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Thread: Chin Straps

  1. #1
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    Post Chin Straps

    So, ah, who actually closes and tightens their chin strap (around their chins that is)? I always put mine up over the little bib on the front of my helmet. Of course the helment used to fall off from time-to-time, but...

  2. #2
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    I put mine up around the back brim of my helmet unless I am working on a ladder where it could get knocked to the ground. My reasoning for this is due to an incident where my helmet got stuck in a part of a fire building. Had my chin strap been tightened, I would have hanged myself. Plus, chin straps are optional in my dept's SOG's. Either way, be safe.

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    After having it knocked off from this that and the other thing many times, I wear the strap.

    For the last several years, helmets have been designed to break away when they get hung up. The shell comes off and the impact cap stays on your dome. If it gets hung up and you can't unhang it, just get going and it'll break away.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Use the strap, it won't help you lying on the ground next to you.

  5. #5
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    your safety equiptment is only effective if you use it right. I almost always wear mine. only time i take mine off is on the way back to the station in the truck,or if it's super hot i take it off a minute(outside the fire if i'm takeing a breather)(then i take off my helmet) then i put it back on right away. I don't wanna say it's as bad as not wearing a Nomax hood into a fire but it's on the same principal.

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    Try checking with your helmet manufacture to see
    if they have a ratchet that will fit your style
    helmet (device you see on construction helmets
    hard-hats).It worked for the Cairns New Yorker style helmet.You could pretty much hang upside
    down and that bad-boy was sticking to your head.

    STAY LOW-STAY SAFE

  7. #7
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    Mongo, as usual, has hit the nail on the head. Use the chin strap. As he stated, the helmet is designed to break away from the liner in the event of an outside force, granted it is great enough.

    The strap was put on the lid for a reason...to use. As uncomfortable as wearing it may seem, try explaining why it was wrapped around the brim to the guy who has a broken nose cause your lid fell of and hit him in the face.

    Safety is everyone's job.
    Begin with the end in mind.

    Be safe out there!!

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    For me, it depends on the call.... MVA, around the back brim of my hat. Fire call, chin strap comes down!
    Joel

    Lets never forget the events of 9-11

    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

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    Talking

    Maybe I was in the service too long, but I had it pounded into my skull against "John Wayne-ing" it, i.e. strap hanging down, so I've always had the chin strap on.
    Plus, I had a good reinforcement of this when, as a newbie, I had the strap hooked around the front brim while we were doing cleanup at an apartment fire. I was running a wetvac, and had to bend down, and didn't have the ratchet tight enough. Sure enough, "PLOP!" into the water went my helmet. And of course, I had an audience of all of my dept. officers, plus a few of the neighboring dept's as well. DOHH!!
    And was glad that I did wear it the other night at our first housefire of the year when I had the nozzle at the backdoor during overhaul. My partner was in the kitchen, and pulled a piece of wall away, revealing a void space under the staircase. It was burning pretty good, so he stepped back, and I hit it a good shot. In the midst of that, I suddenly get hit from above with a shower of debris from an upstairs window, as somebody pitched some junk out without looking to see if the area was clear. A couple of decent sized pieces rocked me, but was no problem. If my strap hadn't been tight, I'm sure it would have came off and I'd probably gotten hurt.
    Just some thoughts.....



    [ 01-13-2002: Message edited by: Tanker06 ]


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    Most of the guys on my job don't wear them. They end up between the brim and the bourkes. Most of us hold to the maxim that they are geek and if the helmet fits right you don't need them.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
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    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  11. #11
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    Not using your chin strap? thats like puting on your seatbelt just be for the crash.buckle up for safty.

    Dwayne
    Dwayne S

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    Since I`m a Junior I`m not going in, so my strap just stays wrapped around the back. As for the guys that do go in, some use the strap all the time, most don`t. But if it comes in as a fire, and if they have to put a mask on they`ve gotta use the strap, or the helmet just falls off.

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    BFD45: as a junior now is the time for you to get into good habits, not bad ones. If you don't wear the strap now will you wear it when you can go in?? If you start wearing it now you won't have to think about it later.
    As an instructor I insist that my students wear it. It's called a chin strap, not a back of the helmet strap. And I don't care if it's a Metro, a Philly or a New Yorker, in 27 years in the fire service I have never seen the back of a helmet fall off.
    ADSN/WFLD is right, it won't help you lying on the ground next to you. And even the ones with a rachet can get knocked off. After all, how many times do you hang upside down during a fire call??
    Be safe, wear all gear the way it is designed.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    I always use my chinstrap but I replaced the stock one with a Milwaukee strap. It is a two-section strap that uses Velcro to secure together. It is easy to put one even after putting on your SCBA. I have also had my helmet knocked off and the Velcro broke away and did not hurt my head or neck. I recommend the strap to all firefighters I work with.
    "Fire Prevention is our Intention"

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    Wellll being a junior also I SOMETIMES wear it on the back of my helmet but 98% of the time I wear it correctly... but its not that we get yelled at.. it because my helmet has a tendency to fall off my head alot of times.. there for if im all strapped up im good to go....and also if you dont where a strap the officer of the truck has a tendency to get a little ****ed off at the cadets... Like if im standing around at a fire all i'd unhook it and let it hang but soon as they tell me to go do somethin i strap up
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

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    MVA, around the back brim of my hat. Fire call, chin strap comes down!

