Firefighter Gear: What Do Firefighters Wear?
Being a firefighter is a rewarding occupation that requires physical fitness and performing under stressful time constraints among other very important duties. Before you decide that you want to jump into a career as a firefighter, you should be knowledgeable about the tools and gear that firefighters use on a daily basis as they continue to save lives.
- Fire Helmet – Helmets are made of durable, heat-resistant materials to protect firefighters from both heat and falling objects. Firefighters also store items on their helmets such as flashlights, wedges to chock doors open and goggles for extra eye protection.
- Turnout Pants and Jacket – Firefighters wear turnout pants and jackets made of a two-layer fabric designed to fend off heat. These materials usually feature bright orange, yellow or reflective silver stripes to make firefighters more easily seen through smoke.
- Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus – The breathing apparatus includes a mask with a hose connected to a tank filled with breathable air. It is worn on the firefighter’s back to provide oxygen for at least 30 minutes. The breathing apparatus allows a firefighter to safely explore smoke-filled spaces in order to search for unconscious victims.
- Gloves – Firefighters wear thick leather gloves that are heavily insulated and stretch past the wrist, giving firefighters the ability to safely handle hot objects as they work their way through a burning structure.
- Boots – Waterproof firefighting boots are thick, natural rubber boots with rubber soles that function well on wet surfaces.
- Personal Alert Safety System – Many fire departments include a Personal Alert Safety System, or PASS. The device monitors the firefighter’s position via global positioning system, or GPS. A firefighter can activate the small transmitter if he needs help or gets trapped.
If you haven’t begun already, now is the time to start physically training for your future career in firefighting. There will be many physical demands you will have to face as a firefighter such as, wearing protective equipment that weighs about 45 to 50 pounds. Improving your overall strength through physical fitness allows you to perform tasks without putting yourself or others at risk for injury. Mental and physical health enable a firefighter to stay focused on a task and have the endurance to complete it.
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