Archive for November, 2010

Webbing Handle

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Mike Webb from Frederick County (MD) sent in this submission for our what’s in your pockets section. The importance of having the handle on the cutters was stressed during his department’s participation in the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program (details here.) During the HOT training involving an entanglement hazard, the challenges of retrieving cutters (or other tools) from bunker pockets with gloved hands is quickly realized. The simple addition of some webbing to the handle of the tool makes retrieving the tool much easier. In the picture above the webbing was attached to the handle with some hockey tape. Certain tools may lend themselves to drilling a hole in part of the handle. The picture below shows the webbing extending out of the pocket, which helps in the location of the tool, but may create a slight entanglement hazard itself. Simply having the webbing on the tool handle, but packed just inside the pocket will aid in retrieval without creating another entanglement hazard. Another idea could include attaching a strip of Velcro to the webbing and another just inside the flap of the pocket, to ensure the webbing handle is easy to locate in the pocket.
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Overhead Power Structure

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Steve Snider from Central Ohio Joint Fire Dist sent in these photos he took while visiting Findlay Ohio. This setup is common in some older downtown areas that are cramped for space. As you can see, the power lines and transformers are suspended above the alley. Something to keep in mind when it come to apparatus placement and ladder operations (aerial and ground.) This setup also becomes a problem when the fire auto exposes onto (or around) this suspended power structure. Obviously, those who have this in their areas should already know about it, but make sure you share the information with the surrounding mutual aide companies. On a related note, how many people have good working relationships with their power companies? It is great to take the time to meet with them so they understand how important their assistance can be on the fire ground. Most power companies will also take the time to put on a brief yet informative class for the crews on electrical hazards and equipment used in the grid.

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