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  1. #1
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Default Radio strap vs. Radio pocket or belt clip?

    Okay, this is far from an Earth shattering question, but I wanted to get a little feedback from folks that have used New York style radio straps and cases.

    I'm considering buying one, but I don't know if it'll end up being more of a hassle than a help.
    I currently just use the radio's battery belt clip (sometimes with, and sometimes without the shoulder mike attached) on my belt for calls not requiring bunker gear.
    For calls requiring me to be in gear, I use the radio pocket on my coat without the shoulder mike attached. It is often difficult to hear all radio traffic because the pocket muffles it to some extent. It's also a pain to keep having to remove the radio to transmit.

    For those that use the straps with the mike clips, do they seem get in the way, and is it easier to hear when you're in the thick of it on a call?

    I was also wondering about your opinions on nylon straps and cases vs. leather. I'm leaning toward the leather though...After all, I've already got it top and bottom!



    Thanks!
    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"


  2. #2
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    After many years of carrying my radio, I decided that I needed to do something different. I went with the strap and so far I like it.

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Make sure you get the little keeper straps that holt it agianst your waist or it will just be flopping all over the place.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
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    Yes w/ a keeper strap it really really helps out alot i used a beaner and that works just fine. i would recommend the strap
    Troutville Volunteer Fire Department
    www.tvfd.org

  5. #5
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    I just recently purchases a radio strap and love it. I have a radio pocket on my gear and I used to run the mic around my neck and clip it to my gear but I always kept bumping the talk button. I also recommend the gear keeper. I didn't think I would need it at first but after a couple of times of it swinging all around I put it on. Works good no matter if you have gear, air pack or just regular duty gear on.
    Firefighter/EMT-B
    IACOJ

  6. #6
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    I have been using the radio strap for a number of years now and I think it's the best way to carry your radio. If you have the option of having a lapel mic use it. You said it yourself that it is difficult to hear traffic when it is in your pocket. Having a lapel mic and connecting it to the strap, it puts it closer to your ear and when you need to transmit with a mask on just hold it up to your throat. This way you don't have to yell through you mask.

    BE SAFE Brother

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Been using the Strap for over 6 years.Leather with leather.I'd never go back,once you get used to it the strap is fast and it leaves the mic where you can use it.Gear keeper is nice but you'll fast learn how to keep it secured without one. T.C.

  8. #8
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    Default Radio strap all the way

    I have used a strap for years and it works great. I run the speaker mic wire and strap thru a bicycle inner tube to keep everthing nice and neat. The mic is clipped to the top of the strap so that is sticks out the top of my bunker jacket on my right shoulder. It helps to have a mic with a recessed transmit buttun otherwise as it hits up against the jacket's collar it inadvertently transmits. Another hint, if you do not have an SCBA mask with a speaker to facilate verbal communication try holding the mic up against your throat while you speak. It works well and is quite easy to understand and much easier to understand then someone talking though a mask with no speaker.

  9. #9
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    I have used a FDNY radio strap since June when I bought it new off of a friend. I love it. I do have to adjust it when I put it on over my bunker coat but that only takes a second. I love my speaker/mic because its amplified and can be quiet loud when turned all the way up.
    Gabriel
    FF/EMT
    Nevada, Missouri
    1*

  10. #10
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    I personally like using a radio strap. At work I have to wear one because that is FDNY SOP. In my volly dept. I always wore one as well. However I found that the radio strap only works well when you are wearing a coat with snaps and buttons so that the mic has a place to come through and snap onto your coat. I have recently got a new set of turnouts from my volly dept. and the coat has a zipper and velcro system. I think it is a pain in the neck to get the mic to come up through the collar of the coat instead of throught the center somewheres. My new coat also has a radio pocket but the antenna hits me in the face so I continue to use my radio strap.

    Stay safe brothers

  11. #11
    Forum Member IronsMan53's Avatar
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    I just wear my radio strap on the outside of my bunker coat for the same reason: We have zipper and velcro enclosures.