    Embarrasing is having to call down from the second story window I just poked my head out of (looking at the eaves to see if there was fire visible while waiting for a hook...) and asking the firefighter down below at whose feet it suddenly landed to toss my lid back up.

    Worse is relying on someone else's fast hands to catch the same lid as it was quickly descending on a patient on a backboard I was strapping them too!

    Protect yourself. Protect others. Wear your strap.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Good post. I used to be one of those that where "too cool" for my strap.We have ratchets, so why wear my strap? I then started to get into safety and mainly ff safety and survival and started to wear it. Also there are few guys that attended the Worchester Safety Seminars and said that is one item they stress. Also our dept SOG's say to wear them at all times. They are put on for a reason, and if something happens and your gear is put through a safety audit, and you weren't wearing it properly, the sh*t will hit the fan. In the end the manufacturer will not be responsible. The responsibility will fall onto the individual or the dept, depending on what your SOP's/SOG's say.

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    I wear my chinstrap when it is a confirmed job. I will wear it while extricating but other then that rarely ever do.
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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    I guess I am a poor saftey example.
    I rarely use my strap, I usually forget its even there.
    I dont wear a hood.
    I use an old leather new yorker ( no insert )
    I hate snapping my collar up.
    I wish we could go back to using 3/4 boots.
    I love my bourke eye shields

    I am the scorn of the saftey police.

  20. #20
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    [quote] dragon-fyre


    Considering almost all calls I`m on, are a 5 minute drive, and a turn around, it`s not something I`ve thought about much, the strap just kinda stays there. Especially with the Metro, I just tighten the ratchet, and it`s worked to the best of it`s ability wherever I am. We do use them at drills all the time, so it`s not like the strap is foreign to us. I guess I`ll have to remember it, especially when our new helmets come in(thank God, next fire we get I`m throwing all the metros right in ).

  21. #21
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    I will have to agree with Dalmation. On most calls my strap is over the back brim, but on a fire call I strap it down like it is supposed to be. At first, I was scared it would hang me, but those fears were defeated one night last winter. We were at a two story apartment fire, heavy fire both downstairs and up. I went in downstairs and helped knock a good portion of the fire down, then went upstairs with my LT. We were upstairs, had knocked down the majority of the fire upstairs, and were hitting the hot spots when the floor gave with no warning at all, and both of us fell through. Had to be the most scarry moment in my life. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but my helmet hung up on something (I guess), but I do know my chin strap let go, so that I didn't "hang". Now I'm not the least bit worried about my helmet getting hung up on something.

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    Not wearing your chin-strap is unprofessional and indicative of poor fireground discipline. A properly kitted up ff is less likely to be injured and is more likely to concentrate fully on the job at hand. In a country where liability is so strongly stressed, surely it makes sense to follow the manufacturers specs? The manufacturers wouldnt waste resources by installing straps unless they were meant to be used. The removal of the old plastic chin-cups on the Cairns was neccessary for certain reasons (not least being causing burns) but the strap should ALWAYS be used. SAFETY ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!

  23. #23
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    Always wear the strap if it's an extrication or a if the Pack AND mask are on my back. We are screwed of the chief or an officer sees you not in FULL equipment. It's there for a reason so use it.

    Since liability was brought up, I have to wonder, How many people would sue for injuries for not taking responsibilty for your own actions and saying the department should have enforced the proper wearing of equipment.
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    Learned my lesson early.
    While at drill school as a probe we had just been taken aside by the old salt firefighter they had detailed there to impart his wisdom on us. Showed us how he put his strap over the brim of his helmet. But said "Ya know boys you gotta wear it the way they tell ya to till you get out in the firehouse and off probation".
    About 1 hr later we had a training burn in the tower, our group was to raise a gronud ladder to the second floor and search. Just as I was halfway in the window anothjer probe tripped on a hose line and knocked straight back out. While falling 15 feet in full turnout with scba I bounced off the ladder a few times befor I landed in a perfect 10 headfirst gainer onto the sidewalk below. After being backboarded, stripped and flipped (cut that nice new yella gear the city bought me right off). Transported to ER, x-rayed, prodded and poked. No injuries other that srapes and bruises. I looked up and saw god ole Jim standind there. He took a swallow of the tobacky juice in his cheek and said......."Kid I watched you fall and thought you were either dead or paralized, it's a damn good thing you didnt listen to me, that helmet on your head saved your ***"......To this day ole Jim (now Lt. Jim) wears his chin strap.
    Just something to think about
    LT DBM Dayton, Ohio

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    P.S. If your riding on my engine, your wearing all your gear......the way its designed to be worn......Im not taking the liability for an injury because someone thinks they know more than OSHA, The manufacturer, and Department policy.
    LT DBM...Dayton, Ohio

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