Overtime at knockdown: Hidden IDLH game begins at overhaul

Under active fire conditions the dangers are extreme and the stakes are high. Upon the declaration of knock-down the fire should be out, victims saved, and acute hazards controlled.

The game is not over. The long term carcinogenic by-products of combustion remain and may even be worse than under active fire conditions. When overhaul begins think of it as the beginning of overtime in a playoff game. The stakes are high, and the dangers, although different, remain. You wouldn’t show up on the ice/court/field in overtime without your ‘A’ game, so let’s not do it in overhaul.

Overhaul as a hazmat? Monitoring, ventilation, proper PPE, crew exchanges (rehab), decontamination (up to and including dirty turnouts) should all be taken into consideration prior to the close of an incident.

If you have not already, check out http://www.firefightercancersupport.org/

One comment

  1. We had a good discussion on Linked in and I have this to add:
    Another thing to consider is decon of your crew. We always hose off our gear, then wash (and use back up turn outs) back at the station. Innovative options like http://www.rescuewipes.com/ are on the market that are used both after structure and brush fires. Be smart on scene and then treat your gear like we do after getting exposed to a GI bleed and we might reduce the alarming cancer rates in FFs’. My extra 2 cents.

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