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Thread: Standard or Fitted Turnout Gear?

  1. #26
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    My assistant chief has always needed custom gear....he's about 110 lbs soaking wet and wears, I think, a size 5 bunker boot......

    >>>>Can I have his stuff when he's done with it?

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    OK, I may stand corrected on this one....per NFPA 1971....

    Purchasers of protective clothing should realize that fire fighters have to wear many items of protective clothing and equipment. Any interference by one item with the use of another might result in inefficient operations or unsafe situations. Chest girth, sleeve length, and coat length should be required for protective coats; waist girth, inseam length, and crotch rise should be required for protective trousers; and chest girth, sleeve length, waist girth, outseam length from the underarm to the pant cuff, and trunk length from the base of neck to the crotch fold should be required for protective coveralls. Since manufacturers’ patterns vary, measurement for sizing should be done by the manufacturer’s representative or by a trained person in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper fit.


    I suppose you could interpret that as everyone should have a custom fitting....Would I prefer to issue every firefighter new, fitted gear? Yes. Is that always feasible in a volunteer department? No....

    We were fortunate last year to have a local politician approach us and offer us some extra funding (now that doesn't happen every day!) Seems he still had some Rural Development Grant resources at his disposal and thought of us as a place to spend it (God bless 'im!). I requested $17,000 to outfit 13 members in brand new gear, which was granted. As a result, once our two newest members get their gear in another week or so, it will be the first time that I can recall that everyone in our department has a set of custom-fitted gear.

    Now if we can just manage to replace 4-5 sets per year so they don't all get worn out and need replacement at the same time

    One member earned a nickname when he got his new gear...he's kind of short and thick, so someone joked that his pants were as wide as they are tall....basically square....so they started calling him "Spongebob"....
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 02-26-2005 at 03:20 PM.
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    We get measured for our gear. They take about 8 different measurement. Like somebody else mention just because it is measured for you does not mean it will fit. Different people measure different and they have been know to measure on thing then write down a different number.

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    Everyone at first is issued gear off the racks. Once they become interior or get time in the department and show that they are of some good in another way: they are fitted.
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    when i got my gear i think they pulled it out of the trash lol but i see that the longer that you are there the better the gear you have (even though the new guys have to do all the dirty work) i think that fitted gear it safer though you can erform better in it

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    The most important piece of equipment any department has is their personnel. Those big, expensive red trucks won't go anywhere without them. They also won't come back from anywhere without them. Just bear that in mind when dealing with the bean counters.

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    Rookies wear what's on the Rookie rack until training is completed, then they get thier own set ordered.

    It's not fully custom tailored, but it is fitted with off-the-rack sizes (i.e. exact waist and leg size, coat size, etc). Pants are measured in inches, such as 36 waist, 32 leg, and coats are measured in inches across the chest, with either standard or tall length.

    No one has complained about it, but they haven't tried tailored gear to compare it to either.
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    Nobody could afford custom fitted gear. In fact, when you get measured they merely take those measurements and find the closest fit to the Off-The-Shelf product they have. So when some sales guy tells you that they custom fit their gear they are blowing smoke. Only difference is that some gear comes in the alpha (S, M, L, XL, 2X) sizes while others come in the numeric (42, 44, 46, 48) sizes. Key here is to make sure the gear fits comfortably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Nobody could afford custom fitted gear. In fact, when you get measured they merely take those measurements and find the closest fit to the Off-The-Shelf product they have. So when some sales guy tells you that they custom fit their gear they are blowing smoke. Only difference is that some gear comes in the alpha (S, M, L, XL, 2X) sizes while others come in the numeric (42, 44, 46, 48) sizes. Key here is to make sure the gear fits comfortably.
    You may be right for manufacturer supplied gear, but many larger departments do maintain in-house tailoring staff to customize the gear.

    One of my past boys who is now with Brampton Ontario Fire was just visiting and explained how he has had his custom tailored a couple of times since joining. It's a very easy process for them, and they basically fit and tailor the gear however the FF wants it.

    Not very practical for those of us in the boonies however, who may not have easy access to professional seamstresses/tailors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firenresq77 View Post
    We all get measured........
    Thats us too ! fitted !
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    Default Standard or Fitted turn out gear?

