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  1. #1
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    Default Reed Hoods VS new carbon hoods vs other sock hoods

    this question i am sure has been asked 100 times with 100 different answers. Which hoods protect better?

    I know the the reed hood protects better then most sock hoods. The reed hood is made just like the turnout gear is.

    but with these new hoods out the carbon shield hoods i would like to get hard data on which is better. I know the carbon hoods can handle temps up to 2372 F while the reed hood is also above 1200 F (could not find a extact number)

    here is the carbon hood i'm talking about
    http://www.pgi-inc.com/carbon_shield_photos.htm
    http://www.pgi-inc.com/carbon_shield.htm

    anyhelp would be great. websites would be great or places to look for testing info.

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    When talking about protecting ones head from flames and heat, take into consideration the thermal tolerance of the visor in the face mask of your BA. If it melts because of heat or flames I donīt think it matters what kind of hood you are wearing.

    It would be interesting to see some sort of a test comparing visor heat tolerance against hood heat tolerance.

    Donīt take me wrong I am all for hoods and always wear a PBI hood myself

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    Although I do not have any specific data to share, from looking at some carbon hoods, here's something to consider: Look not only at the temperatures the material will withstand, but also look at the ability for heat to transfer through it. The carbon hoods that I have seen are very thin, and even if they don't burn, heat will transfer through them. The Reed, like you said, is thick like bunker gear, several layers of insulation that the heat will have to penetrate.
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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    I do know that thickness DOES NOT mean less heat passes. I know some materials can be very thin and not let much heat through. that is why i want to see test results. I know shields melt around 500-700 F. but if i am in a flash over that is 1200 F i don't care if my shield melts but more that i'm ok

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    [ I know shields melt around 500-700 F. but if i am in a flash over that is 1200 F i don't care if my shield melts but more that i'm ok [/B][/QUOTE]

    w110fire1,
    First of all let me say that no matter what hood you're wearing, you will not survive in a flashover, period. Regarding the subject of hoods though, I would prefer to feel the heat. Excesive heat transfer through the hood should be a red flag, telling you to back out.

  6. #6
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    Why wear hoods at all? The firefighter is way too encapsalated these days as it is. Flaps and a collar is all you need for interior firefighting.

    We just recently (6 months ago) went to wearing turnout pants rather than wool pants, and I still think we should be wearing those.....

    Don't knock it until you have tried it. I came from another department where we had hoods and turnout pants, and the Oakland way (no hood/pants) is MUCH better.
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    When I first started, I was issued a nomex hood that I wore religiously. As time went on though, I found myself pulling the hood back off my ears so I could figure out where the fire was. It has gotten to the point now that the only time I wear my hood is in the winter on outside operations.

    I agree that no heat penetration can be a very dangerous thing! You can end up in the thick of it before you realize it.
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    I like the the idea of having the hood. The one thing i don't like about the reed hood is that my head movement is less due to the thickness. I don't like having my ears open to the heat. Here we make aggresive attacks to the seed of the fire and the idea that my ears and face might be open to temp 250 F and up does not sit well with me. remember skin can burn at less then 140 F.

    The reason i am asking about the hoods is that right now we use reed hoods and i would like to submit facts to my board and get it changed to the New Carbon hoods if they work as well. I know that other socks hoods do not protect as well.

    Now about the flash over statement i made. A fellow firefighter was just outside a room when it flashed. his shield melted, his reflected tape on his gear burned (that burns at temps above 600 f) and his mask started to fail. without a hood on he would have been burned.
    I have to be able to show that the new Carbon hoods work as well as reed hoods.

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    WI10Fire1- If you are with the West I-10 Dept in West Harris county, you need to call the fire chief with the Little York FD concerning the carbon hoods. He had two members that were burned with the carbon hood. The nozzle man had second degree burns to the ears and neck. Due to this, ALL carbon hoods where taken up and everyone issued Reed hoods.

    I for myself wear a carbon on non-entry fires, ie. vehicle fires. I wear both the carbon and Reed for structure fires.
    These are MY opinions only, not the organizations that I am affiliated with.

    Dont forget to wear your "REED"!

    Be Safe
    Jerremy Brown

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    ok that is all i needed to hear. I'm sticking with a reed hood.
    brown what FD are you with?

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    Wear a hood that works for you and is approved for structural firefighting. I have never worn a Reed Hood and don't believe there is one in our county but I'm sure they work very well. I have a carbon that is brand new and have yet to test it. When I bought it the sales person told me that it would stand up to over 2000F and not burn. I thought to myself at the time "how nice at least they would find a hood after all Me and my other gear was ash"...LOL. Hoods save your neck and ears in most situations. I have seen steam burns through turnout gear in the past so nothing works 100%, but I have also heard about guys having paint/bug spray/whatever else could be in a structure, explode and send a rain of fire on the back of their neck and ears causing burns that a hood would have protected them from.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

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    Thumbs up

    Once again, I have to go with the Reed. The situation Jeremy shared is not a unique one. His career department went through this, also. They researched the options and ended up issuing all Reed hoods. In our area of the country, interior firefighting is the rule. Not being thoroughly protected can result in steam burns very quickly.

