1. #1
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    Default Rubber Helmet Bands

    This was an email send out to a County Wide Fire group in my county lemme know some thoughts and feedback:

    The NFPA has a standard for fire helmets that provides firefighters with
    a modern and safe device for, among other things, impact protection and
    heat protection. At the same time the NFPA provides these standards,
    there is a constant drum beat for firefighters to have a safer working
    situation and the reduction of injuries and death. To generate some
    thinking on safety, why then do firefighters fasten equipment to their
    helmets with a rubber strip like a ring of innertube? Does rubber melt,
    burn, drip, or otherwise fail in heat. Will "the stuff" fall off your
    helmet if the rubber degrades? If a rubber strip device were a safe
    method would manufacturers offer them in their catalog? If the current
    helmet isin't heavy enough could we find ways to make it heavier by
    adding "stuff"? As safety issues continue to be a focus in the frire
    service, we need to look at some of the common practices we use on a
    daily basis
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    Well I agree with some of it such as that it can make the helmet heavier if you add certain items such as flashlights and now they even have helmet mounted TIC's. But if you are just going to have a little rubber strap with a few door chocks and some nails, I don't see the problem. Sure the rubber may melt and maybe the stuff the band is holding on may fall, but honestly, at that point, it's prolly too hot for you to be in there anyway. My department out in PA actually does not allow the rubber bands because of a few reasons. Mainly because the helmets are the salad bowls and the rubber bands would fly off and that the department is big on keeping everyone uniform. In Jersey, the bands are allowed and quite a few guys use them.

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    Hoppy,

    I think you need to switch to decaf

    Helmet bands are a easy place to keep some small things ie chocks, nails, maybe a small light. I don't think they are a leading cause of injuries. Yes rubber melts. If my helmet band is melting I think I may have some bigger concerns.

    When you look at all the issues we face, and the areas we need to improve so that we can be safer, I think that helmet bands will end up near the bottom.

    As safety issues continue to be a focus in the fire
    service, we need to look at some of the common practices we use on a
    daily basis
    On this statement I'll agree 100%.

    Dave

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    Default

    I'll add an FYI here, First I did not write this, someone else in my department did and secondly I do have a band on my helmet which holds a flashlight, some nails, a window punch and a door wedge.
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    If a rubber strip device were a safe method would manufacturers offer them in their catalog?
    They do........

    Again, in the whole scheme of things, this is very very minor.......

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    I dont care for them and think they look silly. They may be of some benefit you are going on a structure a shift/day. For us POC people I dont get it .......also in the grand scheme of safety .......this is pretty minute........(not meaning to kill the messenger).
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Originally posted by hfd66truck
    Yes rubber melts. If my helmet band is melting I think I may have some bigger concerns.
    My Captain gives me a hard time about mine and that's my standard answer. I tell him it's a flashover early warning device: If I see the plastic from my little flashlight dripping off the brim I know it's time to beat feet!
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Arrow You got to be kidding me pal

    This is one of those issues that seems to rear its head every once in awhile.

    In my dept where this practice of using rubber innertube bands to hold equipment originated long ago 10,000s of firemen over 30+ years have worn these rubber straps in 100,000s of fires.

    We have an R&D unit, Safety Battalion, and many of the best firemen in the world who are always looking to improve the job using inovative methods. None of which have ever found the practice of using rubber straps to be unsafe or a detriment to fireground operations.

    I personally, and every member of the Engine and Ladder in my house has something on their lid, leather or plastic. We put our helmets on more often in a day than the average Firefighter in the country and it isn't an issue here.

    Considering all that...

    -A few chocks, and a "light flashlight" and perhaps some nails and even some stickers or personal effects are usefull and do not negligibly affect firefighting operations.

    -It has NOTHING to do with what looks good, bad, cool or stupid...it has EVERYTHING to functionality, and ease of operations. I can just as I did the other night at a job....with a gloved hand remove a chock and chock a door open so the door wouldn't close on the hose being streched by the Engine Co. No searching through my pockets just grab it off the lid and go.

    -It has Never been established that these tools placed on the helmets has caused "neck or back pain". I'd really like to see any paperwork from a doctor who granted a disabilty pension or light duty on such arguments. If your neck can't take the weight...do excersizes...if you still can't tolerate the weight...look into another line of work.

    -Note that Rubber coats and boots have been used by firemen for years and in some cases still are today. They don't readily catch fire and neither do rubber straps. In fact I have been burned through my hood and the rubber strap on my helmet remained in tact. The point at which the rubber would "melt" or catch fire I would think is far beyond the conditions encountered in the average fire without aquiring burns...besides if it is that hot to melt the rubber, you've got bigger problems than rubber straps and chocks.

    Perhaps no one ever thought that the reason that so many guys use a rubber strap versus....lets say underwear elastic...is because the rubber doesn't readily burn or deform!

