After a Mutual Aid Fire the other night,I got to thinking that helmet colors on the fire ground should be standardized somehow.This after I made an Observation that a "Black Hat" was giving orders.I fallowed along of course,with him being odviously my senior firefighter.But as the night went on I glanced over at his helmet,and realized that the "rockers" on his helmet said,"ASST.CHIEF",an so did the back of his coat.I thought this was odd,since all the other Chiefs where wearing White helmets.And I also noticed other Officers & Us Crew wearing various colors.Mostly Yellow & Black.This was confusing.Our Fire District Helmet Colors are as fallows...
White-Chief (& Capt.until 1988) Yellow w/White Shield-Capt. Yellow w/Black Shield-Lieu. Blue-Company EMS Capt./Lt. Red w/ White Shield-Safety Officer Black-Firefighter Orange-Explorer Orange Hard Hat-Fire Police.
What are your Company's Helmet colors?,and Do you think there should be a Standard?
Update:Tiger Schmittendorf has let me know that there is NO STANDARD In The United States.But Still The Question Looms Should There Be?
Maybe I'm senile, but I don't recall any NFPA standard regarding helmet color. Is this recent?
We used white for Chief & Asst Chief, red for Capt everybody else got yellow. White seems pretty much standard for Chief officers, blue, of course was always EMS. Other than that, every dept's different
Our department is White-Chief and Asst Chief, RED-Captains, all others wear black hats. With the incident command system, anyone can be in charge if they feel comfortable with the scene, therefore all can take orders from a black hat
In my primary company our chiefs wear white, our line officers try to wear red with a shield that says there rank if not for they wear a black with a shield that says there rank, black for "active fire fighters", yellow for associate members, orange for juniors, blue for ems. in my secondary company white for chiefs red for line officers with a sheild that says there rank black or yellow for fire fighters, yellow w/ green paint for juniors and blue for ems
Here in NJ my department goes like this: White for chiefs, red for captain, black w/green shield w/officer number for Lt's, black w/red shield and apparatus number for engineers, black w/plain green shields for reg active members, then black w/orange probie shield for probie members who have training, then i think it's yellow helmet for probies w/no training and orange helmet for juniors. Pretty much most of bergen county has this system.
With the NICS mandated by President Bush, the color of the helment or the style of turnouts does not matter. We are to take orders from the Incident Commander, regardless of rank or tenure.
I do agree that a national mandated color system would be helpful, especially to identify the IC. As I have read through this discussion, the color system is only what your district or company has mandated. It seems that Cheifs wear every color in the rainbow.
in my department all officers are being required to take IC-300 and anyone not an officer may take it if they wish, so unfortunately there is no specific colour to signify who the IC is for a particular call. The helmet or shield colours for us are mainly used to identify members, ie juniors arent allowed to do much of anything on a call so if room allows for them to hop on the truck then they need to be singled out so that someone doesnt count them as regular crew. the same with probies, although we have a lot of guys who come from other fire depts therefore if they have had fire I but they are on probabation simply because they are new to the dept they get singled out too so that they can be used as part of the crew. It can get complicated sometimes especially if several depts are working together since not every dept uses the same colour. if everyone were to use the same colour for each type of member then it would be so much easier to determine who has the proper training, who is a junior, etc etc.
UP UNTIL RECENT WE USED WHITE FOR CHIEFS, BLACK WITH REFLECTIVE STRIPS DOWN THE BRIDGE OF THE HELMETS AND ARCS FOR CAPTAIN AND LIEUTENANTS, WHITE FOR CAPTAINS, RED FOR LIEUTENANTS. NOW WE HAVE GOTTEN RID OF BAT CHIEFS RUNNING THE STATIONS, SO THE CHIEF AND ASSISTANT CHIEF HAVE WHITE WITH GOLD SHIELDS, STATION CAPTAINS HAVE WHITE WITH THE STATION NUMBER ON THE SHIELD, LIEUTENANTS HAVE RED WITH STATION NUMBERS ON THE SHIELD. AN THE FIRE FIGHTERS HAVE BLACK.
At my fire department Chief, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief wears white helmets. Captains and Lieutenant wears red helmets. Firefighters wears black helmets. Junior firefighters wears yellow helmets.
Tony, you bring up a damn good point. i think there should be some sort of a unified standard. And base it all on the fundamental traditions of the fire service. White= chiefs, Black= firefighter, Blue= EMS, Ect. That way when a company gos out on a mutual aid fire, everyone knows who is who. When i was out with an OP company, it was hard to distiquish who was exterior and who wasn't. It wasn't utill later when i found out that an orange triangle says exterior. So, through experience, YES there should be a standered.
and yes my asst. chief does were a black helmet
here its white for the cheifs plus they have cheif on there coats our other officers have white placards on there helmets and all helmets are new york lethers here new members get a probie shield on there helmets all others have either a(e) for engine or (l) for ladderon there placards emt has the star of life