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?

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they call me home depot, if i dont have it on me there is no need for it. the only stuff i keep on my lid is a sprinkler chock, door wedge & a VERY sharp knife. all the rest of my sh!t is in my bunkers or truck belt. i hate going in to check something out and then have to walk back to the rig. so i keep what everyone else keeps in there junk draw in the kitchen.
Fire Helmet Accessorizing: Maybe about three years ago now, my Battalion Chief stopped by my fire station and met with me about a new department policy that was to go into affect immediately. I was requested to have my firefighter and engineer bring in both our structure, wildland, USAR, swift water rescue and flight helmets. The chief had an industrial blow drier to remove all plastic adhesive stickers off the helmet.

Now you all have to remember that I am from a California which means that there is always someone suing someone else. California is probably one of the most litiginous states in the USA. In this case, a firefighter was in a structure fire and "non-approved stickers, i.e. USA flags, shamrocks, lettering for last names, etc., melted, and dripped down the back side of the helmet, burning the firefighters neck and back. OSHA issues resulted in a knee jerk reaction that included having everyone take off anything on the helmet that was not on it at the time if issuance. The firefighter's family had sued the department for allowing the placement of the stickers. Not sure if they won... but the message was received loud and clear. Don't put anything on your helmet that can melt or burn during firefighting operations.

Firefighter's names, during their recruit academy now have their names painted on the back of their helmets, using intumescent paint (won't burn or support combustion).

Take this concept that deals with just stickers and add other items that could pose more of a hazard when subjected to intense heat... As a company officer, one has to be thinking about the liability issues more and more now. I suppose the bottom line here is that you have to take into consideration the culture of both the department and the community. Some folks may simply respond to EMS calls or MVA's verses wildland or structure fire responses. Having these tools handy makes sense even though I'm not quite sure about someone attaching trauma sheers on the helmet, god forbid you have to quickly pull the goggles on, which for me are kept at the rear of the helmet to provide more scratch protection. So again, here you are testifying at an OSHA hearing and you have to justify why you let your firefighter decorate his helmet like a Christmas tree...

Personally, I miss the old days when the fire helmets were really light, minimal accessorizing and a simple identification shield in the front... Johnny and Roy had the right idea... : )
Hey Barry, I don't want to piss you off but I believe that even if the firefighter owns the PPE, actions taken under the direction of a company officer can be an issue. It's not uncommon for company officers and higher having malpractice insurance.

If you order a firefighter to suppress a fire and they get hurt, you have a degree of responsibility. I don't think you can look a jury or a family member in the eye and say it's their stuff so it's their problem. Could be a wonderful opportunity for an attorney to rape your jurisdiction and you personally.
I guess it's just a matter of perspective and experience as to what one considers a safety hazard...

You truly sound like a firefighter who has some time on the job. The longer you do this job the more you learn that less is better. Stay safe brother.
The rubber strap & the chocks should be enough. Even though like everybody has said people put way to much stuff on the helmet. I always carried the rubber strap and a couple of chocks. I used to carry a Garrity light on it but got tired of it. And got smart and bought a Surivor Light. (BEST THING I BOUGHT EXCEPT LEATHER BOOTS & HELMET) All of my tools were in my pockets. I got some old pockets from older gear and made a tool pouch out of it. It worked really well.
you guys are all correct in what your thinking,the thing is though this guy might have a hard time with his gloves .so puting his "crap" in the big cumbersome pockets might not be an option for him.or its possible that he believes that he doesnt have time to put them were they are not accessable for him to get to .I my self believe that the band aid pushin gear doesnt belong on interior gear for the same reason its just going to destroy it .so your better off having a pouch to throw it all in. and just leave it in the truck or engine E.I.
This is why it needs to be departmental policy, in some cases.

If the logic you apply to firefighter's personal feelings about their helmets is applied to a firefighter's "personal space" in other arenas, you can't realistically require him to wear a seatbelt or trim his facial hair to maintain a proper seal either.

There is plenty of room for individuality in the fire service, but at times lines must be drawn. It can be difficult to determine where those lines should fall, but NO area should ever be considered "off limits" to supervision, discipline, and sound work controls in the name of safety.
Excellent point... do you know what the cause of these burns was?
Oh yeah, I can see where that could possibly be an issue.

But the idea that a band made out of an innertube is going to hold something with enough force to be an entanglement issue is absurd.
Was this burn acquired during a structural fire, wildland fire, or something else?
What kind of gear was beingn worn?
Was a flash hood worn?
Was the coat collar up?
Was the helmet a long-billed fire helmet, short-billed fire helmet, wildland helmet, or what?

More information would be helpful.

Ben
I agree... I can't seem to comprehend how anything dripping off a structure helmet can burn someone's neck like this if full PPE is worn, and worn properly.

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