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Thread: do leather helmets pass impact tests better than non-leathers ones?

  1. #61
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Posted by FiremanJBp

    1. HFD is probably repeating what they were "told" about leather, and if I had to wager, I would wager the source is the current supplier of fire helmets.
    Morning Pride, which does not make a leather fire helmet! Surprise surprise! It's like buying a car and the salesman telling you that their competitor's product is junk!

    2. Extreme heat degrades the impact performance of all current helmet materials.
    as well as other things... Glass melts, steel elongates and weakens, aluminum melts, wood burns... what should we use for building materials? Concrete is so... dull!

    3. Again, the key is that appearance cannot be confused with performance. Certain materials, like turnout gear, shows degredation from heat. Others, like leather, Kevlar and fiberglass do not. Just because it holds it shape does NOT mean it will protect you from a brick dropping 2 stories.
    My issued helmet at the Massachusetts Fire Academy is "tactical tupperware".. it is the second one I have had there. They replace a lot of "tactical tupperware" due to....drum roll please...

    severe heat degradation!

    and these are just fires burning straw and pallets in a burn building!

    PS: the helmets are made by....

    Morning Pride!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 12-06-2004 at 10:49 PM.
    ‎"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."
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  2. #62
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    My issued helmet at the Massachusetts Fire Academy is "tactical tupperware".. it is the second one I have had there. They replace a lot of "tactical tupperware" due to....drum roll please...
    One of the advantages of thermoplastic (vs. fiberglass) is that it does show when it is degraded by heat. It bubbles or melts when it has been exposed to high radiant heat, indicating it is not providing the same level of impact protection as it once did. Fiberglass, however, just gets weaker and weaker...although its appearance is unchanged.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

  3. #63
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Your Helmet might be dangerous.

    I just searched google and there are 40,500 sites that reference "Exploding Cows".
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Originally posted by FlyingKiwi
    Your Helmet might be dangerous.

    I just searched google and there are 40,500 sites that reference "Exploding Cows".
    I wonder if they are drinking Pine Sap.

    Originally posted by Samson& Delila
    I would imagine that Houston has done extensive testing of their PPE, just as many large metro departments do.

    They evidently found something wrong with leather helmets.
    Yeah...the cost.

  5. #65
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hfd66truck


    I wonder if they are drinking Pine Sap.



    LOL!! That there's funny!!!!!!!

  6. #66
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    Samson,me boy.Why don't you do a bit more research:ON REED HOODS! And then tell me just how smart HFD is.If I've got to wear a turnout coat over my N6a to enter a building because of heat levels;guess what? I'M NOT GOING! No disrespect to the brothers in Texas but that piece of equipment just puts me into the RDT's and puts my safety flag right into the red zone.I've put my leather into enviornments that were barely habitable and it hasn't exploded into flame yet.And try not to irritate Gonzo,we HAVE been known to make road trips. Hehe T.C.
    Come on over, first round is on me!

    Bring you exploding cow helmets, I want to do some experiments.

    I think the leather guys are missing JBs point.

    Leather helmets, much like fibreglass helmets, do not SHOW heat degredation. Plastic helmets do show it.

    They all have one thing in common...

    Heat, wear and tear, all of that will degrade their performance.

    Some materials will give you visual indicators, some wont.

    BUT, the protection performance of a leather helmet will degrade just as the protection level of any piece of PPE that has been cooked to long on high.

    So, why dont the leather guys just admit the real reason they wear leather helmets...

    They want to be cool, they want the look, they want to have that crusty old traditional image.

    Leather is about image, thats it, end of story.

    If leather helmets realy were superior to synthetic helmets then I do believe that they would be standard across the board.

    You may be able to wear one for you entire career, but I will bet you my beloved Phenix 1500 that it will NOT provide the same level of protection as it did new out of the box. Every time it gets baked or banged it will degrade in its protection level.

    Just physics, chemistry, and common sence.

    If my VFD issued leathers I would wear them, no problem.

    They arnt going to do that because they can buy 4 Phenix 1500s that can be used on wildfire and structure fire for the same price and get the same levels of protection.

