Thread: Helmets

  1. #1
    richard lance Guest

    Question Helmets

    Which helmet do you prefer.... the "traditional" or conventional, and why?
    What does your dept. currently use?

  2. #2
    R5 Guest


    Currently, my dept. issues the conventional "fantastic plastic" helmets. This style helmet has held up well and works; however, I prefer my traditional, leather New Yorker. I love the classic looks and like the helmets weight; from the weight, I know the helmet is up there, protecting my head. Also, leather looks great! It's a classic piece and very traditional.
    Since I came into the fire service, I wanted leather. I have it, and I'll never go back to plastic. Period. Another thing- with the addition of a rubber strap, you can place a garrity light up top (and a few other things) which leaves more room in your pockets for other important items. If you have the ability, take the leather, you'll never regret it. I have yet to hear a leather owner exclaim, "Drat the heavy leather thing! Where can I get a plastic helmet?"

  3. #3
    Scene25 Guest

    Thumbs up

    Gotta love leather. When I joined the fore service in 1990, we were issued the old style plastic. Then I was issued a 880. In 1992, I went ahead and purchased the N5 new yorker, and Ill say this. Leather Forever. I hear some people say, "there too heavy", but not many. In my department, 50 percent are leather, and 50 are plastic. The one mistake I made, I painted my leather black, then red when I became the Rescue Coordinator. I had one of the darkest natural leather helmets ive seen in a long time, but I do say, once you go leather, you wont turn back. Take care and be safe...

    John Williams
    Clairton Fire Department (swPA)

  4. #4
    STATION2 Guest


    Leather Sam Houston in my career department and my volunteer department. I feel it to be a superior helmet in terms of weight, thermal protection, impact protection and overall appearance. My volunteer dept is now buying the new leather helmet from P. Conway. We have 10 on order. We'll seee how they are. Be safe.


  5. #5
    DED1645 Guest


    I would agree w/ Station2. LEATHER!!!! I have a traditional black NY'er. And the station has yellow coventional. The guys can where their own, but they must have a full face shield and be yellow. Which means I don't wear my NY'er in that staion for I'm not painting it yellow and I'm not retroing it to have a full face shield!!!!

    David DeCant
    Originally Mantua,NJ
    Presently Lindenwold,NJ(I'm not a member of any of this District's dept's.)

  6. #6
    benson911 Guest


    I've had plastic Bullards and Cairns - my Cairns Leather has been the most durable and of course, the best looking. I can't conceive of ever changing back.

    For those who want the "look" of leather - but feel it's "too heavy" get the Kevlar, and quit your whining!

  7. #7
    Ken Hanks Guest


    My department started issuing leather "Sam Houston" helmets almost 15 years ago. We have gone from full face shields (a few with Bourke eye shields) to the goggles. The last 2 years we have switched over to the plastic "Ben Franklin"

    The department is no longer sending the leathers out for repair. Several members have paid for the repairs in order to keep the leather.

    We also issue the Advent rescue helmet. Can be used on MVA's and brush fires.

    I like the leather for structural firefighting, but the Advents are real nice for almost everything else.

    Whats the universal sign for an extrication in progress?

    Four leather helmets on the roof.

  8. #8
    RESCUE36 Guest


    We have used the Cairns 660 for many years but have started replacing these with the 10-10 traditional. The weight is not bad and the balance is good. The firefighters really like the 10-10's.

  9. #9
    PTFD21 Guest


    In my old dept. we used Bullard Firedomes they were OK but the shell seemed to crack around the mounting points for the face shield. My current dept. it is Cairns 1010s and they are heavier than the Firedomes but I like the classic look of them. One of my LTs was isssued one of the newer style 1010s and it's liner is much more comfortable and stays on your head better (even without the strap).
    I like the look of the leather Cairns but don't like the weight and price...$$$

    ED C.
    "Doin' it for lives and property !"
    <A HREF=""" TARGET=_blank>Pittsfield Twp. Fire Dept.</A>

  10. #10
    e33 Guest


    Hey folks, lets not kid ourselves here..those of us who are proud leather wearing firefighters only do it for the look and the tradition.

  11. #11
    Scene25 Guest

    Red face

    e33, I disagree with you here. Dont get me wrong. Leather is very traditional, and the looks are there, but leather is the best protection in my opinion. I have worn plastic in the past as I stated above, and I still say Leather is the best. Safety, Tradition, and Looks is the reason I wear my leather. Take care and be safe...

    John Williams
    Clairton Fire Dept (swPA)

  12. #12
    e33 Guest


    ok flagged me there, I forgot to add personal preference. Have a great holiday.

  13. #13
    Scene25 Guest


    Leather Forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    John Williams
    Clairton Fire Dept (swPA)

    [This message has been edited by Scene25 (edited November 25, 1999).]

