We don't have to buy anything needed out of pocket.
If it's required the dept supplies it.
PPE , job shirts ,polo shirts, EMS gear, winter parka's, gloves , leather boots, flashlights, helmet lights, are all provided by the department.
We don't waste money buying parade costumes as they wouldn't get any use here.
I have bought a lot of my own gear, not because the dept. did not furnish it but I am kind of picky and like good stuff. One thing the dept. does not furnish is wildland goggles.
Guess it really just depends on your Dept and their financial situation, Im with a small town VFD (300 citizens, 8 Vollys). They provided me with my Helmet, SCBA Mask, Gloves and boots, I had to furnish my own gear due to them not having any that would fit me and the funds to purchase any. (got a great deal on a new set of gear). They provided me a Minitor V Pager (Sucks, 2nd pager in 4 months and had battery issues with both). Radios are optional as in if you want to purchase one you can, We have radios at the Dept but well they suck since we have had to switch to the Narrow band tech. All in all our Dept is broke and cant really afford the things we really need but we just step up and buy out of pocket, I guess when your city doesn't care if the dept is funded you have to do something right? Hopefully our truck can hold out until we can get it replaced, Although I think the city will burn down before this happens sadly, Thou must use what ye has!