    I don't think anyone needs to spell out what kind of people would come up with such arguments and who would believe such a diatribe. They are really overthinking this one.

    If this is what your leadership is spending their time and effort on....god help you.


    "We fear things in direct porportion to our ignorance of them."

    FTM-PTB

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    I have a rubber strap on my N6A. It allows me to keep one door wedge, one sprinkler wedge and a pair of trauma shears out of my pockets and easily within reach. my thinking is this: the wedges were free, so if i lose them (and I have already), no big loss. if the strap does break, and I lose my trauma sheers, oh well, it happens. i'm sure i could just borrow another pair from somewhere. i love keeping trauma sheers on my helmet, because they are so handy at MVCs when you need to cut a seatbelt, or remove a pt's clothing, and everyone is pulling out fancy knives, and digging through their pockets, I can just reach up and hand them my scissors.

    I acually use an old bicycle inner tube for my helmet. it got it for free, and i've been told by others that they hold up longer. i'm hoping to add those cheap flashlights to my helmet to aid in my seeing in dark and smokey areas.

    btw, i got to agree with what was said before, if the strap melts, or anything that is being held on by the strap starts to melt, then I probably should be thinking of getting out of that enviorment. and i've tried putting themon salad bowl helmets, it didn't work out. that's when i decided to invest in my own traditional style helmet
    Last edited by DrParasite; 06-17-2004 at 01:33 AM.
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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    I dont care for them and think they look silly. They may be of some benefit you are going on a structure a shift/day. For us POC people I dont get it .......also in the grand scheme of safety .......this is pretty minute........(not meaning to kill the messenger).
    Rujjy Bro....

    It doesn't matter how jobs a day/week/month/year you go to. Its an easy place to keep small items that need to be used quickly. Ever try keeping nails(for chocks) in your pocket? I have a bunch, but they are wrapped in an elastic. Its a bitch to get them out. However, I also has several stuck in the rubber band on my helmet and I can grab them with ease.

    This is one issue that should boil down to personal preference. If you want to use one, use it. If not, don't. I already covered my views on the safety aspect.

    Hoppy,

    Less decaf for the guys at the station. Especially the one who posted for you.

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    Originally posted by hfd66truck


    Hoppy,

    Less decaf for the guys at the station. Especially the one who posted for you.
    I think he meant that he didn't write the email. In fact, I received the same email in the Fire-L list..........

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    I think he meant that he didn't write the email
    That would be correct FirenResq, I did not write it nor agree with most of what is said, I found it to be so funny that I had to post it for you guys to see
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    yes I jsut got it this am also ..........
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    I echo what everyone has said, no sense repeating it, because it will sound like we are posting in the grand canyon.

    My dept. has two members that got them to stay on salad bowl helmets!

    Added a ! to emphasize what I was trying to say.
    Last edited by FiftyOnePride; 06-17-2004 at 09:16 AM.
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    Not trying to sell anything here... A brother in the local FOOLS chapter designed a nice helmet band that will withstand much of the heat in a fire. Our FOOLS Pres tested it on his helmet at a recent training session at Fort Wayne, IN (I think it was Ft Wayne) and it made it through the burns completely unscathed.

    Again not trying to sound like an ad, just trying to help a brother out...
    Over the past two years, Captain James Benjamin has been designing a product called "Da Helmet Keeper." As the name implies, this product is designed to be utilized on fire, rescue, EMS, and other safety helmets so that items (door wedges, flashlights, etc) can be stored or kept on the wearerís head. For years, emergency service workers used old inner-tubes to accomplish this, but these failed quickly due to exposure to elevated temperatures or other environmental factors. With that in mind, Captain Benjamin designed this band with a special proprietary blend of materials, which increases its elasticity and resistance to elevated temperatures and chemicals exposures. While nothing lasts forever (especially around Firefighters), Captain Benjamin feels that his product surpasses the technology and products currently on the market.

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    Default Amazing what we talk about here

    Just FYI, a traditional rubber helmet band is fine for structural responses, but forget about it on aircraft fires I wore my New Yorker with a band on a training burn we did on our large frame A/C trainer(fueled by propane). Yes the "baked potatoe" suit kept me relatively cool while on the interior - - - no, the helmet band got vaporized and it was pretty new. If ya can't take the heat, stay out of the airplane
    Brian Rowe
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    Colleton County Fire/Rescue

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    Just put a band on my Conway a few months ago and am well pleased. Lot easier than reaching in a pocket. I just have a chock and a flashlight but once you put on an airpack, pockets become all but unusable on my coat and they are about all I kept in my coat pocket so they are all I need. I think it's a good thing and ya can't argue with 1000s of firefighters out there with them on their helmets.
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    Iíve a rubber band on my helmet that Iíve worn for years (cut it from an old motorcycle inner tube), I use it to carry chocks. The band has survived heat that took out a pair of my goggles and melted the visor on someone elseís helmet so Iím pretty sure that if the band is melting and running into my eyes I wonít be in any shape to care.

