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    Question question

    the other day i was watching the news and it showed a department with the ff's wearing black turnout gear. i thought dark colors absorb heat. i am not a firefighter yet. i am just about to be 15, and then at 16 i become a cadet for the fd here, so i don't know everything about it. just wondering about the turnout gear color.

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    Black does absorb heat, but I don't think that the color really affects the performance of the turnout gear. Many places have black turnouts. I have seen though in black turnouts the material turning a reddish/maroon in certain spots. I think that this is due to extreme heat, but I am not sure as there are MANY people out there smarter than me. Hopefully this helped you a little bit.
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    thats a good question, i know that my burn gear is black and i really can't tell much of a difference heat wise. i think it may be more style than anything, and with the black gear it is very easy to keep it uniform.

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    not sure really if theres any difference, my department uses black turnout gear and we dont have a problem with it. i think its black absorbs sunlight not just heat itself
    NJ FFII/EMT-B

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    Default Black Turnout Gear

    Quote Originally Posted by jakebty
    the other day i was watching the news and it showed a department with the ff's wearing black turnout gear. i thought dark colors absorb heat. i am not a firefighter yet. i am just about to be 15, and then at 16 i become a cadet for the fd here, so i don't know everything about it. just wondering about the turnout gear color.
    I think that you are on to something here! Shouldn't we be using bright clothing to be able to see the firefighters in all conditions? I believe you will see bright colors used in European countries more than here. I think they have figured it out!

    Keep up the good posts, you are on the right path!

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    My gear is a set of black turnouts. The coat is rather old however, and has seen its fair share of fires, so its actully a light maroon color in many places on the coat. As far as absorbing sunlight, it keeps me nice and toasty on winter days, but no warmer than regular turnouts in the summer.

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    like i said, i'm 14 so sometimes i may have questions.

    for bummer: you are right. there are different colors of smoke but usually i guess it would be black. they should have lighter colors on their gear so they are able to be seen better.

    what is your opinion on the color of trucks and engines? i just moved to iowa. the town i'm in has the traditional red trucks. but i moved from fort wort texas. they have a white background with a blue stripe going down the middle. yet it has been proven that people see yellow and green faster than red. what is your opinion? just wondering

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    Talking

    and now for one of my favorite sayings:
    A red firetruck? who ever heard of a red firetruck? EVERYONE knows they are supposed to be green!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakebty
    yet it has been proven that people see yellow and green faster than red. what is your opinion? just wondering
    That's why fire trucks are supposed to be YELLOW!

    Regarding the black turnout gear....besides it being more traditional, I think one consideration, at least in busy departments, is that it won't show all the soot and grungy stuff that turnout gear inevitably gets on it. I don't think the heat is much of a consideration....hot is hot, whether your gear is black or yellow.

    Also, the fading you're seeing (maroon or red spots) may be due to heat exposure, but it may also be due to ultraviolet rays breaking down the material and causing fading.....is the gear often stored in direct sunlight (back seat of a car or even hanging in an engine bay)? Is it just in distinct spots or kind of all over? Might be UV rays.....
    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"

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    The color of your turnout gear and your apparatus are mostly a matter of personal preference. When I say personal, of course I'm referring to your chief's and city fathers' preferences. I guess you'll have to wear or ride on what they give you, no matter what color it is.

    During my career, I've worn black, yellow, and tan gear. Personally, I think what makes the biggest difference is not the color, but the design & construction of the gear and the materials that the gear is made from. For example, when I started in the fire service, vapor barriers were mostly made out of neoprene rubber. Talk about HOT and SWEATY. Today, most vapor barriers are made from GoreTex material. Believe me, GoreTex is a lot more comfortable.

    As for trucks, the department I'm with now drives traditional red. The department where I spent most of my career has apparatus that is white with blue stripes. The chief recently tried to change over to red, but there was such an outcry from the firefighers and the community, that he had to change his mind. The truck they are about to have delivered is white.

    We can debate apparatus colors until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, it's up to the powers that be in your department what color your trucks are.

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    Wait, you mean there are firetrucks out there that aren't red? Why would someone do that?

    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    in my opinion, it shouldn't matter what color they are as long as they get the job done. that is their main purpose, right?

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    DM, is right. When black gear starts to turn reddish it is from either extreme heat exposure or UV rays. Either way it is telling you that the material may no longer provide the optium protection. You will notice with the reflective bands on your gear that when they start to melt or turn colors that your equipment has been exposed to a higher level than designed for. Now this is not to say that the equipment is ruined and you should be running to your officer complaining everytime, however when you find it you should report it and see what may be able to be done about it. Also if you get hand me downs and notice any of this report it. If you are not an entry level person, no worries. However as you are around this a little longer you will begin to see what is and is not acceptable, and at some time your gear may reach a point where if the boss is not listening you might have to adjust tactics. I will try to find some pic.s of degraded gear to show some examples of equipment that is questionable. If anyone finds them before me, please post.

    Disclaimer: Most everyone here knows not to go screaming to the boss if you find these problems, but for those of you who may not. Caution if you demand new gear because you noticed any of the above problems you may promptly get told where to stick your old gear. Please use good judgement.

