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There is no doubt that firefighting is a profession that is fraught with potential dangers. Firefighters are continually pushing the limits of both their bodies and their equipment to save the lives of others. To prevent accidents and injury, firemen rely on a combination of training, physical fitness, and specialized firefighter safety equipment.

First & Foremost: Firefighter Safety

firefighter helmet

Firefighting is a profession that is built around keeping others safe and out of harm's way. However, it is equally important that firefighters take precautions to ensure their safety as well. When attempting to rescue someone from a burning structure, a firefighter must assess the situation and make decisions accordingly, so that they do not become a victim themselves. A firefighter can not perform their duties if they become critically injured or worse; the rescuer must be able to continue rescuing.

Firefighter Safety Equipment & Effects on Performance

Fighting a fire requires a lot of equipment aside from their hemlet, fire goggles, and clothing; firefighters themselves are responsible for carrying much of it. Firefighters typically carry around 45 pounds of equipment, with some hauling as much as 75 pounds. All this weight has an effect on their ability to fight fires but is also necessary to ensure their safety. Bulky, cumbersome equipment makes it harder to maneuver through passageways and hinders the fighters' physical abilities; to counter this, designers like Paulson Manufacturing are continually working to improve the functionality of firefighting gear.

Protective Equipment for Firefighters

firefighting equipment

Without the personal protective equipment, firefighters would not be able to safely carry on their job with the efficiency that is necessary for emergency situations. A firefighter's gear, also known as turnout gear, makes it safer for the firefighter by protecting them from smoke and the extreme temperatures that they typically encounter on the job; even falling debris is an issue which requires structural firefighter goggles strong enough to withstand physical abuse in all shapes and forms. Additional equipment, such as thermal imaging cameras and Halligan axes, make it so that rescue efforts are as successful as possible.

Firefighter Fitness

Firefighting is a strenuous activity which requires a significant level of physical ability and overall fitness. Firefighters need to make sure they are taking in the proper nutrients so that they will have adequate energy levels to meet the demands of the position when the alarms sound. A good diet helps keep the fighters' immune system strong when being exposed to multiple burning materials and fumes. Furthermore, a firefighter should have an efficient workout routine in place to ensure they stay in good shape. Maintaing a good mix of strength and body endurance can be the deciding factor bewtten life or death.

Firefighting Schooling Options

While each organization has its requirements to become a firefighter, often enrolling in a firefighting school is part of the curriculum. Many places across the country specialize in the training of firefighters, while others, such as colleges and universities, offer degrees in fire science or emergency response. Typically, it is a combination of schooling and on-the-job experience that prepares a firefighter for the drastic situations that lie ahead.

FDIC International 2017

Paulson Manufacturing will be in attendance at this year's Fire Department Instructor's Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana from April 24th to April 29th at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium. The convention, one of Indianapolis's biggest expos, features firefighting technology and apparatus showcases for individuals in the firefighting sector. For the show schedule, visit the FDIC website, and be sure to look for Paulson Manufacturing on the show floor!