Due to the cold weather that’s blanketing much of the United States this week, I figured this “rekindled” post would be fitting. It was originally posted in December 2010. Feel free to leave you suggestions etc for cold weather operations in the comment section.
“Cold Weather Tips” from December 2010…
Burrrr is an understatement!! Record cold temps and snow falls have blanketed the Country (or 1/2 of it anyway … Schmoe is warm and cozy I’m sure..LOL). Here in Va. the wind is also gusting at 50 + mph! Now we’re really talking cold! Nothing good comes from temps like this … well nothing except for the “ski bunnies”…
Have I mentioned that I’m the “3 time high school ski Champion”?? LOL. All kidding aside, this weather make our job 100 times more difficult and dangerous..
I thought I’d take a minute to share a few of my cold weather tips…
1.) Pack a “cold weather bag” and keep it on the rig. The bag should contain dry socks, sweat shirt and sweat pants. You should also have an extra nomex hood or toboggan as well as extra gloves.
2.) Those “hot hands” or pocket type warmers are also worth a million dollars when you’re out in the street wet and cold.
3.) The “water coolers” most of us carry on the rigs are insulated. So, they not only keep water cold in the summer, they will also keep a beverage hot in the winter. Every evening, fill your cooler with hot water and throw a box of instant hot chocolate in the rig.
4.) Steal … ummmm… errrrrr… borrow a few blankets from the Medic unit and keep them inside the rig’s cab as well.
5.) All “EMS fluids” and even the “jump bag / kit” should be moved to and secured inside the cab.
6.) Have a way to circulate your pump water and always leave the rig running and attended when out in these temps.
7.) Make sure you are drinking plenty of warm fluids during the shift. YES .. you can and will dehydrate in cold weather. ( “wink..wink” to the Medics … yea .. I got skills like dat..LOL )
8.) Have a 2nd set of gear at the station or at least dry your wet set before going back into service … putting wet gear back on is a killer.
9.) If you don’t have “boot dryers” .. steal your wife’s hair dryer and keep at the house. If she was born later than the 80’s and doesn’t own a blow dryer … get an extra set of boots! Wet boots are worse than wet gear.
10.) Watch your brothers and sisters. Hypothermia and / or frost bite will sneak up on ya and we all know about firemen and their pride. Look after one another .. keep everyone as warm and dry as possible. If you’re an IC, rotate your crews through a dry warm location.
So that’s my 2 cents … I’m sure there are a few I have forgotten or you guys may have some that I haven’t thought about. There are other areas that we could touch on but maybe that’ll be another post (ie: shovels on the tailboard when there is snow on the ground.. plows tend to cover hydrants … having that shovel there is a huge help).
The main thing is not to under estimate the weather … Work smart and safe so you can check back in for my next post. It’s coming later this evening. I’m gonna try to have a beer or two with the boys from #3-A tonight… everyone is invited. Buffalo Wild Wings, Valley View @ 7pm.
Also don’t forget that you have until Midnight tonight to get your firefighter tattoo submission in. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.
We also have Day 11 of Santa’s Sexy Helper to look forward to. I can’t wait until you guys see the last 10 days … grrrrrrrrr .
Anyhow, thanks again for reading and following along. Keep checking in and don’t forget to use the tool bar at the bottom to share with all your friends.
Until next time, stay safe .. warm, dry and in house.