1. #26
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    White - Chief & AC's
    Yellow - Captains
    Red- Full Timers
    Black - Vollies (All were fired 12/31/04)

  2. #27
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    We use

    White = Chief officer
    Red = Co. Officer (Capt or Engineer), some forests give a red helmet to anyone qualified to run the crew.
    Yellow = FF

    We have reflective letters on the side to identify the unit, (BC41, E11 etc) and a sticker with the forest name on the front.

    The handcrews do their own thing, orange, blue, green whatever, the usually have a sticker identifying the crew on the sides.

    To me the big thing with identifying the Chiefs, Co. Officers etc on a scene really comes into use when you do lots of mutual aid, when I arrive on scene it is not unusual to have 3 or 4 agencies working together, some of those resources may be covering from another part of the state or even be from out of state. It sure beats asking everybody I pass who is in charge, I can just go to the first red hat or white hat which usually is more efficient.

    As far as having more than one red hat on the engine, it can be a help to the IC, if an engine rolls up with 3 red helmets out of the 5 on board then at a glance the IC knows he can probably grab 2 of them for overhead positions (OPS , DIV etc) and still leave someone in charge of the crew, compared to an engine with just a captain and 4 FF.
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 11-10-2005 at 03:27 PM.

  3. #28
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    I agree with the traditional approach. We in Memphis follow much of the same system of th FDNY. Why would any color other than black make sense for people entering fire buildings? I used to volunteer for a department that got the bright idea of buying all new helmets so that every rank had a different color helmet. Firefighters and drivers wore black, Lieutenants wore yellow, Captains - red, and Chiefs had white.

    Why?? They argued accountability. The Chiefs stated they wanted to know who they were talking to. This makes no sense to me. If we are face to face you know who I am, if we are not, we are talking over a radio and you call me or I identify myself by assignment and again you know who I am, maybe not personally but 34-A is the officer, 34-B the nozzle man, etc.

    I have never called command and advised them that I was the ________color helmet riding officer on the rig.

    Additionally, you tell me. What color is my helmet, shield, number???
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    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-17-2005 at 11:17 AM.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  4. #29
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    Our system county wide is as follows:
    White-BC and up
    Red-Company officer-Capt, Lt, or Sgt, depending on dept.
    Yellow or Black-Firefighter, different depts use different colors.

    My dept wears 1010s with a shield with our Dept name on it. No company or rank designation on the shield. We used to have magnetic company identifiers, but they fell by the wayside years ago. Our seniority number is on the back of the helmet, and paramedics have stickers on both sides.

    I'm a firefighter that has been an acting Lt for 3 months now. I wear a yellow helmet, and am therefore ignored by every neighboring dept's officer we see on border calls. One of those neighbors actually issues their senior firemen 2 helmets-they get a red one to wear when they are acting Lt

  5. #30
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    Dept #1 - tactical tupperware without fronts
    Chief / Asst Chief - white with title rocker
    Capt / Lt - red with title rocker
    FF - yellow with cert rocker
    explorer - blue with "Explorer" rocker

    Dept #2 - Cairns 1010's with leather fronts
    Chief - white with white front
    Asst Chief - white with black front listing rank
    LT / FF - black with black front listing cert
    the motto of every midnight shift dispatcher - "I'm up - You're up"

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv
    I'm a firefighter that has been an acting Lt for 3 months now. I wear a yellow helmet, and am therefore ignored by every neighboring dept's officer we see on border calls. One of those neighbors actually issues their senior firemen 2 helmets-they get a red one to wear when they are acting Lt
    I've seen that happen alot, I've worked for 3 Federal military departments where the engineers bump up to captain frequently (only 2 platoon so captains days off, vacation etc are covered by the engineers), we ended up doing the same thing at 2 of those departments, an extra red helmet, the third department changed the engineers title to Lt for the same reason, outside agencies often wouldn't treat the acting Co Officer as a Co officer.

    I've seen the same thing with collar brass, the USFS only started using collar brass about 5 years ago, I've seen the difference in treatment, I watched a captain trying to get some info from a group of (non-USFS) firefighters in fire camp, he was pretty much ignored, he went back to the engine got his uniform shirt (with collar brass) and 10 minutes later those FF were all over themselves to help him out.

    Stupid but it seems to be a real issue with some departments.

