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    Wink Turnout colors

    Ok have a vote going for new TO's. Traditional tan color or black. Does anyone have any hardcore research/reasons etc as to why you would want black? We want black, but chief stated FDNY did a million dollar research and proved it took a lot a lot longer to locate a downed FF in black TO's rather than tradiotional tan colored. Anyways I have been looking and cannot find anything.
    Called big dept that recently went with black and was told it was easier to inspect for damage by seeing the lighter colored liner through shell? Thanks

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    Some thermal damage is easier to detect in the dyed fabrics (black) than in the tan. The affected area becomes discolored and more noticable, but the absence of discoloration is not 100% reliable.

    I'm not aware of any such study by FDNY, but I'll offer this........

    If they did and reached that conclusion, would they still be buying black gear?

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    Default Good point!

    Thanks that is a good point. Thanks

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    So your cheif claims FDNY found out that black is really that detrimental to locating downed firefighters, yet every picture I see coming out of NYC has them dressed in black? I'm also a bit skeptical if that study exists or its validity since visibility in a fire really isn't on the top of the list for "senses used".

    The dye getting burned out is an easy way to see areas in need of closer inspection on black turnout gear. I'd imagine visibility really only because in issue when operating on the road way, but the new vest law makes that a bit of a moot point.

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    We have Black it is our tradition. We have always had black, on my poc department we wear tan for me it is just a color no difference in how the gear performs

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebill911 View Post
    Ok have a vote going for new TO's. Traditional tan color or black. Does anyone have any hardcore research/reasons etc as to why you would want black? We want black, but chief stated FDNY did a million dollar research and proved it took a lot a lot longer to locate a downed FF in black TO's rather than tradiotional tan colored. Anyways I have been looking and cannot find anything.
    Called big dept that recently went with black and was told it was easier to inspect for damage by seeing the lighter colored liner through shell? Thanks
    When was tan traditional?

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    Default Thanks

    thanks from the ones who have some comments on what I asked for!

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    firebill911,

    The color has nothing to do with performance, protection, heat absorption, or being able to "find" a downed firefighter. There is no study that I am aware of, or have researched, that supports his ideas. If you have it, I would love to read it.
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    I think the FDNY should be required to work with their shirts off, that would be hot.
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    Your Chief is full of crap. Can't find a downed/trapped ff because his gear is black? What, has he never hear of a pass device? Truth be told he does not like black gear and made up some B.S. to make his point. If you guys vote on black turn out gear then that is what you should be able to get, end of story. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    When was tan traditional?

    .
    I was wondering the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    firebill911,

    The color has nothing to do with performance, protection, heat absorption, or being able to "find" a downed firefighter. There is no study that I am aware of, or have researched, that supports his ideas. If you have it, I would love to read it.
    Agreed.

    As for finding a downed firefighter, that is what PASS devices and reflective trim are for. In most fire situations looking for a lost FF, you will be using a TIC, flashlight or both. A TIC is color blind and a flashlight is going to be reflecting the light off the coats trim. Not the coats fabric. Look at any picture taken on a fire scene at night or in the smoke, does the coats color even show? Answer this question honestly, Inside a working structure fire crawling under a blanket of smoke black as night, does the FF ahead of you or behind you stick out any more because of the color of the coat? Often all i see is a sillouette or i see the rim reflecting back from my hand light.

    While standing outside on a moonless night with two firefighters wearing coats without any sort of reflective/hi-viz trim, sure, maybe ill see the natural finish a little better then the black. But being as we cannot wear coats without the trim, i am not worried.

    Here is my opinion on the color war...

