1. #1
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    Default Tried once tried twice

    We attempted to get some discussion on this subject in a differant forum, but not much was said, so we now post a new thread here with the hope for more response:

    As is the case in many organizations, an administrator issues a policy that is baseless in fact, soley on their own views, and without contemplating the impact of their decision. A recent policy has been issued regarding station theme patches or American flag patches sewn onto the shoulder of turnout coats as a SAFETY HAZARD. This new policy intimates that serious burn injury might occur due the wearing of a patch on the turnout coat. No study, research, or other testing has been conducted or otherwise quoated to support this new policy. I pose the following questions:

    1. Does a station theme or American flag or any other patch sewn onto the outside shell of a turnout coat increase the risk of burn injury? Are there any documented cases in which burn injuries were a direct result, {or even a contributing factor}, of a patch being sewn onto the turnout coat?

    2. What is the impact on the credibility of the SAFETY OFFICE or administration of a department that uses the "umbrella of SAFETY" as the means to deal with department issues of a NON SAFETY SUBJECT?

    3. What message is sent when a department requires the wearing of NOMEX station duty wear WITH department patches, while at the same extolling the wearing of other patches AS A SERIOUS SAFETY VIOLATION?

    4. How many out there have or wear patches on their safety turnouts?

    Let us know?

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    Default continued:

    and also after two respnded to the original post about WARRANTY and LIABILITY issues we posted the following: Please feel free to let us have it!

    OK We were waiting for the Warranty and Liability arguments to be raised. What we would like to find out is whether or not an injury has been actually caused by a patch, or if a manufacturer has not warranteed their product due to a patch. We think NOT. An injury or accident investigation would provide significant data about the fireground operations, performance of equipment, and we doubt that a patch would even be mentioned as a contributing factor, even under litigation. To manage a department or base policy simply from the standpoint of liability underscores what is wrong with much of the fire service today. However, it brings up interesting issues: {Of note is the use of NOMEX thread for sewing the patches on}.

    A department that REQUIRES the use of flammable stencil ink to mark turnouts, or allows other modifications such as tool pockets, webbing, escape straps to be used...THEN turn around and not allow other items such as a station theme patch,due to SAFETY REASONS is highly hypocritical. We are all concerned with fire fighter safety, the kind of safety issues we see everyday and not the lip service safety plans. To use the SAFETY OFFICE to administer policy of a non safety nature is wrong. The issue is the patch and not SAFETY. If the administrator does not like the patches then just say so.

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    As far as I know there is no cases in which FF have been injuried by wearing patches on the outside of their turnouts. I know a few guys here that were an American flag on thier turnouts and no injuries reported to date. However, I think there is a special type of thread you have to use. We even had a PPE dealer say it was ok...not say I would take his word like the Bible. I don't see a problem with patches on the outside of turnouts.

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    Smile Did You Try....

    Have you asked for an opinion from the folks who made your gear?? Just a thought. Stay Safe....
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    We have our department patch sewn on our shoulders of the turnout gear. They are not nomex patches, just simple embroidered patches. As for a burn hazard? Can't say anyone has complained about injuries or such. All I can say is they look nice until the first fire, then they look like sh$t because they are dirty, sooty, faded, etc. Ours have a lot of white in them that is no longer white and won't clean back to white anymore. Nothing like a bunch of dingy looking patches to show your department pride.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    If you are in a situation that is hot enough to burn the patch, then you are in a situation that is hot enough to burn the gear itself!

    We have "iron on" PFFM (Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts) on our turnouts, some of our personnel have WTC Memorial patches, company patches and PFFM EMT patches on their turnouts. They get a little "sooty", but haven't burned yet. Those with sewn on patches have them attached with nomex thread.

    It sounds like the "powers that be" are attempting "testicular fracturing". There are enough problems to deal with...this matter is like Captain Smith worrying about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-14-2003 at 05:13 PM.
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    Right now I think the only way a patch would get you hurt is if it is the french national flag (which is now all yellow).

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    A while ago I did see a presentation on safety of station wear and they showed photos of a couple of cases where firefighters received burns from patches on their work shirts. You could read the station name in the scars on the arm. However these were patches on the work shirt not the turn out coat. If remember correctly the thread used in the patch also was a metalic thread. I have never heard of a case where there was any problem patches on turn out coats. I would stay away from metalic thread.

