Thread: Leather Helmets

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    Default Leather Helmets

    I am wondering what department policies are toward leather helmets. Does your department pay for any part of the helmet? Do you as the firefighter get to keep your helmet if you quit or retire if department pays any amount of the helmet. Does your department have a minimum number of years served before ordering a leather? Thanks for any help you can be on this issue.

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    We can wear leather if we want to. The department pays for nothing towards and still issues you a city helmet.

    You turn the city one in or buy it, and keep yours.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "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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    We can buy our own but it must be approved (and meet NFPA) and we pay for it all. We're supposed to turn in our issued one but do get to keep our issued one when we retire.
    FTM-PTB-RFB
    IACOJ

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    Smile same here

    we have the same policy here...... if you buy your own you can wear it, we still issue the department helmet and leather front ( we issue 1010s) when you join.

    the department next to us only allows the department issued helmet which is the metro style helmets. they are the only ones in the county who do not allow their ffs to purchase and use any other helmet. The rest of us ..... well i have mine.

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    +1. Buy your own NFPA approved leather and wear it, but repair or replace it at your own expense. Department issues 660's.
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    Our department pays the difference between the helmet they issue us and the cost of a leather Sam Houston if we want to buy it. They also do it for leather boots if we want to buy them on our own. This is all done through our department uniform and equipment supplier. I can get the policy in writing if you need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IFDFFENG20 View Post
    Our department pays the difference between the helmet they issue us and the cost of a leather Sam Houston if we want to buy it. They also do it for leather boots if we want to buy them on our own. This is all done through our department uniform and equipment supplier. I can get the policy in writing if you need it.
    That's cool. We are issued the 1044s and I hate them. They have the stupid retractable visor thing (I put bourkes on anyway...). I am going to buy an n5a cause they are a little cheaper than the n6a. I know they are only OSHA, so for all you NFPA people I apologize... Does anyone know why the 5a is only OSHA by the way???

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    Before you do,check policy regarding training OUTSIDE your Dept if allowed.Some agencies REQUIRE Nfpa gear. For the difference in cost over the life of the Helmet sometimes it is worth buying the N6. T.C.

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    You guys go places that actually check out your helmet? One guy I work with has a helmet that looks like its made out of chewing gum and bondo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescue1man View Post
    I am going to buy an n5a cause they are a little cheaper than the n6a. I know they are only OSHA, so for all you NFPA people I apologize... Does anyone know why the 5a is only OSHA by the way???
    The difference between an OSHA rating and an NFPA rating between the N5A and N6A is the eye protection.

    Bourkes are NOT NFPA approved. But googles and faceshields are. Cairns offers the N5A with Bourkes only. Therefore it can only be purchased as an OSHA helmet. The N6A is offered with Bourkes, Goggles or a Faceshield. If you look at the three versions, you will notice the Bourke model is OSHA, the other two are NFPA.

    The thing with an NFPA approval is the object sent by the manufacturer to the NFPA for testing must be tested complete in order to get the certification. Even though we all know goggles come right off a helmet, because the helmet is sold complete with the goggles and was therefore sent out for initial testing that way, it is NFPA approved. AND, it is only NFPA approved if you keep the goggles and/or faceshield on it. Buying an N6A with a faceshield (and therefore an NFPA cert sticker) and then proceeding to remove the faceshield and install a set of Bourkes will instantly kill the NFPA approval. I have seen plenty of clueless people do this and say "Sure it's NFPA approved, see the sticker?" Nonsense. Removing what made a helmet NFPA approved takes that certification away with it.

    It's the same idea with SCBA cylinders. SCBA manufacturers send COMPLETE packs out for NFPA approval. That means a Scott SCBA is NFPA approved ONLY when using the parts Scott had approved with the pack. We all know an MSA cylinder is NFPA approved and will fit a Scott SCBA, but doing so means you are now using a NON-NFPA approved SCBA and are taking a big risk should something go wrong.

    So..... Bottom line, if your department insists on an NFPA approved helmet, you will have to buy an N6A. If you love Bourkes and insist onhaving them. Then buy the version with the goggles and install a set of Bourkes. So long as you keep the goggles on the helmet, your legit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rescue1man View Post
    That's cool. We are issued the 1044s and I hate them. They have the stupid retractable visor thing
    In theroy, the idea of the internal, retractable visor seems like a great idea. All the benefits of a full face shield and a shield right near your eyes to offer great protection without the ugly and non traditional look. And what better place to keep a visor dirt and scratch free then inside your helmet. But after trying one on. I agree with you. The visor comes down right on your nose. I can only imagine how easily your nose will be broken were something to impact the helmet with the visor down.

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    I have a 1044 w/ the defender visor and yes it comes down on your nose but when something hits the helmet from above the defender just pushes right back up into the helmet. They really aren't that bad of a helmet...

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    Absolutely nothing provided by the department. Buy whatever you want out of your uniform allowance. Only 2 stipulations: 1) it must pass inspection by Chiefs yearly or whenever they deem something unsafe; 2) for any gear purchased after a certain date it all has to be black (prior to that it had to be black or tan). As you might expect, there is quite a variety of styles and color combinations on the fireground.

