Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gear fitting

Still a few weeks yet until the first day of recruit class, but I went in and got fitted for gear a couple days ago. That was pretty exciting, in a way. Two outfits, one for structure fires (in buildings, that is) which they call "Bunker Gear", and one called "Wildland" gear which I assume is for wildfires or other outdoor situations. I didn't even know there was a difference until I saw the two sets, but it makes sense. After doing some research, I could even tell you the major differences.

Bunker Gear is heavily insulated. It's a thick, bulky outfit covering every part of your body, and it's probably very hot and uncomfortable to wear, but the reason it must be so is because it's intended to protect up close from high temperatures. Everything's double layered and well reinforced, so it can apparently be a bit restrictive, especially in the gloves, but I'm happy to sacrifice some dexterity for the amount of protection it provides.

The Wildland gear is protective as well (naturally), but much lighter and clearly intended to keep the wearer cool, shedding body heat much more easily than the thicker structural gear. This is probably due to the longer duration that the wearer has to don the gear, and to the fact that there is a lot more ground to cover when working outside (plus there are more strenuous and long-lasting activities).

I don't have it in my possession yet, but I'm eager to go through it piece by piece once it's been issued (is it immature to be excited about this?). Maybe I'll even put some pics up when that time comes.

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