Every firefighter throughout the country equips themselves with tools in their gear. They all have different meaning and have usually been acquired due to different experiences that each individual has faced throughout his or her career. This is a subject alot of fire service blogs have tackled and I figured why not me? So here is a list of things I carry on the rig and in my gear every tour:
Radio Pocket: 1 ink pen, 1 Sharpie, 1 small LED flashlight (back up)
Left Pocket: several wooden wedges and hinge hooks (home-made)
Right Pocket: 15 foot piece 1 inch webbing w/non locking carabiner, Leather work gloves, and electrical tape.
Also on my coat are my firefighting gloves, and a “Responder Brand” Flashlight it runs on C batteries which I have found is more convenient than having a light with a charger. I carry spare batteries in my SWAT Bag (will cover that later) and if the light goes out on the fire ground when I rotate to rehab I can get to my bag change the batteries and then I have got my light back. With a light that uses a charger once its done….its done until you get it charged back, leaving you with out a light (some guys only carry one). I also carry a locking carabiner on my coat because you can never have to many.
Left Pocket: 20 feet of webbing w/non locking carabiner rolled and stored in an EMS glove, trauma shears, and spare EMS gloves.
Right Pocket: Cable Cutters, modified Channel Lock pliers (w/key tool ends), multi head screw driver, Gerber multi tool, and Gerber serrated edge knife.
SWAT BAG: SWAT stands for Special Wrenches And Tools, these are things that I don’t use all of the time but enough to warrant having them on the rig.
Spare nomex hood, spare firefighting gloves, spare socks (dry feet feel awesome all times of the year), towel, extrication gloves, spare 40 foot bag of utility rope, crescent wrench, folding spanner wrenches, wire brush (for taking the rust off of FDC’s), spare batteries (for voice amplifier, and flash lights), extra ink pens, and a measuring wheel (for pre planning the district)
miscellaneous: I also always have a 50 foot utility rope bag (cordage) w/non locking carabiner attached to my airpack. This can be used to hoist tools, search rooms, vent windows from a roof position, or bail out (using a rope slide technique). I also carry a Stream Light “Vulcan” for my primary flashlight. Its light, bright, and equiped w/ a seat belt strap for and easy release. Additionally I utilize a radio strap in and under the coat method. Lastly I carry on the rig and in on EMS runs a department mandated BSI kit. In the kit is 1 N95 mask, 1 surgical mask w/face shield, 4 pairs of gloves, hand sanitizer, BSI gown, safety glasses, 1 pair trauma shears, 2 ink pens, 2 convenience bags, five 4×4 gauze pads, 1 roll of kling gauze, 1 roll of 2 inch tape, and stethoscope.
What are you carrying in your gear? Is there anything special you carry to meet the needs of your district? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and of course spread the word about the blog!