1. #1
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    Question Question on T/O Gear

    A neighboring dept and mine both got grants for bunker gear and we both own the same type of gear. Recently with the news of receiving the grants, we have been bombarded with salesmen selling the best of the best. I think we have it narrowed down to about 3 brands currently but neither dept has any experience with 2 of them. The only reason we are even considering them is because the reps do stop and see us on a somewhat regular basis. I have let the reps know what materials we want/need but they always want us to sell us the most for our money.

    Can anyone shed some light on the differences in Quaker, Sperian, & Globe gear and if anyone has good/bad experiences with any of these; ie...how they fit, service life, normal wear & tear, company experiences?

    Thanks in advance.

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    I would urge you to have three meetings with the sales pukes. Have one dealer come to each meeting, and let your people try the gear on. Let them walk around in it, climb a ladder, etc. Tell them to bring gear in the different fabrics.

    See what works best for YOUR department.

    That said, we really like the Globe, but we are trying everyone when we get another grant.

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    We just went through this ourselves... we did what LVFD301 said, we had meetings with each vendor, tried their gear on, put them through a little test...We really liked the Globe and Veridian, the Quaker was good too! We wanted to get the best protection for our money... We settled on PBI/Matrix, with Aralite NP thermal liner and CrossTech moisture barrier, our city council just approved the purchase of the Globe gear, our old/current gear is Globe GX-7 and is a little over 12 years old. It did us very well... We liked the Globe for maneuverability, it was light weight and very comfortable... I can send you our spec if you would like....David accesslocks@sbcglobal.net

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    Kinda partial to Globe myself.

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    We formed a committee for our gear eval and purchase. We put out a RFP and then had each vendor that bid come in and demo their product and make their sales speech to us. Each vendor was limited to one hour of time. We put together score sheets based on several factors including the price. Totaled the scores and went with the higest scoring gear. (Lion Apparel) We have been extremely happy with the decison and this will probably be our process for large scale equipment purchases in the future.

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    I brought in 3 vendors and let everyone try out the gear and went from there. Remember you want/need bids from 3 companies. You don't need to get top end stuff get what works for you dept. We chose globe gear and we also looked at janesville and veridian.

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    Decide what features and materials are "must haves", and options you would like to explore. Besides having your vendors come in for their sales pitch ask for demo gear to put through the paces, not just trying it on in the meeting room or apparatus bay. Pick some guys to wear it, have a drill and let them crawl around in the demo gear for a bit, the fastest way to really find out how your guys like the gear. If your vendors are confident in their gear they will let you demo it, especially if you are teaming with a neighboring department to purchase. The more sets of gear you purchase, the more money for the vendor and more bargaining power for you!

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    I too fell in love with Globe. Could not believe the manuverability in them. My biggest concern was manuverability and comfort for passing the 1001 FF1 first. Second is because no one else has Globe in my mutual aid association. Showing off is a consideration too you know, If your willing to spend for it.

    Was really surprised how well Quaker and Veridian fit too. I cannot forget that Morning Pride probably slid just ahead of them. I am still waiting to try on Janesville as I heard good things about them too.

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    Thanks for the replies everyone, they are helping alot. So far sounds like Globe has the comfort and maneuverability wrapped up. Keep the comments coming.

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    How many sets are you going to be ordering between the two of you? If this is a big enough order, ask for demo sets to wear for a month or so from each dealer. If they won't take them out of the loop. You also need to look at the protection and heat factors, not just the materials. Check out their third party testing information for a straighter answer.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

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    We bought basofil Morning Pride with our AFG in 2002. The pants are not holding up very well. I remember many reps telling us that nomex was much more durable for a volunteer dept that needs them for the next 30 years, but we went with the "better" protection gear. Bought one set of Fire Dex for our probie using the same materials and barriers as the Morning Pride and we will see how it holds up. Remember to ask how long it will take to get the gear once ordered. It took months for us to get our Morning Pride.

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    Performance to value point (sweetspot or Bang for the $) is Advance, Aralite, Stedair3000. Big $ is for the materials, then labor. Adding custom touches is inexpensive. This is pockets, snaps, but also anything else you want to do. The big mfg can't be bothered unless you're buying a 100 sets.

    How far from you to the factory? Turn around time for repairs and for that Year 3 moisture barrier test? You're taking the kings shilling so you're buying into that test (at least at year 3) so better be including liners with inspection port/seam. You want stuff that takes 1day UPS each way or 3 days. How long will it be at the factory for repairs/liner inspection. Get written statement from MFG. This is new ground for mfg, plow it now, not in 2013. What is it going to cost? Note - Steadair warranty will be in force at that time Gore's (1yr) will be long gone. So what is the service life of the MB? 1yr, 3yr? And when MB fails the test who pays for the labor (what is price) to repair/replace the MB (or complete new liner). Will be more than the cost of the MB material. If you're busy the, at least, pants will likely fail the Year 3 test.

    How long has the vendor/dealer been around, calling on you, trustworthy?

