1. #1
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    Default Cairns Defender users...

    I did a search and found a thread about these but it was locked. I am not starting this thread to turn it into a debate or argument of any kind. Just looking for some info from those who use this helmet system or are familiar with it.

    We are issued 1010's without the defender but i have since switched to an N6A. But the more i have seen the Defender system in my local dealer the more i like the idea of a helmet with a functional eye protection system but where it is completely protected when not in use AND it does not take away from the traditional look of the helmet.

    My only concern with the system was the risk of injury to your nose if the helmet was struck in the top front, forcing the bottom of the visor onto your nose. Based on the experimentation i did at my local dealer, i can see that the potential is there for that to happen under the right circumstances. However, a possible cut nose or even a broken nose is still better then a serious eye injury in my opinion.

    Here is my take on the system, if anybody has differing opinions, please post them. But again, if at all possible, let's not turn this into a huge argument.

    1. I think it's universally agreed that Bourkes offer limited eye protection at best based on how far from you eyes they are. And the same goes for conventional face shields. While a face shield offers more coverage across the front of your face then Bourkes, it still will do little to nothing to prevent foreign objects coming from below. And both types of eye protection are easily damaged by heat and banging into things with normal storage and use. Many face shields and Bourkes i see are so badly scratched up that they are rarely used. Shields and Bourkes are certainly better then nothing and will work well to protect your eyes from objects coming directly at them.

    2. Goggles offer the best protection as they completely surround your eyes preventing any objects from getting at your eyes from any angle. The downside though is they have poor ventilation and often fog up. They also limit your peripheral vision and like other types of shields, they are at the mercy of heat, debris and impact when stored on your helmet. I know covers exist and they help, but they are not a perfect solution.

    3. Lastly, Goggles and Shields are not popular with many because of the traditionalists. I myself am one of them. I am not suggesting that i would put tradition above safety, but i want the best of both worlds.

    So, i went to my dealer today and ordered a 1010 Defender to my exact specs. It will have Bourkes as well. It's more then likely a month or more away, but i am looking forward to trying it out. I plan on keeping it and my N6A together in my locker so i can alternate between the two and compare them both in everyday use.

    The Defender system i hope will be the answer to my issues. For everyday use as well as firefighting, the helmet will look and work just like a normal traditional 1010. I can even use the Bourkes for low risk situations. But then i will have the ability to have a full eye shield whenever i want it and which will hopefully be kept fully protected from scratches and heat when not in use.

    Any users have any opinions or issues with the system?

  2. #2
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    I have Bourkes (and goggles) on my leather N5A that I use for teaching. The goggles for protection, and the Bourkes for .... looks, maybe? I have Defenders on my FD issued 1010. I believe that the goggles offer better fit and protection vs the Defenders. We have a couple of people who can't rear the defender due to eyeglasses, and the goggles fit over the glasses just fine.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    I believe that the goggles offer better fit and protection vs the Defenders.
    I agree. Nothing will beat goggles when it comes to the best eye protection. I would just rather not use them for the reason i listed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    We have a couple of people who can't rear the defender due to eyeglasses, and the goggles fit over the glasses just fine.
    Good point. Never thought about glasses. I don't wear them so it will not be an issue for me, but it's certainly a valid point for those that do. Good call.

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    Our department has had defenders for about 2 years now. I really like them. They are protected and there when you need them. I also haven't seen an issue with them fogging up. We had a member ruin a helmet in a training burn, but the defender shield was still good. We have also had several people spend a lot of time in a training burn this fall and even though their helmets were pretty smoked up, the defenders were still good.

    I can see where they might be an issue with glasses, but overall I really like them system.

  5. #5
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    Just like anything else, it is a personal preference thing. I am partial to Bourkes and goggles/safety glasses. I have tried the Defender visor and didnt like it at all.

    But once again, to each thier own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    I have tried the Defender visor and didnt like it at all.

    But once again, to each thier own.
    Anything specific about it that was an issue? How it operates? How close to your face? etc.

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    Maybe it was just the fact that the ones I used was new, but when it came down it hit my nose pretty hard. That was the main thing I didnt like.
    Career Firefighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    My Dept. issues them now at first I didn't like it but by the end of the academy I liked it a lot now that it is broken in and I got use to it.

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