    If one gets wrecked, who cares, throw it away, get a new one.

    How many guys hand onto leather lids that have been cooked and banged beyond a safe level just because of cost or because its "cool" to have a crusted piece of dead cow ars on you head.

    -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.

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  7. #67
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FlyingKiwi
    Your Helmet might be dangerous.

    I just searched google and there are 40,500 sites that reference "Exploding Cows".
    Its not the suicide cow bomber helmets you ahve to worry about...

    Its the Cows With Guns.




    http://www.cowswithguns.com/

    Viva La Revolution!!!

    http://www.3dweb.no/galleri/stuestolbm/bilder/anim1.swf

    "Cows Well Done"

    ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY, PUNK?

    -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.

  8. #68
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hfd66truck


    I wonder if they are drinking Pine Sap.



    Yeah...the cost.
    Damn right.

    As a tax payer, Voly Fireman, and fire service grant writer I am firmly of the belief that leather helmets are a luxury.

    If a firefighter wants leather then IMO it is an expense that can come out of his own pocket.

    A 100$ tactical tupperware helmet provides the same protection a 1/4 or 1/5 of the cost.

    I am not a psycho bean counter, but I have had to deal with FDs that can barely aford the basics.

    So IMO if you can get 4-5 fire fighters proper PPE head protection for the cost of one leather helmets its a no brainer.

    Go tactical tupperware, most of them will end up lasting a plently long time.
    -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.

  9. #69
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    Default How about this?

    If you like/can afford/are authorized to wear leather then wear it, if not...don't. After 5 pages of dueling this seems pretty simple to me.
    Last edited by SAFD46Truck; 02-04-2007 at 01:59 AM.

  10. #70
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    LOL, thats ridiculous...



    In any case the cows with guns are soon going to demand that no more leather lids be subjected to firefighting use.

    Vegie burger anybody?
    -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.

  11. #71
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    We are still waiting for your "proof", other than what was posted on the HFD website...
    ‎"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

  12. #72
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    We are still waiting for your "proof", other than what was posted on the HFD website...
    using the same logic, I must ask, is there any proof that leathers perform better than their plastic counterparts? if so, where is the documentation of such proof?

    and btw, I don't have any proof, I just posted what I found on a major metro FD's website.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  13. #73
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    We are still waiting for your "proof", other than what was posted on the HFD website...
    You the one with the leather helmet, you do the experiments!!!



    If you dont like HFDs reasearch, tell them, not me.

    Go Ahead, rake my Hay.



    We are also waiting for proof that leather helmets are superior in their protectio performance, a claim that most dead cow advocates make.

    Still waiting on that axe test Gonzo!

    If you deny that leather helmets can be degraded from heat and physical impacts then you are only fooling yourself, and worse you are putting youself in greater danger by having a helmet, as gizzled and crusty as it may be, which might not meet protection performance standards any longer.

    When are you leather guys going to admit that its just an "image" you are striving for with the leather lids.

    Scientific testing of tupper ware and dead cow have to meet the same standards of protection performance. Both kinds do.

    The ONLY reason to buy a 400$+ leather helmet is to strive for a certain image.

    I personaly dont care about image.

    I do not go to fires to look cool, I go there to fight fire. I dont care whats on my head as long as it protects me. If its gets cooked or banged around I want a new one, I dont take chances when it comes to my bean.
    -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.

  14. #74
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    If you deny that leather helmets can be degraded from heat and physical impacts then you are only fooling yourself,
    Gee, I use a Kevlar Pacific helmet. A few days back a klutz knocked it out of the truck cab onto the ground.

    That fool has put a split in the gel coat exposing the kevlar fibres underneath where my "battle bowler" hit the tarmac.

    Yes, it is being replaced ASAP, as its integrity has been compromised.

    Until the new helmet arrives I am not going ANYWHERE near dead cows.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  15. #75
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default True story...

    I was at work and some guy had an old leather helmet. It had
    a metal band going aorund the rear rim. The leather had
    crumbled and fallen out between the band and rear brim.
    So much for the 'ol "last you your whole career" line.

