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  1. #1
    MAP
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    Exclamation Dept. taking away Leather Helmets PLEASE HELP!!!

    Within the next two weeks my department will be making a final vote on whether or not to allow firefighters to purchase and wear their own helmet. If this vote is passed the only helmet we will be allowed to wear is the piece of crap plastic one they issued us.

    Here's the deal...

    According to the Chief I have 2 weeks to come up with literature and/or research that confirms my argument that Leather Helmets not only are safer but meet and exceed all NFPA standards. Does anyone have or knows someone who has literature and/or research they can give me to save the only tradition we have left in this department?

    I would greatly appreciate any and all help on this matter. Thank you and god bless you all.

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    Depending on when your leather helmet was made it may NOT meet current NFPA standards. Of course it should still meet the standards at time of manufacture.

    My guess would be your best bet would be manufacturer literature stating what standards it met and all the PR saying why it is the best choice.

    Seriously though, please explain why you believe a leather helmet is superior to a "plastic" traditional helmet. I have used both over the span of my career.
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    I believe the Phenix TL2 and he Cairns N6A are NFPA compliant. If yo want to wear cow, then those are your 2 choices if your Chief insists on NFPA compliant lids.

    Google phenix TL2 and Cairns/MSA N6A to download the literature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    I believe the Phenix TL2 and he Cairns N6A are NFPA compliant. If yo want to wear cow, then those are your 2 choices if your Chief insists on NFPA compliant lids.

    Google phenix TL2 and Cairns/MSA N6A to download the literature.
    For the N6A, it must be purchased with goggles or a faceshield to be NFPA, correct? If it is ordered with no eye protection or Bourkes, it wouldn't have an NFPA sticker, I believe.

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    Sounds like a smart department to me. From a liability standpoint it makes much more sense to require employees (that includes volunteers) to wear the PPE they were issued than allowing them to wear whatever they feel like wearing.

    Besides, leather helmets are for decorating bars, not for modern firefighting.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    You don't indicate if paid or not but I am leaning toward a paid dept. First of all, the Chief of Department, being correct or not, sets the rules, standards, procedures and guidelines to live and operate by. If the department wants to issue brand X helmet and if that helmet meets all the standards so be it.

    There are some if not a lot of departments that do not or are getting away from the members wearing whatever they want to wear. It's call non-standard. Standardization of the department is becoming more and more. That saying, why would you have 1/3 of the members wearing soup bowls, 1/3 wearing all leathers and the other 1/3 wearing what is called the LAFD style lid?

    The next time members, will want to do in an organization, is you wear whatever type of turnout coat and trousers they feel it better than what the department issues.
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    I am not sure about that...generally your helmet is seen as more personal. Many personalize it in some way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lono View Post
    I am not sure about that...generally your helmet is seen as more personal. Many personalize it in some way.
    What happens in your dept has no bearing on what most do. Every department I have been at in the last 38 years has had a standard for issued gear, except one from 1975-1982.

    Helmets are considered standard issue, no matter what the type is. I agree that some departments do allow some personalization of the helmet, most are getting away from it.

    You can blame protocols, or policies, but you must also blame firefighters that abused the priviledge and went to extremes. That was the case in 1980 where I was... the Chief got tired of some of the CRAP that was placed on the helmets. He bought new lids for every member and took the old helmets out of service.

    His first statement about the new helmets was:

    "Boys, the helmets belong to me and the citizens. I do not want to see anything on the helmets except the name of the dept, your truck number, and your initials. If you feel a strong desire to change it, then you better get ready to find out what it feels like to give birth."

    We had a guy that was always tempting fate... he said that the childbirth experience couldn't be all that bad and he placed a decal on the helmet. He was forced to retired the next day. We didn't have a contract, so there was no due process.

    The point I am trying to make is don't push your luck. If you currently use a leather lid, then you better keep it clean and professional. Consider yourself lucky if you get to personalize it. No one may modify any part of their PPE for any reason on my watch. There are still a few of us old guys out here that think we should work as a team, not individuals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lono View Post
    I am not sure about that...generally your helmet is seen as more personal. Many personalize it in some way.


    The department here issues all PPE. Helmets, coats, trousers, gloves, suspenders, SCBA, handlights, tic's, and also buys all the apparatus, and everything that goes on them.

    All members have their own issue Turnouts and Helmet. None is "personalized" as you say. They are liked they came out of the box and issued, some dirtier than others but the same helmet.

    This means no adding or substracting from the helmet.

    Why would I want to buy anything that they issue when the department has regulations prohibiting the use of anything that they didn't issue?
    This is called standardization and since the department pays my wages and benefits, I use what is issued.