    Burns show up just fine on black turnout gear. A 4 minute inspection of my coat will turn up any physical damage on my coat even though it's black. I have a pair of pants about to go out that have some small burns on the cuffs that were easy to spot. So that argument for me is out the window. They have all this talk about "being able to find hidden damage", blah, blah. Look at FDNY or even Chicago for example. These guys have been using black since as far as back as anyone can remember and they are a thousand times busier then many, many departments. Yet has anybody seen any sort of statistics that they have more firefighters injured due to defective turnout gear then a department wearing a natual color?. I have not. And if their was proof that natual finish coats save lives due to being able to locate downed firefighters faster and because damage is more easily seen on the clothing, don't you think their would be more laws concerning it and the unions would make the departments buy natural gear?

    Black gear offers the same level of thermal protection that other colors do. And while it has nothing to do with safety, black looks a LOT nicer in my opinion. Very traditional and looks like you mean business. It's all personal preference but i find it hard to beat the look of all black gear with a traditional helmet. Again, this is strictly my opinion but i think these natural, gold and yellow turnouts with the modern style helmets make you look like a bunch of robots or some kind of sports team. They just seem very sanitized and plain. Like something out of the future. It's just my opinion, i am not trying to offend anyone.

    Black hides soot a lot better then natural. Therefore i have to wash mine a lot less. While i know it's not a fashion show, i think civilians prefer the fact they cannot see how dirty our gear is when we walk through their homes on a simple call. One dirty call can make your tan gear have to see the cleaner. Whereas black keeps right on going despite some harmless soot. Their is a fine line between looking "Salty" and looking like you are a coal miner.

    The ONLY thing i will say about black that is a weakness in my opinion is blood. Washed off blood usually only appears as a black or dark stain on black fabric. This can be an issue. So you need to pay special attention to look for it and if you find a suspect area, have the coat cleaned.

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    I'd be wary of a Chief that needs a to make up info to sell his point. If he wanted tan, he shouldn't have allowed for a vote. Voting on gear selection? Next you'll tell us he was elected chief!

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    Tie dyed. or perhaps pink.

    I like turtles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    When was tan traditional?
    For Dept's that have always used it, it's "traditionally" their color.

    If the chief doesn't want black, he needs to get a set of stones and say so, not pull a phony reason out of his azz.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 11-24-2009 at 12:09 PM.

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    Look, all turnouts should be the same color as the surfers favorite. Hot Pink!. WHAT? Hey my little league team had hot pink hats and you had no problem picking them out from within a large crowd. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    For Dept's that have always used it, it's "traditionally" their color.

    If the chief doesn't want black, he needs to get a set of stones and say so, not pull a phony reason out of his azz.


    Any Department that has "Always" used Tan has to be less than 20 years old........ Any Department that is over 50 years old Had to have started with Black.....

    As to the Chief - You and I agree 100%
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    We switched to tan with our AFG grant in 2003. We'd always had black before. It is true that the thermal damage was quite visible on the black, but soot was obviously not. While I agree with WD6956 that black has a cleaner look because it hides the soot, that hidden soot can also do damage to the gear over time.

    Since we run more MVC's than structures (by a long shot), we don't get too much filth on us anyway, so even the tan gear looks pretty clean on us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebill911 View Post
    Ok have a vote going for new TO's. Traditional tan color or black. Does anyone have any hardcore research/reasons etc as to why you would want black? We want black, but chief stated FDNY did a million dollar research and proved it took a lot a lot longer to locate a downed FF in black TO's rather than tradiotional tan colored. Anyways I have been looking and cannot find anything.
    Called big dept that recently went with black and was told it was easier to inspect for damage by seeing the lighter colored liner through shell? Thanks
    Perhaps your Chief really wants everyone to look like a bunch of banannas... Nothing like a bunch of guys running around in their yellow gear and yellow helmets. Besides it sounds like the Dept is run like a Bananna Republic anyway.

    If the Chief put this up to a vote and then changed the rules by citing a study why "we don't want that one", then you can vote all day long and it will not matter.

    I suggest you guys vote for what you want and see what the Chief does afterward. If he is bent on tan, then you will get tan, with more excuses why it had to be tan.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note to your Chief:

    Do you let your guys vote on tactics on the fireground or do you LEAD your guys where you want them?

