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Thread: Standard or Fitted Turnout Gear?

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    MembersZone Subscriber AFD368's Avatar
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    Default Standard or Fitted Turnout Gear?

    Are you measured for your turnout gear or issued standard (S M L XL etc.) gear? Also, there are many female firefighters. Are the females wearing smaller size "men's or standard" gear or are they issued or purchasing proportionate fitting turnouts?

    My first set of turnout gear, that I purchased, was a quick measure and a standard set of gear. The gear I have been issued in my department was measured to fit properly.

    Our department's policy is you get issued what's on the rack until completeing your basic and probation, then they will have you fitted for your gear.
    "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."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    We all get measured........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    In our department you get whatever we have around. Wish we had the money to get everyone fitted gear. Only way you get new gear is if you completely ruin the set you have.

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    former FH.com member
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    During drill school you are initially given old gear to use. By the time you get to the live burns your personal fitted gear has been issued to you.

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    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    We're on a cycle. 1/4 of the department gets new fitted gear every every year. You have your gear for four years, basically.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    The NFPA Standard for gear suggests that you should be properly fitted. To me that means you should not be given stock gear. I understand the part about going to the academy with used gear. But when you get your permanent gear you should be measured and the gear custom fit.

    Be wary of those that say they measure you for custom gear. Take not of your measurements and see what you get when you receive it. If you are measured for a 44 coat and 34" sleeve, and receive gear that says Lg/R in the size or 44R in the size it IS NOT custome gear. It you paid for it...demand it...

    Stock shelf gear has two standard sleeve lengts of 30 and 33 (Long or regular) and the pants have lengths of 29 and 33 (Long and regular) If any gear you have has this type of markings, it is not custom.

    Custom gear will take 6-8 weeks to deliver and in some cases, dealers will hold stock orders that long to make you think it is custom.

    Custome gear is measured so that your hips and other areas, especially sleeves and inseam are proper. It fits better, is more comfortable and will last longer because it is properly fitted.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Custom fit here.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

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    I would like to see it our policy to cutome fit members as they join. Cost prohibits that, so we issue existing gear to the new firefighters. We try to buy 10 sets of tailored gear a year.

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    Custom, like captstanm1 said it is in the NFPA.
    For the first 15 years I wore gear off the shelf, so I don't think it is that big of a deal, but it should fit you.

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    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Depchief135...If you analyze the cost of fitted vs stock, you will see that there is not that much difference in cost and it is to your benefit to do it that way.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
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    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    By today's management standards and quality improvement and all the other new management methods I believe its important to make everyone one feel important. You do this by making them all individuals. And what a better place to start than at the bunker!

    Measure everyone! Give them all their own equipment. Invest in them like you want them to invest in you!

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    In our dept, you get what fits off the shelf until gear can be ordered. We use Quaker they ask for specific measurements, for each individual. Now I had my set ordered and it didn't fit, I had to use a spare coat that we ordered in a genaric size, which fit perfectly. Just last summer I ordered a set for me personally and got gear that was Large coat, XL Pants, with inseam adjustment, that stuff fit better than what I was custom ordered. So as long as the gear isn't too small I don't see a problem with stanard sizes, and most mfg. will do some adjustment if you need extra sleeve length or other modifications. I guess the best advice is get sets of the gear to try on when the dealer comes to do sizing, make sure you tell them where extra is needed and where it isn't.

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    Ours is standard, which is a pain in the butt for me as I have to wear a coat that is about 3 sizes too large to get the right sleeve length - there's almost enough room in there for another person - tandem firefighting anyone?
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firefighterbeau
    In our dept, you get what fits off the shelf until gear can be ordered. We use Quaker they ask for specific measurements, for each individual. Now I had my set ordered and it didn't fit, I had to use a spare coat that we ordered in a genaric size, which fit perfectly. Just last summer I ordered a set for me personally and got gear that was Large coat, XL Pants, with inseam adjustment, that stuff fit better than what I was custom ordered. So as long as the gear isn't too small I don't see a problem with stanard sizes, and most mfg. will do some adjustment if you need extra sleeve length or other modifications. I guess the best advice is get sets of the gear to try on when the dealer comes to do sizing, make sure you tell them where extra is needed and where it isn't.
    How do you like that Quaker gear? Is it holding up?? We've had it for about two years now and so far no complaints.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

