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Thread: ANSI Vests

  1. #1
    Forum Member DOGRSQ's Avatar
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    Default ANSI Vests

    Help me process the current vest issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand our vests need to be:
    ANSI Class II or III
    two colors, either lime green with orange stripes, or Orange with lime.
    three point breakaway
    Worn by everybody

    We had invested (punny) in vests only to find most were non-compliant. Plus we have the solid blaze orange for hunting season...

    I'd like to buy our next set "just once". Anyone know a source or link for a list of all the requirements?

    Thanks!


  2. #2
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    Default

    This site is about the best resource I've found about the vest rules/regs. If you can't find what you want, drop me a pm or email and I'll see if I can't help you out more. I'd imagine you'll find everything you're after and then some, though.

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    As I'm sure you've noticed, this is an impossible and impractical regulation for the fire service. We have regulations to abide by from multiple agencies (NFPA, OSHA, and DOT). And they contradict each other. The cops got exemptions for the DOT vest regulation. For some reason, and in defiance of all logic, the firefighters did not. It makes no sense. It needs to be fixed. But for now we have to do something.

    I think respondersafety's recommendations are right on. Comply with NFPA first and foremost. We are the fire department and we should be meeting firefighting standards first. Buy the vests and wear them when it is practical and reasonable. Those directly in the path of traffic (ie- traffic control points) should absolutely be wearing them at all times.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Funny thing. In an article I just read from August I think EMS magazine of some sort they had done a study comparing the refelctiveness and visibility both day and night of the newly required vests compared to NFPA compliant turnout gear and found that the visibility was equal for both day and night...now none of this means anything really..just something interesting I found out.

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Maybe to the naked eye it looks similar. But the turnout gear has nothing on a real class two vest. And it isn't just reflectivity that matters. There are a lot of factors.

    And it is a moot point. The first time your turnout gear gets used, its visibility is greatly reduced.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Ditto to nmfire.... turnout gear doesnt come close to a vest. We had the folks who argued the point so we did some nighttime and daytime comparisons.

    We went with an inexpensive vest, but one the provides good visiblity and has a zip front. The zip front keeps the velcro from getting full of crap and not sticking as well.

    Here is the link
    http://www.safetygearonline.com/prod...?tid=4&pid=122

    And since it doesnt say "Fire" on it, we got a great price. The same company also have the breakaway version
    http://www.safetygearonline.com/prod...?tid=4&pid=277
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOGRSQ View Post
    Help me process the current vest issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand our vests need to be:
    ANSI Class II or III
    two colors, either lime green with orange stripes, or Orange with lime.
    three point breakaway
    Worn by everybody

    We had invested (punny) in vests only to find most were non-compliant. Plus we have the solid blaze orange for hunting season...

    I'd like to buy our next set "just once". Anyone know a source or link for a list of all the requirements?

    Thanks!
    I thought they were supposed to be a 5 point velcro breakaway not a 3 point.
    Last edited by wconlon53; 10-24-2008 at 06:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I do not believe there is a requirement for breakaway,however it is a smart thing to do.. Although I've read so much and suffered through an hour webcast about it and it is possible that part of my head is fried from the idiocy involved in the creation of the rule.

    It should also be noted that the ANSI 207 Class II "Public Safety Vests" do not meet the same requirements as the normal ANSI 107 class II. The requirement we are being bamboozled into requires the vest to be ANSI 107.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    that is true, the 107 vest is the required one, but the only real difference between a 107 and 207 is the breakaway. a 207 is a full 5 point breakaway. That is the one i purchased and carry, havent gotten to wear it yet.

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Actually that is not the difference between 107 and 207. They make 5 point breakaway 107 class 2 vests.

    ANSI 207 does not have a class 1/2/3. It is just ANSI 207 with no variations. The reflective material required to meet 207 is the same as a class 2 107. However the high-vis contrasting color (orange or yellow) is slightly less than a class 2 107. This is because the vest is designed to fit better and not interfere with things like guns, radios, and other belt-worn stuff. They usually also have lettering on them. All that results in a reduction of surface area. Less surface area means less high-visibility background material and therefore they fall below the ANSI 107 class 2 rating.

