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  1. #1
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    Default Tan Vs. Black Turnouts

    Well this ought to be good. I was asked today to get some information on the advantages of the different colored gear. Basically we have all been getting tan morning pride...but the majority of the department wants black turnouts. We are trying to convince the chief that there are more advantges to black turnouts if there are any. Any advice is greatly appreciated



    stick


  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    One question comes to mind.WHY? I can think of no good reason to go to black but I can think of a bunch not to.T.C.

  3. #3
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    That's kinda what I was wondering too.........


    I would stick with the tan.....

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've worn both. Tan and black.

    I currently wear black.

    Things I've learned:

    There is no appricable difference between the heat absorbtion. In the summer my tan turnouts were hot and so are my black ones. Yes Black absorbs more heat but that does little to your body core temp which has more to do with the materials and design than color. If it were such an issue then I imagine everyone would be wearing white coats instead of tan!

    Black hides the stains and dirt easier. Yes wash regularly..however that doesn't always remove the stain. I always used an extractor and I still had Tar, and other soot stains that wouldn't go away. You look more profesional this way.

    It seems to me that it is easier to see heat damage on the outer shell of the black coats when they start to bleed color.

    For those who claim better visibity...there is no difference in a fire or at night. At night tan turnouts look black because the reflective material is much brighter than the coats outer shell.
    In a fire it is no easier to pick out a firefighter in black or tan. I've seen both.

    I know a number of depts that just left it up to the members...because it really doesn't matter and if that is what the troops want then there is no reason they shouldn't have it.

    Sit down and take a vote...if your dept prefers tan...wear tan...if you as a group prefer black wear black...if you like blue or red or whatever....wear that as well.

    This ranks right up there with which color is more visible. Or which arangement of refective stripes is more visible. All it comes down to is a simple way of improving morale without any ill effects. Take a vote and find out.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-17-2003 at 08:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Temporarily/No Longer Active July36's Avatar
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    Default

    Just my personal opinion but being us having black turnouts,I have seen (and felt) that the black ones(especially with the heat climates in Arizona) tend to make my firefighters more fatigued as well as more body heat than usual...simply because the black does not reflect the heat(or the sun) like the lighter colored ones do...and they seem to make us "perspire" more.The other drawback I have found is that they can be VERY cold at night during the winter.
    Just as FFFRED said,the reflectivity is basically the same so you would still be "protected" in visibility.
    Actually,I dont have a problem with either colors except for the overheating of the body that the black may tend to cause.
    Also,this all depends on your climate as well as location.If you are not in a very hot climate like we are then Id say either color would work for you and probably with no problems.Most Companies here use the light colored ones simply becuase of the climate.

  6. #6
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Exclamation 2 cents...

    Since this is/was a current topic in my agency,
    I am very passionate about it. Here we go...

    BEFORE the black turnouts came, we had tan.
    I told some bros that black does absorb heat
    and less visbile. Ofcourse, the first thing out
    of some mouths were "But they have reflective
    trim!" and I said, "Yeah trim rips, fades and
    burns off." Another Captain said- "Forget this,
    I will be less visible on the highway. I dont
    need black tienouts on a busy major highway!"

    THEN- The black turnouts came and what did the
    same Firefighters say..."These black turnouts
    are about 10% hotter when wearing." REALLY?!?!

    PLUS- Please think about a Firefighter down in
    a building AT NIGHT. Hmmm....might be a little
    harder to find him/her...Black in black...think
    about it!

    So what it came down to was black turnouts were
    purchased because of the "T word." Please, please
    THINK about what and why youre buying for your
    people. Dont convert just based on tradition or
    what some big city is wearing.

    When it comes to turnouts, think comfort, cleaning,
    serivibility and warranity work.

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    My first issued set of turnouts was yellow nomex with yellow reflexite trim..I looked like a bumblebee until the first couple of fires!

    I presently wear black turnouts with the lime/silver/lime trim on my FD.

