Firefighters in Da Hood

Ryan's Hood

Ryan’s Hood

 Good afternoon from the Jumpseat.  After another enjoyable twitter conversation last night, a couple of thoughts kept coming to mind this morning.  First was the issue of carcinogens in our turnout gear.  If you missed the discussion, everyone wanted to know opinions of wearing your gear into the living quarters of the firehouse.  It was truly a great discussion.

As today starts, my thoughts kept coming back to one part of that discussion, your hood.  As I began my fire service career, some 20 years ago, hoods were not a popular piece of PPE.  Many of the old school firefighters thought they needed to “Feel the Heat” and refused to wear them.  Most of these folks found out real quick that they could feel it very quick as they went scrambling to the door with their tails tucked between their legs.

What is most alarming to me is that  a few firefighters still using this mentality. Outrage is a word that I do not use lightly but fits this practice.  Why would you EVER go into a super-heated environment without ALL of your PPE on, especially the part that protects your most valuable tool, your brain!  Oh and btw, the part that is the highest point of your body when crawling. Duh!

What does that mean to us “hooded” firefighters?  I would recommend that you choose a hood that meet the TPP(Thermal Protection Performance) minimum of the NFPA 1971-2009.  If you are like me, I choose to wear a hood that exceeds that standard.  However, Ryan, you will not be able to “Feel” the heat.  Not necessarily, even the most protective hood will allow you to feel the heat.  If you are relying on the feel to influence your choice of attack maybe we need to talk about some other training.

West Side Hood

West Side Hood

Look, when we are fighting today’s fires that are loaded with polystyrene and materials that make more heat than a debate on fog nozzles, it is our job to use all the tools in the toolbox.  All five senses play a part in fighting these fires and one since you will not have for long is the sense of feel if you do not wear your HOOD.


Thanks for the visit to the Jumpseat….Here is a great video that addresses another concern with our Hoods……..More to follow…..