Thread: Why Leather?

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    481

    Default Why Leather?

    Other than TRADITION, why do so many FF wnat to wear a piece of dead cow skin on their heads? I have a dead cow on the road to my place, does anybody want the skin to wear? Or is the fire service 200 years of tradition, untroubled by progress?

    OK, let me get my flame proof suit on!

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    truckman38's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    98

    Question

    ARE YOU NUTS!?

    get out the plastic and duct tape this may get ugly...
    Stay Safe! Truckman38 Firefighter/EMT
    Proud member IACOJ
    *Never go anywhere without SCBA, a tool and a plan!
    *Never forget our fallen!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    martinj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    60

    Exclamation Why?

    Why do firemen wear red suspenders?



    This and many other questions could be pondered for hours everyday, with no simple or agreeable solution. So the true answer to why some FF's wear leathers is that it is their preference. Everyone has their own reasons for why they use certain equipment and do things a certain way. For some its tradition, for others its pride, for others its just the cool thing to do. But for all its individuality.
    Jonathan Martin
    martinj@wpi.edu
    WPI Mechanical Engineering
    "Be safe, use smoke detectors...be safer, sleep with a firefighter..."

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    jaybird210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    911 N. Sycamore St. Yep, that's really our address.
    Posts
    2,604

    Angry What's the point?

    Sleuth, what's the point of your post?

    Why does anyone want to put leather on their feet? Or their back?

    Why do you post something like this, when there have been two or three threads in the last WEEK posing essentially the same question?

    How do you feel about alcohol in the firehouse?

    What blue light should I get?

    Do you prefer fog or smooth bore?

    Here's a question: How about we try some meaningful diaologe, with a point, and not try to stir the pot just to make trouble?
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    481

    Default

    The point is, other than personal preferance, is there a logical reason for choosing dead cow over more modern materials. If this threat bores or offends you, why not just skip over it?

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Do the "modern materials" inside burning houses make the house safer for us? The bottom line is the tolerences of either materials is greater than that of the person sporting it. For me, my daddy had leather protecting him for his thirty years; it was good for him, it is good for me. Let me ask you this: Why is "tradition" a dirty word?
    I.A.C.O.J.


    SOME ARE FIREMEN
    OTHERS ARE JUST ON
    THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Sleuth- That same exact question has already been asked in a current thread!!!!! Why ask the same question over and over again??????? Do a little research first. I believe those 2 threads are still up..... Just click on the "Today's Topics" buutton on the left hand coumn of the forums page...........

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    481

    Default

    Fireresgue77, I checked. There are topics on specific helmets and helmet service life, but no one seems to have responded with a reason other than Tradition. It's not a dirty word, it just suggests that fire service PPE development is somewhat stagnent and that non-leather helmets offer no advantages. True or no?

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    As was said before in this and other threads. It is all persoanl preference. Some people like the fit better. Some people like the look better. It is all just personal preference. As long as it meets NFPA requirements, who cares?

    Some people prefer leather boots over rubbers. Some people prefer gauntlet style gloves. It's all personal preference.

    How is PPE development stagnant? Just because 1 doesn't offer "better" protection, doesn't mean the development is stagnant. All manufacturers will say their's is better for reason XYZ. Bottom line is that they all meet or exceed the standards. Just because people won't sit here and argue about why one is better than the other (because it has been done many times on here)doesn't mean that development is stagnant.

    Go and search the forums for leather helmets and see how many threads you pull up. I haven't done it, but I'm sure you will find many. And I'm sure if you look back far enough, you will see the bickering/debating that has gone on about this very same topic. This is one of those that has been beat to death.

    Please don't take it like I or anyone else is trying to bash you, because that is not the case (at least w/ me it's not). It's just that people get sick of seeing the same thing debated over and over and over again on here, because there will never be an answer..... It just gets old......

    Fog vs. Smoothbore
    Vollie vs career
    leather vs non leather

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Firegod343's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    The other Washington
    Posts
    255

    Default

    Sleuth,

    While this may not be the answer you're looking for, it sure did open my eyes....

    In 1998, the local Technical College I teach part-time at took delivery of a Swede Survival Systems Flashover Trailer. I was one of the intial instructors, and was teaching it frequently. We found that, on average, we melted and/or destroyed a polycarb helmet in just 3 classes (12 individual burns). We tried different helmets, Cairns 360 & 660, Bullard PX, and LION, and they all performed the same.

    Then we were issued the Phenix Leather helmets to use as demos when they first came out. I got in 44 classes (176 individual burns) before the seams finally gave way.

    Forget the tradition argument, the question is.....do you want to protect your head with lowest-bid helmet? Or do you want the proven product, time tested and still safe?

    FG
    IACOJ.... "Carpe Elkhartem"
    (Seize the Nozzle)


    "Victorious warriors win first,
    and then go to war,
    while defeated warriors go to war first,
    and then seek to win."

    SUN TZU

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,586

    Default

    Why not?

    Do you own a leather jacket?

    Do you wear leather footwear (shoes, boots, sandals, sneakers, etc.) off duty?

    When you were a kid, did you play baseball with a leather glove?

    Did you hit a baseball covered in leather?

    Did you kick a leather football?

    Do your kids play soccer (leather ball!)

    Do you play hockey? (goalie) gloves

    Does your car have leather seats?

    Do you have leather furniture?

    Now concerning your gear...

    Do you have leather pads and leather trimmed cuffs on your turnouts?

    Do you wear leather gloves?

    Do you wear a leather belt with your duty uniform?