    At the Fire Academy, my issued turnouts are tan with orange reflective trim.. the lid is "tactical tupperware in red"

    After working in the burn building..the color of the lid is "smoky red", the color of the turnouts are "very dirty tan".

    posted by my buddy Bou

    "Yeah trim rips, fades and burns off."

    When it comes to turnouts, think comfort, cleaning,
    serivibility(sic) and warranity (sic)work.
    Trim rips, fades and burns off tan gear, yellow gear, red gear and black gear, any color gear! I have melted Reflexite, scorched Scotchlite and torn and ripped both types (occupational hazard!)

    Comfort: There should be no "comfort problems" with properly fitted gear, unless you gain a lot or lose a lot of weight.

    Cleaning: should be done after every fire and at a minimum on a quarterly basis.

    Survivability: clean, well maintained gear of any color will help us to make it through a fire. Filthy, dirty, rotten stinky ripped gear of any color that is not maintained will harm us!

    Warranty: maintaining gear according to the manufacturers specs will help keep any and all warranties in effect.

    Who cares what color they are...as long as they protect you!
    ‎"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

  8. #8
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Gonzo...

    Thanks Bro...Sorry about the spelling errors,
    I just raced through that posting. You know us
    Kaly-forn-yans (Arnold)...Always in a rush.

    -Bou

  9. #9
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    Default

    ive always liked the look of black, its the old school look. but whatever you do, try not to mix black and tan, that looks weird. i had that for awhile cause i couldnt get small enough pants in tan. but now i have all black gear.

    a local dept has a big diamond on their gear to help visiblity at fires and on roadsides during accidents their gear is tan. they stick out in a crowd.


    C-I
    1819

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber PFD109NFD107's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo

    Who cares what color they are...as long as they protect you! [/B]
    I agree: Color isn't as important as what the quality of the gear is.

    Over my career, I have worn black, yellow and tan. The only drawback I can see with any of them is black does seem to retain more heat in the summer months.

  11. #11
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    FFFRED and GONZO covered my feelings.

    Unless you are wearing the exact same spec tan and black, how can you tell which is hotter? I have 2 different sets of black gear, one set is heavier, aka hotter, than the other.

    Dave

  12. #12
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by CFDFireChic

    try not to mix black and tan, that looks weird.
    Not in a pint glass with Guinness Stout and Bass Ale!
    ‎"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

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    I've had both,same spec.In the summer months the black absorbs more heat hands down.We just specced new gear and it doesn't come in black so that eliminates that problem.Liners and vapor barriers make a HUGE difference in comfort.T.C.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Default

    Heat damage is very apparent on the black gear. Usually a tan, to yellow, to red, to black bulls eye will show areas subjected to high heat which have lost some protective qualities.
    This can be useful for maintenance and burn injury investigation.

  15. #15
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    Default black vs. tan

    I have recently read in one of the trade journals what E299LT said in the previous post. That was one of the reasons FDNY chose black. It also stated that the black dye is carbom material so it offers a little bit more heat protection. I believe it was in the Apparatus Journal magazine last month. We use tan because coloring it is a bit more expensive.

  16. #16
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    We have used black for as long as I can remember...

    I will miss it. IMO it just has that look. It was always nice being the Men in Black especialy when all of the other departments in our area are in Bannana suites for bunker and wildland gear.

    I do believe we will be switching to Kaki advance outer shells because that is the quick ship in stock PPE from the manufacturer we are looking at.

    This will work out fine since our new wildland gear is Kaki advance also, so we will have uniform conformity for both types of fire.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Here is something to consider from the Morning Pride Website.

