Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Leadership, Truck Company


Issue 12 and Volume 164.

By John F. “Skip” Coleman, Technical Editor When I was a line firefighter and officer, I smoked more than three packs of cigarettes a day. There were a few times in my career where I was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation prior to any mandatory self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) policy in my department. As I waited for the ambulance for transport, I had another cigarette! How things have changed. I quit smoking cold turkey in 1988. I wrote the mandatory SCBA policy—which is still in effect for the Toledo (OH) Fire Department—that same year. Later, we amended the policy to state that in addition to the mandatory use of SCBA, firefighters are now required to go to rehab after the use of two SCBA bottles at one fire. This was also mandatory. At that time, we knew little of the harm smoke and its by-products were doing to…

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