They don’t call it “Bunker Gear” for nothing. As someone who has worn the gear, I know you develop a fondness for what you wear. It literally encases you in your own little flame and heat resistant micro-climate. I never gave much thought to my coat protecting me from a crazed, knife-wielding woman however.
A Tucson fire captain responding to an apartment fire early Friday morning was attacked by a knife-wielding woman who tried to stab him in the chest, police said.
The firefighter’s turnout, or firefighting coat, served as body armor and kept the knife from penetrating his chest, according to a press release issued by Tucson Fire.
The firefighter wasn’t hurt and was able to get out of the apartment.
Tucson fire says the firefighters kept their distance while the woman stayed in the doorway threatening to stab them if they entered.
Firefighters were able to see inside and determine the fire was burning on top of a small stove. Officials say the woman had a dead cat on the stove and was burning it.
She was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of arson in an occupied structure and one count of animal cruelty.
The clothing is made up of many layers of Nomex batting, covered in a tough, Nomex shell. In reality, it isn’t that different than quilted peasants’ armor, and it appears that in this case it functioned that way.
I know with virtual certainty that the Chief of my department would have ordered me to turn the hose on her. I would have happily obliged.
I needed a picture for this post, so I threw in my old Firefighter’s helmet. I was a member of the College Twp. Fire Department in Knox County, OH from 1995-1998.
I had to turn my bunker-gear in when I graduated Kenyon and left the Department, but I couldn’t part with my helmet. I paid to have it replaced, though the Chief never cashed the check. I like to believe that was not an oversight on his part.
That helmet protected me when a kitchen flashed on us in a training burn. My face-shield partially melted and needed to be replaced, but the stickers still show the blisters from one of the more intensely exciting moments of my life. I can’t attribute any particular scar to a specific incident where the helmet was dropped, protected a klutz like me from braining myself on a rafter, or where it deflected a beer-bottle that a drunk threw at the back of my head while I was hosing down their bonfire. But each one is there.