I am talking about a helmet. Would you spend your own money for a helmet if you didn't like the one issued to you by the department? Would it be leather or plastic? New York style or Metro? Rachet, adjustable suspension?
How much is your noggin worth?

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I went and bought one cause at our station we all were issued yellow metro helmets. I hate them. then I got a black ben 2 helmet cause there was one other guy with us that had one and i liked it so then me and him were known as the black hats of the company. So we became the black sheep. but after awhile everyone wanted to be like us now the whole Co. went with them so we had to change. Now we're white hats and now. Now i wish i never got one.LOL.
There was a time when I felt each individual should have the option of which helmet to purchase (if their money). Reading some of the responses I was struck with the notion that it is up to the Fire Chief of each department (and yes I am a fire chief for now). Ours uses the helmet as a means of recognition of our members when in mutual aid situations.

Over the years I developed a theory along this topic line. We are a team. A team wears uniforms. Uniform means the same (depending on rank etc..).

If the department issues NFPA compliant gear..........that is what you should be wearing.

Is it true that technically helmets are supposed to be replaced after 3 years??
I have bought my own helmet, but most guys our my department are content with the one issued. I have a Cairns 1044 with the defender system. I really dig this hat cause I can "put away" the sheild when I don't want to use it. The state requires us to track our equipment for it's life. We can only use helmets that are within 10 years of manufacturer date and they have to be replaced once that date is passed. My department only allows us the option of buying our own helmet. We do not get the choice to buy boots, gloves, etc. It's money well spent to get a comfortable hat that you like.

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