    As far as this bullcrap we are being screwed int is concerned, the ruling is for ANSI 107. The ANSI 207 Public Safety Vests are nice but they do not meet the standards being forced upon us.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
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    The cops did NOT get any exemption! They are doing some self-imposed exemptions (not complying) and you should visit respondersafety.com for the latest scoop on the vests.

    In closing, wear the vest and quit crying. It just might help you stay alive and get to retirement.

  12. #12
    Forum Member bcjack's Avatar
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    For the BEST information on the new vest law, visit respondersafety.com.

    As far as "bullcrap" and "getting screwed", don't bet on it. The data shows the vests, when worn properly will contribute to saving your ***!!

    As far as Law Enforcement getting an exemption, they DON'T. Some LE agencies have chosen to ignore the law or make up their own version of how they want to comply with it, but bottom line is, they still have to wear it when they are on the roadway!!!

    "If your feet are on the street...Your vest is on your chest"

  13. #13

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    Default interesting study

    The university of Michingan Transportation research Institute did a study on ANSI vests, and its pretty interesting to see that they compared ANSI 2 and 3 garments, and also two firefighter jackets. All 4 were noticed, on average, about 500 meters away. their study showed no difference in the four different visibility requirements. And this was with Turnout Jackets that only had 4 horizontal stripes of reflection on them.

    Kinda got me thinking

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    We do now have an exemption if we are engaged in fire/rescue operations on a roadway. Any questions see the attached link.

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-27671.htm

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    Default Look at the details and not what you hear

    In the original 23 CFR 634, high-visibility safety apparel is ANSI 107 Class 2 or 3. In the amended 23 CFR 634, in the background information, the FHWA states that the "FHWA believes that the PPE for firefighters specified in the NFPA 1971 standard is equivalent to the ANSI 107Ė2004 Class 2 garment." The amended rule then states that when firefighters are NOT engaged in firefighting, they must wear high-visibility safety apparel. The PPE is by FHWA definition and their own stated belief compliant.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ffnukkie1617's Avatar
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    Red face $0.02 time...

    IMO, The vests (and the requirement) are a good idea. I'm quite skeptical on studys that show little to no difference between a vest and NPFA 1971 turnout coat as i think there is an obvious difference between the two; espically if your PPE isn't brand spanking new.

    On our department, we were fortunate enough to recently receive a FEMA grant for all new gear. We were able to squeeze in new vests but only did one vest per seat on a each truck with a couple extras. The problem...try putting on a 5-point breakaway on the side of an interstate at night. GOOD LUCK!! The only solution we could come up with was to issue everyone their own vest and have the vest on your gear all the time. That way when you put on your coat, you've got your vest. If you're rolling up to a fire, take it (the vest) off...it's a 5-point breakaway, so it doesn't take much to get it off...and a heck of a lot easier than putting it on.

    They're worth it...and they will save your life one day. They could force worse things on us!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksigfireman View Post
    The university of Michingan Transportation research Institute did a study on ANSI vests, and its pretty interesting to see that they compared ANSI 2 and 3 garments, and also two firefighter jackets. All 4 were noticed, on average, about 500 meters away. their study showed no difference in the four different visibility requirements. And this was with Turnout Jackets that only had 4 horizontal stripes of reflection on them.

    Kinda got me thinking
    Was this study performed at day or night? Did they use brand new bunker gear or stuff that's been in a fire a few times and has carbon and the other crap all over it?

    There is no way that bunker gear, with the colors that we use for it, is as visible in the daytime as the flourescent orange or green of the vests. The same goes with the reflective trim on used bunker gear with the byproducts of smoke all over it.

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    Default safety vest

    www.respondersafety.com.

    this tells you about the new ruling

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    I agree, go to respondersafety.com for factual information. Traffic is dangerous and following the rules will not hamper you, so for my .02 it is well worth it.
    We just lost another brother from Montana in a traffic related death, and while a vest wouldn't have made a difference, perhaps cones and the silly "emergency scene ahead" sign would have. Proper blocking looked like it saved the lives of some NJ troopers.
    Go to Respondersafety.com and follow their recommendations, they did the interpretation of the applicable laws so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

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    You do not have to have the break away. I volunteer in a small town with a small budget. We found a good quality vest that meets the standard at Walmart for $14.00. It doesn't say FIRE on it but for $14.00 savings per vest we can live without it. Take a look http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10779269

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