and ceilings to fall as the fire spreads. This is why a helmet is an important part of a firefighter’s gear. The fire resistant material the helmet is made from also protects them from heat and water. The rank of firefighter is also signified on the helmet.

Gloves and Boots

The fire-resistant materials, both gloves and boots are made of, allows our heroes to lift burning objects out of the way, turn a hot doorknob, and more. The boots are equally as important, because they don’t melt or stick on hot surfaces, and it protects a firefighter’s feet from sharp objects.

Breathing Apparatus

Perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of equipment a firefighter carries is a breathing apparatus which provides firefighters with fresh oxygen in a highly smoke filled environment.

This gear is designed in mind with the adverse conditions that every fire breakout has. Firefighters also need other safety devices and tools to fight fire which includes safety harnesses, ladders, as well as axes and shovels. However, the gear itself is not enough to protect a firefighter; it all comes down the level of training and experience a particular firefighter has had.


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Contact Info
San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association
8925 IH 10 West
San Antonio, TX 78251
(210) 699-9400

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