    I also have to back SamsonFCDES. The leather craze went in
    high gear after 9/11. A lot of people (hundreds in
    California) had to jump on the bandwagon and buy a leather
    just to look the part of some traditional Firefighter.
    The part that kills me the most, leather helmet makers
    (along the other 9/11 item sellers) made lots of money
    on dead firefighters!
    I just cant freaking believe this.
    Its one thing to buy an item just because everyone else does
    (sheep), but to line the pockets of people making money on
    dead brothers is another.

    But Bou- "Its traditional!" Who cares, so is common sense!
    I wont give a poop what helmet you wore 20 years from now
    when you have retired. Sure your neck will be sore, maybe
    the whole idea will have kicked in by now. Takecare of your
    body now and that includes the extra 4-5 pounds you add to
    your head with a leather.

    Plus- Leather is pourous, just like your skin. What do you
    think gets in those pores? Ummmm....haz-mat, smoke, toxins,
    poisons, etc. "But BOU! You paint your leather!" oh great,
    add a flammible product to my helmet. Thats really smart.
    Common sense wins everytime!

    AGAIN AND AGAIN, police dont buy a certain gun to wear on their
    hip just to look cool. They buy a firearm based on function
    and performance. Todays leather helmet is the equal to a .38
    revolver and you dont see many LE officer lugging one of those
    around today.

    Get a clue leather heads. Go for function, not just looks.
    The neck is the most delicate part on the human body. Adding
    a few extra pounds just to look good is NOT worth the slow
    degeneration of it. Ever hear of "C SPINE" and how the littlest
    injury can hurt it?

    Wake up, no one cares how cool it looks. I certainly dont.
    Please impress me with your skills, not your headgear.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-07-2004 at 02:01 PM.

  16. #76
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES


    You the one with the leather helmet, you do the experiments!!!



    If you dont like HFDs reasearch, tell them, not me.

    Go Ahead, rake my Hay.

    [/i]
    As firemanjb stated...HFD is probably spouting the crap that the Morning Pride salesman told them. The company that makes your "beloved" Phenix also makes a leather lid.. and it's a damn nice lid (four of my Brothers just bought them! )

    We are also waiting for proof that leather helmets are superior in their protectio performance, a claim that most dead cow advocates make.

    Still waiting on that axe test Gonzo!


    Your own words....

    "Scientific testing of tupper ware and dead cow have to meet the same standards of protection performance. Both kinds do."

    If you deny that leather helmets can be degraded from heat and physical impacts then you are only fooling yourself, and worse you are putting youself in greater danger by having a helmet, as gizzled and crusty as it may be, which might not meet protection performance standards any longer.
    You are putting words into my mouth. I never said that leather won't degrade. If you take care of your lid... your lid will take care of you... plain and simple.

    When are you leather guys going to admit that its just an "image" you are striving for with the leather lids.
    Yes, it's an image.. and a tradition.. and a part of our history that continues to this very day... so what?

    Scientific testing of tupper ware and dead cow have to meet the same standards of protection performance. Both kinds do.


    Leather is my choice... and I pay for it out of my uniform allowance.

    The ONLY reason to buy a 400$+ leather helmet is to strive for a certain image.

    I personaly dont care about image.

    I do not go to fires to look cool, I go there to fight fire.


    If a firefighter goes to fires to look cool, then he/she isn't doing their job and have no place on the fireground.

    I prefer leather, and I have figured out that all the "tactical pleather" my FD has issued to me since the start of my career has cost the taxpayers about $1200+ dollars just for me alone (I got an average of 3 years out of "tactical pleather". Just about all of my Brothers on the FD have had to have their "tactical pleather" replaced at least once every few years... multiply that by 71 personnel, and you'll find out it isn't exactly chump change!

    My N6A went through three years of hell, and with proper care and maintenance still looks and protects my noggin. I presently use an N5A now, and it is the most comfortable lid I have worn (and I have had a few)

    I dont care whats on my head as long as it protects me. If its gets cooked or banged around I want a new one, I dont take chances when it comes to my bean.