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    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    there are many female firefighters. Are the females wearing smaller size "men's or standard" gear or are they issued or purchasing proportionate fitting turnouts?
    I am wearing men's small size standard gear. It doesn't fit that great. Put it this way; the last Chief dropped a can of pop down my pants while I was wearing them. I shook my leg, out dropped the can and I handed it to him. My boots were 2 sizes too big so that when I climbed a ladder I needed to be careful that my foot was on the rung not just my boot. I now have new boots after a certain FF caught me on a "rapid unscheduled descent." My suspenders are knotted in the back and crossed over in the front.

    The end result of my wonderful gear?? Literally ashes in my underwear.

    Some of the guys have custom fit. I doubt I will get any unless something drastic happens. 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.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ROOKIELZ


    I am wearing men's small size standard gear. It doesn't fit that great. Put it this way; the last Chief dropped a can of pop down my pants while I was wearing them. I shook my leg, out dropped the can and I handed it to him. My boots were 2 sizes too big so that when I climbed a ladder I needed to be careful that my foot was on the rung not just my boot. I now have new boots after a certain FF caught me on a "rapid unscheduled descent." My suspenders are knotted in the back and crossed over in the front.

    The end result of my wonderful gear?? Literally ashes in my underwear.

    Some of the guys have custom fit. I doubt I will get any unless something drastic happens. 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.
    The waste of money would be to pay the hospital bill for injuries recieved because your gear did not fit properly and could not protect you at a fire.

    Feel free to point this out to your "chief".
    ‎"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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    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    The waste of money would be to pay the hospital bill for injuries recieved because your gear did not fit properly and could not protect you at a fire.

    Feel free to point this out to your "chief".


    Well, as I mentioned, I finally got new boots. As for the rest, I get the old "isn't she cute; she's playing firefighter" smile. I'll have 4 years in April and council and the Chief STILL don't think I'll last on the Dept.

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    MembersZone Subscriber AFD368's Avatar
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    First off, Thank you ROOKIELZ for being the first female to respond to this thread. I was initially hoping to get more responses from the girls, just to see if they have the same problems that you are having.

    In our county, there are numerous female firefighters, some of them being very small in size. As they hold their own with the big boys, most of their departments have gotten them gear that fits. Not to say that their gear is custom, but they have found small enough sizes so most of them are not tripping over themselves.

    In my department, we have two very active females. One has custom gear while the other is waiting to finish probation and have a set ordered. We also have two or three female explorers who eventually will be on our roster.
    "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."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Dave1983, I bought my first set 4 years ago for college and it was a really good set of gear. Then another department started buying Quaker and they have had really good luck with it. We have only had our stuff for just over a year now. When sizing Quaker gear they take a chest measurement and a belly measurement, if the belly measurement is larger, make sure that is the size coat you get. When they ordered mine they took the smaller of the 2. The personal set of gear I bought is Fyrepel so far so good on that gear also.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    The NFPA Standard for gear suggests that you should be properly fitted. To me that means you should not be given stock gear.
    While I'm not about to quote NFPA book, chapter, and verse, I believe the intention is simply that protective gear should fit properly. "Fit properly" does not necessarily mean "custom fitted", despite what the vendors might tell you. If it's necessary to custom fit someone to get a proper fit, then do so, but if they can get a proper fit with "off the shelf" gear I think that's OK too.

    That being said, when I first started in this department I was issued whatever they could piece together out of the back room. Pants and coats were often mismatched, sometimes damaged, always used. Eventually with some better funding we were able to get everyone new fitted gear. Nowadays when a new guy joins up we do fit him temporarily with gear out of storage (which is still in WAY better condition than the stuff I started with), but once he has completed his probationary period he is fitted for a new set (we do like to at least feel assured that he'll stick around a while before we drop a lot of dough on new gear).
    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."
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