Do you have a Backup Plan?

Good morning from the Jumpseat……The sun is shining down on another great day, happy to be a firefighter in America.  This day is starting interesting for me to say the least.  We purchased new IPhone 4S last week and in the process lost 3 pages of notes from it.  So, for the last week I have searched for ways to recover my lost work.  Then this morning I found it, BAM!  During this process my mind kept wondering, what is our back up plan if we had an emergency during a structural firefight?
How often have you grabbed your SCBA, hose, flashlight, and headed into the pits of Hell ready to combat the dragon? Can you ever remember a time when you thought to yourself “what if I had a SCBA emergency right now”. If you’re like me it doesn’t happen very often because we have a job to do!  Do you have a backup plan and how many ways can you prepare before the alarm sounds? Let’s look at a couple of quick tips.
Tip 1 is to be familiar with EVERY piece of PPE that you have, from your hood to you face piece it all should be familiar to you even in the most extreme conditions.  If you’re not familiar with it before you have an emergency how do you expect to manage it when it does happen? You should take time practicing equipment malfunctions  before the call comes in.  Practice your hood on wrong, radio strap on wrong side, pack straps not let out all the way, and practice them slowly then add in game speed as you become faster.
Tip 2: Don’t mask up until it’s time.  I have seen many firefighters putting on their face piece before they even get off the truck.  How are you going to get an exact view of the structure as you arrive to find exits, entries, fire, and smoke conditions? Just because we ride in the jumpseat don’t mean that we can’t size up the building and be #jumpseatready.  It is our jobs to remain a reliable worker when things are at their worst.   You should practice managing emergencies in the comfort of your station before you’re faced with a life or death situation!
In closing I would like to remind you that you always need a backup plan.  It’s hard to imagine taking a lesson in firefighting from my phone, but hey, it is 2012.  I will remember to back up my data from now on and it’s your job to have a backup plan on your next fire!
Thanks for the stop in the jumpseat…..train hard….stay safe…
Bunker up, Buckle in, it’s where we ALL begin!!!
welcome to the jumpseat!