This a short video that shows the importance of always wearing your PPE no matter your role on the fire ground or operational mode. We should always show up ready to work and maintain that readiness unless in the rehab area. A lot of firefighters are very liberal with their PPE. They feel it only applies when they are actually IN a fire (in fact there is still a small contingent where this still not a requirement for them). While I realize our job is dangerous it is the injuries and deaths that can be prevented that we need to focus on.
I think we in the fire service need to adapt the mantra of “Never sacrifice Your Safety For Your Comfort”. I know personally I gear up for just about everything even certain EMS calls. PPE is the only thing in our arsenal that allows us thermal protection, and blood born pathogen protection. Even when driving the apparatus due to our lower man power the driver could be tasked to perform critical tasks outside of just working the pump, or running the ladder. Is it ideal? absolutely not, but Mrs. Smith doesn’t care about your man power or lack there of, when your engine is the only one on scene and your crew has stretched a line into the structure and a victim or one of your own presents themselves at a window, you have no choice but to make that rescue and the only way to maintain your safety is to have your PPE on. The only way to have a positive impact on it is to be ready before it starts.
Bottom line is don’t rule your gear out, look at your response situation and rule it in.