Playing with Fire


By Michael J. Legeros


This month, the subject is weight.  It's been said that everything in the fire service is heavy.  What you wear, what you ride, and what you lift on and off the truck every day.  How much heaviness are we talking about?  With a bathroom scale in tow, Yours Truly visited his friendly neighborhood fire station and took the following measurements:

Item Weight (Pounds)
axe 6
couplings, 2 1/2" male-male, female-female 7
extension ladder, 24' 75
extinguisher, CO2 35
extinguisher, dry-chemical 29
extinguisher, water 32
foam concentrate, 5 gallon container 46
gated Y valve, 2 1/2" to 1 1/2" 2
generator 75
hand light 2
helmet 1
high-rise kit, no hose 12
hose, one section 1 1/2" 14
hose, one section 2" 23
hose, one section 3" 39
hose clamp 16
hydrant wrench 5
jump kit, plastic 27
nozzle, 1 1/2" fog 5
nozzle, 2 1/2" fog 20
pike pole, 6' fiberglass 1
rabbit tool 17
saw, K-12 24
SCBA cylinder, filled 11
smoke fan, electric 46
wheel chock 8


And how much does all this weigh when carried by a fully-outfitted firefighter?  My scale doesn't go that high, but just the coat, pants, boots, gloves, helmet, face mask, and air pack averages about 75 pounds. You do the math.

A version of this column originally appeared at Code 3 Collectibles.


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Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros