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May Roundtable: Firefighter Safety During Overhaul

05/06/2011
By John "Skip" ColemanNot to sound like an old, broken record, but things change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. In Toledo, we created a manditory mask policy in 1988. I wrote the policy. We were sure that by enacting this safety procedure (which stated, and I paraphrase: “Self-contained breath apparatus (SCBA) shall be worn and 'in-service' [on and operating] in any building or atmosphere that contains or could eventually contain smoke.”) we would add years to the life of new firefighters. At that time the average life expectancy for a firefighter was 57 years. Soon, the policy became the norm and was followed to the letter the vast majority of the time.&n...

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