heres a post to share storys. photos, etc. I personally dont have many storys bc my dept is lucky to get a structure fire once a month. A paid dept nearby has alot of guys with melted helmets but ive heard they usually do it playing around in live burns. so im just trying to see how others have blacked and/or melted theirs? and those for or against it?

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Sure my helmet has been smoked up over time from regular use, but I've taken good care of it by cleaning it, and repainted it when needed. As far as melted helmets go, they should be taken out of service.

If someone burns up their helmet and gear in training burns just to walk around trying to look like they're salty, then they're nothing more than a wacker. I've seen my share of these young guys with burnt helmets, who belong to vollie departments that run less than 500 calls a year, with very little fire. They try to make themselves look like they see more jobs than PG County Maryland.

Having a smoked up, melted helmet and dirty gear doesn't make one a salty dog. Professional behavior, constant physical conditioning and training, along with other traits seperates real firefighters from the wackers.
I'm with you Tom....I see no "honor" in a scorched or blackened helmet...that tells me someone is being reckless....thats one small step from being stupid in my book....That lid is there to protect your lid....If it happens when the human excrement hits the oscillating blades then so be it...but to put yourself into situations that equipment gets burned is down right wrong...and to do it in training....??? I'd like to hear the excuse for that one.....Our key is everyone goes home.....hopefully in the same shape as they arrived....REMEMBER....STAY SAFE................Paul
I have not been in a fire with my helmet that I just got but I am sure it will get banged up and all black from the smoke and crap.
Anyone who deliberately tries to defeat a piece of safety equipment that we wear...i.e. Helmet, is just an idiot in the nicest sense of putting it. Just like some idiot who I saw on video lighting himself on fire in turnouts and doing a dance and then trying to stop, drop, and roll....which doesnt appear to have worked. In some fire department's bay at that. Thats darwin at its finest. Putting flammable liquid on your gear and lighting it to dance around in. Hope this one didn't attempt to use that gear again in a real fire.
God Bless and Never Forget
Tom,

I am not saying that anyone should intentially smear their helmet with soot, bake it in the oven, run it over with a truck, or anything else to look cool.

What I am saying that over a period of time, searching the floor above, crawling down a hallway, or making a push into a basement fire, your helmet is bound to accumulate some battle scars. Not intentionally inflicted, just a hazard of the job. If this has never happened to somebody during the course of their career we are going to different fires.

The structural integrity of your helmet, the most important part of your PPE with maybe the exception of your mask, is paramount. Let’s look at some of the testing these helmets must endure to meet the standards. Just about everything short of dropping a Volkswagen on them is used to make sure that they are durable enough for the task at hand. Now let’s be realistic…. Somebody drops that Volkswagen on your helmet while you are wearing it, whether or not the eagle is dinged and it has some soot on it doesn’t make mush of a difference. I pretty sure that your helmet will stop the Volkswagen once the brim of the helmet meets your shoulders.
Sorry but anyone that would intentionally melt thier helmet to me would be lacking in the very grey matter that it is supposed to be protecting. It does happen in extreme cases in an actual structure fire, but i agree with ken, you better be saving a life.
"Banged up"? It's likely that the structural integrity of the helmet has been compromised. Get a replacement.

"All blackened"? Wash the damned thing - it won't shrink!

Dirty, battered gear doesn't make you look "good", it makes you look like a slob. My helmet has a few minor scratches, it's colour is slightly darker than a new one; if it gets dirty I wash it. Same with my clothing - dirty? Then they get cleaned. Boots? Clean.

Take some pride in, and look after your gear, then it will look after you.

Professional - It's your attitude to the job.

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