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Does this outfit make me look fat?

Yeah, okay, so it does. But after all, firefighter clothing is built for protection, not for looks -- it's three layers, and pretty darn padded. I was trying on a new brand that a salesman dropped off for us to test -- just thought I'd throw a pic in for the heck of it.

Most people don't know this, but when actors play firefighters on movies or TV shows, the production people usually remove the inner lining from the gear -- which makes it lighter, and makes the actors look a lot leaner. I wouldn't run into a burning building that way, though!


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2006 09:10 am (UTC)
Wow! That's reflective!!!! LOL!!! *sqints*

Nice and warm in the snow though I expect horribly hot when you're working?
Feb. 27th, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
Holy cow -- where did you come from so quickly? :-)
Yes, it's designed to be plenty reflective so we can be seen on nighttime roadways, and be found more easily if we're in trouble. As a photographer I hate it -- I avoid using flash whenever possible while taking fire photos. As a firefighter, anything that makes me more visible is good.

Yes, it can get incredibly hot. But, ironically, it doesn't protect from the cold very well -- at least, not extreme cold. Once the fire's knocked down and my adrenalin stops dumping, I usually freeze during the winter.

Murphy's Law of Firefighting #9: Big fires only break out when it's either too hot or too cold.
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
I'd say it made you look sturdy rather than fat, but it certainly makes you look luminous! I don't think I'd mind looking fat to be that protected though.
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC)
looking protected
That's pretty much where I'm coming from on the issue. I've been hurt at fires before, but I'm determined that if I get hurt again, it won't be because I'm not wearing the proper protective gear.
Of course, the luminous part is a safety issue, too. I don't want to join the ranks of firefighters who get hit by cars.
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
You look very well protected - and very reflective!! I'm a big fan of safety!

Most people don't know this, but when actors play firefighters on movies or TV shows, the production people usually remove the inner lining from the gear -- which makes it lighter, and makes the actors look a lot leaner.

I did not know that - very interesting detail! Of course they love to do scenes when the firefighters relaxing in tight t-shirts and - seemingly - appropriate pants.
Feb. 27th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
I prefer loose clothing -- mobility's enough of a problem in that gear, as it is.
But of course, that takes away the fantasy, doesn't it? :-)
Feb. 27th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)
Well, you know what they say about horizontal stripes. Just kidding! It looks as though you're wearing shorts underneath, but it must be pants with boots below.
Feb. 27th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
Oh, those are leather knee pads -- we do a lot of crawling on this job! We boots are under the full length pants.
Feb. 27th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
Eek! You don't actually fight the fires yourself, do you? (I thought of you as safe in the rear echelon.) Be careful! ::worried now::
Feb. 28th, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
rear echelon
Ah, well, that's kind of complicated. I'm the department's training officer, public information officer, and photographer. My main job at the scene is Safety Officer, which is concerned with -- you guessed it -- scene safety. Basically I make sure certain things are done from a safety standpoint, such as gas and electricity being turned off, a medical crew standing by, everyone wearing their protective equipment, and so on.

But we're a fairly small volunteer department. If I'm one of the first guys to the station, I'm going out on the first truck, and we're not going to have the manpower right away for me to take the safety function. Later, when more manpower gets there, I'll back out and take my assigned position. By that time, I usually need a break anyway!

Besides -- *ahem* -- I love being on the nozzle, doing interior work, and I keep my hand in it when I can. You don't have to be worried, though! (although I'm flattered.) We only get about two dozen working structure fires a year, and we've got a good, safety conscious group of officers.
Mar. 1st, 2006 10:58 am (UTC)
Re: rear echelon
*whew* I'm glad you're careful.

Thank 9/11, but firefighters are glamorous. I still say you should come to WriterCon. You'd be inundated with the fair sex.
Mar. 1st, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
I'd love to, someday. For now it's just a money thing, unfortunately. Believe me, I'd love to be inundated with the fair sex, although I'm not sure how much I'd be able to concentrate on writing related stuff.

(Firefighting has always been one of those professions that's glamourous on screen, but dirty, sweaty, and disgusting in real life. The thing is, it's like an addiction -- for all the bad moments that go with it, once you're in you just can't stand to leave it.)
Feb. 27th, 2006 11:20 am (UTC)
The plan would be to embarrass the fire out by being brighter than it could hope to be? Damn, that reflects with the flash.
Feb. 27th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)
It usually looks even brighter than that -- I try to stay away from using flash. There have been a lot of firefighters killed by stupid motorists at the scene of car crashes, vehicles fires, and such, so we try to be as visible as possible.
Feb. 27th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
*removes sunglasses*

I'd much rather look fat and be well protected - presumably it doesn't hamper your movements or weigh too much.
Feb. 28th, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
weight and mobility
By itself, the clothing isn't too bad. Add the breathing air tank strapped to the back, along with the air mask, and it constricts mobility a bit, but today's gear is well designed.

As far as weight -- well, add the gear, helmet, air pack, and various equipment such as radio, flashlight, and anything else we can stuff in our pockets, along with carrying a hand tool, and it gets pretty darn heavy. Another 50 pounds or so, give or take. In the fire service stress related injuries (heart, heat, etc) are up, but burn injuries and smoke inhalation are way down.
Feb. 27th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
That looks real heavy.

I wouldn't run into a burning building that way, though!

With that gear, I don't think I could run, period. :P
Feb. 28th, 2006 07:56 am (UTC)
Running's possible, but not much fun -- especially once we're done stuffing our pockets full. I teach my fire trainees not to run, anyway -- there are enough dangers at emergency scenes, without tripping over our own boots!
Feb. 27th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
Man, it reminds me of when I was little and my mom bundled me up in my snow suit with like eight sweatshirts, two pairs of pants, and I cannot even count the 6 million extra socks she put on my feet. Unfortunately for me though, that suit wouldn't save me from a fire. In fact, it would probably burts into flames and burn me alive. Geeze, my mother never looked out for me.
Feb. 28th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
what a mother
Yes, moms and their misguided protective urges!
What I hated was the rubber overboats (actually called rubbers!) that fit over my shoes. I could never get them on or off without help.

Too bad I didn't listen to mom more, though -- I wouldn't have gotten frostbitten so badly when I was 16.

I'm Layerman myself, during winter. Long underwear, shirts, sweatshirts, overcoat... Then I go to a fire and get soaked in sweat because of all the layers: An hour later the fire is knocked down, we're doing salvage and overhaul work, and I'm freezing. I really, really hate winter.
Feb. 27th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Does this outfit make me look fat?

No, just chic and elegant... and obviously a man who believes in deep thought - or at least reflection!
Feb. 28th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC)
heh heh -- puns. heh heh. ;-)
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
Are you telling me Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto didn't wear the whole shebang? I'm - I'm - I'm so disillusioned! (I was going to comment on the brightness of it but I see everyone else did, so.... Actually whatever company makes those stripes should manufacture athletic wear and kids' clothes so people playing at night will be safe. They could make bicycle helmets with it!)
Mar. 3rd, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
bicycle helmets
Good point -- although it isn't really that bright unless a light is shone directly on it, such as a camera flash, it certainly does reflect well. Maybe we could spray some of that stuff on the deer around here?

Johnny and Roy wore those old plastic helmets and didn't use turnout pants except at night, so their outfits were a lot lighter even without the linings taken out. But the show was so darn much fun, it's hard to complain. :-)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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