    Leather helmets are durable...one of the jakes on my FD has had his since the early 70's and it is still is service. I have a leather lid now... I went through lots of "tactical tupperware" and when you figure out the costs of helmet replacement that the City has come up for just me, if I were issued a leather lid when I got on the job in 1981, it would have been cheaper in the long run!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-13-2003 at 12:27 AM.
    ‎"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

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Firebraun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    108

    Default So that's where LHS1 Went!!

    I'll tell ya... I took about a year break from this here board because my jurassic computer and dial-up connection couldn't handle this graphics monster of a site... New "super computer" and DSL got me back. Glad to be here, too.

    Since I returned haunting a month or so ago, I've been wondering what ever happened to LHS1, (aka Larry Stevens), the seen-it-all, all-knowing fire service god-dammit-all of the bustling metropolis of Fallon.

    Could he now be "Sleuth?"

    Larry, that you? Heeeeere Larry, Larry, Larry! Don't be afraid boy, come on out here and let everyone see ya!!

    To all others: Dont feed the damn trolls!!!

    Fire service survival tips:
    1) Cook at 350...
    2) Pump at 150...
    3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
    4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    Because for hundreds of years it has worked, unimpeded, nor improved by progress.

    I was working at our local academy today doing small fire for interior extinguisher use. The ploycarb I had on melted fairly significantly for a short exposure.

    Bottom line is...wear what you want and can afford...or what they tell you to.

  14. #14
    Protective Economist
    Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    966

    Default

    Originally posted by Firegod343
    In 1998, the local Technical College I teach part-time at took delivery of a Swede Survival Systems Flashover Trailer. I was one of the intial instructors, and was teaching it frequently. We found that, on average, we melted and/or destroyed a polycarb helmet in just 3 classes (12 individual burns). We tried different helmets, Cairns 360 & 660, Bullard PX, and LION, and they all performed the same.

    Then we were issued the Phenix Leather helmets to use as demos when they first came out. I got in 44 classes (176 individual burns) before the seams finally gave way.
    Please do not confuse the fact that a leather helmet did not melt with the fact that it is still providing protection. Whether you had a leather or fiberglass helmet on, it would not have melted. However, the heat exposure you are talking about probably did destroy any strength and integrity in the helmet. A simple brick falling 12 feet would probably puncture the shell, and maybe more.

    If you are destroying a polycarbonate (plastic) helmet, you are basically performing the NFPA test of 650 F for 5 minutes. This test is design to ensure that the helmet will not drop molten material down a firefighter's neck, despite the life-threatening temperatures. But, when the helmets come out of the oven, no matter what the material is, you can mold them into almost any form. They have no strength...and even when they cool, any residual strength is much less than its starting strength.

    Many schools are now using ARFF helmet shrouds for flashover chambers...

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    jaybird210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    911 N. Sycamore St. Yep, that's really our address.
    Posts
    2,604

    Exclamation The real question here....

    Who really gives a f***!??!!?

    If the helmet is NFPA and/or OSHA approved, how about personal preferrence?

    When someone phrases a question in this sort of condescending, confrontational way, there obviously is no attempt at learning anything.
    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Medic162's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Charleston S.C>
    Posts
    258

    Default Besides tradition - Here's your answer

    Ask my fellow South Carolina brother FF Tom Jurgensmeyer about wearing leather. Take a look at the pics of his gear at this link and then pose the question to yourself..."How would plastic have fared???" Okay, I'll answer it for ya... He would have recieved FAR worse burns. http://www.sconfire.com/news/TJ.htm

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ff7134's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,093

    Default Leather Lids

    Medic 162 Pics convinced me to got leather. All i did was show the wifey those and she got off the dime for one!!!!As for Sleuth, you must be one unintelligent individual or very new here to know that
    their are many very traditional firefighters here!!!!! If you have a problem with leather..........Don't wear it, thats your choice. as long as the Gov't bodies OK it thats all that matters...PERIOD END
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    481

    Default

    Thank you firegod. While not a "Scientific" test, it certainly provides some emperical information on which to based a reasoned decision.
    As to improvements in PPE, our bretheran in blue (the cops) have seen lots of changes in the last 30 years. Compare their protective gear (body armour, helmets, boots, etc) to what they used in 1973, and about the only things still the same are the badge and the patch. Therefore, I believe that innovation and devlopment in FF PPE is stagnent. I do not think it has reached the state of perfection, and I wonder why there seems to be more effort put into LEO gear than FF gear.

    For all those who question my motives, remember, just because this thread exists does not mean you must respond. If this thread bores or offends you, just click to another thread, and ignore me. There, don't you feel better?

    Sleuth is not, and never has been, "Larry". I was in Fallon once, but I didn't lose anything there, so I have no need to go back.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    481

    Default

    One other point. All these standards are MINIMUMS. I am willing to buy my own gear if it can be proven to exceed the standards. We always joke about stuff made by the lowest bidder, yet FF seem to be willing to accept the lowest quality as long as it meets the minimum standard.
    Would you prefer equipmet that improves upon the standard? Keep in mind that there is a great deal of bureaucratic inertia. Makers do not want the bar raised, budget makers do not want to replace existing gear that is "good enough". It is easy enough to hide inferior gear (or tactics) behind tradition - we have always done it that way.
    This effectivly puts my (our) safety in the hands of bureaucrats, bean counters, and others without a personal stake in the outcome.

    A figure was suggested here of 650 degrees for 5 min. (I think those are the numbers). Suppose you could buy gear that would protect you from 1500 degrees for 5 min., with no trade offs of weight, bulk, stifness, etc. Would you buy it? I would!
    Last edited by Sleuth; 03-13-2003 at 03:56 PM.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
    Posts
    990

    Default

    The fire service is a tradition bound serice. Over time other materials have come and gone but the original is still the best!!!!

    For the heartstrings: Some cow gave their life to protect mine!!!!!

    Enough said!!!!
    "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
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

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

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register