    I am a 41 yr. old female rookie in a very small volunteer fire dept. I have always wanted to join the National Forest Service to fight forest fires, but I moved to Iowa and Fire Fighting is the closest to that. I have completed my Haz Mat training and am patiently waiting for Fire Fighter I to be offered ( once a year) I have been on the dept. for 10 months. I also have an issue with turn out gear that fits. Our fire fighters have gear that is a couple years old and the rookies are suppose to wear the used black turnout gear which is fine except that I have tried on every pair of black turnout gear in the station and none of it fits. The station has 4 sets of the newer gear that is not being used do to people leaving the dept. One set fits me fairly well, so there is no need for the dept. to buy any new gear for me. Our Cheif says that the two new rookies can't wear the new gear because it is tan and he wants to be able to "identify us as Rookies and we do not get to be around the fire anyway." I am concerned about safety only and I feel I can't wear pants that are painted on and I can't bend in, nor can I wear gear that the crotch is down to my knees. Any suggestions? the cheif threw a fit when the dept bought me new boots size 7 mens so I reimbured the dept. Some officers agree that the two rookies should be allowed to use that newer gear because it's just sitting around anyway and the Cheif disagrees.

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    Our Cheif says that the two new rookies can't wear the new gear because it is tan and he wants to be able to "identify us as Rookies and we do not get to be around the fire anyway."

    Maybe if you were to wear a different colored helmet (red, light blue, orange, etc.) the officers could identify you as rookies without your FF1 training.
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    Oh boy,.. Case and point right here...

    Ok,. I'm a new volunteer and I know I'm not going to get new gear until I graduate FF1. But I had a huge problem with my gear being too small this weekend. I'm a muscular guy and no gear in storage in my department fits me properly. I understand budget concerns about buying everyone new gear, but why can't local and/or regional fire departments work together in some kind of trading program with their older gear like on a private list or something? I asked about this at my department and I was told we couldn't do that cause of the lettering on the jackets. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure lettering can be removed just as easy as it was put on. If the used gear is just going to sit around and collect dust until someone joins and can fit into it, I don't see why it couldn't be traded with another department to be of some use for all the rookies who join up no matter where they are stationed at, especially in a time where money is tight in a poor economy. Any other departments have any thoughts on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Station8firefighter View Post
    Oh boy,.. Case and point right here...

    Ok,. I'm a new volunteer and I know I'm not going to get new gear until I graduate FF1. But I had a huge problem with my gear being too small this weekend. I'm a muscular guy and no gear in storage in my department fits me properly. I understand budget concerns about buying everyone new gear, but why can't local and/or regional fire departments work together in some kind of trading program with their older gear like on a private list or something? I asked about this at my department and I was told we couldn't do that cause of the lettering on the jackets. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure lettering can be removed just as easy as it was put on. If the used gear is just going to sit around and collect dust until someone joins and can fit into it, I don't see why it couldn't be traded with another department to be of some use for all the rookies who join up no matter where they are stationed at, especially in a time where money is tight in a poor economy. Any other departments have any thoughts on this?
    Having a regional gear pool is great idea. Except those guys like Janesville, and those guys want globe, and those guys want viking. Then it becomes a function of who pays what. Add on the complications that some departments are private entities and others are government owned and it becomes a huge mess.

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    Deleted. Didn't check the date on the thread. Sorry.
    Last edited by Chenzo; 03-23-2010 at 02:34 PM. Reason: I'm an idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
    That's terrible logic. We have a guy on the department who is legally a little person. He just got his, jeez probably 3rd or 4th set of custom gear, and Thorogood custom made boots for him too.

    Just because no one after you can wear it is a terrible excuse for not being properly fitted for turn out gear.
    Actually, very few fire fighters will get truly custom fitted gear. 99% will get the gear that is standard sized and on the shelf. Very few will get a custom size. Even the extremely small and extremely large will still get standard sizes, they just aren't stocked on the shelf. You might get custom gear if you are 6'10" and 180 pounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Actually, very few fire fighters will get truly custom fitted gear. 99% will get the gear that is standard sized and on the shelf. Very few will get a custom size. Even the extremely small and extremely large will still get standard sizes, they just aren't stocked on the shelf. You might get custom gear if you are 6'10" and 180 pounds.
    What do you base this on? Every FD I have ever been on evolved to buying custom fit turnout gear. Including my current small rural village VFD.

    The benefit of custom fit gear simply vastly outweighs the cost savings of poor fitting standard sized gear. It allows for far more efficient work than poor fitting either too big or too small standard sized gear. AND, it actually lasts longer because you aren't walking on too long legs.

    My vote, custom fit turn out gear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    What do you base this on? Every FD I have ever been on evolved to buying custom fit turnout gear. Including my current small rural village VFD.

