Thread: Fire Helmets

  1. #1
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    May 2005

    Default Fire Helmets

    Wondering if your department allows personalization of your fire helmet? If so how much can be personalized? If a member quits or retires do they get to keep the helmet bought with fire department funds? If not what do you do with the helmets that have been personalized? Trying to figure out cost versus gain of reusing and having to clean a helmet for another member to be able to use.

  2. #2
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    MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA


    Considering you can clean a helmet with a little soap or any commercial degreaser (409), water, and a little elbow grease - saying it would be cheaper to keep them should be a no brainer.

    Most "customization" consists of stick on decals.
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  3. #3
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    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Is cleaning a helmet that much of a big deal? Nevertheless, we're allowed to put stickers on our helmets, but most people just put a couple of stickers on there, nothing too gaudy. For the most part, most retirees return their helmets, but I know some have been "forgotten about."
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  4. #4
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    the only helmets that can be legally kept are the melted ones...but there's always some thieves that seem to get away with hanging onto theirs...

  5. #5
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    We don't have any official limit/restrictions on how you can personalize your helmet, except common sense things, such as:

    -same color tetrahedrons as required by our SOPs. the guys can change the type, though (AKA if they wanted they could take the Reflexite ones off and put on Scotchlite)
    -no inappropriate stickers (believe it or not, some people have tried to put stickers of naked women on their helmets)
    -nothing on the front leather shield
    -no "star of life" stickers unless you are an EMT-B or Paramedic

    That being said, most guys limit it to 2 or 3 stickers (in addition to the American Flag sticker each helmet has). Many who have specialized certifications (Haz-Mat tech, Technical Rescue....etc) put a sticker to that effect on, though it is not required.

    As far as retirement goes (not including those who have bought their own helmets), though the helmet does technically belong to the Fire Department, nobody notices/cares if they take it home.

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    Speaking for ours, it's a case of everything in moderation. A few extra stickers, no problem. A flag or two, maybe a memorial sticker or two. Some extra reflective tape. Fine. But having anything else begins to look unprofessional. At least in my opinion. Brand logo's, sports teams, cheesy logo's (Bad boy club, etc, etc). It starts turning into amateur hour and looks very immature.

    However, removing stickers is not usually an issue with the exception of Scotchlite. Scotchlite stickers are very difficult to remove. Most other vinyl stickers as well as Reflexite stickers come off easily. And as for removing the residue, simple green works wonders.

    Being as helmets are in most cases $200-$300 and not exactly hard to replace, there is no real issue letting a retiree take his or hers when they go. After all, they earned it. It's not going to break the bank to have to buy a new one. And for sanitary reasons, it's a better option anyhow. The only exception is for vollies. Many only last a few years and either work, family or relocating takes them. In those cases, we keep the gear and re-issue it.

  7. #7
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    cellblock's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    St Gabriel, La


    Minimal stickers here. When I was active I had a FIREFIGHTER/EMT cresent on eash side, a Star of Life in front and a Vehicle Extrication sticker on the rear.
    All equipment including helmets are turned in when a member leaves the department.

  8. #8
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    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    Cellblock ..

    Nice seeing you again. Thought about you when I passed the I-10 St Gabriel's exit heading to and from NO.

    As far as the helmets, we are not allowed to personalize beyond a maximum of 2 stickers on the brim.

    Long-term members can take their helmets home when they retire.

  9. #9
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    Dickey's Avatar
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    We have a rule of nothing on top of the helmet, but you can put stickers and things on the bottom side of the helmet. Just as long as it doesn't look like a magnet that went through an auto parts store.

    If someone wants to keep their helmet when they quit, they must replace it. We have given a helmet away to retired chiefs or if someone has retired after a very long time and just buy a new one to replace it. Only happened twice that I can remember though.
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    Eau Claire, WI

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  10. #10
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    Syracuse, NY, USA


    Up to the chief what is acceptable as far as what you can put on your helmet. If you want to keep your department issued helmet you have to replace it.
    This is my opinion and in no way represtents the opinion of my department.

  11. #11
    FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    May 2002
    New Zealand


    Rank stripes, BA category squares, Brigade number is optional but will then be on all helmets for that Brigade.

    That is it. No stickers not nothing.

    After all, if it is part of your uniform, it should look uniform amongst members.
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  12. #12
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombero36 View Post
    Wondering if your department allows personalization of your fire helmet?

    If so how much can be personalized?
    It's up to the individual. Most of the personnel at my FD have W6, FD343NY, and the American Flag. One of our female FF's has the "Fear this boys! ( a woman wearing a helmet and carrying an axe) sticker on her lid.

    If a member quits or retires do they get to keep the helmet bought with fire department funds?
    Yes. Who would want to wear someone else's lid with a sweaty sooty headliner and ear flaps anyways?

    Trying to figure out cost versus gain of reusing and having to clean a helmet for another member to be able to use.
    See my answer above.
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