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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Cbz I would actually like to try one we have a white one that was given as a gift to the former Chief of our dept. I did put it on and it feels really awkward but I suppose it would take some getting used too but they are very lightweight. One concern I did have was the shield. It's kinda like the defender sheilds and if damaged how would they work and how would you get it off your head? Otherwise they aren't bad.
Our department issues the cheapest helmets they can find

I'm with you there. Here is our newest.

Maybe Jim's helmut looks just like this one Mike!!!
1. /
2. we use Rosenbauer HEROS EXTREME helmet
3. Fluorescent yellow
4. Painting is not allowed
5. Small sticker with name on the left side of helmet, other is not allowed - but small stickers can find discrete place on the helmet
6. / - 30 years ago were aluminum helmets, more than 25 years plastic helmets are in use - so the answer is plastic
7. The helmet have eye protection and half face protection
8. Explosion proof flashlight is optional on this type of helmet and we have it.
9. /
11. The helmet color is same - different color of reflective stripes on it. White for firefighters and drivers, officers red. Like this:
1 - Cairns
2 - Hell No
3 - Black
4 - Generic - Only would use a customized one for decoration or in a parade.
5 - Yes
6 - Leather - Tradition
7 - Eye flap protectors
8 - Yes - Flashlight mount.
9 - Yes
10 - No - The front or an accountability tag.
11 - Yes - Lt.s are yellow Capts. are red. Chiefs are white. Drivers are balck or whoever is driving the truck
12 - Sorta. Drivers have no designated color.
1. It depends on how they ride. I've been told that the cairns made after '07 ride wierd
2. NO
3. Black
4. generic..
5. it depends on the sticker, but the guys usually don't change their helmets much
6. Not unless it was issued to me.
7. I don't know/don't have enough experience
8. yes and rubber intertube
9. yes
10. no
11. yes Lt's and Captains wear red helmets - everyone else wears yellow (chiefs white of course)
12. see 11 above
I must admit to being a bit baffled.
I'm not sure what's more astounding: that so many took this thread seriously, or that anyone took my post seriously.
Ok here I go I'm from a small vol. dept. thats not very busy about 450 calls per yr. and 95-98% EMS.

1 Cairns because thats all I have ever worn.
2 Maybe
3 Black
4 Generic - Helmets should be black and firetrucks red
5 No
6 Leather - Have a composite now but buying a leather later this year.
7 Bourkes - Currently have Cairns 1010 with the defender shield.
8 Yes - Garrity light and inner tube ( I'm cheap that way )
9 ? what you mean...My accountability tag is on my coat.
10 No - Vol. Dept.
11 Yes
12 Black - Firefighter
Yellow - Leiutenants
Red - Captain
Blue - EMS Captain
White - Chief and Assistant Chief

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