1. #1
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    Question Flint MI shelves new turnout gear...

    I'm sorry if this is a double post. I tried doing a search an didn't find any answers. One of the Firehouse.com headlines was an artical about Flint Michigan shelving the new turnout gear they just bought with their FEMA grant. From watching the two video clips all the information they give is that a firefighter was injured and that the gear came from a Canadian company.

    Maybe somebody here knows more about what the deal with the gear was. We just got our new gear in from our grant too. We bought Janesville/Lion PBI gear. I don't want to have anybody on my department get hurt cause we bought ourselves new gear.

    Thanks in advance.

    Brad
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    From what I've read and seen, one firefighter received steam burns. The department is investigating to see if the injury was the result of a problem with the gear or something else. The other complaint seems to stem from "burn holes" in the gear.

    It sounded to me like the gear is out of service until the department is satisfied that the gear is proven safe. It doesn't look like the gear has been proven defective, either.
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    As an Engineman I have one question.

    What Nozzles do they use in Flint?

    FTM-PTB

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    The gear is Securitex. The Geneva Fire Department has had Securitex for some time now and I haven't heard about any problems. It will be interesting to hear the follow up.

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    We have Lions/Jainsville.. Never had a problem.

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    I've heard of Securitex, but nobody around here that I know of uses it. I'd say 99% of the local FD's use Morning Pride, Janesville/Lion or Globe cause that's what the local vendors all sell.

    We've been using Janesville/Lion forever. Most of our turnout gear is newer than 6 years old. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't an issue with the new gear.

    I'm also interested to hear more about what happened in the cases in Flint that made them pull the gear. A steam burn sounds to me like something that could have happened either way, but the "burn holes" sounded odd to me. There's been some outstanding posts on here about what TOG is made of. I'll have to go back to those and see what Securitex makes their coats of compared to the other companies.

    Stay safe out there!

    Brad
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    I just posted in the other forum, figured I'd write it here also. I have heard some rumors that there have been some burns in PG County that resulted from some new Securtex gear. Anyone have any details on this...one way or the other??

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    Default Flint Fire turnout gear

    I read several of the posts about Flint Fire Department's new gear and problems associated with it and thought I would clarify at least some of the questions. We received the new gear on Feb 17th and on Feb 25th, the first of four incidents involving the gear occurred. During an attempted rescue of a trapped civilian, a firefighter's gear was burned in several areas. This firefighter was not injured however the burns to his coat were so deep that they discolored the lining next to his skin, brown. The second set of gear was damaged in a run-of-the-mill vacant structure fire; while advancing the line up the stairs extinguishing fire along the way to the seat of the fire, the coat and pants suffered burns through the outer shell again discoloring the lining. The second firefighter was not injured. The third incident, burn holes to the bunker pants, did not result in injuries. The Fourth event, which occurred on Mar 4th, resulted in steam burns to the forearms of the firefighter advancing a 1 3/4" hoseline equipped with a Task force Tip automatic nozzle up a stairway. This firefighter had just cleared an earlier fire and his gear was probably wet. This injury resulted in the gear being “shelved”. Flint is a very busy department blessed with aggressive firefighters and cursed with over 6000 vacant homes. I applaud my chief for pulling the gear on safety issues. In my 20 years on the department, I have worn Globe, Janesville, and Morning Pride and cannot recall seeing this many burns in the outer shell of turn out gear in such a short period of time.

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    thanks for the good info ............ 6000 vacant homes ........lots o work for you people I am sure........I hope the probelm (if there is one ) if found and you all can still stay safe in that depressed town.
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    Default Re: Flint Fire turnout gear

    Originally posted by flintoid
    In my 20 years on the department, I have worn Globe, Janesville, and Morning Pride and cannot recall seeing this many burns in the outer shell of turn out gear in such a short period of time.
    Flintoid, thanks for posting. I knew eventually somebody with the real story would come through. Hopefully this issue get's taken care of for you guys. The news story said that your department tested the gear before putting it into service... did you get a bad lot of gear, or did you just not have the fires you've had recently to really have put the stuff to the test? You're story is enough for me to overlook Securitex as a brand of turnout gear should we ever buy again.

    Stay safe!