    PBI products being marketed in the fire service (ours and our competitors) are actually an engineered blend of 40% PBI and 60% Kevlar. PBI has distinguished itself in some of the most active metro departments. The fabric was initially developed as part of the Project FIRES effort to provide non-charring protection at temperatures above Nomex's capabilities (approximately 750 degrees F). While Nomex remains an effective insulator charred, it can break away with movement and in the event of a continued or secondary exposure could allow a potentially serious breach in the protective envelope. PBI, in contrast, will resist charring up to temperatures that exceed the firefighters biological capabilities. Only PBO offers better anti char performance than PBI. PBI is available in three weights (6.0 oz. 7 oz. & 7.5 oz.). PBI is available in two weaves (rip stop and twill). PBI is also now available with enhanced waterproofing. The 7.5 oz rip stop product is available in Black and dying the natural bronze color seems to dramatically reduce UV degradation problems and to improve durability. In our opinion, the PBI outer shell (especially in Black) is one of the most preferred and high performing outer shell products.
    It seems that Black may have some performance advantages. This may or may not off set the precieved hotter working temperature issue.

    If you are in a cold climate, the Black may be best, if you are in a hot evnvironment, then lighter colors may be best.

    In any case, I dont feel that there is a significant difference. FDNY, Chicago, and a lot of the hardcore tradition departments have black, and IMO it looks the best.

    But, Im not shallow...

    So, IMO the best outer shell performance wise would have to be...



    Seriously!

    Put some trim on there and you without a doubt would have the highest visibility.

    For sure you have the best radiant heat protection.

    The only issue I am unsure of is breathability, but IIRC proximity gear has to meet the same standards as bunker gear.

    So, there you have it, if all you are worried about is pure PPE performance, then go with the Siliver proximity gear.

    If you are worried about looks...

    Go with whatever turns you crank.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 12-18-2003 at 11:52 AM.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  18. #18
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    It is all a matter of looks and preferences.

    I have worn yellow, tan and black. There are no differences between them as far as heat goes. As far as visability, the tan seems to be worse in the day time and at dusk, and the black better in the day time, especially as a contrast to a blue or grey sky. As far as finding a down fireman in a fire, smoke can be any color, and bad visability is bad visability. I just don't buy this argument at ALL!! Only good search techniques will ensure you find your men.

    CALFFBOU-
    I REALLY have a hard time believing that the Black is "10% Hotter"
    I just don't get your arguments sometimes.....

    Think about it - If you are going INTO THE FIRES, they are ALL hot!
    (Just a joke)

    We wear black gear with triple stripe lime/sliver/lime made by Janesville, and many members still wear the black with lime trim by Morning Pride that is our older issued gear.
    Last edited by OFD226; 12-18-2003 at 01:40 PM.

  19. #19
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Oh geez...

    Originally posted by OFD226
    As far as finding a down fireman in a fire, smoke can be any color, and bad visability is bad visability. I just don't buy this argument at ALL!! Only good search techniques will ensure you find your men.

    CALFFBOU-
    I REALLY have a hard time believing that the Black is "10% Hotter"
    I just don't get your arguments sometimes.....
    Ohhh...to my constant counterpart OFD226-

    #1- I disagree. If I have a FF down at night or in debris,
    I think I would have a better chance of seeing tan/yellow vs.
    black. It is just plain common sense there.

    #2- If you please re-read my posting, I was QUOTING a
    co-worker. He said- "These black turnouts seem 10% hotter."
    He said it, not me! BUT, he is probably right!

    I learned the scientifics of colors in middle school back
    in the early 80s. It is pretty simple. Some colors absorb
    heat different than others. EVER LOOK AT A BLACK CAR'S
    PAINT JOB? They fade, peel and spoil quickly. Ever hear of
    "ROY G. BIV"? (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo,
    violet) That is the color spectrum. They are in that
    particular order for a reason. I personally own a white
    vehicle and the paint holds up for years.

    This is the reason why FDs in the desert like white/yellow
    paint jobs. (Rural Metro, Mesa and Chandler, AZ) They stand
    up better in 100+ degree heat. It is very basic common science.

    Again- Tradition is nice, but please put your smarts and
    common sense first.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-19-2003 at 01:28 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default THanks guys

    thanks for the replies...some good arguments mabe well have someone from morning pride come to the firehouse and give us some samples and see what the deal is...thanks again


    stick

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