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    Our new coats have a Canadian flag on the left shoulder and the department patch on the right. They came from the manufacturer like this, however, they aren't an embroidered patch but a screening. Our old coats had a Canadian flag on the left shoulder made from embroidered nomex.

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    Default Thanks...keep it comming!!!

    To all that have responded to our post we thank you and urge as many replies as possible. The more information we have the better, from all points of view. The "Powers" will hear your and our voices!!!

    An special thanks to those at FDNY 40/35, A picture is worth a thousand words, {You may remember the L.A. Kings hockey jersey}!

    Keep the info flowing in!!!

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    Mount the patch onto a panel then sew the panel to the coat. Then you would have two layers of shell protecting you. The stripes and letters are no more fire resistant then a patch would be.

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    NFPA 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Ensembles 2001 Edition
    Chapter 6
    6.1.3 All repairs and alterations to garments shall be done in a manner and using materials that are approved by the manufacturer including, but not limited to, fabric, thread type, stitch construction, hardware, and hardware backing.

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    Originally posted by gefd901
    NFPA 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Ensembles 2001 Edition
    Chapter 6
    6.1.3 All repairs and alterations to garments shall be done in a manner and using materials that are approved by the manufacturer including, but not limited to, fabric, thread type, stitch construction, hardware, and hardware backing.
    AHH HAAA! A cop-out. Typical. Must be a Chief with a quick knee-jerk reaction!

    SELECTIVE adoption and/or enforcement of NFPA Standards undermines the credibility of a department's managment. Administrators should use extreme care when establishing policy based only upon NFPA Standards. Administrators might want to use other information, testing, and background data; THEN use the NFPA Standard as an additional "finding" to support their position. Unless the department has fully implemented all NFPA Standards.

    When the Department adopts all other NFPA Standards; {for which they are currently in non-compliance such as 1851, 1901, and especially 1710}; then they can come and get our patches!!!

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    Originally posted by PTownHustlers

    When the Department adopts all other NFPA Standards; {for which they are currently in non-compliance such as 1851, 1901, and especially 1710}; then they can come and get our patches!!!
    To paraphrase Porky Pig...

    "abbadee abbadee abbadee abbadee that says it all, folks!"
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    the ppe salesman we had a couple weeks ago at our meeting is also a ff and he said the lady at the company he works for (5 alarm) is certified to sew into the outter shell only. she cant touch any of the other layers. just so u know. dont know if "average joe" would be able to or not.
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    Default NOT SURE IF THIS WILL HELP OR NOT...

    We just received new turnout gear a few months ago, and as with our older gear, these ones also came with a Canadian Flag sewn on the left shoulder, just as it would be if it were a combat uniform.

    Hmmmm can you see the similarity here? Turnouts for fighting "fires", and a combat uniform for fighting the "enemy".....
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    Exclamation Oh Man!

    PTownHustlers
    First I'll say that if you look back at your postings you said

    "The more information we have the better, from all points of view"

    And then when gefd901 posted some info on NFPA 1851 your response was

    AHH HAAA! A cop-out. Typical. Must be a Chief with a quick knee-jerk reaction!

    I think his intent was to provide you with more information in which you're asking for. I don't see the need for your "quick knee-jerk reaction" to his post.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with patches on the outer shell of turnouts. Many dealers are more than happy to add them as part of the order. The reflective stripes and letters were mentioned as being no more heat resistant as a patch. Well, the stripes and letters have been manufactured specifically for the fire service, then adopted to other uses, and they also meet NFPA requirements (No PTown, I'm not a chief, it's not a cop-out)
    Although I will say pride is important in this line of work, however, in my opinion there's more important issues than wearing a patch on your bunkers.

    Whatever turns up with it I do wish you luck and hope you as well as the rest of our brothers and sisters have a nice St Patricks day
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    Both my career and vollie department's have sewn on department patches on the upper sleeves of out turnout coats. The patches are standard uniform patches, although they are sewn on with aramid kevlar thread by the turnout's manufacturers. My career dept has been doing this for about 12 years and I am not aware of any occurance of the patches catching fire, or anybody being injured as a result. Most Australian fire departments do have patches sewn on the turnout's sleeves.