    As far as using our ears to find a fire, we are fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of technology. I'll take a thermal imager over blisters on my ears anyday!

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    As far as using our ears to find a fire, we are fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of technology. I'll take a thermal imager over blisters on my ears anyday!

    Got to love those thermal imagers. they are great, every company should have one.


    Question for those who don't use hoods. Do you do interior firefighting or more stand outside the room burning and spray? Also how many people use little water and let the steam knock the fire out and on the other side who uses more water and knock the fire out.

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    I have been using the carbon hood for about 4 months now. It holds its shape wonderfully, it does not stretch out like the conventional hoods tend to do over time. I also have found the carbon hood to be thicker than what we are issued by our county FD. The reed hood looks excellent, I have never been in a department that uses them so I do not have any first hand experience with them. For affordability and durability the carbon hood has proven excellent so far.

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    In the quest to be brief, I left out too much. We have Thermal Imagers, and we use them for fire attack. We also do agressive interior attacks. I have found that if you keep your collar up and your helmet flaps down, you are covered.

    I am all for technology, but I also like to be prepared in case the technology doesn't work.
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  16. #16
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    Everyone's definition of an interior attack is different. Guys with Reed hoods have guys with sock hoods run out on them all the time. That's a fact in our area, not myth. MOST cases, it isn't the extreme heat from getting too far that burns them, its the steam from knocking down the fire from its seat. Fog nozzles are very popular in our area, and many companies measure their success by how little water they can knock down a fire with. This results in a lot of heat when those few gallons of water quickly convert.

    My career department used smooth bore nozzles for years, which resulted in smaller amounts of steam. Now we use Vindicators and get similar results. There are a few in this department that rely on sock hoods only, but that's only because they don't want to fork out the 140 bucks to wear one.

    The three departments surrounding us issue everyone Reed hoods. Many of us have used both sock and Reed hoods. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that's consistantly used a Reed and gone back to a sock hood only. I do know countless who have tried it and loved it.

    It's hot and heavy. A little tougher to hear through, but not enough to keep most people from wearing a triple-layer underneath the Reed. You probably won't want to wear it on car fires, dumpster fires, overhaul, etc... It does provide superior thermal and steam protection compared to any other hood on the market. Hopes this helps.

  17. #17
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    we are very aggressive in our attacks. we are also very aggressive with our topside venting!! This takes alot of the heat out of the fire building. Also, like the other very traditional fire department on the west coast (san francisco) we are taught the old technique of STAYING LOW!!! A VERY lost skill today where a young firefighter cannot feel the difference between the ceiling temperature and the floor temperature because he is encased in 100000 layers of protection!!!

    As far as flashovers go...the whole reason to NOT wear hoods is to prevent being in an area when it might flash. The main indicator for a possible flash/roll over is a sudden increase in heat. It is TOO HARD to tell with a hood on. We go to a lot of fires between us and SF. We do not have many burn injuries. We wear LESS gear than many departments that have more burn injuries, and we are EXTREMELY aggressive. (sometimes WAY TOO aggressive). I am not saying that in all situations I would not want a hood. Maybe if I was a oil refinery FF with very high ambient temperatures and radiant heat exposures I would want it, otherwise flaps and collar are more than enough!!
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  18. #18
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    there was a gentleman that came to one of our county meetings and gave a demostration on the carbon hoods. he burnt a piece of nomex hood and a pbi hood. then he placed his hand inside the carbon hood and used the torch to burn the carbon hood. his hand didn't burn and he never moved it from inside the hood. afterwards the hood wasn't any good because of the direct flame contact. i was told that the Austin Fire Dept just issued the carbon hoods to their firefighters. i have truly never seen a reed hood in person and can not comment on their performance. to me it all depends on what the firefighter wants, or what the chief wants to buy. i wear a pbi hood and love it, i will consider a carbon hood the next time i have to get a new hood.
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    Thumbs up

    Ryan, sounds impressive. I'd like to check one out myself. I don't see anything replacing my Reed hood, but I would replace my Nomex triple-layer for someting a little lighter. What's the cost of one? Check a Reed hood out if you ever get a chance.



    As I said before, everyone's idea of aggressive is different. FFs in our area were once in a situation where hoods weren't used. Then we went to sock hood. Capt. Clifford Reed introduced the Reed hood in the mid-80's and Houston FD and most surrounding departments have never looked back. As I said, it's a matter of preference. We've tried BOTH and most choose the Reed for aggressive firefighting.

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    I agree that there are different styles of firefighting and different definitions of aggressive.
    We have companies in Oakland that will throw a ladder onto a fully involved *detached* garage in order to cut in hole in it, while the engine crew goes right inside with HEAVY fire conditions. This is very aggressive in my book. I feel that in these circumstances, probably too aggressive. We really dont need a hole cut in a roof on a 2 car garage, but its good practice, especially when you fall through. You learn the feel of a bad roof pretty quick.

