Thread: Bullard Helmets

  1. #1
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    Default Bullard Helmets

    My department has went to the Bullard PX. We went to a training burn I went in and when I came out my helmet was burnt.There was little heat in the room. There was a firefighter that was beside me that was wearing a Carins 660. It didnt touch his helmet and mine looks like it went to h--l and back. Has any other department had any trouble with this type of helmet

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    Yes, I have seen it happen to Bullards time and again. My old FD issued a couple of them to some probies and before they were done with drill school they looked the same. Plastic junkers.. seems like the plastic gets soft and lets all the "fallout" stick on it and then bonds to the shell. No amount of scrubbing will take it off.

    On a side note... I hate bullards. No offence to anyone.
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    Also hate Bullards !!!!!! I can only share with you all one story and it wasnt good.........was assiting ata training burn and after going thru a couple of evolutions this District Chief came out and his helmet on the rear brim had bubbled up .........and was definetly disfigured, so I immediatley checked my own helmet as we both came from the same room and the ol'1010 was unscathed ......so I can say that I am Cairns helmet lover........
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    Default 2 cents...

    The department I work at part-time issues these and
    they fall apart regualrly. So some of us have
    switched to the Phenix first Due and love them.

  5. #5
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    Hang on here folks..... First let me say that I am a CAIRNS man and in my opinion there is no Helmet that will outperform the CAIRNS Leather.

    But....in fairness to Bullard

    The BULLARD PX is a "Polycarbonate" Helmet and therefor will melt at lower temperatures. However, it is totally NFPA Compliant and is a good helmet.

    The BULLARD FX is a Fiberglass Composite Helmet and is equivalent to the Cairns Helmet that was being worn by the other fire Helmet.

    I did not like Bullard Helmets either for a long time. Bullard has recently scapped their entire process and redeveloped it makeing leaps and bounds in terms of improvements. The age old complaint of the Bullard Helmet "sitting too high on the head" as well as comforatble fit has been addressed and incorporated into the new design. I have worn the new Bullards and feel they are very much in line with the other lines of helmets.

    Keep in mind that all helmets must pass the same battery of tests to receive compliance with NFPA. If you are having a problem with your Bullards they may be the older style. I would not hesitate to call them and ask for some satisfaction in terms of Warranty. My experience is that they are 100% customer service oriented.
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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by captstanm1
    The BULLARD PX is a "Polycarbonate" Helmet and therefor will melt at lower temperatures. However, it is totally NFPA Compliant and is a good helmet.

    The BULLARD FX is a Fiberglass Composite Helmet and is equivalent to the Cairns Helmet that was being worn by the other fire Helmet.
    Capt. Stan, you are correct. The primary complaints posted here compared a thermoplastic helmet (PX) to a fiberglass composite helmet (660C and 1010). It's like comparing ARFF gear to structural gear; they are different protective systems designed to behave in different ways.

    When thermoplastics are exposed to high heat, they will exhibit a bubbling effect. This can serve as a visual cue that a helmet has been exposed to too much heat, and should be retired. Composites (fiberglass and/or Kevlar) behave differently. There is a resin that holds the fibers together. With heat exposure, this resin weakens every time. The difference is that it does not change shape. It just gets weaker and weaker, to the point where one could literally push one's thumbs through the brim. It may look great, but it has no notable impact protection.

    The NFPA requirements include a 500F for 5 minutes test. After that test, you can bend and form ANY fire helmet into almost any shape. The requirement is that no portion of the helmet can drip below the brim line. There is little difference between a composite's or a thermoplastic's ability to resist forced deformation.

    Despite our desires to the contrary, the reality is that a helmet should be replaced as frequently as the turnout gear. While I have never seen tests done on a leather helmet after extensive exposure, I would venture that the fiberglass impact cap inside an NFPA leather helmet is degraded by heat as well. As such, it will not provide appropriate impact protection.

    Thermoplastics show the need for retirment with bubbling. Composites can be tested by evaluating the amount of flex in the brim. If you can flex the brim moderately, you have probably weakened the resin enough to consider replacement. Don't confuse "good looks" for "good protection".

    While it may not change individual opinions, I hope this does explain what happened to them and their helmets.

    Jonathan Bastian
    TI Training Manager, Bullard

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    The Bullard FXA-1 had to go through even more stressful testing due the fact it had to get accepted for the Navy's use. I used the FXA-1 in a mainspace fire and it held up to the heat and conditions I have used and own the FXA-1 , Morning Prides Ben2 , and carins N5A. each has a their pros and Cons.One thing I do on monthly is an inspection and preventive maintance if need be your helmet will last you for a long time

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    If the fire is hot enough to melt any kind of helmet, you probably ought to put some water on it, huh?

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    Not all that long ago my dept issued bullards out to the members sooner or later an issue came up and when the equipment guy called they said there was no warranty on their helmets. Basicly no warranty makes me feel like they dont even trust their gear. I think things have changed since then but my opinion of them has not.
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    Originally posted by 12TruckIrons
    Not all that long ago my dept issued bullards out to the members sooner or later an issue came up and when the equipment guy called they said there was no warranty on their helmets. Basicly no warranty makes me feel like they dont even trust their gear. I think things have changed since then but my opinion of them has not.
    While I do not know the details of your situation, Bullard does have a warranty: 2 years from the manufacturing date, excluding the faceshield.

    http://www.bullard.com/products/Fire...ral/PX_bid.cfm

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    Currently they do have one but that wasnt always the case. At least according to the info I was given concerning the situation.
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    Originally posted by 12TruckIrons
    Currently they do have one but that wasnt always the case. At least according to the info I was given concerning the situation.
    Again, I don't know the circumstances for your situation, but someone who has been here much longer than me says the Bullard two-year warranty goes back at least 10 years.

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    What can I say, it was second hand info but I am willing to admit when I am wrong or simply misinformed. For personal taste I like the Paul Conway like, best suspension system around, dept now issues cairns, with a few Morning Prides making their way into the inventory.
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  14. #14
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    firemanjb..... Thanks for the clarification and support of my post. I should have been more specific when I said "melt" I shoudl have clarified. As you indicate, the poly helmet will begin to bubble and that is an indication of excessive heat and potential failure. Most people assume that "melt" means drip down around your ears and that was not what I was implying.

    Where I am currently employeed we are using the CAIRNS 1010. It is a good helmet but I can not get mine to fit as well as I would like. I also have in my possession (don't ask why) a BULLARD Traditional and the fit is much different and more comfortable. Problem is they won't let me wear it due to "liability" of wearing something "not issued" by the city.

    Since one of the principles of BULLARD has jumped in here on this thread, perhaps those of you that have specific problems should EMAIL him and describe them. See if he can help. Again...my experience with BULLARD is they are a "can do!" company.
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  15. #15
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    As an aftethought, just wanted you folks to know that from what I see in this area, the BULLARD Helmet is becoming very popular. I know of one department that had purchased a different helmet and were having problems with quality and customer service and they called the manufacturer and said...."come and get them." They immediately bought close to 200 Bullard Traditional Helmets from a local dealer.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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