There is one in every crowd. Great job HFD!
Water still works.
I was serious...
I appreciate an honest post.
Good timing and great delviery.
Interesting discussion. At my career department, we are issued turtle shells. I would estimate 90 percent of the 150 person department has purchased their own traditional style plastic helmets and turned the turtle shells back in. There are a few of us who wear leather.
I bought my own traditional plastic, and then my own leather. Why? Honestly, because I dang well felt like it. Very few aspects of fire service tradition can actually be practiced instead of just observed, and this is one of them.
We do not have regulations on what helmets we wear. For that matter, the only thing that is department issued in my gear is the coat and pants. Boots, gloves, hood and SCBA mask were all purchased by me. Why? Because I found different models of each that fit me better than what was department issued, all of which still meet required standards.
Standardization is one thing, but buying bottom of the barrel equipment because of budget constraints and then telling the guys who will be wearing it that they can't go out and buy something better doesn't make much sense. Obviously, this usually only applies to the above listed items (not coats and pants, who would want to spend the money).
On the other hand, if I worked somewhere that told me what I was going to wear, no exceptions, I would wear it. As long as they pay the bills I will wear whatever they want.
sucks, were issued leather helmets.
pretty much this exact one as a matter of fact- http://a1-fireequipment.com/helmets/...r%20helmet.jpg
As far as the whole NFPA compliant thing- keep in mind that the helmets meet NFPA compliance as they are tested and shipped. The minute you add anything (including a decal) that's not OK'd by the manufacturer in writing, it may no longer be NFPA compliant.
I said I see no support because everyone is saying "why even go leather when there are better options?"
Most of the posts are saying leather shouldn't even be around anymore and plastic should be the new standard.
Thats where I say there is lack of support. Fighting his chief isnt going to do anything but **** of the chief.
Couldn't have said it better myself friend. BTW, the rest of this post has nothing to do with you, I support your post.
The OP simply wanted guidance on where to get the information to support his case to the chief, which the chief seems to support his doing. So why are all these random opinions about why would anyone want to buy their own gear if the department provides, leather sucks/plastic rules, etc. on this thread? Way off topic. As to why he would buy his own helmet if given the opportunity, why not. If he wants it, the rules allow it, and he has the money for it, then by all means, buy what makes you happy. And as far a negative comments about tradition, if you can make a traditional piece of gear, i.e. a leather helmet NFPA compliant and modern in every aspect except for the shell, then waht's the problem with holding on to that tradition. I mean, you can't modernize a horse or a steamer, so how in the world can that even start to be compared to a helmet which can be modernized and made compliant?
How about we help this fellow get the information he needs and not diss his preferences on helmets. Wouldn't that be a bit more productive than trying to make him feel like a jack@$$ for trying to salvage what little tradition the fire service still has?
Cities dont buy plastic helmets because there safer or "progressive". There cheaper! Bottom line. That is all they they care about.
I think very few US FD actually buy the cheapest possible (low bid) piece of equipment. You still wearing nomex gear, plastic tip/nozzles, cowhide gloves? I think, within budget constraints and missions assigned, we honestly evaluate available equipment that best meets requirements for funds available and purchase accordingly. On the otherhand, I'm sure there are FD that are ruled by graft and corruption but hopefully all such are in Africa (or France).
what dept do you work for in florida?
If you believe this... I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska you might be interested in...Quote:
I think very few US FD actually buy the cheapest possible (low bid) piece of equipment.
I went through 5 FD issued pleather lids (to be fair, the 1010 I had was great until some little "bahstid" stole it out of the rig while I was at a medical call, the FD replaced it with a Bullard traditional that was the worst POS I have ever worn).
I bought my own leather lids (the first was a N6A NFPA compliant Sam Houston, the second was an OSHA compliant N5A and is now my present lid).
I plan on giving my son my N6A when he graduates from the Academy.
My signature says it all....
Wow! I came looking for research/facts and all I've been given is a discussion/argument. I respect all of your opinions, really I do, but please help a brother out over here! I NEED RESEARCH, FACTS, LITERATURE.
This is what I call doing my homework. I've check the Internet, I've called the companies, and I'm asking on forums. It's called COVERING YOUR BASES! I'm trying to give the board a chance to make an informed decision.
I'm not asking the department to issue everyone a leather helmet. I'm simply asking to keep the same SOG's we've had for years ; I may purchase my own helmet so long as it's the same color and shape (i.e. black and classic/traditional shape) AND IS NFPA COMPLIANT!
You don't like Leather, fantastic. You think it's dumb to spend your own personal money on gear, fantastic. I respect your opinions and preferences. Why can't you respect and understand my personal opinion and preference?
Sorry I'm Late, had to feed the Horses......... I Fully support everyone's right to their own opinion, and as you would surmise, I happen to have one of my own..... That opinion is called WTH??..... What The Heck is the problem??? Assuming the O.P. has his story straight, (and I have no reason to think otherwise) He is looking for some information, and some of you have been kind enough to offer some leads on that. Tradition is a great thing. Or a Not-So-Great Thing. Depends on your point of view. BOX, BBL.
