Some firefighters think that loading up your pockets with tools and other equipment weighs us down and makes our jobs harder.
Others think that we need to carry everything including the kitchen sink just in case we need it!
VentEnterSearch.com has a decent set of submitted articles on just this topic. There are some great tips on what firefighters carry and how they carry it in their pockets. You can read those articles here.
The tools I keep in my pockets are primarily for rescue of myself or others.
Occasionally I will place other tools in my pockets to give them a try and see if they are something I forget on the engine or need frequently. Most of the time, I go back to the way it has been for years. I keep two sets of webbing, each secured in a loop with a caribeener or two for rescue, self-rescue, or a downed firefighter. I also carry the 25′ prussick just in case I need to take a dive out of a window without the advantage of having a ladder (although I have no plans of needing this!)….you just never know!
All of this gear does add some additional weight. I often wonder if the added weight will be a benefit someday. Let’s just say that at this point I am willing to carry a few extra pounds than not having some of it as a lifeline or to assist me with a rescue.
Below is what is in my pockets and which pockets they are located. What is in your pockets?
What if anything would you remove or add from my inventory?
I have never been one for keeping stuff on my helmet. Recently, I added a Garrity light and door chock to my helmet. They were secured by my Foxfire illuminating helmet band. I actually used one of the door chocks…and promptly left it on scene. I have also since realized that I still don’t like having stuff on my helmet. The only thing that remains is my Foxfire helmet band.
As for my pockets, throughout my career I have inventoried what I carry and changed the setup from time to time. I recently added two tools. They are the Bowring and the Channellock Rescue tool #87 (both of which are upcoming product reviews). The only problem with this addition is that they are both solid metal and have increased the weight of my coat.
I don’t use my radio pocket for my radio. I wear a leather radio strap under my gear. I also have a glove strap connected to my loop for the radio mic for my firefighting gloves.
I also keep a bag with me on the engine when I am working. Mostly these are “extra” tools or equipment I might need when I am working, but nothing that I might need while I am already inside working. Remember, I drive mostly so I am often at the engine or around it getting gear for others to work more efficiently.