EMS Turnout Gear?


Forum Chief
I work for a city-operated municipal 3rd service and shorts in the summer are specifically allowed in our uniform regulations.
County third service here and same deal about shorts

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Forum Deputy Chief
Old thread;

But I bought EMS bunker pants on clearance at FDIC years ago: great in heavy rain, great when it is 15 or 20 below 0 F. only time I wear them. I have worn them on winter camps as a Scout Master a few timers too.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
Going back to the original questions, it is my belief that all EMS personnel should be provided turnout gear, provided they have a need for it. Meaning, if you are expected to be operating in the hot zone at an MVA (being inside a car while disentanglement is occurring), than you need proper PPE. If you are expected to be anywhere near a house fire, you should have some level of PPE. if you are expected to go on a construction site, you should have the proper level of PPE. if you are expected to be providing patient care in the decon area, than you should be issued proper PPE. All this PPE should be provided by your employer, as mandated by OSHA; should you choose to upgrade what they give you, that is your choice, but if not, employer should be providing it.

The corollary to that is, if you don't do any of the above, you don't need it. So if you pull up to an MVA, and the FD is responsible for all patient care while in the car, and they remove the patient and they magically appear on your stretcher, no need for turnout gear. If you pull up to a construction site, and the FD's job is to go and get the patient and bring them to you in the parking lot (while providing all the appropriate levels of care), no need for turnout gear. if at a house fire, you are supposed to be a block away from anything burning, no need for PPE.

It all boils down to how your particular agency operates, and how their individual SOPs are written, as well as what their employee expectations are.

So if your employer tells you to stay out of the car, as the FD handles everything because you aren't issued the appropriate PPE, and you get in the car, and get hurt, OSHA will not take action against your employer, because you broke the rules, and went where you weren't supposed to go.

If I did it all over again, I'd likely buy my own helmet again.... and maybe gloves. But no way would I ever purchase my own turnout coat or pants, those should be provided by my employer.


Forum Lieutenant
turn out gear for fire and EMS are different. While similar in design, the Fire gear will be thicker, heavier, and NFPA rated for structure fire purposes. The EMS bunker pants will be lighter, and are bodily substance isolating.

A full set of Fire bunker gear will set a service back about $2000, a set of EMS gear should be about $600. Don't buy your own, let the service pay for them, and they are only really useful, I think, if you're at vechicle accidents.

In our area EMS having bunks isn't for doing the extrication, it's for being near the extrication. Fire is doing the actual cutting, but there will be EMS in the vechicle during extrication to help manage and triage the patient(s). So our department provides a set of EMS bunks to EMTs to wear for personal protection while on scene and around the vechicle. Our Fire is also Volunteer, and only a few at best are even at the EMR level.


Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
Love my MedPro gear. Comfy at night, actually breathes during the summer, fleece liner for the winter. Our ambulance paramedics (me) aren't firefighters but we do extrication and "exterior FF" tasks. Do not like the Lion helmet they issue us though, that thing is almost as heavy as a regular fire helmet, fits worse, and is ugly as a sin.


EMS Edumacator
We are issued Globe extrication gear, a Bullard helmet, Kevlar gloves and a few other goodies for when we need to be in the action circle at an extrication. I appreciate that the county provides it and I certainly wouldn't pay for it out of my own pocket.
Funny, the quote from 2011 is still true. Different agency but we're still issued a turnout coat, extrication gloves, helmet, and eye pro and it's expected that it'll be worn when you're on a motor vehicle crash. We're wearing Pacific USAR helmets and Pro-Tuff Kevlar/Nomex extrication gear.