One of the coolest things I have ever received in the mail, ever... arrived at my house a couple of days ago. It was from one of the friends I made here on the FFN, and he is from France, where he works as a professional firefighter. Like many firefighters, we both like fire service related things and are involved with trading things back and forth. What amazed me however, was the functional design that I saw first hand. 

Up to this point, I have only seen photographs of french firefighters wearing a very unfamiliar fire helmet style. To be honest, I blew off the design because they just did not look like fire helmets. After having the chance to actually wear one, I offer the following insight for those, like myself, who never have had the chance to see what our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic wear for head and face protection.

The world just keeps getting smaller... I invite everyone to take the time to get to know others around the world with the spirit of sharing and providing the most up to date training and response information available. We are not alone, we have each other.

Prenez garde à rester en sécurité, (TCSS)


The Casque Pompier (Fire Helmet):

Built in Safety Goggles:


Fire Helmet Protective Visor / Heat Shield:


View Through Fire Helmet Protective Visor / Heat Shield:

Fire Helmet Heat Shield:

05-25-2010 Update: I made direct contact today with MSA and spoke with one of two sales reps that have knowledge of the French Gallet F1-SF Firefighter Helmet. Here's what I learned:

• These "French" fire helmets are manufactured by MSA, which is 100% USA owned and is based internationally out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

• MSA bought out the french company Gallet 7-8 years ago, which included this helmet design and manufacturing rights.

• Existing USA style fire helmets are rated to no more than 1500˚F, while this particular style is rated to 1800˚F. Why more? The same technology used by NASA for astronaut helmets visors are incorporated into this design. Both the helmet and face shield reflect the heat, keeping the interior of the helmet cool, with maximum interior helmet temperatures reaching around 95˚F.

• The existing F1-SF helmet does not meet NA standards as mentioned in one of the posts. However, there is such a demand now for this style that MSA is working on providing a NA approved helmet that has the same features but also possesses the necessary impact standards.

• What we are looking at is a glimpse of what the 21st century firefighters are going to be wearing, internationally...

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From the photos I can see part of FF wear rosenbauer HEROS EXTREME helmets (black and yelow) with head lamp. On 2nd photo I think one FF wear MSA Gallet F1 type helmet.

Sure I agree it’s about protection so if there is a significant safety advantage and its proven to be through unbiased test results and field trials then sure. But knowing the that my helmet which is NFPA approved and tested  I guess you have to go with that for now  hopefully those that set the specifications for NFPA know what they are doing 

As For the Gallet F1 F2 helmets I checked the MSA North America web site ( I could not find these helmets listed  there I could only find then on the MSA Europe web site i may have been looking in the wrong place) I could not find where these helmets are NFPA approved but maybe I was looking in the wrong place? I did find that the Gallet helmet is EN443 approved which I believe is similar to the NFPA standard but has some differences? I could not see where the MSA F1 or F2 were OSHA approved but again I may not be looking in the right place??

I did find the Pacific F F7E and F7ET are certified to NFPA 1971/1997 similar helmet but made by a different company

I would think before anyone purchased one of these helmets or any helmet that they would review the requirements of their department and confirm that the helmet they purchase meets the requirements set by their department Make sure you do your home work and research before buying any helmet


Regarding your comment regarding seeing pride honor courage dedication and brotherhood and not seeing this in the helmet? I didn’t say the fire helmet make the firefighter but represents who we are. So do you wear a uniform?? Why do you wear it?  What does it represent to you to others? Do you wear it with pride? Your right these characteristics are in the firefighter and the fire helmet represents the firefighter. I ask you take a New Yorker fire helmet and ask anyone in the general public what it represents and I am sure they will tell you one or all of the following Honor Courage pride brotherhood. It’s funny one of the honors, ceremonial gifts given in the fire service is the fire helmet I wonder why? Maybe cause it symbolizes something? And what might that be

"I ask you take a New Yorker fire helmet and ask anyone in the general public what it represents and I am sure they will tell you one or all of the following Honor Courage pride brotherhood."


I disagree.  If you show anyone in the general public a New Yorker style fire helmet and ask what it represents, they'll just say, "fireman."

Honor, courage, pride and brotherhood are what WE as firemen maintain.  The public simply assumes we'll be there, have somewhat of an idea as to what we're doing and save their asses while doing it.