    Brad
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    Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

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    Having worn many different vendors fire gear (securitex, globe, Janesville, Morning Pride, and few others I am forgetting) I thought I would give my two cents on the issue.
    In all the gear I have worn, I only had issues with two sets. One was my old rubber coat burning my shoulders, and the other was securitex burning in multiple areas of the coat. The securitex was great gear. I loved it for being lightweight and very maneuverable, but after about a year, i noticed that after a routine fire, there were several burn holes in the outer shell that started buring the interior liner. Since it was my personal gear, I stopped wearing it and went back to my department issued Globe, and contacted my sales rep. He told me "I didnt properly take care of the gear, and that is what caused it to be faulty." I just gave up on it. Another department near me wore nothing but securitex for a couple of years, and they never had a problem with it that I was aware of, and several other departments have started issuing it to their guys. i dont know if it was my fault or not, but I have worn other gear for longer time than I did with my securitex and never had issues like I did with it. I didnt treat it any differently in care as I did the other stuff either.
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    The Marine Corps Reserve bought Securitex proximity gear for the ARFF sections of all 3 Marine Wing Support Squadrons (we do aviation ground support). The 3 squadrons are across the country, one on each coat and one Midwest. West coast got theirs first, and had 3 firefighters get minor burns on the hands and forearms during flashover recognition training. The same month, my Squadron used the gear for the first time, and 7 out of 12 pair of trousers ripped at the crotch. We were unable to get anywhere with the problem until we got deployed in support of Enduring Freedom, when I put a hard charging Sgt (career firefighter) in charge of getting the manufacturer to fix it. To the credit of Securitex, they took all of our trousers back from 2 squadrons (136 pair) and reissued new, with some additional modifications we requested. The other squadron had already had their trouser seams reinforced locally. While we have had no further tears or burns,we haven't exposed them to those types of conditions again.

    To be fair:
    1. Our gear was originally ordered in 4 sizes (gotta love supply officers)-S,M,L,XL, all standard length-when we sent them back we sent individual measurements, so I'm sure sizing was a factor in some of the tears-but not all.
    2. Proximity gear isn't the best for interior firefighting-but in a flashover simulator, shouldn't the aluminized better reflect the heat? By the same token though, it inhibits the evaporation of moisture. The OIC of the unit that had guys burned is a career firefighter in a busy dept in CA, and he is screaming that the gear is unsafe and needs to be replaced. The gloves we got originally as part of the package were not NFPA approved, another battle we fought successfully.
    3. Securitex was extremely helpful once we got through to the right guy. They went above and beyond what we expected to fix the problem, at no cost to the gov't.

    I'm sharing this because I'm wondering if this is a common problem-we need all the info we can get to justify it's replacement if necessary.

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    To be fair,run a search here on Securitex gear and check the results.One thing you'll find;Capt Stan and I are on the same page here.We had two sets on field trials for four years.One very active FF/instructor and one active FF.Result?Weell,suffice it to say our Fire Act grant gear issue is Globe not Securitex.But don't take my side on this,look it up yourself.Or if you happen to be up my way,look me up and I'll show you what it looks like after some use.T.C.

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    From the way it sounds, I think I'm glad we have our Janesville..........

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    I have worn Securitex gear in some extremely high heat conditions and was more than satisfied with its performance. My guess is their gear was made from a bad batch of material. Can't blame 'em for shelving it though.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Duff,I'm guessing by others comments on the subject that there must have been quite a lot of material in that "batch".We never got "burned"in the beta sets but the accelerated wear would preclude their selection for our Dept.T.C.

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    Maybe the brother from Flint could clear up a few more questions?

    What type of material was the gear made from? (ex. Kevlar/Nomex, PBI/Kevlar, Zylon)

    What company produced the material the gear was made of? (ex. Southern Mills, Difco, Dupont)

    I agree with Duff, sounds like a bad batch of material. Could also be a SNAFU in the specifications. Can't blame Securitex, they just manufacture the gear from the spec's the department gives them and the material they recieve from the fabric companies.
    Last edited by Trkco1; 03-14-2004 at 09:36 AM.
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    My dept a couple years ago were starting to get Securtex for replacing Jainseville. We had several problems with SEcurtex, i never had to wear it, but after fires guys would come back and there would literally be pools of water that they could ring out of the coats from them being too hot, that couldve helped with the steam burn, we also ran into the problem with several pants liners seperating on the inside. Nobody on my dept liked Securtex. We have stopped issuing Securtex and have replaced the securtex that has been issued and now are issuing Morning Pride.

