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Thread: Leather Helmets

  1. #1
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Default Leather Helmets

    Just a point of interest I saw someone in another post listing a leather helmet as an advantage. i have no experience with them, they were gone before I got in the job.So I was wondering, what is the advantage to them?


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    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    Other than better impact protection, another few big points to notice are;

    1. How many times have you seen a 1010 or 1000 where the heat cap underneath has started to bubble from excessive heat. This tends to be much more rare in a leather helmet (the cairns ones we use that is)

    2. Take a look very closely at the edge where the dome meets the brim on the back of a 1010/1000 and you'll probably notice stress cracks from storage, again, not too common in the n6a.

    People complain that they are "much much heavier" but to be honest, they seem to be balanced better, so the weight difference has gone un-noticed by the guys on my dept.

    just my opinions..

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    They guys like them better, they improve morale, they're better cared for, they're worn more, they last longer, they take on "personality" and make identification easier.

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    Forum Member FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    Taking on personality is a very good point, everyone has their own way of bending them and each one has its own amount of fire damage.. huh.. good point local..

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    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
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    Any decenting points of view?/// Really, I'm just wondering, if they are so good why dont all Dept's have them?

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    The reason most department's don't issue leather helmets is the cost.

    My Department's issue for helmets has varied with administrations....my first helmet was a Cairns 770 Philadelphian...the second was a Cairns 660 Metro..the third was a Cairns 1010 (I had this one "personalized"...it got stolen off the rig while at an EMS call , the last FD issued helmet was a Bullard Traditional. I always wanted a leather helmet, and I had enough left in my FY 2001 clothing allowance for a down payment and the balance from my FY 2002 allowance and I bought myself a Cairns N6A "Sam Houston" leather helmet. I keep the Bullard for haz mat calls.

    If you ask a firefighter what kind of helmet they would rather wear...I'm sure that the vast majority would say "leather forever!"

    [ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I agree w/ Capt. Gonzo. Our dept, about 90 firefighters, had leathers before my time (1991). In the early 80's, we switched over to Cairns 660's. You know the drill, they had to be replaced every so often, cracks, broken faceshields, etc. 2 contracts ago, we negotiated to get leathers back, provided they met NFPA, and were purchased at our own expense. I would say that 60-70% of us have made the investment. N6A's, with Bourkes and helmet mounted goggles. Morale has soared. We LOOK like firemen again. I wear mine at every call I go on, including EMS and even vehicle lockouts. Sure beats those old salad bowls, thats for sure. By the way, the Department now issues 1010's so the 660's are gone for good (I hope).

    Leroy140
    Fairfield, CT Local 1426
    Ladder Co. 2
    Leroy140 Fairfield, CT Local 1426

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    Another positive view here.

    I have worn a non-impact cap leather for a long time, and am not convinced that those with the caps a re any better. I also have a N6A and a 1010. The leathers are far more comfortable. They change to your head as you wear them.(and since my head is fat that is an advantage)

    Leave the plastic for soda bottles.....
    Leather forever....

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    Greetings,

    My job, we are issued traditional styled Carins and Bullard, depends what is cheaper at the time. On my job we don't have to buy anything.

    I agree with all of the post. I use to wear a leather (Sam Houston) before my present job. I believe two factors (maybe 1 1/2) deter a city from providing these types of helmets.
    1). Is the cost of replacement as mentioned.
    2). With everything revolving around health and safety (i.e. hazmat, decon, etc...) The leather helmet from what I have read and been told absorbs the chemicals alot quicker thna the "plastic" helmets that some of us are issued. Thus, gets us back to the cost factor, one big circle.

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    Forum Member OSUfirepro's Avatar
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    I have a Cairns 1010 and I like it very much. Only thing I kinda do not like about the 1010 is the wide dome and the high ride. I want a leather new yorker; but do they have the wide dome and high head ride just like the 1010?
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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    Forum Member PFDE4's Avatar
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    I agree with hfdfao I am also using a non- impact lined helmet.
    They may be able to spout about lab tests showing anewer helmet passed a given test better than a leather. But I havent seen a saftey improvement in realworld.

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    Originally posted by PFDE4:
    They may be able to spout about lab tests showing anewer helmet passed a given test better than a leather. But I havent seen a saftey improvement in realworld.
    Amen, brother.
    The only thing OSHA and NFPA did was to bump up the price of the time-tested leather and make them heavier. No real world improvement whatsover. As I have asked before, has anyone truly heard of a death or serious injury attributeed to a failure of the pre-impact liner New Yorker?

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    Just a question,

    I use a N5 New Yorker, made in 1997, it says OSHA and NFPCA on the sticker inside.

    When I bought it, I had no idea about the impact liner.

    When did they start using the liner, and is mine approved or not? Is NFPCA different then NFPA?

  14. #14
    Forum Member OSUfirepro's Avatar
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    Could someone please answer my question that I previously asked?
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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    Shawn, I can only reply in regards to the helmets I have owned and used. My current helmet is a Cairns N5A leather. It came with a ratchet strap and a cushion in the suspension system. Both have mysteriously disappeared. The helmet does not ride high and fits like a glove. My previous leather was a Sam Houston. It did ride high and feel off balanced. I had a 1010 that I used for training and it was ok but it did not fit as good on my melon as the new yorker.
    Clifford Montgomery
    Fire Chief
    Blue Grass Army Depot Fire & Emergency Services

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    In Dover, the majority of guys wear the pre impact shell New Yorkers. I own one as well as a Sam Houston. I like both about the same.
    The Department issues the yellow plastic ****-pots, but allows us to wear LEATHER if we purchase them ourselves and keep them looking half way decent.
    The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little time.

  17. #17
    Forum Member OSUfirepro's Avatar
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    Thanks Clifford, but how did the cushion liner and ratchet disapear?
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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