    We buy our own, we keep our own. Just bought my first leather N6A, but still love my 1010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    The difference between an OSHA rating and an NFPA rating between the N5A and N6A is the eye protection.
    There has to be more to it than that. If it were as easy as adding NFPA eye protection they would have done that with the N5A and not come out with an entire new line of helmet - the N6A.

    They could have just added goggles or a shield to the New Yorkers.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 08-18-2009 at 06:13 PM.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "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 MemphisE34a View Post
    Wrong.....

    If you have heard otherwise, Why not fill us in then? I am going by what Cairns told me. My dealer said the same thing. Both are leather shells, both have internal impact caps. The difference between NFPA and NON-NFPA between these two helmets is eye protection. If eye protection is not the difference that changes the rating, then why are the N6A's with Bourkes not NFPA approved?. I am aware that the N6A uses a two layer impact cap, but that alone is NOT the reason an N6A is NFPA and N5A is OSHA. Again, it's the eye protection. The question i answered was "Does anyone know why the 5a is only OSHA by the way???" and the answer is the eye protection. MSA has does not offer an N5A with anything but Bourkes so they do not have to upgrade the impact liner since an NFPA approaval will not happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    There has to be more to it than that. If it were as easy as adding NFPA eye protection they would have done that with the N5A and not come out with an entire new line of helmet - the N6A.

    They could have just added goggles or a shield to the New Yorkers.
    Here is the Cliffs notes of what i was told.

    First off, like i already said, Bourkes are not NFPA approved. So right off the bat, anything with bourkes alone, even with an NFPA approved shell is no longer NFPA approved.

    That aside, lets forget all the eye protection for now. Now lets talk the helmet ONLY.

    The N6A has a heavier duty impact cap. It's a two layer cap with ABS and Lexan. The N5A does NOT have this heavy duty cap. It has a single layer ABS liner. That is why the N5A is only OSHA and the N6A is NFPA (Once again, we are talking just the helmet, NOT eye protection)

    So now lets prepackage these helmets with eye protection.

    N5A New Yorker. Helmet does not meet NFPA standards so why bother with NFPA approved eye protection?. Clearly anybody buying an N5A is buying it for the look and tradition and would not want a faceshield or goggles anyhow. So..... They are all OSHA.

    N6A Houston. Helmet IS NFPA approved meeting the new standards. So therefore in order to keep that NFPA rating, we offer it with NFPA approved Goggles or a Face Shield right from the factory. BUT!, Some people still love thier Bourkes, so we will offer it with Bourkes, BUT, this will kill the NFPA approval because the NFPA only recognizes items that are sold complete meeting NFPA standards. But if your department is ok with an OSHA only rating, you can still have the better impact protection of an N6A with the traditional Bourkes without having to install them yourself.

    Does this make any sense now?

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    The DIFFERENCE between the N5 and N6 is the Impact liner.NOTHING to do with eye protection as either can be ordered with a wide variety of features(Visor,bourkes,goggles, Etc) The NFPA rating comes with the internal cap the N6 has that the N5 doesn't. Period! It's been that way for a number of years.If you NEED a Nfpa rated Helmet it's the N6 Houston.If you only require Ohsa,the N5 will do nicely. T.C,

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    We issue a helmet.

    If they wish to buy their own, as long as it meets standard and is the proper color for their rank, that's fine.

    It must have either a face shield or goggles. No Bourke's, as we do not utilize them.

    Full-time personnel can purchase them out of their clothing allowance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    The DIFFERENCE between the N5 and N6 is the Impact liner.NOTHING to do with eye protection as either can be ordered with a wide variety of features(Visor,bourkes,goggles, Etc) The NFPA rating comes with the internal cap the N6 has that the N5 doesn't. Period! It's been that way for a number of years.If you NEED a Nfpa rated Helmet it's the N6 Houston.If you only require Ohsa,the N5 will do nicely. T.C,
    That's what I have always been told as well.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "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 WD6956 View Post
    Here is the Cliffs notes of what i was told.

    First off, like i already said, Bourkes are not NFPA approved. So right off the bat, anything with bourkes alone, even with an NFPA approved shell is no longer NFPA approved.

    That aside, lets forget all the eye protection for now. Now lets talk the helmet ONLY.

    The N6A has a heavier duty impact cap. It's a two layer cap with ABS and Lexan. The N5A does NOT have this heavy duty cap. It has a single layer ABS liner. That is why the N5A is only OSHA and the N6A is NFPA (Once again, we are talking just the helmet, NOT eye protection)

    So now lets prepackage these helmets with eye protection.

    N5A New Yorker. Helmet does not meet NFPA standards so why bother with NFPA approved eye protection?. Clearly anybody buying an N5A is buying it for the look and tradition and would not want a faceshield or goggles anyhow. So..... They are all OSHA.