    Ditto...just make mine leather!
    ‎"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

  17. #77
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Look at this...

    Hmmm...This fire looks pretty hot. The desert city of San
    Bernardino, CA gets very hot, granted it is outside. I dont
    see any problems with his helmet. (axe test or not) Looks
    wise, fine. Function- Yup, doing the job and less weight
    on the head and neck. Is he a "Mary?" I am thinking- No.

    He is doing a good job with good NFPA compliant equipment from
    a helmet company that is ISO 9001 certified. That impresses me brothers, doing the job, not the look.

    PS- Please stop trying to water downs the HFD. Look like they
    did their PPE homework and didnt listen to "some salesman".


    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-08-2004 at 10:20 AM.

  18. #78
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Leather is about image, thats it, end of story.
    The ONLY tradition I care about is the tradition of going home safe. Read my earlier post about my experience with TT. That is why I will not wear it.
    "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?

  19. #79
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo

    Your own words....

    "Scientific testing of tupper ware and dead cow have to meet the same standards of protection performance. Both kinds do."

    You are putting words into my mouth. I never said that leather won't degrade. If you take care of your lid... your lid will take care of you... plain and simple.

    Yes, it's an image.. and a tradition.. and a part of our history that continues to this very day... so what?

    Leather is my choice... and I pay for it out of my uniform allowance.

    I prefer leather, and I have figured out that all the "tactical pleather" my FD has issued to me since the start of my career has cost the taxpayers about $1200+ dollars just for me alone (I got an average of 3 years out of "tactical pleather". Just about all of my Brothers on the FD have had to have their "tactical pleather" replaced at least once every few years... multiply that by 71 personnel, and you'll find out it isn't exactly chump change!

    My N6A went through three years of hell, and with proper care and maintenance still looks and protects my noggin. I presently use an N5A now, and it is the most comfortable lid I have worn (and I have had a few)
    OK Gonzo, please tell me how you KNOW that your N6A still offers an adequate level of protection after 3 years of hell.

    Proof?

    Just because it looks good?

    BAH!!!

    Looks mean nothing. It might be as weak as cardboard and you wouldnt know it.

    On the replaceing helmets. The leather helmets that go through 3 years of hell need to be replaced just as badly as the pleather helmets that go through three years of hell. The impact liner of the leather helmets is made from...PLEATHER!!! The leather of the helmet is also weakened by high heat and the beating it takes.

    So either way you look at it you need to replace your helmet after it has been degraded. This can be in as little as 1 fire for any kind of helmet.

    Leather and fiberglass helmets may look good longer, but that doesnt mean they are protecting you better for longer. Plastic at least SHOWS you when its time to get a new lid.
    -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.

  20. #80
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES [/b]


    OK Gonzo, please tell me how you KNOW that your N6A still offers an adequate level of protection after 3 years of hell.

    Proof?

    Just because it looks good?

    BAH!!!

    Looks mean nothing. It might be as weak as cardboard and you wouldnt know it.

    On the replaceing helmets. The leather helmets that go through 3 years of hell need to be replaced just as badly as the pleather helmets that go through three years of hell. The impact liner of the leather helmets is made from...PLEATHER!!! The leather of the helmet is also weakened by high heat and the beating it takes.

    So either way you look at it you need to replace your helmet after it has been degraded. This can be in as little as 1 fire for any kind of helmet.

    Leather and fiberglass helmets may look good longer, but that doesnt mean they are protecting you better for longer. Plastic at least SHOWS you when its time to get a new lid. [/B]
    I take care of my helmets. Cleaned up after every fire, painted after any scuffs occured, and checked on a daily basis every time I went on duty. It also passed the gear inspections performed when taking any live fire training done by the Masachusetts Firefighting Academy, where they take NFPA 1403 and NFPA 1971 seriously.

    Do you really think that I would compromise my safety by wearing my leather lid even if it were severely degraded and damaged? That's why I had so many "tactical pleathers" replaced during my career.
    ‎"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

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