This one says Fireman.

But this one says Construction Worker.



"It’s funny one of the honors, ceremonial gifts given in the fire service is the fire helmet I wonder why? Maybe cause it symbolizes something? And what might that be[?]"

Sure when you retire you may keep your helmet, and maybe some departments award a ceremonial helmet, but they are as likely to award something else.  Why might THAT be?

I'm all in favor of tradition so long as it's one worth keeping.  I like my leather and will wear as long as I can.  But if something new comes along, it works "better", i.e. it's safer, AND my department requires (and provides) me to wear it, then so be it.  It's literally NOT the end of the world and may in fact, allow me to live one more day.

As for tradition, shouldn't fire engines be RED?

And what about YELLOW fire helmets?

And traditionally, didn't firemen wear 3/4 boots, canvas coats and beards to filter smoke?

200 years of Tradition unimpeded by Progress.  Now this must mean SOMETHING?

Mike, Flash Player is available for Mac OS X here:

I surrender!  For me my helmet means something it may not to others it just may be another tool or PPE.  I take pride in wearing my Sam Houston to others it’s just a helmet. I guess it’s one thing I feel I would like to leave with my kids and hopefully it will mean something to them but maybe then again I could give them an axe that has no personal meaning or a pairs of gloves? The question was asked why we don’t wear the Gallet style helmets not sure, price, government approvals, tradition, availability fit form function. They have been around for years they are nothing new and have not penetrated the US Canadian market in any significant way? Maybe the fire service is filled with narrow minded people like me as someone comment I was, stuck in tradition? In the end one has to ask that question why isn’t it shown on the MSA North American web page? Why don’t more North American departments wear them? It’s not like they just came out? They have been around forever! Well I guess it has to do with what the majority of fire departments want need use or buy in North America for whatever reason. It is obvious that the majority of fire fighters and fire departments are as narrow minded as me or you would see a lot more departments wearing them don’t you think?  

I guess it’s just like booster lines, ¾ boots, the horse, 1 ¾ attack lines, CAFS, Foam, PPV, PPA and so much more some things just take time to change and this is one thing I think is going to take a long time to change

But if something new comes along, it works "better", i.e. it's safer, AND my department requires (and provides) me to wear it, then so be it.

I would say that this really does come down to the crux of the issue here, especially with dept requiring it.


Really, this debate has gone on long enough and seems to be the popular type of crap that gets discussions vs anything actually relevant and that is a shame on such a site.


Opinions are out there and everyone is entitled to their own, yet much of the debate and arguments here are a wash. Current helmets, irrgardless of style, have to conform to the NFPA standards, which most do. So to keep hashing out about which is safer, etc is nothing more than unsubstanciated opinion. The OP here thinks the French helmet design is the cat's ass, so what, others here think such a style is "safer" but yet what it truly does come down to is what the dept does require and also provides......and as long as current helmets out there meet the standards, then everything else is a wash.



However, no one has yet been able to define "safer" in the context of this discussion.  It is pointless to debate something for which the debaters cannot determine a definition, let alone a common definition.


Agreed.  With regard to my comment about "safer" I suppose what I meant was, should the Gallet/European style fully meet present NFPA/OSHA standards (as my leather does) and my department choose to go with it, I'm cool with that.

At least you are not advocating for a "safe-ish" helmet. :-)


I wasn't singling out just your "safer" comment.  That term has been used by more than one person here, sans definition.


I tried to put my use of "safer" in the form of a question.  I have a fairly good idea of how to define "safer" for fire helmets, and it doesn't necessarily fall into lockstep with the NFPA/OSHA standard.

Wait I though the NFPA standards were a minimum standard. And the only place I wear a tupper ware bowl is at work because they won't allow me to wear one of my leather helmets.

And why is that? Assuming you are talking about the Bullard Style Structural helmet as your department issue e.g. tupper ware bowl?

I thought the leather helmets met OSHA standards and such?


There are both OSHA and NFPA-compliant helmet versions.


The legal minimum is the OSHA version.

Some departments choose the NFPA standard because it is supposedly a "safer" helmet.


I have a NFPA-compliant personal leather and work allows me to wear it as long as it has the NFPA-compliant labeling.


There's a difference between a legal standard (like OSHA) and a consensus (non-binding) standard like NFPA.

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