I own a cairns 880, and in full gear, when i look up, the brim hits the scba tank, limiting my movement.

Is there anything i can do to fix that? Can you bend a composite? I was just curious
because its pretty annoying.

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I would stay with the Drager! We did a fit and funtion test with all the new SCBA's (with all their bells and whistles included). 17 different action/function staions from live fire, RIT, working a rescue scenario, low air alarm maydays, ventilation, window bailouts, throwing, raising and climbing ladders, ladder bailouts...you name it we did it, then we did it again while using the SCBA's communication system. Time and time again Drager was rated (by the Firefighters doing the eval) at the top.
Don't take my word for it , contact all the venders and do your own fit and function before you settle on your SCBA purchase.
Where was I oh yea wear the pack lower on your hips and then buy a leather helmet!
My department has the Scott NXG2 packs, my previous had Scott 50s. As far as I know they were all meant to ride on your hips, not your shoulders.
Does the pack adjust up and down because ours will adjust for short, medium, and tall height people you might have it up to high
Nope... you really can't bend a composite.

I don't know anything about leather helmets, but I've seen photos where leather helmets DID have the rear brim bent down substantially.

This issue definitely affects the shorter firefighters... of which I used to be.

That bottle size and how it seats in the harness, just isn't adjustable, which means if you're a shorter guy, you're going to ding that helmet on that bottle.

I think about it... the only solutions I see, are to use helmets with smaller brims, or even helmets with flexible brims. All of the Cairns traditional style helmets other than the leather or the old Senator (yep... that old tin can job!), were susceptible to having that rear brim broke off, as happened to a firefighter I knew when I was a junior firefighter.

The evolution, was a mock haz mat incident. And I played the role of a victim. My friend came into as part of a rescue party who was being protected by a fog pattern. He came to me, put me face up, tied my wrists, pulled them over his head while straddling me, and started crawling with me in the standard fashion. My wrists came down on that helmet brim and when he moved forward... SNAP!! Broke that rear brim clean through.

The best you can do, is to speak with your equipment officer and your chief, about how to alleviate the problem. Equipment that doesn't fit properly and allow you to perform your work freely, is equipment that works against you as a firefighter. It's a hazard in my mind. A hazard to personnel that doesn't get enough attention in the fire service at the individual level.

Gear companies have been working for years, to create ensembles that fire departments can buy 'off the rack' to outfit their departments in bulk... and some, such as Morning Pride, even strive to individually fit firefighters with coats, pants and boots, under contract to departments.

But... when we get into helmets and SCBAs... things get kind of ugly... How do you adjust an air cylinder, or a hard helmet?

While you CAN adjust the FIT of the helmet's suspension system... you can't shrink the helmet shell itself, which is the problem.

While can CAN adjust the SCBA straps... you can't adjust the size of the SCBA cylinder bracket, or the size of the bottle, to fit the firefighter.

It seems to me in history, helmet manufacturers HAVE created some designs that were a little more flexible... such as a flexible brim back there, or even no brim, or a drastically shortened brim. But those have long gone the way of the do-do bird with the new NPFA specifications for equipment.

The Cairns HP3, which is essentially a Cairns 660 metro without the rear brim, is one option that MIGHT be worthy of consideration.


I don't know what your Chief would say to the solution. This is definitely a deal where you need to sit down with your department leadership, and discuss options.

Understand, that your department, probably doesn't have money in the budget to outfit the whole department with new helmets at this time, but that maybe when there is a re-outfitting of the department to replace aged gear, that the problem you are experiencing can be addressed at that time.

ALSO... understand that the department may,or may NOT be willing to permit you to use a different style of helmet than they already use, to address this issue, either in the interim, or permanently.

This may mean, that the best solution, is to assign you to positions OTHER than those that put you in IDLH atmospheres requiring you to use SCBA. (Frankly, this isn't the 'end of the world' if you ask me, because there's a LOT of work on an emergency scene to be done, that is critical to mission success, that does not require SCBA use.)

So go into your conversation with your chief and equipment officer with a very open mind, and remember the goal of a fire department, is to work as a team to protect life and property... and that not all critical team positions, involve going into burning buildings and other dangerous atmospheres. You might find your firefighting career pointed toward working as an engineer... driving the apparatus and running the pump, while acting as a second pair of eyes for your company officer and even leading your team when the company officer becomes incapacitated.

(And in that position, even if you have to wear SCBA... the occasional brim bump on that bottle won't be such an issue, that you can't just overlook it. Inside, where you're crawling and so on, you can't ignore that issue because that adds difficulty to an already difficult job... outside on the pump panel... it's no big deal.)

Good luck!:)
i dont know but if ya think of anything let me know im 5'2" and have a
scott and i just dont have enough torso i keep the waist strap tight and the shoulders pretty loose the weight of the pack is on my hips but i always tip my head to the side to look up and if im crawling its even worse seriously if you find a way to have more mobility let me know!!!!!!

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