Safety First: Cadets Model Firefighting Equipment For Student Followers

Life Ring

Yesterday, we introduced you to the Damage Control Lockers aboard the TS Kennedy

Today, we'll show you some of the firefighting clothing and equipment stored in the Damage Control Locker, modeled by Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets.

Each week, the Fire Party puts on this equipment and practices responding to a fire.  They are well-prepared should an actual emergency occur.

helmet with tag

The firefighting helmet weighs approximately 4 pounds.  

Did you notice that the firefighting helmet has a tag hanging from it?  There is a number on the tag.  The board below shows where the tags are returned after a fire is over.  When all of the tags are secured to the board, the leader of the Fire Party knows that all of the firefighters are safe and accounted for.  In the center of the board, a chart includes personal information about all of the firefighters in the party.  For privacy reasons, the chart has been covered up.  

board with tags to account for firefighters

The firefighter's jacket, called a turnout coat,  and his pants are thick and heavy.  They are made up of three different layers.  The outer layer is fire retardant, followed by a water-repellant material to keep the skin dry, even if the jacket gets wet.  Finally, the inner layer protects the wearer from the intense heat.  

The heavy boots worn by the firefighters are deigned to protect feet and legs from the intense heat and falling objects.  In addition to steel toes, the boots provide steel shanks, a layer of protection between the layers of the sole. 

It is estimated that turnout coat weighs approximately 7 pounds, and the combination of boots and pants weigh about 12 pounds.  

fire jacket
firefighting pants and boots

This SCBA tank (self-contained breathing apparatus) provides 30 minutes of air supply., protecting the firefighter from toxic gases and dangerous particulates that could result from the fire.  The tank weighs 11 pounds.

close up of SCBA tank on cadet's back
monitor for air tank

Let's do some mathematics:

4 pounds (helmet) 7 pounds (turnout cat) + 12 pounds (pants & boots) 11 pounds (SCBA) = 34 pounds

That's a lot of extra weight!  Fortunately, our cadets and crew members are in great shape and are able to walk and climb while wearing the equipment helmet, turnout coat, pants, boots, and the SCBA tank.  

Taking photos of the Fire Party drills is not allowed.  After all, this is a serious safety lesson.  Here is one photo taken at a distance.

fireman walking down hall

Although the Captain Campbell can't depend on the fire department to reach the TS Kennedy when she is at sea, the ship's Fire Party is ready to take charge in case of an emergency.