Summer has come and gone and cold weather is just around the corner. With the change in seasons you should take time to prepare yourself and your equipment for inclement conditions. There are several items that you can gather before a long unexpected stay in freezing weather. Warm socks are one of the most important additions that I make every winter. A pair of wool socks left with your PPE will come in handy on those cold winter days. Another important addition is a pair of warm gloves. Our bunker gloves work well until we get them wet. A good pair of insulated work gloves will help keep your fingers toasty for those long fire incidents.
From time to time winter will bring us snow and ice. Snow and ice conditions increase firefighter hazards while working on emergency scenes and around the station. Several companies manufacture traction devices that can be placed on your boots. These devices range in cost but are a good investment as they reduce your chances of slip and fall injury. You should also dress warm under your bunker gear but keep in mind that too many layers under your PPE decreases maneuverability so bring an extra sweatshirt that can be put on if you need it.
These are just a few additions to your cold weather PPE that have been discovered from trial and error. Rubber boots and wet gloves will not keep you warm so take time to prepare yourself, it will pay off in the end. Stay Safe!