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    thanks for the tip. for departments, do you have to supply your own gear or do they give it to you for free?

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    I've only come across departments that issue gear to their members. When the member leaves, the gear SHOULD be returned. Some choose to buy their own helmet, gloves, boots, etc., and can buy them, as long as it meets safty/dept./etc. standards. My department will even remburse up to a certain price for particular personally bought equipment. Pants and coats (especially expensive in comparison to other parts of the gear) are all the same and always bought by my department.

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    Here's a link to learn more about the Fort Worth Fire Department's history with white apparatus:
    http://www.fwfd.net/Whitetrucks.htm
    Last edited by emtbff927; 11-10-2005 at 08:33 PM.

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    pretty cool stuff. i used to live in southern fort worth like i said. how do they decide who does what? like drive the engine or the truck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakebty
    thanks for the tip. for departments, do you have to supply your own gear or do they give it to you for free?
    I know there are departments out there not as fortunate as mine, but I think it should be the responsibility of the department to supply you with the gear you need to do your job (whether paid or volunteer). I'm sure some departments really have to struggle to afford proper gear for everyone, and I know in some it comes down to wearing issued worn-out hand-me-down gear or upping the money to buy your own new set.

    My department is lucky to have adequate funding (not great, just adequate) to have everyone in fairly new, modern turnout gear. A brand new guy might have to wear hand-me-downs for a while when he first joins, but we'll set him up with newer stuff as soon as practical.

    Sometimes when we get low on gear I have to do a little "housecleaning" and go confiscate gear from inactive members (you know, the guys who haven't been making the required number of drills and seldom show up at calls anymore)...I'm not going to leave a guy, who shows up all the time, in ratty gear if there's a decent set going to waste in somebody's trunk.

    pretty cool stuff. i used to live in southern fort worth like i said. how do they decide who does what? like drive the engine or the truck?
    In most paid departments, being a driver/operator is a promotion. It's something you normally only get chosen for after you've put in some time as a regular firefighter. There will ordinarily be a training course and a test of some kind to become a driver/operator, then probably an interview or something to get the position.

    In volunteer departments as well, people usually only become drivers after they've been a firefighter for a while. It's important to learn the basics first.
    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"

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    pretty cool stuff. i used to live in southern fort worth like i said. how do they decide who does what? like drive the engine or the truck?
    Fort Worth FD in particular? I don't work for the Fort Worth FD, so I don't know about their specifics. Many departments are different with how they run things.
    My FD has the driver/engineer as a rank above firefighter. Drivers/Engineers are all paid staff (we're a combi dept.) who have been promoted from the rank of firefighter after taking a dept. test, driving experience, driving and pumping classes, etc.
    You've got some good questions. I hope my info helps.

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    where are you at (i assume in fort worth, but just wondering)? i just want to know all about the job before i decide.

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    our department has tanish colored gear. our junior firefighter program starts at age 14.

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    These forums are filled with a lot of information that would be helpful for you. Just surf around and you'll learn a lot.
    You could try finding a dept. to volunteer for while in highschool. Some will let you start at 14, others 16, others not till 18. Some have explorer programs, some don't. Like I said, every department is different (and similar too) in one way or another.
    I'm a college student in Fort Worth, but I'm from Austin and volunteer down there on breaks, random weekends, etc.

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    when i turn 16 i can be a cadet for the fire department here in town. i am going to be 15 in january. i still don't know what i want to be for the department. i guess i'll decide when i become a cadet. it's a volunteer department in a town of 6000-7500 people (a big change for me because i used to live in southern fort worth filled with people). we have two fd's here, but only one is for the city, the other one is rural because there is grass fires alot on the edge of town during the summer. not to get into your business or anything, but what college do you go to? just wondering

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    I think volunteering for a department is a good idea. You'll learn a lot and get some experience. You might want to also be looking into starting an EMT class when you're old enough.
    i still don't know what i want to be for the department. i guess i'll decide when i become a cadet.
    What do you mean? You want be a firefighter...right?

    TCU
    Go Frogs!

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    i want to be a firefighter, but i don't know if i should be a paramedic/emt. i am thinking about becoming a life guard when i'm 15 here at the local recreational center. i figured that that would help. but what i mean as far as i don't know what i want to do is, should i work with the engine or should i work with the ladder teams? i would like to get credit for being the one putting out the fire, but i want to be the one who is the first in to get the people out, start ventalation etc? is that selfish of me? i know everyone has to work as a team. also i don't know if i mentioned in any of my other posts, i am a type 1 diabetic. i already checked the laws, and there is nothing against diabetics (what i mean is diabetics can be a firefighter without being fired or discriminated agianst because of their condition). i know that that has nothing to do with anything. does TCU have a fire science or fire engineering class? just wondering. if so how much would it cost?

    TCU is one place where i know where it is. It's pretty close to Berry St. right? I used to live maybe 1-2 miles south of TCU. I lived in Everman, which is just east of the Miller Brewery if you know where that is. I don't know much about the frogs or other things like that.

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