    I know some guys are concerned about damaging radios wearing them over their coat instead of under it but I don't think you'll run into many problems. I've only damaged one radio so far due to heat and all it needed was a new front housing. The heat was so much that my bunker gear had to be replaced too so we aren't talking about your run of the mill "man that was hot" fire.

    Taking my above experience into consideration I would definitely reccommend a leather strap and pouch. If either would have been nylon I believe they would've been seriously damaged. However, if you plan on wearing your radio strap exclusively under your coat then nylon may be acceptable.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

  12. #12
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    So far,having the radio in my front breast pocket works for me.Admittedly,I haven't done much crawling with it lately and haven't been keying up when I shouldn't on the fireground but that's my solution.
    My main problem(not a hijack attempt) is the clip on the back of my Pelican Little Ed has loosened up to where if I don't bend it back,it'll fall off my bunker coat.
    The thing is,go with what works for YOU.We can expand on our favorite carry style til our wristwatches fall off and still it's going to come down to what works best for the individual.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Guess I'm the loner I use the radio pocket. Had the strap/case but never saw any benefit to it. Radio's in the pocket, mike clips on a small loop we had added to our gear so it's just below collar. I can hear everything and it's easy to press to transmit. Have even practiced and can "shrug" and turn face a little to transmit without using hands. Keeps everything close and available. Also, we don't do EMS calls so the only times we have radios, we're in turnout gear. I can see where it would be usefull when doing EMS and not in turnout coat.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  14. #14
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the responses!

    I think I'm sold on the leather strap, pouch and anti-sway strap.

    I'm tired of dealing with the radio in the pocket, and if it'll make it less bothersome and easier to use and hear, I'm all for it.

    I also agree with the leather being more durable than nylon. It'll be worth the extra $25 in the long run.


    Thanks everyone!




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

  15. #15
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    I like both, strap and radio pocket.

    I always wore my radio strap for any activity not requiring bunker gear. When in gear I prefer to put the radio in the pocket on my coat with the shoulder mic attached to the loop near the collar. I've seen many radios caked with drywall, damaged knobs and displays that resulted from using the strap in fires. Seems better to only risk the less costly shoulder mic plus reduce the number of this that can get hung up on something. I know the pocket offers limited protection but it's more than waht the strap provides.

    This is just my preference.

  16. #16
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Just a quick note....

    To Ironsman53, wearing your strap on the outside of your coat can be very dangerous. Not only is it a hangup hazard, it also becomes a problem if you ever have to do emergency procedures with the SCBA. Its hard enough trying to manuever and get yourself out when you are hungup, you dont need the strap getting in the way. IMO.

  17. #17
    Forum Member PFDTruck2's Avatar
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    I use the leather radio strap and like it. Our new gear is coming with radio pockets and mike clips so I am going to try it just to see how it works.
    When opening up the roof remember plywood comes in 4' X 8' sheets.

    www.94firedept.com

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  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Default Leather Strap All-The-Way

    After a few years of wrestling the radio in and out of the top pocket, sometimes with a mic wrapped around the back of the neck and sometimes not, I thought I would try using the radio strap.

    Loved it since. We have the snaps and hook closure so the mic slips easily through. Instead of the sewn in mic clip, I run the mic through a caribiner that goes through the mic clip. Stays in great. Takes an extra second but has become old habit at this point.

    Definitely get a keeper strap too. Prevents those pendulum swings your radio may take while not in turnouts and you're leaning over someone/something.

    Also after initial experimentation; inside the coat is better for the reasons mentioned by the others.

    Good luck,
    bam

  19. #19
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    For those that wear the strap under your gear..does that make it underwear...anyway, wear does the radio end up? When I have used one in the past, the radio ended up at about hip level, and was a pain with the waist strap on my SCBA. I know its adjustable, just wondering where you adjusted yours too.

  20. #20
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    For those that wear the radio under their gear...do you ever have to change channels? For us, if a FF radios a Mayday, everyone else switches to a backup channel to leave the downed FF's frequency clear. How difficult is this to do during a fire with the radio under your gear?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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