    N6A Houston. Helmet IS NFPA approved meeting the new standards. So therefore in order to keep that NFPA rating, we offer it with NFPA approved Goggles or a Face Shield right from the factory. BUT!, Some people still love thier Bourkes, so we will offer it with Bourkes, BUT, this will kill the NFPA approval because the NFPA only recognizes items that are sold complete meeting NFPA standards. But if your department is ok with an OSHA only rating, you can still have the better impact protection of an N6A with the traditional Bourkes without having to install them yourself.

    Does this make any sense now?
    No, it really doesn't. You said it yourself. The N5A does not meet NFPA regardless of what eye protection is provided.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "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 MemphisE34a View Post
    No, it really doesn't. You said it yourself. The N5A does not meet NFPA regardless of what eye protection is provided.

    Yes, i said that in my above post, the N5A does NOT meet NFPA. But the N5A is ONLY available with Bourkes. Making it an OSHA helmet no matter what. You cant buy an N5A from the factory with NFPA approved eye protection so it's a non issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    The DIFFERENCE between the N5 and N6 is the Impact liner.NOTHING to do with eye protection as either can be ordered with a wide variety of features(Visor,bourkes,goggles, Etc) The NFPA rating comes with the internal cap the N6 has that the N5 doesn't. Period! It's been that way for a number of years.If you NEED a Nfpa rated Helmet it's the N6 Houston.If you only require Ohsa,the N5 will do nicely. T.C,
    That is what i said in my above post for the most part. However, the eye protection DOES have an impact on the rating. The NFPA has mandates for eye protection that they will not budge on.

    As i said above, the eye protection is the final deciding factor when you order. If you order an N6A with Bourkes, it is NOT NFPA approved. And that proves my point. If you say that eye protection does not matter and an N6A is NFPA approved period, then explain this:

    http://www.thefirestore.com/store/ca...a_sam_houston/

    Notice how the N6A's with visors and goggles have the NFPA rating and the ones with Bourkes do not? Because the NFPA says the NFPA approval comes with the helmet when it is sold as a complete and tested package. And Bourkes are not an appoved item.

    As i mentioned in an earlier post, this was explained to me by a Cairns rep and i thought it was pretty black and white.

    Another example. The Scott AP50 in the NFPA approved model has special heat resistant kevlar straps. You can buy that same model for industrial use at a much lower price because it has nylon straps. Functions exactly the same as the NFPA model but because it lacks something the NFPA requires, the pack will not recieve the NFPA certification.

    That is the same principle between an N6A with Bourkes and without. Same great helmet with the same great protection, but without the NFPA rating because the NFPA does not like Bourkes.

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    Are you SURE about that? I seem to remember the N5 available with goggles as well. T.C.

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    Again,it's NOT that Nfpa doesn't "like" Bourkes,It's that the Bourkes DO NOT cover the amount of "vision" area(and heat resistance) that the Standard requires.It's my understanding that a new design of bourkes HAS passed this requirement and soon will be available. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Are you SURE about that? I seem to remember the N5 available with goggles as well. T.C.
    Ok, i just got off the phone with MSA direct just now to get this whole thing clarified. Here is the official word from a product expert. Not just someone who answers the phone:

    They have once again confirmed what i said earlier:

    1. N5A New Yorker helmets lack the dual layer impact cap and are therefore NOT NFPA approved. They are ONLY OSHA approved and that is the end of that.

    2. You CAN order an N5A with any type of eye protection you want, including face shields and NFPA goggles. BUT, it will still be an OSHA only helmet because of the impact liner. That is the reason most places only have them with Bourkes.

    3. The N6A Houston IS NFPA approved because of the dual layer impact cap.
    BUT, in order to maintain that rating, an N6A MUST be ordered/purchased with either goggles or a faceshield from the factory or the helmet WILL LOSE THE NFPA RATING.

    At some point last year, the NFPA reclassified Bourkes as an "Accessory" and not a primary eye protection device. Because of that new classification, you can order bourkes on an NFPA rated helmet so long as you ALSO order some sort of NFPA rated eye protection with it, either goggles or the face shield as an option. If you do that, the helmet will come with the NFPA rating.

    Ill say it again, the key is you HAVE TO ORDER some sort of NFPA approved eye protection WITH THE HELMET to keep the rating. So the eye protection is the key. The NFPA mandates that a helmet MUST be sold COMPLETE from the manufacturer with an NFPA approved eye protection device or it will not have the rating.

    If you order an N6A today with no eye protection or just Bourkes, you will have an OSHA helmet, that's it, end of discussion. Eye protection that meets NFPA standards is mandatory.

    An example: If your department wants to order 100 N6A's but they want to try and save a few bucks and order the N6A's with no eye protection and re-use the 100 pairs of NFPA goggles they have sitting on a shelf, guess what, they will getting 100 OSHA only approved helmets because they did not order the NFPA approved eye protection WITH the helmets.

    That is the end of that. If anybody doubts me or wants to claim this information is wrong, feel free to do what i did, call MSA directly:
    1-800-MSA-2222

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