Firefighting

THE BREATH FROM HELL

Issue 3 and Volume 159.

BY MIKE GAGLIANO, CASEY PHILLIPS, PHIL JOSE, AND STEVE BERNOCCO Do you know the deadly nature of today’s fireground smoke? • Are you getting the needed practice and training in effective air management? • Are you working in the hazardous environment and making your time-to-exit decision only after your low-air warning alarm activates? • Are you relying on “filter breathing” as a reliable method of escaping the close call? “The smoke tasted like liquid, molten plastic …. It was the worst thing I’d ever experienced in my life ….” -Lieutenant Chris Yob Most firefighters know that the modern smoke environment is unforgiving and deadly. Tactics classes across the nation are rarely complete without some mention of the expanding toxicity of smoke and the rapid development of “zero visibility” at working fires. We are aware of the highly flammable nature of carbon monoxide (CO) and its ability to cause rapid asphyxiation.…

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