    In my opinion (and thats exactly what this is...nothing more) an aggressive company with hoods can get too far into a fire. If this company has fog nozzles, and they are using it on a fog stream, they WILL get burned. Without hoods, the men cant get into a fully involved room without getting burned, so they have to darken the fire down from a little more distance and then advance to the seat of it.

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    The debate between sock hoods & Reed hoods has been going on forever. To those who say they don't wear any hood or refuse to wear a Reed hood because it is TOO MUCH protection or because they want to know when to get out don't fight fire like those that wear Reed hoods. It is impossible to. If you want to know when to get out, use a camera, open your eyes and don't get tunnel vision. If you want to avoid getting burn injuries, stand outside with 2-1/2" street loop or find another job. It happens in this career of ours and that is the way it is. But, like SCBA in its infancy years ago, we develop and use technology to our advantage and more importantly to the CITIZENS benefit. The same that applied to bunker gear, SCBA, TIC's, 4 door apparatus, etc. will hold true for Reed Hoods. WHy in your right mind would you use part of your body for an indicator to get out. The plain and simple facts about Reed hoods are this:

    1) Reed hood equipped fire fighters go further than those without
    2) Reed hood equipped fire fighters go faster thatn those without
    3) Reed hood equipped fire fighters can stay the extra time it may take to get the girl, man or fellow fire fighter out when everything goes to hell in a hand basket.
    4) Reed hood equipped fire fighters side by side with those without Reed hoods will suffer fewer burn injuries.

    Eventually people will open their eyes and see the truth. Some people just choose to ignore the differences mostly because it is a change from the "norm" or because it is not "tradition." Do yourself a favor and go home to your family in the morning the way you left them the previous morning: Without burns and in one piece. I've used this following example before and it still holds true. An Engine Co. from my volunteer department stretched the initial 2" hoseline into a medical supply warehouse that was kicking. The second line was from an automatic-aid Co. and they stretched a 2" line to the same area. When it was all said and done, the automatic-aid company on the second line went to the hospital with burn injuries. Why may you ask? My guys were wearing sock hoods and Reed hoods, they were wearing sock hoods only. There is no better example of the benefit of Reed hoods. We can debate the term aggressive and have a mile long thread. The point is use the available technology and resources to our advantage.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Our department has recently issued everyone carbon hoods. I was the first to have one, having puchased it myself. I have used it in one fire since I got it, and I found that it did hold the heat off better than the nomex hood I had used for years. Three of our firefighters were involved in a flashover. One died, the other two were burned. I was just in the structure with them approximately 1.5 minutes before the flashover occured. I went out just long enough to change my bottle. It was hot, but I didn't sense flashover conditions, myself. Of course, we are not exactly sure what really happened. It is possible that another part of the structure collapsed, allowing super heated gasses to wrap around behind them without them knowing it. I think that use of modern equipment and gear is a wonderful thing. We just need to be more in tune with what's going on and pay attention to other indicators of flashover. I once entered a structure fire forgetting to pull my hood up over my head after putting on my SCBA mask. Boy, I realized my mistake in a heartbeat! I was nowhere close to the fire compartment and my ears were taking a real beating. I don't see how anyone would not wear a hood or turn out pants. Of course, a lot of these guys don't strap their helmets on or even fasten their coats properly, let alone use their collars. What's up with the strapless helmets, you guys up north? I watch films of you guys all the time, and I don't think I've ever seen a helmet with straps on it. Everytime they bend over, plunk! there goes their helmet. The reason I bring this up is, what the heck happens to your hair and scalp when your helmet falls off in a fire with no hood of ANY type? Believe me, I know it doesn't take much to have a helmet knocked off in a fire if it isn't strapped, especially if you are moving backwards.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 07-23-2002 at 08:03 PM.

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    just looking up the carbon shield and found this, wonderning if there are any new opionons on the carbon shield in 3 years. im looking into buying a carbon shield.

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    We have companies in Oakland that will throw a ladder onto a fully involved *detached* garage in order to cut in hole in it, while the engine crew goes right inside with HEAVY fire conditions. This is very aggressive in my book. I feel that in these circumstances, probably too aggressive.
    A bit too aggressive...hmmm, ya think?

    A "fully involved" detached garage should be a defensive, exterior attack only. We are aggressive here, buts thats just crazy.
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    Originally posted by 12865
    Also, like the other very traditional fire department on the west coast (san francisco) we are taught the old technique of STAYING LOW!!! A VERY lost skill today where a young firefighter cannot feel the difference between the ceiling temperature and the floor temperature because he is encased in 100000 layers of protection!!!
    DING! DING! DING! We have a winner! Trying to get this information through to Probies brains is damn near impossible - they just don't seem to like the hard work of getting low.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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