Firefighters depend on various pieces of equipment such as ladders, forcible entry tools, and thermal imaging cameras, but those are all external items. There are a few items all firefighters should carry with them on their person so they can promptly respond to an emergency. If you’d like to learn which items you need, read our guide below.
Disposable Examination Gloves
Because most firefighters are certified EMTs or paramedics, you’ll likely respond to medical emergencies as well. That said, every firefighter should have a few pairs of examination gloves in their pockets. It’s best to have a variety of medical gloves because some individuals are allergic to materials like latex. To avoid causing allergic reactions, you could use vinyl gloves, and in some cases, nitrile gloves.
If you don’t readily have a forcible entry tool on hand, many firefighters use doorstops to pry doors open. Moreover, if you’re responding to residential or commercial fires, you’ll likely run a fire hose through the building. To keep doors from closing on your hose and reducing the water supply, doorstops are one of the most beneficial things to carry with you at all times.
One of the most useful items a firefighter can carry is a multifunction tool. Whether you’re responding to an emergency, working on projects around the station, or fixing the fire truck, a multi-tool will always be helpful. For many firefighters, a multi-tool becomes a part of their uniform. In fact, you might begin wearing a multi-tool when you’re off the clock because it comes in handy for home and car repairs too.
Whether you’re responding to a call at night or a house fire, a flashlight is a must for every firefighter. Most firefighters prefer a right-angle flashlight that they can attach to their jacket because it will illuminate the area in front of them while allowing them to keep both hands free. Alternatively, some firefighters prefer having a light on their helmet. Either way, you’ll need a flashlight on the job.
While our list of items all firefighters should carry with them is the bare minimum, there are several other pocket tools that firefighters should consider. If you’re not sure where to begin on additional tools, you could ask your colleagues what they’ve found useful over the course of their careers.