I'm Back. Box was nothing, I came back and went to bed. It's now another day, and Paladin and Voyager (Read them below) have picked up my slack for me......... Nothing to add except Good Luck....... :)
What is it about leather helmets that makes them not suitable for todays fire service? I am listening.
Calm down sir. You are still not understanding what I stated and seem very confused.
I DO NOT HAVE AN ISSUE WITH LEATHER HELMETS.
This has nothing to do with RESPECT, or lack thereof.
I have not attacked you because you prefer leather.
I respect your right to do whatever you want to do, as long as it does not violate policy. But if you do violate policy, I will respect your right to believe you had a good reason, even if I believe your reason is wrong.
I respect your right to be right and wrong.
I respect your right to hold onto tradition.
I did not attack your right to your opinion.
I did not attack the fact that you are whining about losing your leather helmet.
If you want to whine about it, great, I can even respect that.
If you whine to your Chief, then you are losing this one.
But by all means, come out swinging and see if that helps.
This is a policy issue that will be decided by your chief.
I suggested you do some research on the subject. You took offense. You come here and ask us to solve your problem. Hey, many of us tried.
But I still respect your right to be upset.
The reason you are not getting the response you are asking for is perhaps no one has looked beyond the NFPA/OSHA Standard as to the helmet requirement.
Both Leather and Composite (Poly, Glass, Plastic) offer protection from impact and heat. Both are designed and manufactured as per standards or requirements.
I am not aware of any head-to-head study that tries to establish a definitive winner. There are some discussions concerning the positive and negative attributes. If the tests are based on thermal integrity at 350 to 500 degrees, is either one really going to help you much at that level. If a 100 lb object hits your head, is one going to protect you more than the other?
NIOSH and NFPA haven't done such a study. OSHA has not performed this study. They do not concern themselves with the materials if they meet the Standard.
There are several pretty savy guys around here. I bet a few are trying to find a study that compares helmets. If such a report or study exists, you can be sure they will dig it up. I am just as curious about the issue now as many others are. But I will be surprised if someone can find one.
But as for this issue, you seem to be all about tradition. That should not be the only basis when deciding policy.
For the moment... you seem to have gotten yourself in a box. But, that is your right and I respect it.
You state you called companies. Did you contact MSA? If you could not get them to commit to answer, then no one will. It is down to opinions, traditions and costs.
The assumption has been made by a few that Cities make purchases based on lowest costs. Well that is true IF the item meets the bid specifications. That is called fiscal responsibility and required by Government at all levels. This removes personal preference from the process and keeps everything honest and above board. Call it what you wish, but that is the process. This should not be confused with the suggested view that the PPE does not meet or exceed the Standard.
In some situations, the bid specifications may call for a Leather Helmet... despite the cost difference involved. That is great if they have the money. But as budgets become strained, alternatives will be looked at. That is the case in our own situation. I will buy the best that I can with the money that has been allocated... period.
Here are the questions:
Is the price difference justified as to the level of protection that each can provide?
Is the leather helmet clearly superior and going to do a better job?
Once you truthfully answer the questions then all you have left is "because I like leather better". Despite the cost, the weight and the additional care that I must provide, I like leather as well. But I cannot base the bid specifications on my opinion. But I respect your right to believe what you want to believe.
I don't care which helmet we adopt... it comes down to costs per unit, cost per firefighter. My personal feelings have no impact on the process. The fact that I need to provide protection to the highest level is very much dependant on the cost of the equipment. If it meets NFPA standard, then what is the issue? The only latitude that I have past this process is historical documentation pertaining to warranty, customer service or equipment recalls or malfunctions issues that inidicate that an item may not be the best deal; Shorter life versus cost value.
I don't care if you buy your own PPE, or a part of it. As long as it meets the department requirement I have no issue with it. But if it is different from the dept standard, then it will not be used. Example: If the dept policy states that composite helmets of xyz design, type, model are to be used, then that is what will be used.
As stated, I do not allow PPE, especially helmets, to be modified or personalized. The intent here is to apply a policy that maintains a professional and uniform appearence. If I allow someone to display a decal that is suggestive in nature on their lid, that is clearly outside of the intent of policy. I've been around a long time and have seen some creative stuff. You can partially give credit to the PC crowd for some of this. We used to have a cross on our uniform patch, but too many people complained because it was offensive to them.
My guess is your Chief already has decided what is going to happen. When you have your chance to present your case that leather is better, you better have more than opinion. That is all I have seen, and it is very open to speculation.
If you go in and hard charge like you are here, you're most likely getting a non-leather helmet. Here is a suggestion... don't whine and don't stand on your rights. Your rights are limited sir. They sign your paycheck and you must follow policy. But you have a choice if your opinion is of more importance to you. And again, I will respect your right to your opinion.
BKDRAFT: I don't think anyone has stated that leather is not suitable for today's fire service. Certainly not me.
That is not the issue, despite many that believe that is the issue.
Harve: I already fed the horses... did you give them desert?
I find it fascinating how so many read something different into a statement that just isn't there. Just because I state it comes down to a policy or costs, a few have translated it into I am against a leather helmet. When you understand how budgets must be justified and balanced, then you understand you just don't always get your way.
BY GOD YOU CANT TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!
Thats the feeling I get here.