Firefighting

SCBA BASICS

Issue 6 and Volume 149.

SCBA BASICS BY MICHAEL A. TERPAK, CAPTAIN, JERSEY CITY (NJ) FIRE DEPARTMENT A number of years ago, as a firefighter assigned to Rescue Company 1 of the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department, our company responded to a second alarm in a seven-story, brick, “H”-shaped multiple dwelling. It was at this fire that a simple yet often overlooked procedure almost caused serious injury. What happened was a result of what a layman might call laziness but what I will call “improper donning procedure.” At this incident, I never bothered to use the waist strap of my SCBA. The straps and their clips and buckles were flapping around until they became entangled in the springs of an old mattress left in the public hallway on the fire floor. A few tense moments as fire conditions worsened forced me to fight myself out of a situation I never should have experienced. The following…

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