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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    IT DOESN'T FREAKING MATTER IF A STANDARD EXISTS OR NOT. The CHIEF of Department (not just a Company Lieutenant or Captain....Not a Batallion Chief or even a Division Chief....or a Deputy Chief.....THE CHIEF himself!!) has issued a verbal statement that equipment (the helmet) is not to be altered. Consider it an order. Follow it. .
    Yes, we got all that. Many times. But it still does not answer the question at hand. IS THERE ANY NFPA REGS ABOUT IT?

    Instead of continually pointing out to "follow orders, blah, blah, blah". how about just answering the question?

    If my Chief came down tomorrow and ordered us not to add anything to our helmets because the NFPA does not want things added, i would comply without hesitation. But i would still want to know exactly what the reg says for my own curiosity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to understand why a rule exists. In fact, you SHOULD know why a rule exists. And while i would still not argue the point anyhow, if my Chief ever told us to do something because the NFPA said so and after checking that out, found out no such rule existed, i would be left wondering did my Chief just lie to my face? or is he too incompetent to understand how to read regs?

    As someone else has pointed out, blindly doing anything and everything a superior says without thought or hesitation can get you killed or into trouble. If you doubt this, search the news stories. There was just a case of officers telling FF's to haze a junior member by duct taping him to a wall and shooting him with paintballs.

    Just because someone earned the rank of Chief does not mean they are infallible. This does not mean you should ever argue. All it means is find out all you can to make sure anything you are ever told to do is actually a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Will the order place your life in danger? Will it place other's lives in danger? Then you have no choice. Follow the order, or as others have stated, seek employment elsewhere..
    Just to clarify again, i am not suggesting anyone ignore the Chiefs order nor should they question it, especially when like you said, it is not a life safety issue. All i am asking is for clarification on this rule. Not so i can argue the point with anyone. It's simply to understand why the NFPA has decided having these items on a helmet is an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I'm willing to bet that of the posters on here who are challenging the Chief's Directive have:
    A. Never served in any branch of the United States Military, .
    6 years, US NAVY

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    AND/OR
    B. Are less than 25 years old, .
    36 Years old next month.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    with less than 5 years experience in the fire service, .
    11 years this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    and all with slow volunteer outfits that have no written standard or policy on the Unified Chain of Command.
    And wrong on that one too.


  2. #22
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    Rule #1 Pick your battles. Is it really that important? The chief said you will not modify helmet. It isn't your helmet, it belongs to the department.

    I would however agree that following orders blindly is crazy. Even in the military. Anyone here recall the My Lai incident with Lt. Calley? It is wise to question authority. That doesn't mean you argue about every single decision.

    As fro the NFPA, anyone can read them online. Take some time to read the regs and become familiar with them. I think far to often people who are weak will use the regulations as a crutch. For instance, the Chief has decided he doesn't want anyone to modify their helmets. That should be all that is needed. In an effort to reinforce his decision he relies on NFPA. Probably the bigger factor would be the manufacturer and the warranty.

    Finally, I'm with Catch on this. We used to have the nice Bullard helmets. One day one of the chuckleheads went out and bought the Old style with the big emblem on the front. Soon after the department wasted hundreds changing over to the old style helmets. I want as few as things as possible on my stuff to get caught in things.

  3. #23
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    Since lighting is a "safety" issue and provided this man is represented by a union, depending on his contract, state labor laws...etc. He might have a "safety impact issue" that needs to be addressed.

    If this is a right-to-work state...you are going to just have to follow along. Although properly researching the issue and providing documentation as to the real considerations involved is likely to just make the chief look ignorant. As pointed out above...if this is a right to work state....such logical arguments would likely compromise your future career and paths to promotion.

    FTM-PTB

    PS-I have a light on my lid as have 10,000s of men on my department going back 30+ years. There is no issue nor any documented safety issued we've encountered by our Safety Battalion. But I'm sure this is just anecdotal...so like I said....odds are you could focus on much larger issues in your dept.

  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    As your profile indicates you been in the fire service for 16 years. Also by looking at what you have indicating what you age is, year born 1986, this means you started in this area at 8 years old! I very seriously doubt if you were allowed out of your yard at that age.

    Pal I had over 40 years on when I retired. I also was an administrator in the Adm Office. I also served 6 years in the Army from 57-63, which meant I was in hostile areas. I followed orders to the "T". I followed orders to the "T" while in my many jobs in the fire service.

