1. #1
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    Default Patches on Turnout Gear

    All over this Forum I have seen threads discussing the Pros and Cons of sewing patches on your turnout gear. I understand every department has their own policies and many people have different views on this subject. I am looking for more than just someone saying yes you can or no you canít.

    Recently in my Department, many of the Houses are getting their Logo made into patches. Those Patches are getting sewn on to turnout gear. Since this fad started, there is the usual Firehouse Bitching about it. There are concerns about the patch compromising the outer shell, the glue underneath the patch melting and causing injury, and finally the manufactures warranty may be voided. I am going to stay neutral about this. What I am looking for is any links or websites, articles or any real information that will assist with the real issue, can or cant you do it. Thank you in advance.

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    From first hand experience, I would not recommend sewing any patches on the gear unless it is done by a certified company or by the manufacturer.

    This happened while on the scene of a dwelling fire. The nozzleman leaned against a metal door hinge. The patch on the coat acted as a heat sinc and the nozzleman developed second degree burns. There was no damage to the gear around the patch. The only damage was to the patch.

    Before sewing anything on, check with the manufacture. I hope this helps and good luck.

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    I can't provide any personal experience or information, but I agree that sewing anything on that the manufacturer does not agree with is not an intelligent move. My company doesn't do any of that nor have I even heard of anyone actually doing it (until now of course). We only have our "Station 20" on the back of our jackets as well as any officers that have the snap-on officer tags, which are made by the manufacturer.

    I would definitely check with the manufacturers before doing anything to gear as it may void warranties and may cause injury/death.

    Good luck and stay safe.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

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    Quote Originally Posted by firegator77 View Post
    All over this Forum I have seen threads discussing the Pros and Cons of sewing patches on your turnout gear. I understand every department has their own policies and many people have different views on this subject. I am looking for more than just someone saying yes you can or no you canít.

    Recently in my Department, many of the Houses are getting their Logo made into patches. Those Patches are getting sewn on to turnout gear. Since this fad started, there is the usual Firehouse Bitching about it. There are concerns about the patch compromising the outer shell, the glue underneath the patch melting and causing injury, and finally the manufactures warranty may be voided. I am going to stay neutral about this. What I am looking for is any links or websites, articles or any real information that will assist with the real issue, can or cant you do it. Thank you in advance.

    If you want things you can actually use, you can follow the one thing the fire service has consistently done: Wait for someone to be killed or seriously injured by it in your own department. Safety33 may have a 1st hand example, but is that your Chief's first hand (which for some reason they seem to need in order to learn) example? Just remember those in charge always seem to be the slowest learners, that's why they stay outside
    Last edited by DFW333; 07-19-2008 at 05:23 AM.

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    I dont know what gear you and your department uses, but as far as Morning Pride goes, they actually produce prints of patches on approved material that will cause no issues and you can sew that onto the bunker coats. plus it wont void any warranty or safety issues, especially since they produce it.

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    Buy Fire Dex it comes with patches already on the coat.

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    You can go either way. Meaning, with Nomex thread or with regular thread. I would not be too worried about voiding the warranty. Just need to be certain that it is sewn JUST to the shell, and not the liner. The shell is just that, a shell to protect the liner which does the protecting of its occupant. Dont worry about getting burned through it or it doing anything weird. If you get burned because of a patch you will have been burned regardless!

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    I have had patches on turnout sleeves before, never had an issue. I used standard thread based on the theory that if it got that hot, the thread would melt and the patch would fall off. Maybe, maybe not, but as stated - it was never an issue.
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    You can go either way. Meaning, with Nomex thread or with regular thread. I would not be too worried about voiding the warranty. Just need to be certain that it is sewn JUST to the shell, and not the liner. The shell is just that, a shell to protect the liner which does the protecting of its occupant. Dont worry about getting burned through it or it doing anything weird. If you get burned because of a patch you will have been burned regardless!
    Johnny summed it up best. As long as it is to the outer shell it won't be a problem. Call Morning Pride, Globe, Fire Dex, Janesville, or any supplier of this gear and they will tell you not to alter the gear but they have to tell you that for liability reasons.

    And yes, you get burned by a patch, you got more trouble on your hands than a damn patch.
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    I had the jacket tested after the incident and it passed everything. This was done at a company that cleans gear and the owner of the company has assisted with writing standards for gear.

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    +1 on the getting burned regardless. 117 degrees wont damage the coat, but will burn your skin.

    if you get burned through a patch, you will get burned through the scotchlite trim thats mandated on the coats.

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    a ton of guys at work have company patches on their goods, have not heard of a single problem.

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    Yeah, we ave patches on our turnout coats. Their optional, and depend on whether the member wants to pay to get them sewn on. But if you do get patches please get them sewn on professionally, we use an awning/canvas dealer for ours.

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    We wanted to put patches on our gear after 9/11. The Chief would only allow it if the state DOL approved it, so they were approached. They told us very sternly that it was OK as long as the patches were a tribute to 9/11 victims and not company patches. Evidentially they thought the 9/11 patches were ordered directly from God and would not pose a threat! They then went on to tell us they had to be sewn with Nomex thread. The response from them was so laughable we were allowed to sew on whatever we wanted in any manner, as we held a piece of paper showing their utter incompetence on matters of PPE.

    And patch=heat sink? How about metal in your pockets? spanners, knives, etc.? There are much greater hazards to spend time worrying about.

