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
Neither...I vote t-shirts....the only time you should go class be or jewlry shirt is a scheaduled station visit, business inspections, and preventions/public service events (going out to community events and showing the truck or meeting with a civic group)
See exactly Oldman. It confuses me why they'd require fire retardant uniforms if you're wearing turnouts. Because if you"re down to fire retardant uniforms, your lungs have already seared shut, your face has burned beyond recognition, and your body is going to be so warm your CSF will cause your brain to cook in your skull.... Just saying.
The intent behind the station wear uniform standard is to protect from burn injuries that are related to accidents involving flammable liquids and vapors such as during gasoline-powered portable equipment checks; saws, and oxygen equipment, etc. There have been several such cases documented in which polyester and nylon-type materials were ignited and adhered to the skin compounding the difficulty in burn treatment.
We wear polos for our normal work day, but any event, class or outside training requires class b. our polos are the 5.11's and they are extremely heavy, hold in water, sweat, etc. we have varied color lettering for diff ranks. takes about an hour to dry if wearing it, but for running calls, doing the yard, washing trucks or cleaning station, it's far better than getting a class b dirty.
we wear full brass on our class b's, but we are navy blue and pd is light blue.
oh and did i mention down here in Texas it's usually 100 damn degrees?!
At my FD, polo's are optional but most of the members wear t-shirts. As far as the class B's, we only wear those for PR events. As far as recognizing rank on scene, our t-shirts are navy blue w/ white lettering and our officer's are navy blue with gold lettering.
Turnout gear is not airtight. If you wear polyester or other meltable fibers under your turnout gear, it makes you vulnerable to "Shrink Wrap Syndrome" where the heat gets under your gear and melts the polyester to your skin.
True, if you wear natural fibers, you may be burned in this situation, but if the choice is being burned or being burned with polyester melted into the burns, the lesser of the two evils is pretty obvious.
Why do you say that shorts are unprofessional and dangerous when dealing with bloody patients?
Unprofessional? There are plenty of hot-weather departments that have professional-looking uniform shorts.
Dangerous? What's more dangerous - intact skin, which OSHA and the CDC both say is an adequate barrier to bloodborne pathogens, or wearing cloth pants that sponge up blood and keep it next to your skin instead of just being able to wipe it off?