Just Because You Look Salty Does Not Mean You Are!

The firefighter dressed in Black is a 36 year vet in an Urban department he does not have to look salty

The firefighter dressed in Black is a 36 year vet in an Urban department he does not have to look salty

While participating in a burn with brother firefighters the question came up about how nice and shiny my new helmet was. Although I knew the firefighters I was with where just kidding it made me think.

For firefighters who have not been in the business long or still think it is acceptable to look salty, let me impress upon you are wrong. The salty look means nothing. Stop and THINK. The set of gear that looks so worn could be gear that is used to conduct live burns in, which is a controlled environment with heat and smoke concentrated on it for long periods of time. Also, all it takes is that one hot fire that the individual showed up to all year-long.  Looking Salty also comes with the most hefty price. When you don’t clean your gear, and you look so salty, those are incomplete products of combustion left on your gear. Think about that.These incomplete products aid in breaking the materials down in your gear and making YOU flammable as well as the cancerous products that get into your pores when you sweat.

These are just a few thoughts for those who feel they need to look salty. It is not about how you look that makes you salty. It is, however, how you perform in the way you train and perform on the fire ground. Just remember the salty ole dog just might be the cleanest guy you see. This does not mean wash your gear every time you get smoke on it. It means at least rinsing away dirt, grit, and grime. Washing your gear needs to be done at least twice a year just for the environment it is exposed to of diesel fumes and other things from apparatus. But, if it is heavily soiled it should be washed following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

4 Comments

  • anchorpoint1 says:

    Oh god don’t get me started. Helmet cookers, equipment modifiers, Motor cycle glove wearers, wanna be heroes, 4 reasons guys get hurt and make other firefighters have to work more. If you want to LOOK like a salty fire hero, go to Hollywood and start auditioning for a fantasy world. If you want to BE a real firefighter wear your gear, keep it clean and maintained so you can do your job and go home to your family and look forward to a retirement with less chemotherapy.
    You could also stand out front and pose for the cameras, we need those guys too.

  • Jeff Schwering says:

    This is simple, take of yourself, your turnouts, and your equipment and live to retirement and beyond, more than a few months. Except for a couple spots of tar on my lid, it looks like the day I took it out of the box and I been catching some fire duty, you know the stuff we never do anymore, sorry Dave!

    Be Safe, your family needs you!

  • ChiefMO says:

    I gotta say these guys look cool though, don’t they?

    They only do this b/c we allow it. Don’t let anyone get away with leaving their gear like this.

    These people need to be shamed into cleaning their gear.

  • 13 Truck says:

    I tell probies and recruits not to judge a fireman by the look of his helmet. It’s what’s in the head that counts, not what’s on it.

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition. We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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