American firefighters' helmets through history


14 Responses to “American firefighters' helmets through history”

  1. show me says:

    “designed by Jacobus Turk” – I wonder if this is where the “Turk” comes from in the movie “Turk 182″, which is about firemen?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was a vol. firefighter for a few years, and my father and brother still are. Firefighters are pretty conservative people (in that they resist change for its own sake). I think they’d balk at being asked to wear the stormtrooper helmet. It would have to be a lot better.

    I don’t know where the “throw the helmet out the window” thing comes from, but I’ve heard it before. I’ve been inside burning buildings and the absolute last thing I’d do in that situation is take my protective gear off. You should have a PASS alarm that triggers a something-like 100dB alarm if you stop moving, but you can set it off manually, too.

  3. Nedril says:

    Yeah, here in Europe “European” helmets are known as French helmets, they originated there, and during the last decade or so they have completely replaced any other type of helmet even when coming down to the smallest town fire brigade. All my firefighter friends have them as standard and some are in brigades with 5-10 members.

  4. snakedart says:

    The modern French helmet is truly one of the coolest pieces of headgear I’ve ever seen. It looks like it was designed by Daft Punk.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have worked in the fire service for years and have never heard of a FF throwing his helmet out a window to signal distress. First, it’s a terrible way of signaling for help when pretty much every FF carries a radio and second without a helmet (even with protective hood and SCBA facepiece) your head would get burned very very quickly.

  6. gwailo_joe says:

    SFFD supplies firefighters with classic ‘leatherhead’ style helmets, but made out of composites.

    Using old leather helmets is acceptable within the ranks, many people do: I like my plastic helmet. It has been knocked around and warmed up a few times: still hangin’ tough.

    As an Engine guy, I prefer black, so the day-glo stickers had to go. . .and my eagle got bent the other day, but all it took was some heavy vice-grips to straighten it out.

    Compared with modern European and Japanese safety headgear, there is no doubt much of the US is stuck in the past. . .but until I can wear something like #5′s (that works better than a 45 min Scott :)

    I’m willing to let function follow form in the name of historical reminiscence. And IMO using ears as thermometers provides a useful lesson for keeping low at fire scenes -yeow!-

    • peterbruells says:

      Can’t they just keep the old style helmets as part of a dress uniform?

      And for sexy calendars, when raising money?

  7. Thorzdad says:

    My father was a firefighter. I proudly have his lieutenant’s helmet hanging on my studio wall.

  8. Anonymous says:

    i’m a fan of the creepy old ones like this:

    (pic i took at chicago’s museum of science and industry)

    • chawke says:

      Anon No 5 Wrote:

      —————————–< SNIP >————————————
      i’m a fan of the creepy old ones like this:

      (pic i took at chicago’s museum of science and industry)

      —————————–< SNIP >————————————

      Wow — when I was a kid, my _dentist_ wore a mask Just Like This! Dr. Mold was my dentist until I started going to a non-pediatric dentist when I was 14, so until then, I thought that this is what all dentists wear. I was pleasantly surprised when my new dentist didn’t greet me wearing such a scary mask. The Darth Vader like breathing alone was scary enough.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Leather helmets are a sustainable product, unlike petrochemical helmets.

    Conservation is not a dirty word. Let’s conserve the animal husbandry and leather goods industries instead of encouraging further elimination of farming, and more deepwater drilling and inevitable pollution and destruction of animal habitat by petrochemical industries.

    Let’s congratulate the firefighters for their continuing sponsorship of a vital and sustainable industry, rather than condemning them for some imagined irrational fashion statement, OK? If the leatherheads work, they should not be displaced by a plastic helmet. The firefighters are displaying intelligence.

    And before someone points out that plastics can be made from non-petroleum bases – Yeah, OK, but they can, but they aren’t.

  10. zapan says:

    @snakedart : Thank you for mentioning the French Firfighter Helmet !
    I live next door to a small village fire brigade in France, and even them are equipped with modern helmets (they are standard regulation). French firefighters statistically suffer much less face and neck burns compared to american firefighters (who still have that insane habit of using their ears as “thermometers” on the field).

    Some years ago, a New York fire brigade was invited in Draguignan, a village of the french riviera, by the local brigade. They were all gifted with french helmets adorned with 9/11 commemorative plates, because their french colleagues thougth it was only justice they faced danger with the best equipment possible.

  11. nixiebunny says:

    Fashion victims.

    The only way around that is to change the OSHA regulations.

  12. Smart E Pantz says:

    Is it just me? I found the concept of this museum much more appealing than the reality. I wanted to like this museum. I tried, I really tried. I stuck with it. I’d like to think I have an open mind. I go to a lot of museums, of all types, all over the world, all the time. But I swear, I’ve never been so bored as I was at this one. Sorry, FDNY.

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