    This is not a college debating club, where we pick and choose what orders we want to follow and those that we don't, we say , the heck with the chief, what does he know. I am going to put a spreader on my helmet!
    I sure would liked to have you came before me for a violation(s) of rules and regulations. You may have done it once, but not again.
    Way to go on tooting your own horn there...
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    And if the thread starter works where I think he does and that this change happened just recently, then there is a lot more to the story...

    Where I work at, the change was due to the fact that "research" revealed that warranty would be voided if a flashlight was hung of a carbiner on the jacket or that a light, which used to be installed at the helmet shop, is no longer allowed. Any modification at all is not permited to the helmet and nothing is to be hung off the PPE anymore...

    Bourkes are to be removed...


    Now, here is the problem with all that... My helmet has the drill points of the bourkes already in it. If the manufacturer did not want them on there, they would not have pre-set drill marks. My helmet can come with them pre-installed yet I can not add them.

    I can not wear a hands free flashlight anymore.

    Bottom line is that its better to ask for forgiveness than for permission
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  6. #26
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Hey here's a really dumb suggestion, but since he's the Chief, why not just do as he asks and adhere to his policies and procedures?? I mean, after all, he IS the Chief you know.........Go ahead, **** him off and hand him some paperwork that says it's ok to have flashlights on your helmet, and watch him ball it up and throw it in the trashcan......You see where I am going with this?

    This.

    Also showing a little more decorum in an open forum.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHR1985 View Post
    Way to go on tooting your own horn there...
    Get used to it. Yet another example of a person who thinks the number of years doing something automatically makes you better at it. I can shoot that theroy down all day long.

    Who's opinion would you value more?

    A guy who's been on DC or FDNY in one of the busiest houses for 10 years with 100+ fires a year or a guy who's been a FF for 30 years in a small town in the middle of nowhere that sees 2-3 major fires a year?

    There is alot more to being an expert in a field then simply be a member of something for longer then most poeple. We have guys near retirement age here who are medicore at best. Yet we have a new kid who has been here less then three years and runs circles around most of us. All he does is read about tactics, volunteers on the side, attends classes on his own dime, drills constantly. I would want him in a fire before some of our 20 years guys. And a great thing about him is he is willing to accept new things. He does not automatically shoot down any suggestions, tactics or tools simply because they are not "old school".

    There are plenty of old timers who are in fact masters of their craft. But ill form that opinion after talking to them. I don't just instantly take anybody for being an expert simply because they do something for a long time. And a big red flag for me is anybody who has to tell you how long they have been doing somthing right off the bat to get credibility instead of just showing me.

  8. #28
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    I invented fire.

    Then I invented putting out fire.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    I invented fire.

    Then I invented putting out fire.
    See! Your someone who's opinion would matter to me. It does not get any better then the person who is responsible for this menace in the first place. Kudo's to you and your skills in creating fire.

    I had always thought is was Chuck Norris who intented fire. But you will do.

  10. #30
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    I wish my biggest concern at work was why the chief was telling me not to put a bunch of junk on my helmet that didnt need to be there anyway.

    Try worrying about something that matters.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    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**.

  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    anybody can be an expert on the internet...

    and 57-63.... what hostile locations were you talking about?
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I'm willing to bet that of the posters on here who are challenging the Chief's Directive have:
    I'm not so sure anybody is specifically "challenging the Chief's directive", other than the original poster. I'm assuming that I'm probably in that group you refer to and if so, you would lose your bet.

    A. Never served in any branch of the United States Military, AND/OR
    USMC - 6 years.
    B. Are less than 25 years old,
    Almost 40.

    with less than 5 years experience in the fire service, and all with slow volunteer outfits that have no written standard or policy on the Unified Chain of Command.
    Almost 17 years experience in the fire service. Almost 8 years career fire, 9 volunteer with "busy" departments.

  13. #33
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    I had always thought is was Chuck Norris who intented fire. But you will do.
    Well, Johnny & Chuck are both from Texas.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I'll also add this, in public forum - The NFPA can go fly a kite. People need to understand that the NFPA creates consensus Standards. Not Rules, Not Regulations, Not Laws, just a Standard that should reflect best practices in a given subject area.
    What irks me to no end are the departments that make a big to-do about being NFPA compliant in one area (helmet flashlights, for example) and then flip a giant finger to the NFPA in another (1710 & 1403 come to mind).

    While I'm on my soapbox, I'd also like a list of all the LODDs that were denied benefits because of PPE modifications. I know that the worker's comp folks are stingy with their money. However, I've had more than one ray of sunshine tell me that the families of LODDs don't get their money if the fallen are wearing bourkes... or if they're wearing 3/4s and a long coat... or if they're wearing un-approved leather... or... well, you get the idea.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I'm willing to bet that of the posters on here who are challenging the Chief's Directive have:
    A. Never served in any branch of the United States Military, AND/OR
    I'll play!, being that we are comparing wiener size.....

