In my early days as a young firefighter, not much was known about the relationship of toxic fire gases and the effect it had on our bodies. In fact, our bunker pants and boots sat right next to us in our bunk rooms. Today, it has all changed, and for the better. I cannot remember when and why it began to change, but today, that practice is long gone. Something happened over time, and the fire service began to make many changes regarding our health. Day boots were gone, Nomex® hoods were mandatory, and everyone had their own air packs. All this was a step in the right direction, but it was just the beginning.
The general notion that firefighters are fighting less structure fires these days may be true. However, per National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data, there is a house fire every 86 seconds in America.