I know I am a sub-rookie and all, but I have a major problem with firefighters carrying all kinds of garbage on their helmet bands. I recently saw a new minted LT who had every inch of his helmet band covered with crap, including a pair of trauma sheers with plastic handles. The last time I looked at my trauma sheers, the had a handle that could only withstand autoclave temps up to 280 degrees. It seems to be a sign of expertise to carry all that s*** on your helmet. Thoughts?
The day you spot a can opener and the TV remote stuffed in the band is the day you say something.....
Seriously...everyone has their own personal "lucky charms" in terms of equipment on their helmet; door chocks, mini-mag lights etc. As long as its fire-attack related, or as the other poster stated, EMT related, I say let it go. I have two firefighters in my department who won't roll without a shamrock painted on their helmet.
This is an inherently dangerous and stressful job, and if there's something in your helmet band that makes you feel more secure, and lowers that level of cognitive dissonance, then by all means, load it up as long as it's something you might actually use.
A couple of wedges, a Garrity light, oh and the kitchen sink, makes sense to me. ;oP
That's why bunker gear has such big pockets, to hold your sh!t.
In all reality it's up to the individual, to whack, or not to whack.
Here is what I was trying to say and I am glad that the last poster got this idea:
Lucky charms are one thing. Stickers or paintjobs on the helmet. Photos inside the helmet, etc. But when you start piling crap on the helmet band, you are just asking to get hung up in an interior fight which happens enough with all the stuff we are required to carry. I just looked at the photo I took of this officer (not from my department) and here is what he had: a pair of plastic handled trauma shears (which as I say will start to melt at 280 degrees f. A small aluminum spanner (really? aluminum carried on your helmet? apparently they never demonstrated to this guy what happens when aluminum gets hot enough to set off a fireworks display). Three separate flashlights, plus the lil' Ed on his coat. A Plastic handled knife (Plastic? again, a melt hazard), a shove knife and two door chocks. Apparently, he did not notice that his nice knew Globe bunkers have pockets. Here is my thinking: anything that is above your head (ie on your helmet band) that could melt has only one place to go: down. Does he really want those plastic handles melting onto his hood? The fact is, I saw this guy when he was not a LT and he carried a light and a shove knife. Now he has a nice new leather New Yorker and apparently has turned into a complete whacker. And by the way, he is an MFR, not an EMT.
FASNY- A pair of trauma shears as a lucky charm? My department doesnt allow all this crap on the helmet. We are allowed two stickers: A flag and if we are EMS, and appropriate helm-tet identifying us as such. We can also carry one light, two chocks and a shove knife. Spanners, EMT gear, etc go in pockets. that is what they are there for. Again, as the only poster who makes sense replied, all of that stuff goes in pockets except the chocks and a light. "A whacker is as a whacker does."
Personally, I don't wear jack on my helmet....don't even have a band, but if someone wants to carry all that stuff in on their helmet? I say let em. You're not going to talk them out of it, and maybe a nice river of metal down the back with the resultant 2nd and 3rd degree burn to accompany it will teach a lesson.
Folks are funny about their "needs" in terms of what they bring in and how they carry it. You can try talking to him....
I'm not sure where it started (I want to say FDNY) but the idea was to take an old truck inner tube and cut it to make the bands. Then a couple of wooden door chocks were put in. Then an el-cheapo flashlight was stuck in to provide hands-free light wherever you were looking. The Garrity light (I think) was developed subsequently.
But trauma scissors? Seems to me like they'd get hung up on something and maybe even knock your helmet off.
I've seen a lot of other FFs with "doo-dads" stuck in the helmet band and I always thought they were going for "the look" rather than the practicality of things. I don't know; I've never felt the need to do any of this. I've got plenty of pockets to stash stuff in.
A sign of expertise? Not to me. In some places, it's a sign of practicality and experience but in many others I fear it's a sign of whackerhood.
I think you should be able to have what ever you want on your helmet as long is it stays professional ,respectful and safe. To have all kinds of crap hanging off your helmet not only adds extra weight but increases your chance of getting caught up putting yourself and your fellow crew members at risk.
They put large pockets on your bunker pants for a reason, your "Tools of the Trade" should be in the pockets of your bunker not hanging all over your helmet.
These are my words of wisdom
Stay Safe...Make it Safe
Couple of things for you. First off on the spanner wrench.
Boiling Point: 2327°C (4220.6°F)
Melting Point: 660°C (1220°F)
These temperatures are not necessarily unachievable in the heat of a fire, but then again in those temperatures there shouldn't be a firefighter inside.
Second off about the trauma shears. I don't agree with them being in the helmet band as much as many other, but then again who am I to dictate who does what with their helmets. I don't see how you rationalize putting them inside the gear pocket instead of the helmet. 280 degrees melting temperature on your helmet or in your pocket doesn't matter, it still melts.
My final thought is simple. Your department has a policy which you are able to observe an honor on a daily basis. A lot of departments put regulations on their PPE as your department does. I don't believe that a pair of trauma shears in your helmet will be much of an obstacle inside a burning house. Keep in mind this is a Flexible rubber band with a cheap pair of trauma shears. In all cases you will see the shears go for a ride and your out less than 20 bucks. Should we eliminate SCBA since thats what 95% of hangups are caused by? Of course not. You do your thing, and let others do their thing. If we all were the same way, the firehouse would be too boring.
Its all about preference. I personally don't carry anything on my helmet anymore. I was losing more stuff that way. Now everything is in my pockets or in my SWAT bag (Special Wrenches and Tools). The bag stays on the rig and I only use it when that rare call comes in that I need things like a wire brush (for knocink rust off of FDC connections), measuring wheel (for preplanning), and a couple other things that you don't need on every call but when you do need them you can't live without them.