Ok... this is it... finally, a place where we can discuss one of the more important issues facing today's fire service, fire helmets. There is just so many things about helmets that need to be identified and discussed to enable folks to understand everything there is to know about their fire helmets such as:

1 • Do you prefer Cairns verses the Bullard/Phoenix styles?

2 • Would you consider using one of the MSA French style fire helmets?

3 • Do you have a favorite color for a fire helmet? 

4 • Do you prefer the generic as the come style of fire helmet or do you prefer to have them painted like the stars and stripes helmet shown above. 

5 • Does your department allow you to put stickers and names on the helmet? 

6 • Do you prefer leather verses plastic for helmet construction and why? 

7 • Do you like flip down helmet shields or the individual eye flip down protectors?

8 • Do you attach a flashlight onto the helmet and if so, do you use a section of cut rubber intertube stretched around the outside of the helmet to hold a disposable flashlight or do you use a flashlight mount for connecting a maglite or other commercial style flashlight?

9 • Do you attach passport tags under the rear bill of helmet and if you don't where do you carry them?

10 • Does your department use the sides of the helmet to denote which engine or truck company you are assigned too?

11 • Does your company officer where a different color helmet than a firefighter or engineer.

12 • Does your department follow along the general guidelines for SoCal where firefighters and fire engineers wear yellow fire helmets, fire captains wear red helmets, chief officers wear white helmets and ems folks wear blue?

As you can see, there is a myriad of unanswered questions when it comes to fire helmets. Hopefully this post can shed some light on the subject for all to enjoy and learn from.


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wow a long list of questions .........

The plain yellow helmet above is the standard type used for New Zealand ........... rookies or probies wear red, fire fighters wear yellow (coloured stripes denote rank. Single red = qualified fire fighter, double red = senior fire fighter, single blue = station officer, double blue = senior station officer. Blue helmets are operational support / fire police and white helmets are executives (Deputy chief and above)

The New Zealand Fire Service or National Rural fire authority logo goes on the front.

Googles are sometimes used in addition to the eye shield.

Brigade number and sometimes names are on the helmet, air operations (helicopters) and EMS can be stuck on the helmet. Blue squares denote basic BA, silver is grade 2 (hazmat)

ummmm what else ..........

Torches, some helmets have a slot for the torch to slide into otherwise it is a bracket that clicks on the side (torches are minimal lighting only)

And that is about it for New Zealand helmets ............

Thanks for the topic and stay safe all

It's great when a young boy such as yourself poses such a question:

probie - yellow fiberglass (they're not really firemen yet)
fireman - black leather (cairns) w/ shield station #
officer - black leather w/ white shield
chief - ball cap, backwards (kidding, white leather)
accountability tags - clipped to ring on back of lid
fireman = leather
construction = fiberglass
bourkes - came with it, don't like them, don't use them, not compliant
rubber strap with 2 wooden chocks
no flashlight or anything else
I am issued my gear and wear what I'm issued
fire trucks are always red

I love the difference in terminology... flashlights in the states, and torches in the land of the Kiwi's or in places where they have torch riots. But then again, we also have propane torches...

Traditional/Would consider European style/black/generic design/stickers are okay/fiberglass/full face shields/Vantage light clipped on/tags under rear bill/company denoted on front shield/company officers wear red/similar color code: probies=yellow, ff and engineers=black, Lt's and Capt's=red, Chiefs=white
1. Always wanted a 660C Metro but tradition does not include Cairn helmets for my department.
2. I've worn one and actually own one now. Very comfortable fit that if outfitted with good communications and a matched SCBA face piece might not be a bad thing. The chrome surfacing and gold reflective heat shield do well reportedly for reducing heat exposure. What's funny is that they are made by MSA, an american owned corporation.
3. Mine was red, so I'm with you on this one.
4. Generic is better because less stuff to melt on to you neck...
5. Ours cited legal issues with melted things on the helmets injuring a firefighter, discontinuing allowance of stickers of any kind.
6. nice segue into Superbowl... go Steelers!
7. ESS Googles?
8. simple is better...
9. is this something that everyone does now?
10. Like this one?

11. again, this is the standard for the USA firefighter
12. Do you use blue for EMS and orange for explorer / junior firefighters?
1.) i have a Cairns 660C Metro, but ill wear whatever im issued.
2.) possibly
3.) whatever color my dept. tells me to wear
4.) i prefer to wear it as it comes, painting it may affect the integrity of the helmet
5.) yes to stickers, no to names/numbers
i have a "FIREFIGHTER I" sticker on the right side, an American flack sticker on the left, and a "NO FEAR"
sticker on the front. some guys have a nickname sticker on the back as well
6.) composite
7.) full face shields, helps deflect heat when on a brush fire
8.) i had a Garrity life lite on my helmet until the battery died, still have the inertube band on my helmet
though. im looking at getting a flashlight mount though
9.) we have "cow tags" for our accountability tags, and we carry them on a hook on our turnout coats
10.) no, but there are only 4 companies in my town, and we all wear different colored gear
11.) firefighters-red, leiutenants and captains- yellow, chiefs-white, safety officers-blue
12.) see above
My wife is an absolute fanatic fan for the Steelers. Her grandfather was on the team years ago. All I can say is Go Steelers!

4. What are your thoughts about helmet integrity and applied paint? I've never heard or thought of that concept before...
11. The use of a blue helmet to denote the safety officer is also something new for me. I kind of like the concept and have only seen blue helmets used by EMS personnel.

Excellent input. Thanks. CBz
2. I hear you about getting a MSA Gallet French fire helmet for the collection. I did and it look really cool.
4. I believe from reading prior comments in other posts, that the painted helmets are for show only and are considered ornamental.
6. Wanted to always have and be able to wear a leather helmet but it's not the culture for SoCal.
7. What's a "Bourke"?
9. Your department uses what for the 2 in / 2 out passport system required by OSHA?
11. How are Chief's and Captains identified if they both have white helmets?

Thanks for the input, CBz
@ My Dept. we do use different colors for Different jobs IE: external (yellow ) interior (Black) Capt. (red) Blue (EMS) White (Chief) . I put my name on the back of my helmet and nothing has been said yet. [ I'm working on getting a Black helmet ;) ]
Capttain Busy- just one comment - too funny, love it :)
1 • Cairns N5A or N6

2 • No French just leather or yellow salad bowl with cover for ARFF.
3 • Color is decided by rank but prefer black

4 • Paints cool but wont stay pretty for very long.

5 • Names and stickers with in reason if you want. Never understood the extra stickers myself. Just something to melt and run all over your gear or worse, down your neck.
6 • Leather becasue of durability and tradition. Plus I think its more comfortable to wear a leather without the ratchet and fit it to your grape using padding.

7 • Bourkes look cool but goggles give you the best protection.

8 • Cut rubber intertube stretched around the outside of the helmet to hold a disposable flashlight.

9 • Tags on the back brim of the helment.
10 • No but there comes into play personal use of stickers if so desired.

11 • Officers wear white.
12 • Have worked for depts that follow Socal and some where everyone wears yellow except for the officers.

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