In a bid to help prevent firefighter injuries at traffic crashes and traffic direction duties OSHA will require all new Turnout Gear to be made in safety green. This announcement comes after it was found how many firefighters refuse to wear traffic safety vests.
Traffic safety vests have become a regular sight at many fire scenes. But an alarming number of firefighters refuse to wear them. The excuses given can range from how hard vest are to put on, to the fact they look dorky. Many firefighter claim the reflective striping on Turnout Gear is enough to make them visible.
This new rule is set to go into effect in 2016. Departments will have until 2020 to outfit all members in this new color.
Experts in fire department administration have mixed feelings on this new rule. On the one hand this will cause departments to buy new sets Turnout Gear before the replacement schedule calls for the purchase. At the same time this is seen as a major improvement to overall safety.
Chief Blitz a noted expert on firefighter safety said “This new color will even help on interior attack situations. Too many departments use black or dark tan gear. These dark colors make people hard to see in the smoke filled environments. This safety green color will help our crews see each other in the smoke.”
Firefighters seem mixed on the idea also. Many are okay with the color, but most firefighters we talked to seemed upset the new color was not a “traditional color”.