    15 Years, USMC Infantryman 0311/0369, with a stint in Bosnia, combat tours in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. (how am I doing so far?)

    B. Are less than 25 years old, with less than 5 years experience in the fire service, and all with slow volunteer outfits that have no written standard or policy on the Unified Chain of Command.
    34 years old, 18 years in the Fire Service, Volunteer and Career; even was a vollie Chief for 3 years. The vollies, we ran about 800 runs a year, no EMS, slow I know, and had 15-20 good jobs a year.....career...I spent 4.5 years in an Engine Company that did about 6000 runs a year and close to 500 Occupied Structural Workers.....we have written rules on both departments....



    If the OP is a career guy, then go to your union! Let them fight the battle.

    If you are vollie....tell the guy to go "F" himself and vote someone else in. I would, and have done it on many issues in the past. Who cares, you get suspended, who does it really hurt?

    There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO data on lawsuits in which a flashlight was the result of a FF fatality when attached to a helmet...that's just silly. Sounds like your "Chief" is not secure with his leadership ability or fire experience.
    IACOJ Member

  16. #36
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    It appears that we are way past the "because the chief says so" rationale. I'll offer this bit of advice. Make an appointment to meet with him and discuss the issue from both his and your perspective. Ask him if you can research the issue of helmet-mounted flashlights and report back to him with your findings for his consideration. Make sure that you address all of his concerns in your research and specifically address these when you meet with him again.

    If he still says "no", maybe one day, if you become the fire chief, you will overturn his ruling and allow them.

    Good luck.
    rjtoc2

    career Fire Captain
    IAFF member
    Native Texan (by way of New Orleans)


    ***The above post (s) is/are MY opinion and do/does not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of neither my employer nor my IAFF Local.***

    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

    A lack of planning on your behalf does NOT create an emergency on my behalf.

    When all is said and done, alot more is said than done

  17. #37
    Forum Member Jonnee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mach158 View Post
    Well apparently the chief of a Fire dept. I am on has a huge problem with people adding a flashlight or even the rubber band on our helmets. He states that if something happens to the firefighter that they will blame the added flashlight or band to try and get out of anything and say it caused the failure or defect.

    As long as the the stuff being added to the helmet meets NFPA standards is their really anything out there that states it can't be added to the helmet or it will void any warranty or anything of that nature? Or is it just the chiefs excuse to keep stuff off our helmets?

    If their is a NFPA standard stating something either way,which I could not find, could you please post it?



    Two pages of bickering over a helmet light!

    If that Chief of Department has issued an order saying that nothing can be added to any part of the city or county issued PPE, then accept that as the policy of the department.

    Not saying if you disagree, write an letter to the Chief, through proper channels, and see if he/she will give you an audience to discuss this.

    Be aware that if you stir the pot enough on this minor subject, you may end up at a house so far from where you live, that is will cost more in fuel and time traveling and may not get a promotion any time soon.

  18. #38
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    NFPA 1971 says a helmet may not be altered or modified from the manufacturer's specifications. Meaning you cannot drill holes and you cannot remove any part of the helmet that was there when it came out of the box. Some flashlight holders clamp onto the helmet brim and are designed that way because of NFPA 1971.

    There is nothing in NFPA 1971 that mentions "flashlights."

    The Chief said no. No means no.

    There are cases where firefighters were denied LODD benefits because of PPE alterations from manufacturer's specifications.

    The more things you have attached to you the more things that are likely to catch on something or get tangled up in something.

    My personal opinion...a flashlight should be carried in your hand or clipped on your chest either on your coat or SCBA, they do not belong on your helmet. I tell my guys to turn their flashlights off or point them down when they talk to me because it blinds me.

    Another reason is too your helmet shouldn't look like a magnet that went through an auto parts store.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    There are cases where firefighters were denied LODD benefits because of PPE alterations from manufacturer's specifications.
    Do you have any links or know where to find that info? I am curious to see what kind of mods they did? Wondering if it was something major or something simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    My personal opinion...a flashlight should be carried in your hand or clipped on your chest either on your coat or SCBA, they do not belong on your helmet.
    The main reason i like a flashlight on my helmet is for overhaul or outside extrication work. Both are cases where entanglement are a non issue.

  20. #40
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    they also arent allowing flashlights to be clipped onto the coat...


    i mentioned it in my post....
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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