As firefighters, we have a lot riding on our equipment. We demand more out of our gear than practically any other profession, because if it fails, it can cost a whole lot more than just money. How, then, can we ensure that our equipment doesn’t break down when we need it the most?
The answer is simple: Check your equipment regularly. This seems like a no-brainer, but when you consider the realities of the job, it’s not such an easy task. Consider all there is to keep track of: daily and weekly pre-shift truck checks, inventory checks, PPE gear and SCBA bottles, hose and pump schedules, PM and annual tests, ALS and BLS equipment, drug checks, and more. Now combine that with all the other responsibilities firefighters have (running calls, training, maintaining certifications, etc.), and it’s easy to see how inspecting your equipment could fall by the wayside.
Major issues can arise if equipment goes unchecked for too long. Every year, people and property are needlessly put in harm’s way when crucial inspections get missed. “In the case of the firefighter, proper maintenance can be the difference between life and death,” says Bob Norton of the Haddam (CT) Volunteer Fire Company. “Maintenance is the most lackluster part of the fire service, but outside of training, it may be the most important.”
With that in mind, here are four tips to keep your equipment up to the task:
As the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”This certainly rings true when it comes to fire rescue.
This article was written for & published by FirefighterNation.com.