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Thread: Gold leaf helmet fronts

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    Default Gold leaf helmet fronts

    How do gold leaf helmet fronts hold up to fighting fire?

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    The only people who need gold leaf fronts are Chief officers.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    My department is looking into getting them for the chief and 3 assistants..... but we are wondering how they'll hold up to fighting fire..... having 4 chiefs 2 assistants usually go in and all 4 could fight fire on mutual aid calls.....

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    If they are going to be performing suppression duties, is there really a need for the gold other than ego? But hey, spend the dough. I mean you probably expose the gold leaf on your engines to superheated atmospheres, steam, and falling debris constantly. I wouldn't expect them to last long in those environments.
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    Why spend all that cash on something that will lose its luster after a fire, and if you catch a good fire it could very well damage it.
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    In over 35 years I have never sold a gold leaf front for anything but presentation helmets.

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    If you're in a big enough organization that the chiefs always stay outside I can see it. As mentioned, around here, on a mutual aid call, a chief could well be nothing more than another company officer.

    I don't get inside much anymore, but a gold front would probably be considered a little presumptuous...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ctuttle3d View Post
    My department is looking into getting them for the chief and 3 assistants..... but we are wondering how they'll hold up to fighting fire..... having 4 chiefs 2 assistants usually go in and all 4 could fight fire on mutual aid calls.....
    How do you think the citizens you serve are going to react to gold leaf on a helmet shield? Think about it for a minute.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    How do you think the citizens you serve are going to react to gold leaf on a helmet shield? Think about it for a minute.
    Would the average citizen know what gold leaf was? It's fine for the Chief of Dept or a Commish to have his front like that. They aren't engaging into the fire fight and are usually at the command post or across the street letting their deputies operate the job.

    Fire apparatus aren't gold leafed as they were years ago. The gold stuff now is a adhesive stripe, not the real thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Why spend all that cash on something that will lose its luster after a fire, and if you catch a good fire it could very well damage it.
    When I was promoted my crew bought me the gold leaf shield and told me that they'd not hear of me not wearing it no matter what, instructing training burns, the rare interior position or whatever. That said, after 10 years it's still holding up pretty well short of one dime sized blister and an overall darkened hue. In the smaller FD's some of us still have to toss on a pak once in a while or take an interior position when the COD is out front, and as alluded to above, this is far more frequent/likely on mutual aid call.

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    I am in a similar situation to RFDACM02. I was recently promoted to BC and my crew purchased a gold leaf front for me. It was something they really wanted to do and they insist on me wearing it. It is definitely not something I would have purchased for myself, but I will wear it with pride. Will it hold up over the long-haul? I guess we'll find out.
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    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Would the average citizen know what gold leaf was?
    Exactly. Heck, our SOPs at work require all chiefs at the rank of battalion or above to have a gold leaf shield if they elect to wear a traditional-style helmet.

    We have a couple of guys with gold leaf shields in my volunteer county, and they appear to be holding up well to routine use. No complaints from the citizenry either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Exactly. Heck, our SOPs at work require all chiefs at the rank of battalion or above to have a gold leaf shield if they elect to wear a traditional-style helmet.

    We have a couple of guys with gold leaf shields in my volunteer county, and they appear to be holding up well to routine use. No complaints from the citizenry either.
    The citizenry probably don't know about it either. Do you think a fire levy would pass if they did? Is it worth risking the possible bad PR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    The citizenry probably don't know about it either. Do you think a fire levy would pass if they did? Is it worth risking the possible bad PR?
    Oh Jesus Christ Sally! What if you weren't a what-iffer?
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    The citizenry probably don't know about it either. Do you think a fire levy would pass if they did? Is it worth risking the possible bad PR?
    Considering our last two bond approvals (much like your fire levy) were approved by the voters with higher ratings than monies for schools, libraries, public utilities, or any other government branch? Yeah. Hell, we even have our department name in gold leaf on the side of the apparatus too. Gasp!
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    Thank you brothers!

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    All of our Chief Officers have Gold Leaf Fronts
    Lieutenant
    Joel Chouinard
    Rescue Co. 106 "When Push Comes To Shove"
    Engine Co. 307 "Pride Of The South Side"
    Cairns Leather, the only choice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Hell, we even have our department name in gold leaf on the side of the apparatus too. Gasp!
    Earlier I said I had only sold gold leaf fronts for presentation helmets. That is still the case but, my specialty has always been apparatus. I have sold a ton of gold leaf on apparatus. Never even gave it a thought. Without gold (or silver, in some cases) it really isn't a fire truck. Years ago a lot of departments had their preferred guy and we had to contract it out to only him.

    In the 70's and 80's there was a family business that did all the work at Pierce. They really did some fine work and at a production level. Customers on "the tour" loved to stop and watch them work.

    Yeah, it is probably one of those little traditions that is ingrained in the soul of people who see their profession as more of a calling than a job. If that is the case, it is a small price to pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronsMan53 View Post
    Oh Jesus Christ Sally! What if you weren't a what-iffer?
    If you're not smart enough to think out the possible outcomes of your actions, then you deserve what happens to you. I know of a couple of fire depts. that are a levy vote away from comepletely going out of business. And these are FULL TIME depts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    If you're not smart enough to think out the possible outcomes of your actions, then you deserve what happens to you. I know of a couple of fire depts. that are a levy vote away from comepletely going out of business. And these are FULL TIME depts.
    Fine, be scared about your job and be fearful about how everything may be portrayed to the public. That is not me.

    Do I want us portrayed in a positive manner? Of course, but I am not going to be fearful about how a front-piece is perceived. Anybody that would get torqued around about a gold-leaf front piece would most likely find something else to get bent out of shape over if I didn't wear one.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronsMan53 View Post
    Fine, be scared about your job and be fearful about how everything may be portrayed to the public. That is not me.

    Do I want us portrayed in a positive manner? Of course, but I am not going to be fearful about how a front-piece is perceived. Anybody that would get torqued around about a gold-leaf front piece would most likely find something else to get bent out of shape over if I didn't wear one.
    If you don't realize that in this day and age and economy that you HAVE to think about things like that, well, glad I don't work with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    If you don't realize that in this day and age and economy that you HAVE to think about things like that, well, glad I don't work with you.
    Consider the feeling mutual.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Just a plain white one here. Couldn't afford gold leaf and I think I'd feel a little silly if I did have it, but that might just be because of my 20+ years as a line guy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepundit View Post
    Earlier I said I had only sold gold leaf fronts for presentation helmets. That is still the case but, my specialty has always been apparatus. I have sold a ton of gold leaf on apparatus. Never even gave it a thought. Without gold (or silver, in some cases) it really isn't a fire truck. Years ago a lot of departments had their preferred guy and we had to contract it out to only him.
    I wouldn't mind seeing the gold leaf come back on many of the trucks. However, a lot of us don't have/can't justify spending the money on it, especially in stretched urban departments. I can assure you, they are still real fire trucks though. Those engines pump more water and lay more hose than any guilded garage queen. Having said that though, if they put gold leaf and the bells back on the apparatus tomorrow I'd be more than happy.

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