    Hey Chief... let it go. If these guys want black, get them black. They might respect you a bit more... well you can hope anyway.

    Point being... there is a time to allow your guys to express their opinions and other times they can't.

    You turned this into a "vote of no confidence", sir.

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    Cool Black Turnouts.....

    We recently did a vote and we switched to Black a couple of yrs. ago. It went Black by 1 vote (but the rumor says that Tan actually won). I was a huge opponent since many of the Areas that I have taught classes to use the different colors to tell who's Career and who's Volunteer. Now 2 yrs. into it, it's not a huge issue to me. We went with Morning Pride, they're comfortable, custom and work great.

    One problem I do have with them though is that we are located in the Mojave Desert and butt-up against Death Valley; Black Turnouts in the Desert..... Great for a free sauna on super hot days and lovely to wear when we get monsoon weather.

    As far as color versus correct fitting....... It's not an issue. My tan Turnouts would also discolor when they were exposed to extreme heat also. The trim will get crusty looking or turn darker, so each has it's way of telling if they've been exposed to extreme heat. I've been exposed to extreme heat and HazMat in both, no difference.

    Well there's more thoughts on the Turnout color..... And yes, black is about 10+ degrees hotter when exposed to the sun....... That was our study, the Guys/Gals on the floor performed that study.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebill911 View Post
    ...We want black, but chief stated FDNY did a million dollar research and proved it took a lot a lot longer to locate a downed FF in black TO's rather than tradiotional tan colored...
    Can't say I've ever heard of or was told about this $1M study. Although, that isn't to say it didn't happen.

    As for the results though; Bull poop

    Chances are that a downed firefighter is going to be underneath something and/or in a space where there is zero visibility. Therefore: Black, tan, or lime green isn't going to matter much.

    Inspections are easy on any of these colors also IMO. Discoloration will always be evident.

    As for dirt/contamination; black will hide it a little better, but not make it completely invisible.

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    Talking Thanks Again!

    Thanks for all the replies, My Chief has mentioned this study but cannot recall where he heard/read about it, so i thought i would see if anyone else out there has heard about it. It appears to be most likely a bogus study! Big surprise. Thanks for the ones that use them and there comments. Willie.

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    From a repair center's point of view I'll share what we've found and many of these points have been covered by some of the other points.

    Black covers contaminates such as oil, blood and soot which isn't good. You need to see these in order know that they're there and needs attention.

    Black shows UV damage better and also heat exposure. Definite plus in this department.

    Some black dyes can bleed over some of the other non-black items. They need to be washed separate from hood and other soft goods that you don't want blue or purple.

    On a side note, stay away from black leather. The dye almost always bleeds and severely stains everything.

    Black can be more expensive, but not by much.

    Black looks cool...yep that's true.

    Conclusion, I'm an NFPA 1851 nut and anything that keeps me from identifying contamination on gear is not a plus. If this is no big deal to you, then go for the black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note to your Chief:

    Do you let your guys vote on tactics on the fireground or do you LEAD your guys where you want them?

    Hey Chief... let it go. If these guys want black, get them black. They might respect you a bit more... well you can hope anyway.

    Point being... there is a time to allow your guys to express their opinions and other times they can't.

    You turned this into a "vote of no confidence", sir.

    Knight, with all due respect, this might be a Volunteer operation where major changes are approved by the Membership. I don't want to sound like I'm taking up for a Jellyfish in a White helmet, but maybe this is mandated by their Bylaws or something. With us, for example, the Officers run the Operations. Period. But, when the idea of going to Black Tops on our Apparatus came up, it was something that the Members had to approve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    I think the FDNY should be required to work with their shirts off, that would be hot.

    Snowball - F.Y.I. - The NFPA is working on a Standard for that. The Chest Hair Strands per Square Inch part is already approved, but they are still debating the Requirements for Reflective striping...........
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