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Helmet Colors

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by 4095fanatic, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. 4095fanatic

    4095fanatic

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    Just out of curiosity, seeing how ya'll handled color-coding your helmets (we just switched our system). We have:


    Yellow (turtle shell-style): EMS-only personnel.

    Yellow (Cairn 1000 with "R" stickers): Rookie Firefighters (Passed Fire I, but still relatively "new", or firefighters who have been around a while but have yet to run a working fire).

    Black (Cairn 880/1010): Firefighters who are able to function independently on their own, and can handle any task assigned to them without supervision.

    Blue: Firefighter/Lieutenant.

    Red: Firefighter/Captain.

    White: Firefighter/Chief.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Back in the old days it used to be relatively the same, but instead of black helmet's we just took the R's off of the helmets of those who had proven themselves in a fire. However, we recently had to order new helmets, and thus instituted the change. Another problem was up until this there was no way of determining EMS only personnel as some firefighters had to use turtleshell's due to a lack of Cairn 1000 helmets, so EMS personnel just got rookie helmets, thus making some incident officers assume they were firefighters. As there were very few EMS-only personnel with turnout gear (those assigned it were extremely active personnel who went on a significant number of calls requiring gear, such as rescues), there never was a huge push to get stickers or other identifying devices issued (usually a star of life sticker on a helmet simply means you're also EMS qualified in addition to being a firefighter).

    Unfortunately some of our nearby stations (as well as mutual aid stations) have completely dif. schemes... thus causing confusion. In P.G. county next door, a red helmet means "exterior only" firefighter, not a captain. In other jurisdictions, a blue helmet means "EMS-only", not FF/LT. This can cause chaos on scenes in which responders aren't familiar with the schemes used by nearby stations (imagine a rookie firefighter from P.G. county telling one of our captains to throw ground ladders because he assumed the red helmet meant he was a rookie).

    Usually incidents like this are few and far between, and when they do crop up are rectified quickly, but they do show that no nation-wide system can result in a royal charlie foxtrot popping up every now and then. Thoughts/comments/questions?
     
  2. FlaFF

    FlaFF

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    Why are your EMS personnel wearing helmets? IMHO they have no reason to be in an area that requires a helmet to begin with.


    FlaFF

    Edited to add, why would a firefighter be giving orders to another (rookie) firefighter? Unity of command is specifically outlined in the IFSTA manual.
     

  3. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Being a smaller department, ours is relatively simple. We have Cairns 1010 helmets.

    Black -- firefighter
    White -- Fire Officer

    Officers have their rank denoted on the helmet's shield. We all know who in our dept is interior qualified (and our ID tags show this). For mutual aid, the responding crew will be made up of qualified members depending on the type of call and the calling dept's SOPs.
     
  4. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    Typical for California-

    White- Chief.
    Red/Orange in LA- Fire Captain
    Yellow- Firefighter

    [​IMG]
     
  5. 4095fanatic

    4095fanatic

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    Ok, first off. To the "why would a firefighter be giving orders", I should have fleshed out the hypothetical situation a bit more... disregard that comment for now.

    Second off: EMS personnel are "required" to wear helmets when providing patient care in a wrecked vehicle. There are situations (though rare) when there are no cross trained FF/EMT's available to provide patient care to a victim inside a wrecked vehicle, and an EMS-only provider must go in to the wreck. To go inside a wreck without a helmet on is asking for an injury. I say "required" in quotes above because that particular S.O.P. is usually ignored when the wreck is deemed minor (thankfully the most I ever got from ignoring it was a few cuts and a small scar... my own damn fault for going into "minor" wrecks with just shirt and pants on). When I say minor wreck, I mean minor. For example, a car off the roadway into a bush or two, no entrapment, no intrusion into passenger compartment, minor damage only, etc. etc. etc. When I was just an EMT student (and afterwards as a rookie) I'd crawl into the backseat and hold C-spine all the time, or help pull 'em out on the backboard without gear on...