    Having said that, IF they did allow us to buy our own vs. them buying the PPE. I'd still go with the department supplying everything.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    piece of crap plastic one
    Now that's funny!! Go to a construction site, let me know how many leather hard hats you see...
    The Chief has the say, from a leadership role and a liability point. If you can find documentation to prove your argument, and can sway the Chief, great. If not, you are SOL.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    The department here issues all PPE. Helmets, coats, trousers, gloves, suspenders, SCBA, handlights, tic's, and also buys all the apparatus, and everything that goes on them.

    All members have their own issue Turnouts and Helmet. None is "personalized" as you say. They are liked they came out of the box and issued, some dirtier than others but the same helmet.

    Why would I want to buy anything that they issue when the department has regulations prohibiting the use of anything that they didn't issue?
    This is called standardization and since the department pays my wages and benefits, I use what is issued.

    Having said that, IF they did allow us to buy our own vs. them buying the PPE. I'd still go with the department supplying everything.
    EXACTLY...

    I can think of a lot of things that I can do with $2500 to $3000, other than buy my own PPE so I can change it to suit me.

    If you don't like the plastic helmets or rules, there is always another option...
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    I believe the Phenix TL2 and he Cairns N6A are NFPA compliant. If yo want to wear cow, then those are your 2 choices if your Chief insists on NFPA compliant lids.

    Google phenix TL2 and Cairns/MSA N6A to download the literature.



    SEE HERE --->>>> http://www.phenixfirehelmets.com/products_tl2.html
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    MAP
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    Whoa whoa gentlemen I think you guys are getting the wrong idea. I'm all for using an NFPA compliant helmet. I'm also all for using the PPE gear they supply me. I am not trying to go out and buy all my own gear.

    All I want is to have the choice of purchasing an NFPA compliant Leather helmet in the same color and shape we use in the plastic ones, but that meet and exceed the standards. It allows some guys to put a small preference into what covers their heads so long it meets NFPA regulations.

    Lastly, I'm asking if anyone has or knows of where I can find research on Leather vs Plastics and/or Leather meeting and exceeding standards. Obviously what the Chief says goes! He has given me an opportunity to state my case. I'm going to give it the best shot I can, as respectable and informative as I can. No offense, but I'm not looking for opinions but rather facts.

    Have a great day, hope all is well, and many blessings!
    Last edited by MAP; 08-26-2010 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAP View Post
    I am not trying to go out and buy all my own gear.
    So why would you want the option to go out and buy a grossly overpriced helmet that you'll need to replace in 10 years when the department will issue you one for free?

    Lastly, I'm asking if anyone has or knows of where I can find research on Leather vs Plastics and/or Leather meeting and exceeding standards.

    Look for the NFPA compliance sticker on the helmet. That means it meets or exceeds the standard.

    No offense, but I'm not looking for opinions but rather facts.
    You've gotten them. The opinions are a free bonus.
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    It's about tradition and pride and everyday it seems like someone is trying to strip that of us few traditionalist !!!

    I feel your pain bro, they took it away from us in Houston. One day soon enough I hope to get it back. Good luck on the vote and if your goin down, go down in a blaze of glory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFDCasiano View Post
    It's about tradition and pride
    Beards, leather buckets, and steam fired pumpers are proud traditions, too. Leather lids and antique styled faux-leather lids should have followed them to fire museums years ago.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    how is the turtle shell superior to a "traditional" if they are made from the same material?

    the shell is just a shell correct? its the impact cap that really is doing the protecting of your dome if something should wail you on the head. So is there a difference in safety between leather and plastic? I'd say no to negligible.

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    Its pretty sad that many of you don't support Leather Lids.

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    Tradition?

    I knew it was just a matter of time before someone gave us the big T.

    If I hung on to the tradition, I wouldn't be here.

    We traded our horses in a long time ago.

    Perhaps we need to go back to the time before Nomax and Kevlar.

    Maybe we need to send the CAFs back since we don't need them.

    Oh, we don't need towers and ladders either.

    Hell, break out the buckets boys...



    I don't mind tradition. Keep some of the tradition if you like.

    But, sometimes you have to embrace a thing called Progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Tradition?

    I knew it was just a matter of time before someone gave us the big T.

    If I hung on to the tradition, I wouldn't be here.

    We traded our horses in a long time ago.

    Perhaps we need to go back to the time before Nomax and Kevlar.

    Maybe we need to send the CAFs back since we don't need them.

    Oh, we don't need towers and ladders either.

    Hell, break out the buckets boys...



    I don't mind tradition. Keep some of the tradition if you like.

    But, sometimes you have to embrace a thing called Progress.
    so you have no valid argument besides this melodramatic paragraph, how is moving on beyond leather or even plastic that looks like leather beneficial? How is keeping faux-leather plastic helmets hurting or holding back the fire service?