    - Globe overpriced (low bang for the $). "Marketed" (as Morning Pride) gear selling on "Design" gimmicks vs anything else.
    - Quaker good gear. (slow with repairs)
    - Sperian is still around? I guess so are ISI and Drager.

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    We've had Firedex for 12 years, It heavy stiff and very hard to move in. it's ready to toss at this point.
    We are going through the eval process at this time for new gear.
    The front runner is globe extreme, light weight very flexible and easy to maneuver in, cost is on par with other vendors. There is a little favoritism as they are located 3 hours away in New Hampshire. They have serviced & repaired our old gear numerous times and have been great to work with in the past. Very responsive to our needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    We've had Firedex for 12 years, It heavy stiff and very hard to move in. it's ready to toss at this point.
    We are going through the eval process at this time for new gear.
    The front runner is globe extreme, light weight very flexible and easy to maneuver in, cost is on par with other vendors. There is a little favoritism as they are located 3 hours away in New Hampshire. They have serviced & repaired our old gear numerous times and have been great to work with in the past. Very responsive to our needs.
    Look at Lion's V-Force line if your looking for freedom of movement you will be amazed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I would urge you to have three meetings with the sales pukes. Have one dealer come to each meeting, and let your people try the gear on. Let them walk around in it, climb a ladder, etc. Tell them to bring gear in the different fabrics.

    See what works best for YOUR department.

    That said, we really like the Globe, but we are trying everyone when we get another grant.
    We did just this. Get the same guys to try on the different sets of gears so they can get a real comparison of the three. If nothing else, create a list of things to rate on a 1-5 scale. Things like fit, ability to squat, leg rise when squatting/crawling, coat lift with arms above head, things like that.

    That being said, I'm a fan of the Globe/Cairns. We debated between those two (same manufacturer, just minor differences) and Morning Pride. I wouldn't be afraid to wear any of those three options. We went with the Cairns, mainly due to the fact we like the tails on our coats and the Globe models didn't have that option, or it was a snap-on add-on or something like that.

    One thing to ask them, are they made when you order them and tailor fit, or are they standard sizes that pre-made? A lot of manufacturers just kick out gear and you're measured to find something that fits close. If they don't bring several sets of jackets to size you for fit and measure arms, legs, and such as that for proper fit, stay away.

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    i'll give you our time line (each year we bought about 3 sets):

    2007 we bought Globe and had been doing so for prolly 10 years. Had never thought of looking at anything else. had been getting the gx-7 style since it came out.

    2008 i started working for the local lion apparel (janesville) dealer as an scba tech. finally talked the company into looking at different styles. Lion was SO much cheaper than the Globe with better material and options and offers MUCH more mobility

    2009 the head cheif was not happy with the Lion (ultimately it all came down to his fly closure that he didn't like) Bought innotex from the only other local gear dealer. at first pricing was cheaper but when you started to add the options to make it equivilent to the lion it became more expensive and they were still not apples to apples.

    so that being said we did no demo's this year. we had an idea of the specific options we wanted and bid it as such. we attempted to leave anything that make one company stand out, out of the specs. But i still hope we get the lion (1st choice) or the innotex at the right price (second choice)

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    Currently, both departments are using Quaker gear. All 3 vendors which we are considering are located about 3-4 hours away and all have ability for repairs/cleanings. All will measure and build to fit, at least this is what I was told. All 3 have been around for quite some time and 2 of these have sold equipment to us for the past 10 years, so there has been a pretty good relationship. The Quaker has treated us well as the gear being replaced is approx 15 years old on average. The Sperian Vectra is from one of the vendors we have done business with, but have heard little about their T/O gear. The last is Globe gear, neither of us has done any business with this company for at least 10 year (that's as far back as I can recall) but seems like they have a quality product. Althouth I'm not sure if the rep will be back around until when/if we are awarded a grant again. I think they sell mostly to the larger departments in this state and overlook the small rural ones.

    Our current gear specs are Nomex/Kevlar outershell, Stedair 2000 moisture barrier (needs to be updated to 3000), and Para Aramid Thermal Liner (this also needs to be updated if I recall)

    As far as turn around for an order goes, not sure. Last time with the Quaker it was 2-3 weeks if I remember correctly. Total order is 19 with outer shell color being the only difference.

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    We looked at several dealers, types. Veridian, Globe, Janesville, Innotex, and Bristol.

    Globe was the first choice of our guys. Innotex was the second. UNTIL: Most of our guys were not there when Janesville was, after some issues with the Globe salesman we had the Janesville dealer at the station delivering some other equipment. He had some gear with him and the guys gave it a once over. EVERYONE loved it better than globe.

    It is lighter, easier to move around in and VERY well constructed. We got PBI/Matix outer shell, Crosstech liner and the works. We are VERY happy with this gear.

    I have had experience with Globe, and Veridian, both are good. But I would highly recommend Janesville. This is my second set of Janesville and I couldn't be happier.

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