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    AHH HAAA! A cop-out. Typical. Must be a Chief with a quick knee-jerk reaction!
    Sorry PTownHustlers, Chief yes but not a cop out or knee-jerk reaction just a simple recitation of an NFPA standard. I disagree with your statement that "SELECTIVE adoption and/or enforcement of NFPA Standards undermines the credibility of a department's managment". I think NFPA standards are guidelines that we should all be striving to achieve but for most of us, total compliance with all standards is not financially possible. Total compliance is certainly not going to occur with our limited budget. When finances prohibit total compliance, a Chief will have to evaluate risks vs benefits and try and determine what standards should be complied with first. Issues directly relating to Firefighter safety should always come first. Having your PPE perform as it was designed to do is certainly an issue of firefighter safety.

    Until this thread I have never considered a department patch on a turnout coat. None of the departments in our area have them and I can't recall ever seeing a photo of one either. New turnouts should have a Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association Official User Information Guide attached. Page 13, Modifications, alterations and markings states "Modifying, changing, adding to, marking, painting or altering your protective element in any way may affect its protective qualities and increase your risk of death, burns, injuries, diseases and illnesses. Do not modify, change, mark, paint or alter your protective elements without the manufacturer's written authorization."

    If our guys wanted to do something like that I would tell them to get the okay from Morning Pride and we'd do it. It sounds like you and your department have more serious issues than just patches on your coat.

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    Default Well, well, well...

    We had hoped by being a little abrassive, that we could stimulate some good discussion. We appologize to anyone who might have been offended, however...

    Yes Chief gefd901 it is more than just a patch issue. The shotgun approach to policy development is another in a long line of poor thought out policy issuance. I guess we need to put a little more light on the subject as well. A serious burn to one of our own was caused NOT BY A PATCH, {he had NO patch on his turnouts}, rather by poor safety equipment care, {worn out with holes in his turnouts}. The Patch issue was simply a "rider" on the new policy much like that of a pork barrel bill in congress. We urge the proper management of the profeesionals...and the dealing with individual problems seperately, {even when a shotgun approach must be used due the shear size of our department..be sure you know where the shotgun is pointed!!!}

    We also understand the financial implications of adopting NFPA standards and the need to work towards the goal and intent of the NFPA. But we truly have a hard time with the hypocritical use of the NFPA standards as a management tool. For example in the same breath as the "NO ON ANY PATCH POLICY" is the requirement to use flammable stencil ink to mark your name in two places on the back of the turnouts...in direct violation of the same NFPA Standard. This thread could go into length over those same type of improper use of the NFPA standards, especially 1500 and 1710. The same risk managers and administrators whom selectively implement certain provisions of each of those NFPA standards only to retreat from them when the rest of the same standard is pushed.

    Please keep it comming, you cannot offend us!!!! and thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post in this thread!!!

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    There were several of us discussing this in our firehouse the other day. I am of the opinion that the outer shell is still there, so that no compromise of the protective layer has taken place. How else do the manufacturers put on the reflective striping?

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    Default Patches on Turnout Gear

    My department in New York says that sewing cotton patches on a turnout coat is a big no-no for safety reasons. At my department in New Jersey, we don't sew on patches, just because we don't, but, in our neighboring FD, every member who is an EMT has the NJ EMT patch sewn onto the shoulder of his turnout gear. As FNDY 35/45 showed, I think many FDNY FFs have their station patch on their gear too. The guide that comers with all new gear does say "Do not modify, change, mark, paint or alter your protective elements without the manufacturer's written authorization." a) I doubt many people got this authorization, b) I doubt many people cared to get this authorization but c) there had to be a reason the guide said this.

    I, personally don't have a patch on my gear, but I do have a WTC memorial patch on both of my jobshirts. and yeah, I would have to agree that if the was hot enough to ignite the patch on ym arm and cause burns to me, then i should get out of there ASAP.

    Dan

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    Hell we were recently informed pressing your bunker gear tightly up against a solid object(such as kneeling on the floor) causes it to loose all of its fire resistance and there by voids the warranty.So be sure not to kneel or lean or otherwise touch anything.

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    Smoke,

    Maybe would should put the patches on our knees!

    P-Town

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