• Ballam: Ads on Fire Apparatus? Bring It On!

    By Ed Ballam - Wednesday November 20, 2013
    Bravo to the firefighters of Middle River, Md., Volunteer Fire Company. I read with interest about their story about sale of ad space on their ladder and engine.   It’s difficult enough to be a volunteer firefighter these days, with the...
  • PPE Thermal Liners and Pro Sports Players

    By Guy Lucas - Wednesday March 12, 2014
    What do high performance thermal liners have in common with the apparel worn by LeBron James, Usaine Bolt, and Tiger Woods? Before we get to that, let's establish a few things: What is a thermal liner? A firefighter's turnout gear is made...
  • Which PPE Outer Shell Fabric is the Most Durable?

    By Guy Lucas - Saturday March 1, 2014
    Which outer shell fabric is the most durable? The answer is...it depends.  It depends on who you ask and it depends on how you store and care for your turnout gear. There are three primary categories of performance that all outer shells share...
  • Ballam: The Death of a Fire Truck Maker -- Again

    By Ed Ballam - Tuesday January 21, 2014
    It appears the legendary truck builder American LaFrance has died – again. Rumors, speculations and scorn is circulating among fire apparatus manufacturers. Some are angry, saying when a company like American LaFrance (ALF) goes out of business, it...
  • Switch to Black Turnout Gear? Here's What You Should Know

    By Guy Lucas - Wednesday January 15, 2014
    This is what I would say to a fire department that is contemplating making a switch from a gold, khaki, or yellow outer shell to a black outer shell. The reason for making this statement is that more times than not, fire departments making a switch to...
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