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    Having dealt exclusively with globe and morning pride, I have never heard of securitex until I saw this thread. If anyone is curious, their website is www.securitex.com. This information was taken directly from the site....

    "Beginning with the development of proprietary fabrics made from multifilament Nomex® and Kevlar®, to the introduction of the Securitex SMS® (Stress Management System), which combines optimized layers of specialized, lightweight fabrics that work together for maximum mobility and protection."

    Hope this helps...

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    Fabric is a strange thing sometimes. I work for a fire protection company that uses fabric in its system and like anything man made you are going to have problems from time to time. I wonder if this is the case here. Also with the multi layer construction of gear who's to say something wasn't left out. It would only take one layer.

    I saw this guy go in a burn building with 5 others for training one day. The instuctor inside said that steam rolled back on him and the other guys, and this guy came out with a red arm (1st degree burn). It looked like it went from the shoulder seam down. We looked at the gear and it looked fine but there must have been something missing that allowed the burn. No one else got a mark. Without cutting the gear up there was no way to tell. We told the guy to tell his chief and pull the gear from service. I don't know what this gear was or any details about its construction other than a nomex shell.

    I have an old set of Lion gear that I got when I joined the department and over the years it has been burned by sparks and embers during fires. The gear is black and turns a ruddy red when burned but it never has gone past the shell. With this gear burning almost to the skin I wonder again if its a fabric defect with the liner. Also it would be hard to say without knowing what size the embers were that burned the gear. It could have been something that burn long after it came in contact with the gear or something that was extrem. hot (over and above what you would find in a normal structure fire) when it contacted the gear. And what is a normal structure fire? No such thing these days!
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    Default This is taken from the Securitex web site

    SMS Ultra gear is available in all the popular firefighter fabrics, such as Nomex®, Kevlar®/Nomex®, PBI, Basofil®, Millenia™ and more. Or, you can specify a high-performance fabric that incorporates filament technology: 2F3™, Duralite ®, Ultraflex™ and Glide II™. SMS Ultra uses only bi-component ePTFE moisture barriers such as CROSSTECH® to ensure maximum protection, breathability and durability of your turnout. Any way you combine it, Securitex SMS Ultra® gear delivers on enhanced performance in three critical areas:
    · Protection for today’s more complex and hotter fires
    · Comfort and stress reduction
    · Durability and reduced gear lifecycle cost
    Last edited by Trkco1; 03-15-2004 at 10:37 AM.
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    Without knowing what the outer shell,moisture barrier, thermal liner, and face cloth is it is hard to guess what is different from their old gear. However, having used Securitex in the Duralite SMS configuration I would guess that the thermal protection was less than their old gear because that is what makes the Securitex gear lighter weight. It is always a trade-off. Lighter weight means less thermal protection which is not a bad thing if it is what the Department chooses to do.
    Lt. Dan

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    Unless Securitex has changed the rules the SMS system is their own blend of "slick"fibers combined with the thermal and moisture barriers.Having owned the SMS system I can tell you it's anything BUT durable.Not to say Securitex hasn't changed their ways but my experience with the SMS product would NOT lead me back to the product.Some depts around me have purchased the "new"product,I'll let you know in 3-5 years what's holding up better,our Globe GX7 or their Securitex but my prediction is Globe.T.C.

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    I've got guys on the city dept that are still in the same set of "servicable" Globe after 9 years. And this is a department that doesn't spend the day in the station.

    I also spoke with a rep I know with securitex. He said Flint was all political

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    Default I've used Securitex and hadn't had a problem with it

    My vollie dept switched to Securitex about 8 months ago and have yet to have a problem with it. We use the Kevlar/Nomex blend with zip in liners and zipppered front closure. There was alot of curiosity about the closures opening in a fire situation due to a faulty zipper but that has yet to be the case. Now granted we dont run alot of structures but so far it has exceeded our expectations. Anyone else using Securitex had any concerns over the zipper closures?

    code_blue81
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