  14. #14
    Scene25 Guest


    No problem, and Happy Holidays to you too...

    John Williams
    Clairton Fire Dept (swPA)

  15. #15
    craig7404 Guest


    Our dept. uses the Bullard Firedome and have had no problems with them. It is heavy to the front with a six inch shield but other then that it works well.

  16. #16
    wofd1 Guest


    If its tradition to do the job with leather why don't we do the job the way it was done by ben franklin, with buckets. i myself have old leather NYers, cairns662, and the current 1010 that i use. have a nice day.

  17. #17
    bgilmore07 Guest


    I know that leather is the tradition, and I agree that it looks cool, but let's get our heads out of the sand for a second... Leather is almost twice the weight of a plastic helmet. Your neck muscles aren't designed to bear that amount of weight with such a high center of gravity. I have also noticed that a great majority of 'leather-wearers' omit the use of their chin strap, another safety violation. Helmet choice is often considered a personal preference item, but if you are serious about going home at the end of the day, and are looking to minimize the interference your equipment gives you, leather is not the way to go. Dead cow vs. Space-Age composites? Next, you'll be giving up your computers and microwaves-- but at least you'll be Y2K compliant!

  18. #18
    Paul Grimwood Guest


    Hey.....let me in on this one!!! I love the look of those leathers. Its the trademark of the true American hero. In Europe we have come to expect US firefighters donning their stylish New Yorkers as the 'norm'. However, I feel there is a lot of truth in what E33 says! When I served in London I had a traditional 'London' helmet with a jagged cone for years. They had to unglue it from my head when the change to 'plastic' came!! Now, I prefer the French Gallets - they are the most comfortable and practical helmets I have worn.......but for the traditonalists.. you may never convince them!


  19. #19
    Romania Guest


    I have a few, A carins 1010 at my full-time gig. I have a morning pride lite-force V and a Carins 660c for my vollie gigs. I like my 1010 best, and both the carins have lasted better than my morning pride which has been warenteed about 5 times! they keep falling apart.

    Also, I hate facesheilds and love goggles.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  20. #20
    chief4102 Guest


    I currently wear a Carins 1010. Like the traditional look and fiberglass shell. Fit is good and weight is not too bad. Used to wear a Bullard Firedome. Got hot tar burns on the back of the neck with a short brim helmet. I think, the traditional style would have prevented this.

    Be Safe

    The above are my views and my views only.

  21. #21
    semperfires Guest


    My department issues Carines 660 with goggles. We can wear a Carines 1010, 1000, or Sam Houston at our own expense and risk. I think any helmet made by Carines is the right choice, but for durability you cant beat a 1000 or a 1010. They are light and durable without having to repair brittle leather. You still get the classic look but you dont have to worry about the brim being made of putty in a few years.

  22. #22
    phyrngn Guest


    What about those California dudes? Are those Phenix helmets (or whatever they are) any good? I haven't seen them anywhere else but on a CA Firefighter's head>>>>any insight?


  23. #23
    rescue1550 Guest


    OK, 2 cents worth from a Squadie:

    Leather helmets look good. Nothing says "Rich in Tradition" like leather. Obviously, many prefer leather.

    But when it comes to safety, the argument that leather is safer holds no water. They're heavier, they're bulkier, they're technologically outdated.

    We wear standard issue (plastic) Cairns 360S. Compact, light, safe, comfortable, and practical for a squadie's work.

    No argument here - leather looks better. However, plastic is the choice here -- oh yeah, and don't forget the genuine leather Paul Conway shield for that touch of tradition.

    Be safe.

  24. #24
    FyredUp Guest


    Leather for ever my Brothers.

    I own a Sammy and a New Yorker. Prefer the New Yorker, it's older and a lot lighter.

    As far as the plastics go...give me a Cairns 660 if I have to go that route. I have personally melted 2 Bullards so I have no use for them at all.

    The newest wrinkle however is the Paul Conway leather helmet. It is much lighter than a Sammy, and NFPA approved too. It will be my next leather. No, I don't work for him.

    As far as a "plastic" traditional, I like the Morning Pride Ben II. Comfortable, light, and feels like it sits lower on the head.

    I have a question for some of you though..... Why is all tradition suddenly bad? If a department likes the traditional look, and the helmet is NFPA approved, why not have it then?

    The opinions expressed here are mine and solely mine. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the production of this posting and all of the work was done by union employees.

  25. #25
    Scene25 Guest


    I agree, people DO NOT WEAR CHINSTRAPS. This is with any helmet. This falls back on the I.C. as well as the person. I myself have the Milwauke Strap, and I do wear the strap. Of all the firefighters I have met, 50 percent wear them, and 50 percent do not, and this is for various helmets. So to say that FF's that wear leather do not wear straps is a stretched out opinion.

    Be Safe

    John Williams
    Clairton Fire Dept (swPA)

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