TO: Firefighter Close Calls.com
Hopefully I won’t get into too much trouble for releasing this but I had a “close call” of my own yesterday. We were doing shift training on using the K-12 saw w/ a metal blade. We were wearing gloves and goggles as well as helmets but we didn’t think we needed bunker gear on. Needless to say that thinking got me into trouble. While cutting some sparks ended up igniting on my uniform pants (which we found out can repel water well but not flame-they’re 65% polyester, 35% cotton). I didn’t notice anything until I smelled a strange smell and then felt the heat on my leg. I ended up w/ a baseball size 2nd degree burn to my right calf-thankfully it will heal. The rest of the guys placed their bunker gear on afterwards while I got a trip into the hospital to have it looked at.
I’ll admit freely that in hindsight maybe we should have been wearing our gear from the get-go. This was the first time we’ve had an incident involving clothing catching on fire but it makes you wonder if something was to get past our bunker gear would we be fully protected.
I now might have a battle scar to testify for my “momentary lapse of reasoning”. I don’t think we’ll be doing any further training of the sort without full PPE from now on though.