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    If both helmets offer the same protection, how can you not support leather? New things come along and replace old things, but we are still using axes. Why? If something is still usable and doesn't have a better replacement, should we get rid of it because it is old and has a long FD tradition?

    To all those agianst leathers, do you support the European helmets? They offer more head protection and built in eye protection.
    FF/Paramedic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deluge059 View Post
    Its pretty sad that many of you don't support Leather Lids.

    What exactly does the "support" (or lack of) on FH.com have to do with the OP's situation? I doubt it's going to mean Jack Sheet to anyone in the decision making process at his FD.

    If his FD says no leather, then no leather it is. If the people paying you every two weeks say that you're going to wear a purple Kaiser Wilhelm helmet, then you do it. Or quit.

    Maybe everyone realizes that with houses closing, brothers being laid off, and brownouts occurring daily all across the country, there are bigger fish to fry than helmets.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 08-26-2010 at 01:51 PM.

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    Great point, SFD.

    Pardon me if I don't really give two thoughts as to what helmet is more important to wear.
    I would rather have the 200 plus line positions stolen from the department here, rather than ever see a leather helmet again. I am quite sure those from local-22 or local-344 feel the exact same way.

    It's about protecting your head and the rest of your body. In every place that has taken cuts to line positions, even if a leather provides more protection (for the sake of discussion only), those members in those departments are less safe.

    So, once again; why is this an important topic?

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    I knew there would a few that assumed that I was against leather lids. You have to be careful not to read into something that isn't there.


    Quote Originally Posted by nameless
    so you have no valid argument besides this melodramatic paragraph, how is moving on beyond leather or even plastic that looks like leather beneficial? How is keeping faux-leather plastic helmets hurting or holding back the fire service?
    Ahhh, step back for just a minute there nameless. I respect you there buddy but I did not endorse or slam either leather or Plastic helmets. My remark about tradition can apply to anything since the industrial revolution started. My remarks only apply to the POLICY concerning PPE. You call my remark melodramatic... tell me where I condemned your leather my friend. I think you nailed melodramatic... not I.

    I was referring to the rules that a fire department applies. If a department eliminates leather, they do not have to justify it to the staff. They pay the bills and decide policy. But it might also be considered progress.

    Currently, about half of our guys wear leather. But we are retiring the leather out as they become damaged or past date. Since the city is suffering a huge deficit, cost is everything. It has nothing to do with tradition... it has to do with economics. If the money comes back during my watch, then leather will not be out of play.

    Oh... I did say that I could spend MY MONEY on something other than PPE. Why would I buy my own when the department provides two very good sets? I don't allow anyone to modify their PPE, but that is my decision. The next guy can change it if he wishes.

    Would it make you feel better if I told you that the guys get to keep their leather lid when they retire, or as I retire their helmet? It cannot be used on duty any longer, but they can do anything else they wish with it after it is theirs.



    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319
    If both helmets offer the same protection, how can you not support leather? New things come along and replace old things, but we are still using axes. Why? If something is still usable and doesn't have a better replacement, should we get rid of it because it is old and has a long FD tradition?
    You know what? If it aint broke, don't fix it. So TN, again, where did I say I did not support leather helmets? My remark to tradition was meant to show how WE CAN GO STUPID at times because change is so scary and difficult.

    _____________________________________________

    Jasper and SFD: Thanks for summing it up. This issue is not a discussion about which helmet is better. The OP asks for help on which helmet is better trying to prove a point and save his beloved leather helmet. Out of curiosity, I tried to find the answer to that question. All I can find is the same thing I find here... opinions. My own opinion is "Either will do the job.". Everyone has their favorite, or some are traditionalists. Not a thing with either of those positions.

    What several have completely overlooked, is the Chief or Jurisdiction sets the policy. Nothing that we debate here is going to change the OPs Chief's policy.

    I am a bit amazed that the Chief gave him an opportunity to state a case. But I am even more amazed that the OP would bring it here. That is like asking your friend to do your homework.

    If I give a guy a chance to state a case, he gets extra points for doing his own work, doing his level best and providing originality opposed to passing his chance off to someone else.

    OP: The internet is a wonderful tool... just use it instead of taking shortcuts.

    My apologies to those that think I insulted them.
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    The TL-2 or N6A isn't a progressive leather ? I believe it is seeing how they no longer produce 5A leathers other than for show.

    It really doesn't matter at the end of the day because you say tamato and I say tomato, you use cafs and I use just water. I love leathers and yall like plastic. It's a matter of opinion.

    We don't need no stinkin cafs, send that back by all means.

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