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Then and Now: Safety in Today’s Fire Service

By Todd Shoebridge When I started in the fire service 30 years ago, we were riding the tailboard of the trucks, had self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in plastic boxes on the side or in the compartments of the truck, and wore ¾-length day boots and the old "dog bed"-lining, long turnout coats. We have come a long way since then. We didn't run medical calls or perform hazardous materials, confined space, swift-water, high-angle, or any other rescue. We ran the occasional traffic accident, but our time at the firehouse was much slower-paced than it is today. Inspections and preplans of a building were seldom done by the suppression division, if at all. There was no such thi...

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