    What is an important safety discussion though is what you put in the band. For example we have been told to not wear those cheap, throw away plastic flashlights that were all the rage some years ago because there were reports that they would melt. Canít confirm if thatís true because I didnít use one, I never thought that they worked worth a damn and I could feel the extra weight and didnít want to carry it. DrPararsite has a great idea with the trauma sheers, I may try that.

    Iím not as ready to blow off the idea of helmet weight as FFFRED is though, if you carry so much weight up there that you get top heavy then that is a real risk too. Sports that wear helmets have worked hard over the years to reduce helmet weight and still provide good protection because it fatigues the wearer less. I suspect that a helmet manufacturer such as Bell or Ari would have data on how much weight is too much.

    Medic162, I donít like being inside an airplane that isnít on fire, I hope I never have to be inside one that is .

    Bill

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    This is in reference to the issue about the small cheapo flashlights ppl. carry on their helmets:

    I have seen many, many of them melt while on someones helmet. The problem arises when they get too hot and the bulb bursts. Even worse, the main reason why I would advise anyone out there to take it off of their helmet, is because the battery inside is not well protected and when exposed to heat can explode. I'm pretty sure none of you want battery acid running down your face, scba, turnouts, etc. So do yourself a favor and think about it before you put those on your helmets. Sure they look cool when you come out of a fire and there is melted plastic all over your helmet. Right??? You can show everyone you can take some heat. But wouldn't it be cool to have scars all over your face from battery acid. Then everyone will know how good of a FF you are. All I ask is think about it.

    Stay safe...

    That is all...

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    I just am trying out my first helmet band. I have mine on my brand new Phenix 1500 and it seems like it will stay, no problem. It has 2 wedges, a Garrity light, a door latch blocker, and a jack knife.

    I wanted to buy a helmet personal to keep with me and I have my department issue helmet at the fire hall.

    Kind of proud of this deal, Ebayed, got the helmet for 76 and got my strap set up from ebay as well, everything for 10.75. There is a guy selling kits on there, and i dont think I could have built my own cheaper, it came with the wedges, door latch blocker, knife, band included.

    Here was the auction.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN%3AIT&rd=1

    I then put my hotshield, a helmet shield ID sticker, and a pair of goggles form the fire deparment on it.

    All set up ready to go for <100$

    I should take a picture of it before it gets all beat up. I will do that.

    As far as the rubber and such being dangerous, IIRC rubber melts at about 250 and burns at about 600, so I dont think its to big a deal.

    http://www.perma-flex1.com/environment.html

    Plastic flashlights and wooden wedges are probly more of a hazard then the rubber, but I am still not going to worry about it.

    My goggles, which come mounted on the helmet, are made from rubber and plastic. They are not considered a hazard by OSHA/NFPA.

    The garrity, well, I dont thing that is going to do to much damage trhough my hood and hotshield, and if it burns up, no big deal, disposable.

    I find it safer to have a light on my helmet to avoid falls then a danger form battery explosion and fire on my head.
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    Went and checked ebay again, there are all kinds of band kits. Basic to ones with multitools.

    My kit was good quality, I dont think I could have built a much better one.

    Check them out, some are only 5 bucks.

    http://search.ebay.com/fire-helmet_W0QQsosortpropertyZ1
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    Cool

    I am all for rubber straps on helmets I have one on mine and it is a Cairns 660 and for all you guys trying to figure out how to keep them on try this.

    1. Use a solid band not one thats tied together try using an old semi truck innertube they work the besy for this. cut the band about 2" inches wide and the width around the tube.

    2.To keep it on a modern style helmet try this take the band and run it up over the front brim and take the strap under the faceshield brackets (it will not cause any problems with faceshield operation) and up over the back brim where the helmet starts to form the dome right on the crease.

    If you do this it will stay on and never come off and it holds everything pretty secure and stuff usually stays on.

    But I have to agree that rubber bands are kind of a tradtion in the fire service and there are all kinds of things you can use. I for example use a truckmans belt for everything I wear it on all calls to carry equipment around and leave my hands free I also put a large carabiner on it for hooking onto a ladder or for rappeling.

    Another thing is if you take the truck innertube and cut out 8" inch by 4" inch rectangles and put holes in each end you can loop it over door knobs to keep it from closing on you if they lock when closed it also helps out to keep doors open for easy movement.

    So I guess if it works for you then use it if you don't like it try it and see if it works and if not find a way that suits you.

    Well I guess I covered my thoughts on that anyone here use things for more than one job like a truckmans belt or anything like that?

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