What Immediate Actions Can I Take to Protect Myself?
1 – Use SCBA from initial attack to finish of overhaul. (Not wearing SCBA in both active and post-fire environments is the most dangerous voluntary activity in the fire service today.)
2 – Do gross field decon of PPE to remove as much soot and particulates as possible.
3 – Use Wet-Nap or baby wipes to remove as much soot as possible from head, neck, jaw, throat, underarms and hands immediately and while still on the scene.
4 – Change your clothes and wash them immediately after a fire.
5 – Shower thoroughly after a fire.
6 – Clean your PPE, gloves, hood and helmet immediately after a fire.
7 – Do not take contaminated clothes or PPE home or store it in your vehicle.
8 – Decon fire apparatus interior after fires.
9 – Keep bunker gear out of living and sleeping quarters.
10 – Stop using tobacco products.
11 – Use sunscreen or sun block.
The importance of annual medical examinations cannot be overstated — early detection and early treatment are essential to increasing survival.