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Weighing in on Firefighters Gear
So you think the laptop you carry to work everyday is heavy? Or the books, pens and pencils? Consider what a firefighter wears during his daily tour of duty, and that laptop may feel more like a paperweight.
Helmet- Protects the head from falling debris and heat. Weight 3.5lbs for modern fiberglass ones and over 5lbs for more traditional leather ones.
Turnout Coat- Protects the arms, back and chest from high heat, cuts etc. Weight 15lbs.
Turnout Pants and Boots- Protects Legs and feet from high heat, falling objects and crushing injuries. Weight up to 30lbs. or more
SCBA(Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)- Protects the firefighters lungs and airway from toxic smoke, hazardous gases, oxygen deficient areas and high heat. Weight 23.7lbs for the new style with aluminum frames and aluminum bottles, slightly less for composite bottles. Not long ago the scba had a steel frame and steel bottle with a much larger regulator and weighed about 8-12lbs more.
With out any tools or hoselines, the average firefighter is walking around with anywhere from 60-70lbs. worth of equipment. Add to that 80-90 degree heat in the summertime or 10 bone chilling degrees in the winter and you can see why it takes a special person to seek this line of work.