    Additionally, and I know I'll get blasted for this by someone, but we have EMS-only personnel help out on firegrounds. No need to tie up an interior firefighter carting bottles back and forth to the squad (or whichever unit is being used as a cascade). The bottles are well out of the danger zone (usually deposited in the staging area), but as it's a fire scene we try and require turnout gear be worn. Not uncommon for the 2nd or 3rd ambulance crew to be doing that or similar duties.

    More to come, must go for now. Stay safe out there.
     
  6. D25

    D25 The Quick

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    White- Chief.
    Red- Captain/ LT.
    Yellow- Firefighter.
    Black- Probationary FF.
    Blue- Explorer (volunteer who is too young to enter a burning building)
     
  7. tbhracing

    tbhracing Senior Member

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    Ummm...It happens daily. And IFSTA is not the standard for everyone to follow.
     
  8. nam02G

    nam02G First throwing ax bullseye.

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    White = Chief officer
    Red = Captain
    Yellow = Firefighter
    Black = Cadet, highschool student not old enough to enter IDLH

    In my department everyone does EMS and fire.
     
  9. 4095fanatic

    4095fanatic

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    We require EMT-B within a year of getting FFI (as a way of making sure everyone is cross trained), but not only do most people wait that year to begin, we also have some people who got grandfathered in, and thus are fine with either FR or none at all. That, and I believe our SOP has a loophole that says you have to get it, but says nothing about having to renew it (the Chief usually makes you renew it anyway, but a few of the old-timers are exempt).

    Agreed about the "it happens plenty of times". Hell, I've done it myself at times. If I see someone standing around doing absolutely nothing when there are a million things to be done, I'll put 'em to work (though I usually let one of the higher-ups deal with that). Nothing annoys me more on Rescue calls than when we have the entire engine crew directing traffic, spreading kitty litter, clearing debris, etc. and only the ambulance crew doing patient care (I don't care if you're EMT or not... it doesn't take an EMT to start hauling backboards and trauma bags off the ambulance, or to hold C-Spine).
     
  10. hazmedic1085

    hazmedic1085

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    Black- Firefighter
    Red=Lt.
    White= Batt. Chief and above
     
  11. Joey

    Joey Millennium Member

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    White Chief & Asst Chief
    Red Captain & LT
    Yellow Firefighter & Explorer (with Explorer rocker)
     
  12. indigent

    indigent Bamboozled

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    We all wear either Cairns 1010's or 1044's. Although individual purchase is authorized.

    Yellow-Firefighters
    Black-Lt
    Red-Captain
    White-Chief
     
  13. hotpig

    hotpig IAFF Local 4766 CLM

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    +1
     
  14. TxFire

    TxFire

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    White=Chief
    Red= Captain and Lieutenant
    Black= Driver and Firefighter
     
  15. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    Extrications, building collapse, trench rescue, farm machinery extrication........


    Scott
     
  16. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    White: Chief/*** Chief
    Red: Captain/Lieutenant/Sergeant/Unit
    Yellow: Firefighter released for interior attack
    Black: Firefighter not yet trained to minimum requirements for interior attack

    The County (mostly)

    Same as above, with blue for EMS personnel





    Scott
     
  17. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    County: At least complete formal Rookie class, which includes 16 hours of burn building time

    Most departments: At least Firefighter One and in house training



    Scott
     
  18. glockfd

    glockfd

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    Black Cairns 1010 w/ BLACK shield = Firefighter
    Black Cairns 1010 w/ WHITE shield = Capt/LT (noted on shield)
    Black Cairns 1010 w/ GREEN shield = Rookie/non-scba
    White Cairns 1010 w/ WHITE shield = Chief/Asst. Chief(noted on shield)

    Of course Leather helmets are allowed in place of the 1010 if you want to spend your own $$$.




    http://www.hamiltonfd.org/
     
  19. DScottHewitt

    DScottHewitt EMT-B

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    Forgot the kiddies table:


    Orange = Junior (Under 18)


    Scott
     
  20. nsb22

    nsb22 TEAM OAF

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    White = Chiefs
    Red = Capt.
    Yellow = LT.
    Black = FF
    Blue = EMS only
    Orange = Rookie