Hello everyone,
                      just a question, from firefighters to Chiefs of departments, what's everyone's thoughts on polos or class B shirts? Here's my two cents... Let's keep it civil, ha ha ha.


Polos- Cheaper than class B's, due to no badges, medals, nameplates, collar brass, etc.
          Don't wrinkle as easily
          More comfortable under bunker gear
         You don't roll over onto your badge while you're asleep (that hurts)
         Can be embroidered

Class B- Nothing looks more professional than badges and medals.
             Easy to tell rank, neighboring fire departments and civilians alike.
             Can be repatched, where polos are embroidered once and thats it.


Polos- Can confuse neighboring departments if you don't have different colors by rank.
          Certain manufacturers polos (5.11 comes to mind) can run you up to $50 a piece (even discounted)
Class B- Can be confused with Law Enforcement (I dunno about you're department's territory or what your local PD wears, but in my neck of the woods light blue is the same as the PD, and we don't got bulletproof vests)
              Stains show very easily on class B depending on color
              Require starch and iron

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It's all about your community and departments culture as well as the environmental norms. Sometimes it's appropriate for the mission such as a bike patrol, ocean related or special project work.

If you are conducting fire inspections, enforcing fire codes or attending an event, a uniform shirt and badge, in my opinion, is more appropriate.

Depends on the dept. We have polos and they work fine for us. We did have the older button down class "B" shirt in the past, but we never wore badges on them. Officers would have their collar device on them to note their rank, and chief officers would wear their gold badge, but most times they aren't putting on turnouts either. The only uniform we have badges on is our Class "A"

The only time we really do wear the shirts though is for pub ed, inspections, preplans, etc and usually from start of work to 4pm....after that it is typically dept T-shirt being worn.

We had the polos for several years now, rank is embroidered with the name. We do have red polos for special events so FD personnel stand out more from police. FF to captain wear blue, chiefs wear white polos.

You don't roll over onto your badge while you're asleep (that hurts)
Why would you sleep with the shirt on?
Polos are lighter and breathe better, (firefighter safety) and medals and pins are non-compliant per the NFPA uniform standard. No medal is to breach the uniform if it is FR.
@ Captain Schlags, I see exactly what you're saying, we have a county fire marshal so we don't do inspections, and the events is a given.
@ John Crabbe I like the idea of red polos to separate fd from pd. That was a good idea on yall's part. And as to the falling asleep with the shirt on, it isn't intentional. Ha ha ha.
@ FETC, I see what you're saying about the breathing material. ( since we wear polos). I was unaware that the NFPA stated no pins can pierce a FR shirt. Then again I don't know of any departments in the area who issue FR dept shirts. We wear 5.11 Polos and Dickie pants. The largest career FD's in the area issue Polos and Dickies. (Houston, The Woodlands) and the Woodlands allows their men to wear shorts in the summer!
Speaking on shorts as part of the uniform.... What are everyone's thoughts on that?
Unprofessional and dangerous when dealing with bloody patients... Next?
Speaking on shorts as part of the uniform.... What are everyone's thoughts on that?
Unprofessional and dangerous when dealing with bloody patients... Next?

There was a discussion on duty shorts in the past and there were many differing opinions on it. We recently went to duty shorts last year (shorts could be worn for special events for years though) and they are popular amongst the crews. The timeline to wear them for us is limited from mid May to mid Oct.

I personally like them, you do stay cooler and they are comfortable. There is a lot of debate about exposures etc, but to me it is about situational awareness as well. If running on a call that sounds like it will be bloody, it is nothing to throw bunkers on. Otherwise, just be aware of the surroundings.
Class B button down shirts are either FR or the polyster/cotton around here. None the less I believe you are not allowed to pin through your shirts if they are NFPA compliant. Dickie pants? What material is that made of and is it compliant? Cotton or FR is the only compliant material.

Here is my take on the bloody patient.... does your department polo have long sleeves? Likely not in the summer... therefore don't get it on you to begin with.
Yeah... I see that, just toss on your turnouts and go. Until I been there long enough to get a new set of turnouts and can keep my current as a set of backups, I would worry about getting blood on my turnouts then having to put them in the PPE wash and drop a run while they're washing or drying.
No the polo is short sleeve, and I don't try to get blood on me but hoodrats thrashing around with GSW's make it difficult ha ha ha. And Dickie's are 65% Polyester 35% Cotton blend
We went to the polos about a year and a half ago, and everyone seems to prefer them because of the comfort factor. We have short sleeve for summer and long sleeve in the winter. We are still issued the class B button down that we wear to events where a calss a is too much but the polo is a little to informal. As for the shorts I am 50-50 on it I can see both points, but I feel that the pants look more professional, and duty boots with shorts just looks funny.

yeah, which brings me to another point... I wear all leather black chukkas, most of the guys in my company wear 8 inch swat team style boots... We'd look like a bunch of park rangers in shorts
NFPA 1975 covers uniforms

One Subpart-

All of these garments must be made of thermally stable materials. Some examples of compliant materials include Nomex (or other aramids that meet optional fire resistance); Firewear (or other modacrylic/cotton blends that meet optional fire resistance); fire-resistant cotton that meets optional fire resistance; and cotton that meets base requirements.

Some examples of Non-Compliant materials include polyester, high percent polyester blends and wool.
"Why would you sleep with the shirt on?"

My thoughts as well.

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