Watch your Sore Head

Always need to watch overhead!

Good afternoon from the jumpseat.  Today on twitter I was reminded of a valuable lesson that I learned on my last fire.  I know that a website may not be the best place to admit this, but if just one person learns from my experience, it will be worth it.  WATCH YOUR HEAD!  Have you ever wondered why firefighters wear helmets?

On my last structure fire, we were in the overhaul phase looking for pockets of fire.  As we discovered a three layer ceiling and began to pull it little by little it happened.  First layer, then the second, and then “BAM’ down goes Frasier!  It is was a great reminder than when you  are pulling a ceiling work your way into the spot you are trying to reach so you don’t a huge section of sheetrock or debris dropped on your head! I have been pulling ceilings for nearly twenty years now, why would you think this could happen?  Often when we are in the heat of battle, even overhaul, we can let our guard down for one second then, bam.

Here are some quick pointers to keep this from happening:

  • Work your way in to spot where you suspect fire to be from at least 8’ away
  • Try to determine how the sheets are laid out
  • Don’t stand underneath the section you are pulling
  • Do not get complacent.
  • Use your chinstrap

On your next fire, I hope that you can remember this quick blog and use my embarrassment to help keep you and your head safe.  It only takes 2 seconds of no paying attention or pulling from a wrong position to bring the weight of the ceiling on to your head!

Be safe everyone….

Bunker up, Buckle in, its where we all begin!!!!