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?
Having thought back over the last several years, I can only remember once when anything on my helmet melted. It was on a training fire, and the NFPA compliant faceshield melted. Too hot? Probably. Need a new face shield? Definitely! That was back in the day when we wore 1010's, but I have never gotten in that hot since, even on live fires. For me, the prime safety consideration is the possibility that my lid might get pulled off by getting caught up in stuff, but it obviously isnt enough of a concern to keep me from wearing an eagle on the front.
The problem you have mentioned is a valid concern for your fellow firefighter. In less than a year in the fire service, I have seen experienced firefighters with multiple pairs of ems shears in their helmets, along with multiple lights, probably with additional items I did not see. I would hope that they would have enough common sense to remove these items before entering a working fire with these ornaments on their helmets, but judging by the semi melted handles and smoke stains on them, I am guessing they did not. While I believe each person is entitled to make their own judgments on what tools they need, based on past experiences the line should be drawn somewhere with SOGs/ SOPs.
Lastly, I have heard of instances where the bands do rot overtime and become weakened by heavy flame, causing them to break. Hopefully in a situation where these "tools" do hang up on anything the band would break or the tool would simply come out. But unfortunately us firefighters usually don't get that lucky. Myself I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Here's a thought..... why does it matter what anyone carrys on their helmet? If someone wants to carry a couple extra items up there, then that is entirely on them... if they arent breaking a policy, procedure, or general order, then let em be... and as a "subrookie" as you called yourself, the only thing you should really concern yourself on is learning from these senior FFs and Officers, not dogging them for what they have on their lids...
i agree with most others, its all personal pref. i use to have "wedges" for doors and blocking sprinkler heads, a pair of trama shears, and a flashlight with my band, did a PPV attack on a room and contents, got a little hot, melted the rubber strap and lost everything, so needless to say, i no longer carry anything on my helmet anymore. i feel the pockets on the gear can carry most anything you will need, and if its not enough, get a gut belt with extra storage. stay safe.