    The benefit of custom fit gear simply vastly outweighs the cost savings of poor fitting standard sized gear. It allows for far more efficient work than poor fitting either too big or too small standard sized gear. AND, it actually lasts longer because you aren't walking on too long legs.

    My vote, custom fit turn out gear.
    The 2 years or so that I was selling fire fighting equipment. Many salesman will telly you it is custom fitted. All they do is take the measurements and get the best fit form the standard sizes.

    If you look at the labels the coats will say something like size 46. Pants will be something like 40X32. The turn out gear is mass produced, building custom fitted gear would be cost prohibitive. And if I recall, something like 80% of the people fit in something like 15 or 20 different sizes. Boots are the same way, most people wear a size 10 or 11. Followed by 9 and 12. After that they are rare. I did sell a couple of 14 and at least one 4.

    Viking is a very large company and has most of the standard sizes setting on the shelves in a warehouse in Florida. Hence they can deliver within 30 days of the order. Very small and very large sizes will take some time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The 2 years or so that I was selling fire fighting equipment. Many salesman will telly you it is custom fitted. All they do is take the measurements and get the best fit form the standard sizes.

    If you look at the labels the coats will say something like size 46. Pants will be something like 40X32. The turn out gear is mass produced, building custom fitted gear would be cost prohibitive. And if I recall, something like 80% of the people fit in something like 15 or 20 different sizes. Boots are the same way, most people wear a size 10 or 11. Followed by 9 and 12. After that they are rare. I did sell a couple of 14 and at least one 4.

    Viking is a very large company and has most of the standard sizes setting on the shelves in a warehouse in Florida. Hence they can deliver within 30 days of the order. Very small and very large sizes will take some time.
    Really? What haven't you done?

    If gear is "sitting on the shelves" as you say... then a 30 day delivery time is unacceptable. They should be able to ship within a day or 2 of the reciept of the order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Really? What haven't you done?

    If gear is "sitting on the shelves" as you say... then a 30 day delivery time is unacceptable. They should be able to ship within a day or 2 of the reciept of the order.
    There really isn't much I haven't done....Some things I do a lot and much better, some things I just do. I can tell you this, I haven't drove an over the road rig; YET.

    Typically, the gear arrives in a couple of weeks. Just like anything they put a 30 day delivery time to give some slack. When I worked at the Home Depot people would special order things. If the book said a 7 day delivery I told them 14. When it comes in early they are happy' let it come in late and they scream up a storm.

    I recall one jackass who ordered metal roofing the week before Thanksgiving, around here that is awful late to be putting on a roof. He was told 14 working days for delivery. Note the working days part of it. That means weekends and holidays don't count. 14 days later (not working days) he was in looking for his roofing, which obviously wasn't there yet. Even on a normal week without the Holiday it wouldn't have been in. The guy got all P.O.ed whined cried complained, until the store manager gave him an option, wait or take a refund; your choice. He took the refund.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    There really isn't much I haven't done....Some things I do a lot and much better, some things I just do. I can tell you this, I haven't drove an over the road rig; YET.

    Typically, the gear arrives in a couple of weeks. Just like anything they put a 30 day delivery time to give some slack. When I worked at the Home Depot people would special order things. If the book said a 7 day delivery I told them 14. When it comes in early they are happy' let it come in late and they scream up a storm.

    I recall one jackass who ordered metal roofing the week before Thanksgiving, around here that is awful late to be putting on a roof. He was told 14 working days for delivery. Note the working days part of it. That means weekends and holidays don't count. 14 days later (not working days) he was in looking for his roofing, which obviously wasn't there yet. Even on a normal week without the Holiday it wouldn't have been in. The guy got all P.O.ed whined cried complained, until the store manager gave him an option, wait or take a refund; your choice. He took the refund.
    The more you post, the more I realize that you are an artist... and your medium is male bovine excrement...
    sbainphoto likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    The more you post, the more I realize that you are an artist... and your medium is male bovine excrement...
    Look, don't take my word for it. Go check your gear and tell me how many sets have custom measurements in them? You try so hard to make me look bad that you end up looking the fool. This isn't the first thread where you have succeeded at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Look, don't take my word for it.
    Your "word" is worthless.. why would anyone take it?

    You try so hard to make me look bad...
    You make it so easy....
    ‎"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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    Hmmn,All I KNOW is mine is CUSTOM.Looks right,hangs right,works right. Feels just like my Carhart coat. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Really? What haven't you done?

    If gear is "sitting on the shelves" as you say... then a 30 day delivery time is unacceptable. They should be able to ship within a day or 2 of the reciept of the order.



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