Thread: Gear Color

  1. #1
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    Default Gear Color

    Anybody have any information on turn-out gear color? With that I mean with regards to safety (visibility, heat, etc)

    I realize all gear meets certain reflective standards, but we are contemplating switching away from black to either yellow or tan. Some members believe they would be safer in either of those colors vs. our current black. We spend alot of time at motor vehicle incidents (car fires, accidents, etc) and they feel they would be more visible with the lighter outside shell combined with NFPA standards for reflective striping. They also feel that 'basic knowledge' should tell you that anything is cooler then black in the summer time.

    Anybody have any thoughts or hard facts on this. I apologize if this was discussed before, I didn't get a chance to do a search and I wanted to get some folks reading this so I have some info to go back to the station with.

    thanks

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    My department is in the process of switching everyone over to Tan, my opinion: I like the tan, its alittle cooler in the summer, and it shows dirt alot easier, so everyone knows when its time to throw it in the wash!!!

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    Hey pal. You may want to look at Project FIRES or contact some manufacturers. I am sure that they will have the hard facts you are looking for.

    My opinion, #1. As long as the gear is marked as it is supposed to be with reflective trim I can't see the color of the gear itself making that big of a difference as far as visibility. #2. Although black turnouts cover dirt better they also discolor to red when exposed to high heat making it easy to see when repairs or replacement is neccessary. #3. When its hot outside, its gonna be hot whether your in tan, white, black, purple, green, or yellow turnouts. They are hot because of the bulk and layers, not because the exterior shell might be a few degrees higher because the black is absorbing more heat from the sun. Being from NJ, you could probably use that to your advantage. Lots of cold time there too.
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    Arrow

    We wear red...it's hard to miss someone in red from head to toe...

    BUT, sometimes I think people see us when directing traffic and think, "Red...hmmmm...BULLSEYE!!! 20 points to the first person to take it out!"
    IACOJ

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    Black may be more visible in some situations as it would provide a stronger colour contrast to the reflective tape.
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    Originally posted by Co11FireGal
    We wear red...it's hard to miss someone in red from head to toe...
    Must admit I've never seen red gear used anywhere. But it would certainly stand out.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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    We wear light tan. We wore dark tan/maroon before and yellow before that. As long as you got your reflective striping, I've never noticed a difference..


    I've seen red gear. It's downright annoying.
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    Thanks Weruj... I knew I could count on you to do that to me.

    At least you didn't give me the old "pardon me but I think we're over here..." line.

    I didn't have time this morning to do a search and in case the dead horse hadn't been beaten yet (what was I thinking... ) I wanted to get the ball rolling and get some input.

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    Naw................those were all old threads ..wasnt like someone had one goin and someone started another ........ hope it helped.
    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)
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    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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    We recently recieved a FEMA grant to upgrade our turnouts which were about 15 years old. We had yellow turnouts that had an orange relflective stripe. The new ones are made from ADVANCE fabric and are a dark tan color and have the flourescent yellow triple trim stripes. I personally like them better as they make us considerably more visible both during the day and night. (the yellow had a tendency to wash out in bright sunlight making you less visible). They are much easier to keep clean as dirt does show up letting you know when you need to wash them, but any remaining stains are not visible.

    As for red gear...Coralville FD, which is a suburb of Iowa City uses red gear and it certainly makes them very visible. I think it looks pretty good too...however, I believe the dyeing process may cost more.

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    Here in St Gabriel, a residential and industrial city just south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we all wear red gear.

    Here I am in my santa suit a few years back. Need to get a updated picture.
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    The city of Naples wears a color that is considered to be rust colored. Tried to find a picture, but could not.

    The problem with colored fabric is this. When you get away from Khaki, yellow and white, you are getting away from natural colors. This means the fabric is dyed. When you expose the fabric to high heat (radiant or otherwise) and then get it wet, the dye tends to "run out" of the fabric and leave a discoloration. While this does not damage the integrity of the gear, it does make it look like crap.
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    If you are worried about being seen along the highway I don't think it matters what color you wear. I have notice the tan and yellow just blend in with the grass and trees, especially if they are a little dirty or faded. As far as the reflective stripe goes if it gets discolored or torn then it obviously losses it attention getting ability.We contacted the state highway garage and they gave us some of their traffic vest that we wear on auto accident, auto fires, or any incident were we operate close to the roadway. We do not put them on until the auto fire is out (that is if you are on the hoseline). This has given us the best visability. We have tan with yellow triple trim.

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    Hey, I remember seeing some red 3/4 boots back in the day

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    Careful,them's fishin' boots! T.C.

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    We had black, went to tan, and are going back to black....Not sure the reasoning behind it, though.

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    Lightbulb

    Personally I would concern my self with the type of material that youíre using over color. PBI seems to be the top in thermal protection and rip/tear resistance. PBI can come in tan or black. Road way safety is more than what color youíre wearing. Training on safety while on the road way is better and cheaper than replacing all of your departments gear.

    Thatís just my two cents though.

    Dennis

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    ..........
    Last edited by StLRes2cue; 11-16-2005 at 11:01 PM.

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    PBI while providing excellent heat qualities is NOT the top material for tear/abrasion resistance.That quality goes to Millenia,hands down.As far as going black and never looking back,we recently changed OUT of black and I don't believe we'll be going back. T.C.

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    I have heard of mellenia, but PBI already wears like iron.

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    Dennis,Don't take my word for it.Do a search of this subject on these forums.Then get Globes material conparison kit.I don't care if you buy Globe gear but the Flame and abrasion tests are a real eye opener.If you think PBI's tough,I can't wait 'til you get your hands on the test samples.Form your own opinion but I think you're in for a surprise. T.C.

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    We wear yellow and we look like a bunch of ripe bananas running around ..... wishin'I had Cellblock's gear as I could use it as my Santa suit on our Christmas ride-around.

    Personnally I like tan... it looks professional and offers fair visability, but as has been said before, be more concerned with the fit and durability of the gear, especailly if your department does not have the funds for frequent replacement. Another thing to consider is where is your closest service facility, and what is the turnaround for repairs. This can be a very important chunk of information, especially if you don't plan on having a lot of spare gear around. Ask around ... don't rely on the salesman to tell ya .. he'll tell ya what you want to hear.

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    Talking

    Rescue 101, I will find out all about mellinia first hand in a few weeks time. I am going to Iraq and that is what the gear I'll be issued is made of. I have looked up vareous materials through Morning Prides website and it states that basickly this stuff seems like super PBI. Hope it's all that it's cracked up to be.

    Stay safe
    Dennis

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    Default Gear Color

    I believe that black offers the advantage of slightly better wear, and shows when fabric degradation occurs.

    It seems far more important to choose your outer shell and liner system to suit your enviornment.

    Salesmen will sell you aluminum foil if you are a "mark" for it.

    THE most important thing to consider is the fit. Does the manufacturer offer custom fit provisions?? and are the appropriate measurements taken?? Some cheaper stuff has lame fitting qualities.
    Poor crotch cut, binding areas, etc. And check out the compression qualities too.

    Do not fall for all that leather-suede crap on the elbows, shoulders, etc. Holds more weight from water. Ever see worn out elbows?? Probably not.
    I did extensive research,and paid big$$$ for my PPE.
    Remember....fit over fabric, if that is the choice. Fit directly effects your mobility, stress, and safety.
    And ask about the use of pvc foam in the liners.
    See Morning Prides web site.

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