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 OP posted ...
"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?:
I have one.. how about shutting your yap. Put your time in and earn the right to gripe, complain, kvetch and bitch.
Many here have been making comments like "when things start melting off your helmet," like this was something new. 1) it is nothing new. 2) As far as I have been able to find (looking at any number of NIOSH and other reports) there have not been any reportable numbers of fire fighters injured by "crap melting off their helmets." 3) The NFPA trapazoid stickers that are on the helmets are not rated for high heat - neither are the Scotchlite stripes on the gear itself. Neither is the Velcro. Neither are your ears (hood or no hood!)
Is it just 'for show' or for 'quick access?' Who cares? I have lights on my helmet. I need lights. I want to be able to read the fine print on a piece of machinery, or the sign on the door that says "In Case of Fire, DO NOT OPEN!"
I carry a bunch of heavy 'crap' in my pants - they are way too heavy. Wire cutter? Never used them. 50' of rope & carabiners & a mini bar brake? Never needed it. So, why do I carry all this stuff that I never use? Because, the day that I need cable cutters and don't have them or the day I need a 'bail-out' system but left it in the engine could be my last day.
If you need it, use it, or merely think that you might, then by all means carry it.
i took an inventory of my helmet band (ny'er) and so far i have, my garrity light (i love melting them), 2 door wedges, 1 "i love NY" button and a "god is in a meeting, may i help you" button.
mary is right, a firefighters helmet is a holy thing to a firefighter. as for me, it reflects my personality and most of the folks i know dont have too much stuff on theirs and i never wanted to load mine down. on my investigators helmet (an A3) i have an american flag, one 911 sticker.
I carry the rest of my personal tools in my bunker pants pockets..., cable cutters, knife, mini pry bar, spare flashlight, key tool, shove knife in a little organizer in my right pocket, webbing straps and extrication gloves, and some wedges in the other pocket.
I don't like stuff on my helmet, but if I ran a lot of MVA calls, then I can see how having trauma shears on your helmet band would be awfully handy compared to fishing around in the pockets on your bunker gear.
The more stuff on your helmet, the more weight you have stressing your neck. In an apparatus accident that translates into injuries because of the momentum of the helmet/accessory weight. On scenes, you're just asking for trouble. You wear it too long, you'll be sore from it.
I hate to be a party pooper, but move all that crap into your pockets. Train with it in those pockets so you can find it in an emergency. Way back FF's didn't have all the pockets like now, so much went on their helmets. Years ago I was a Bat Belt Helmet kind of guy, too. Realized I didn't use most of it, so I trashed it or moved it to pockets. Now I have a very lightweight light with a pair of safety glasses tucked inside.
We don't wear helmets in apparatus because in an accident the brim can cause significant neck injuries, as it will stop the head while the neck continues to travels towards the seat back, window, pillar, etc.
I have a life light and some heavy duty nails in my helmet band. If we had more sprinklers in my area, wedges would deff be there as well. The shears seam a little excessive, as I too have melted the crap out of a life light, but its a great spot to hide small things that you want quick access to. Its a lot quicker than digging into pockets with gloves, a multi tool, webbing, and whatever else may be in there....