  7. #32
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    A neighboring department uses their helmets for accountability. They have velcroed passports on the front with their name on the helmet normaly. When they get on the truck, they take their passport off the helmet and stick it to the accountability board on the truck. However, to put their own ID on the board, they must remove the tag that designates the unit. They then place that tag on their helmet.

    It seems useful because, if everyone follows it correctly, their names are all attached to the truck so you know who was riding, and the truck's identification (E1, T1, etc) is on their helmet so that you know whos part of what crew.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartanGuy
    A neighboring department uses their helmets for accountability. They have velcroed passports on the front with their name on the helmet normaly. When they get on the truck, they take their passport off the helmet and stick it to the accountability board on the truck. However, to put their own ID on the board, they must remove the tag that designates the unit. They then place that tag on their helmet.

    It seems useful because, if everyone follows it correctly, their names are all attached to the truck so you know who was riding, and the truck's identification (E1, T1, etc) is on their helmet so that you know whos part of what crew.
    We let the magnetic ones slip out of use because noone ever changed them. Also, it seemed that the times you really wanted to know who was who was when the fire went bad, and in those cases the heat from the fire melted the glue on the magnetic strips anyway

  9. #34
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    We use three basic colours.

    White = Chief Officers
    Red = Line Officers (Capt's/Lt's)
    Yellow = FF's
    Yellow with a Blue Stripe = non-interior certifed probie

    All helmets have reflective arcs with the rank on the side. FF's have reflective "First Responder" arcs if medically certified.

    It makes little difference in the building or individual team assignments, but outside it simply helps additional responding resources, EMS, PD, etc. know who to go talk to, especially if you are not using a vehicle as a command post (with the little green light). As Chief, I also like the ability to tell where my line officers are when I roll up, so I can start planning for RIT and Safety positions as the incident grows (volley dept, so positions are not assigned).
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  10. #35
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    We use:

    Chiefs - White
    Capts./Lt's. - Red w/Rockers
    F/F's - Yellow
    Probies. - Black
    When opening up the roof remember plywood comes in 4' X 8' sheets.

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  11. #36
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    Hey Memphis,

    How do you keep track of your crew in a fire? If I'm another engine in a fire with you how do I know not to tell you to go get me another line?

    We place a letter/number designation on the back of our helmets (reflective) along with the front shield. I do try to at least keep the white number legible on my shield.

  12. #37
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    White for Chief Officers
    Red for Lieutenants
    Black for FF's and Engineers

    Each station has a spare red lid for the Engineer riding as Lt.
    K-9 hunt, the ultimate challange.
    EVERYONE GOES HOME
    IACOJ

  13. #38
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    Engineer - Black
    FF's - Yellow
    Capt's & LT's - Red
    Chief Officers & Safety - White
    Water Supply Officer - Blue

  14. #39
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    We have:

    Chief: white helmet
    Captains: red helmets
    FFs: yellow helmets

    We have a velcro accountability tag on front that goes on the board once you get on the apparatus. FF name is on the back.

    This works for us as a volunteer dept since it allows you to locate the IC quickly just by looking for a white helmet (or red if you know a captain is IC). Being a small department, you know just by helmet color and body size who is who on a call.

    We are too small a department to need to worry about anything more.

  15. #40
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    Here is how it is on my department:
    White - Chiefs
    Red - Captains
    Black/Yellow - Firefighters

    We have a combination of salad bowls and traditional. I wear a 1010 with bourkes and goggles but took the goggles off because I wear glasses and they didn't work right.

    Our Chief leaves the shield design up to the individual firefighter but requires it to say our department name, firefighters name and their radio number. Trust me, you can get pretty unique fronts just from that information. We have accountability tags that have velcro on the back and are afixed to the helmet. On a call you take one off, put it on your truck card, then on scene take another one off and give it to whoever is at the front door so they know who is inside or whatnot.

    Like others have said we know who is who just by looking at them or their helmet. On volunteer departments I don't think you need to get too caught up in all the standardized helmet shield business. Just basic information and a little leeway and you are good to go. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Firefighter/EMT-B
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  16. #41
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    Default Hey Cowtown

    Quote Originally Posted by cowtown
    Hey Memphis,

    How do you keep track of your crew in a fire? If I'm another engine in a fire with you how do I know not to tell you to go get me another line?

    We place a letter/number designation on the back of our helmets (reflective) along with the front shield. I do try to at least keep the white number legible on my shield.
    Hey. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Didn't realize you had posted anything to me.

