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Thread: Standard or Fitted Turnout Gear?

  1. #21
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    We fit all our senior members for new gear- in the end we get less complaints and it creates fewer problems when members are properly fitted for their gear.
    Brookside Engine Company, (NJ)-Captain
    Morristown(NJ) Fire Department-FF
    Mendham Township First Aid(NJ)-EMT- Officer

    These views are my own and do not reflect those of these departments


  2. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    The current thinking is that since I am so small, there wouldn't be anyone to use my gear after I leave and that would be a waste of money.
    All the more reason to custom fit the gear. If a person is of "average" size and build it's probably pretty easy to fit them off the shelf, or with spare stuff laying around. But as soon as a new member walks through the door who's 5'3", 110lbs, or at the other end of the spectrum, 6'8" 350, it should be a given that you're going to have to bite the bullet and get them properly fitted for gear.

    My suspenders are knotted in the back and crossed over in the front.
    That just wrong Someone in authority should step in and make sure you get fitted for some proper gear.

    One local vendor was telling me a story of a department near here. They have a member who's not just short, he truly qualifies as a "little person" (like maybe 4' tall). Naturally, he had to be custom fitted for gear. The chief of this department was telling the salesman that one time at a structure fire, some old biddy on the street approached the chief and dressed him down, telling him he should be ashamed of himself and that he shouldn't have children fighting a dangerous fire like that The chief patiently explained that the firefighter in question was 23 years old....

    My assistant chief has always needed custom gear....he's about 110 lbs soaking wet and wears, I think, a size 5 bunker boot......
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  3. #23
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we all get fitted, you just gotta hope the person measuring you knows what they are doing......
    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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  4. #24
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    Exclamation It's about EVERYONE'S safety

    It's about time we demand EVERY firefighter be custom fitted!!! I know, I know, that's not how it works around here, kid. Keep your mouth shut and do what you're told. BUT to me this is a safety issue NOT a comfort issue!!! What good is a FF next to me whose gear is so loose that I can slide a soda can down their pants? They can't even climb down a ladder properly! The right turnout gear is as important to the entire group on duty with this individual as it is with the actual individual wearing the improper gear.Remember the old saying," A team is only as strong as its weakest player". Also, I know the budget for the FIRE ACT grants keeps getting smaller and smaller each year but why can't each dept. apply for a grant through The U.S. Department of Homeland Security for their turnout gear needs? Almost everyone agrees that their department doesn't have the funding or budget approval to spend money on such an "unnecessary" item. If it comes down to the bottom line(money)and it always does, then it is my belief that every single Fire Dept. in The U.S. should aggressively seek the necessary funding through The FIRE ACT to properly prepare and fit their personnel with clothing that provides comfort AND safety for all!!!
    Last edited by RESERVE172; 02-21-2005 at 11:52 PM.

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    I agree that everyone should have a safe, comfortable set of gear. I got some new gear recently and was surprised to find that the pants had "takeup" straps to adjust the waist size.

    My old pants had something similar, but as far as I could tell they were only "let out" straps...I could never get them to work in the other direction
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  6. #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?

  7. #27
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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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.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  8. #28
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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.

  9. #29
    Forum Member FiftyOnePride's Avatar
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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.
    JLS
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  10. #30
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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

  11. #31
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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.

  12. #32
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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.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  13. #33
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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.

  14. #34
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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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.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  15. #35
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firenresq77 View Post
    We all get measured........
    Thats us too ! fitted !
    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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    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.

  17. #37
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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.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
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    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
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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?

  19. #39
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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.

  20. #40
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
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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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