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    From what was typed above about someone getting burned while they leaned against a hinge. It stated it was just the area that the patch was located in that the firefighter got burned. First off, how big a hinge is it? Did you expect him to get burns all over his body? I would have to think the more logical reasoning would be that the lining got compressed, which limited that area's insulation capabilties, thus buring that area of the body.

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    MEck51- I never thought about the idea of the compression limiting the insulating capabilities of the coat. The hinge was approximately 6 inches long. I was surprised that the only burn was in that location.

    I appreciate all of the information and insight that everyone has provided me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety33 View Post
    This happened while on the scene of a dwelling fire. The nozzleman leaned against a metal door hinge. The patch on the coat acted as a heat sinc and the nozzleman developed second degree burns. There was no damage to the gear around the patch. The only damage was to the patch.
    ummm anyone else having trouble picturing this? I've been going over it in my head, and can't figure this out.

    how does a cotton patch at as a heat sink? maybe the glue on the back? what is actually absorbing the heat?

    Even better, wouldn't the patch just act as an additional layer between the heat source and your skin? so instead of skin/insulation/nomex, you have skin/insulation/nomex/patch.

    just trying to wrap my brain aroudn this.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite View Post
    ummm anyone else having trouble picturing this? I've been going over it in my head, and can't figure this out.

    how does a cotton patch at as a heat sink? maybe the glue on the back? what is actually absorbing the heat?

    Even better, wouldn't the patch just act as an additional layer between the heat source and your skin? so instead of skin/insulation/nomex, you have skin/insulation/nomex/patch.

    just trying to wrap my brain aroudn this.
    The patch will most definitely act as a heat sink as does trim. Contact your sales rep through Total Fire, Globe, whoever and they will most likely have literature showing the heat sink qualities of trim and patches. I sell Morning Pride so I know that TFG has literature on this, but I would assume the other big boys, i.e-Globe would also.

    The last time I did a dealer tour of the TFG plant they showed all of us some pics a ff who had 2nd and some 3rd degree burns ONLY on the skin that was located directly beneath his trim and shoulder patch. I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most cases they serve as a heat sink. I say most cases because Morning Pride, and I think Globe, have options you can get on your gear that will help alleviate most of the heat sink qualities of trim.

    Here's a link to the Morning Pride site. Go to pg.95 and you'll see what I'm talking about.


    http://www.totalfiregroup.com/PDF/Ca...%20Catalog.pdf

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    I must say, the TFG literature on compression tests and burns under trim is an interesting read. I wouldn't have though the trim and patches would act as heat sinks in the manner they did. That being said, we carry many more item in or on our gear that will act as more efficient "heat sinks" than trim or pathes. How many of us carry metal object in our pockets or clipped to the outside of our gear? My point is not to ditch these items but worry about something that really matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I must say, the TFG literature on compression tests and burns under trim is an interesting read. I wouldn't have though the trim and patches would act as heat sinks in the manner they did. That being said, we carry many more item in or on our gear that will act as more efficient "heat sinks" than trim or pathes. How many of us carry metal object in our pockets or clipped to the outside of our gear? My point is not to ditch these items but worry about something that really matters.
    I absolutely agree with you. I was simply providing info on the trim and patches aspect of heat sink. I'm glad it was a good read!!

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    The only real issue you might have is that you could end up having to replace the patch if your gear is cleaned by a specialty company. It's happened here to a few guys, but the company was nice enough to wash the patch and place it in a coat pocket.
    Not that it is really much of an issue, but a professional turnout cleaning company is supposed to not leave anything on the gear that isn't NFPA compliant, including repairs. Patches, embroidery, and thread must meet the language in 1971 in order to be compliant, i.e. Nomex, or kevlar. A company that cleans and repairs gear has to make sure that the gear is compliant as it leaves their facility, or they could be open to some liability, in the event of an injury, etc...

    Is it a big deal? How much does your patch cost to replace?
    The issue is that the patch could retain moisture, which could be hotter than other areas touching the vapor barrier, and if you used nylon thread, the thread could melt.
    Remember too, your gear isn't supposed to be over exposed to UV rays either, they damage and reduce the effectiveness of your shell. Yet we still wear our gear into fires.
    It isn't a perfect world, so just use some common sense. We can't walk on egg shells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    The only real issue you might have is that you could end up having to replace the patch if your gear is cleaned by a specialty company. It's happened here to a few guys, but the company was nice enough to wash the patch and place it in a coat pocket.
    Not that it is really much of an issue, but a professional turnout cleaning company is supposed to not leave anything on the gear that isn't NFPA compliant, including repairs. Patches, embroidery, and thread must meet the language in 1971 in order to be compliant, i.e. Nomex, or kevlar. A company that cleans and repairs gear has to make sure that the gear is compliant as it leaves their facility, or they could be open to some liability, in the event of an injury, etc...

    Is it a big deal? How much does your patch cost to replace?
    The issue is that the patch could retain moisture, which could be hotter than other areas touching the vapor barrier, and if you used nylon thread, the thread could melt.
    Remember too, your gear isn't supposed to be over exposed to UV rays either, they damage and reduce the effectiveness of your shell. Yet we still wear our gear into fires.
    It isn't a perfect world, so just use some common sense. We can't walk on egg shells.
    Hey Jasper, are you going to get a number "4" patch on your bunker gear?? haha I noticed your avator "traitor" and got a good laugh out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamewalker25 View Post
    Hey Jasper, are you going to get a number "4" patch on your bunker gear?? haha I noticed your avator "traitor" and got a good laugh out of it.



    Maybe I'll have to put one on!

    I thought it was funny. I can't wait to see that jersey at Lambeau,, as I'm sure someone will have one.

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