    I also have a 34 on the back of my lid, but it is as bad as the one on the front. As far as keeping up with my crew, I am sure I use all the same methods you do, I just don't rely on helmet colors or fronts. We have name tags on the tails of our turnouts and we try to maintain crew integrity as much as possible.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  17. #42
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    Just yankin' your chain a little

    We don't have the longer coats so our packs cover our names. This brings to mind a story about a rookie ff who yelled at the Capt. to "Hey give me that ax up here" - the conversation after that was quite interesting!!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610
    Don't wash them off either, every bit of dirt you earn represents an expierence you had that creates a unique identity and shows you are doing the job...helmets need to show a little character. Call me old fashioned.
    I can't believe my eyes! The stuff that turns our gear and helmets black is UNBURNED particles- the same stuff that lines chimneys and cause those nasty chimney fires. Clean your gear man- all of it! There is no disgrace in having clean gear. I personally wash mine after every fire or muddy episode or contact with flammable or hazardous material. A little dirt does not hurt, but soot and toxic materials on your helmet or turnouts could put you in a worse position when you are already in a bad one. I am also very big on my reflectors being visible in case it all goes to hell.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowtown
    Just yankin' your chain a little

    We don't have the longer coats so our packs cover our names. This brings to mind a story about a rookie ff who yelled at the Capt. to "Hey give me that ax up here" - the conversation after that was quite interesting!!

    That's good stuff.

    I was talking to a guy at a course a little while ago who had just recently done a three day ride along with a paid department as part of the recruitment process.

    Towards the end of a call he was helping clean up when he saw a white shirt walking towards him. He figured he should be friendly to the ambulance personnel so he says 'Hey buddy,what's up?'

    The 'ambulance guy' turns to him, fingers his lapel and says "You can refer to me as batallion chief actually"

    whoops.

  20. #45
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    Thumbs up LA = Lower Alabama - Elsanor Fire/Rescue

    Here in Baldwin County we have a greater number of Rural Volunteer Fire departments than Paid/Vol Depts. We have Mutual aid agreements with all the surrounding Volunteer Fire Depts. Helmets can vary from Dept to Dept., But The way we have it is so:
    All Chiefs - White
    Captains & Lt's - Black
    Emt/Firefighters - Blue
    Firefighters - Red
    Jr. Firefighters -Yellow
    All helmets have crests designating rank or Specialty, also on side of helmuts the Station numbers are visable in reflective, and on the back of the helmet the firefighters personal number is visable in reflective numbers also.
    The color of helmets in our dept, and with other depts also, result in a firefighter, of whatever rank of being visable and directions from someone in charge at the scene are recognized as comming an officer. Also the designation of hi visable yellow for our jr. firefighters ensure that they are not directed into any dangerous situations that may exist on scene.
    We supply Bullard Firedomes to all the members of the dept. but, if a firefighter opts for a traditional helmet, then if they wish, they can buy one!
    In reality seeing as we are a volunteer fire dept, almost all of our firefighters wear the Bullard Firedome. Now how about your opinion on boots? ha..ha..
    Captain Steve Williams
    Elsanor Fire/Rescue
    Last edited by TheLineman; 11-27-2005 at 08:48 PM.

  21. #46
    firefighter7160
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    At my dept. ff. and eng. have black helmets, Lt's have red and Capt. and above have White. are dept. has 100 paid personell, but were all close so u know who your working with. As for other dept. its defferent. We dont get outside aid at alot (maybe 2 times a year). But rank here is nothing. At the fire its allhands in. The front shows your rank and engine/truck/rescue company.

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    We all have Ben Franklin II's with Paul Conway Shields.

    Helmets are:

    Chiefs-----White helmet/White shield w/ black numbers
    Captains--Red helmet/White shield w/ black numbers
    Lieut's----Red helmet/White shield w/ black numbers
    FF's------Black helmet/Black shield w/ white numbers

    Works good for us. Looks good too.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  23. #48
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    COWTOWN,

    What station are you working at at FWFD?? I'm processing right now and hopefully will get a call soon...

  24. #49
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    This brings to mind a story about a rookie ff who yelled at the Capt. to "Hey give me that ax up here"
    Well did the Captain get him the axe? I see nothing wrong with the request and the captain should have made everyone's life easier by obliging. Maybe he should have said "hey give me that axe up here please Captain".
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  25. #50
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    Cool

    In my dep. chief=blue
    Cap=orange (thats me)
    Lt=yellow
    FF= black
    Probie= none because they cant respond to any fire until a cert. ff

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