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  • Color of turnout gear.

    In my Department we have the tan turnout gear. My question is what is the difference between Tan turnout gear and black or red or even white. Is it just for tradition that some departments have black turnout oppose to tan or is it an actual safety deal. Just curious. Also is black hotter in the summer time?
    Basically, Its all about breaking glass and kickin' ***

  • #2
    I've worn both. No difference in summer temps that I could detect. I think it is largely tradition at this point.

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    • #3
      The difference is real firefighters wear black.

      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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      • #4

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
          The difference is real firefighters wear black.

          QFT.

          Also, our gear is supposed to be sent out for cleaning when it appears to become dirty. The cynic/realist would say we have black because it saves the city money on cleaning bills.
          Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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          • #6
            Local choice and cash.

            I know of a department that has black gear with yellow sleeves, and has for years, even before Nomex arrived on the scene.

            Pricewise, the bottom of the heap is good old Nomex, manufacturers' variations notwithstanding. Good stuff and still in use by many fire departments. Available in a variety of colors, although you'll most often see it in black or yellow. Many departments in my area have opted to leave their chief's in "regular" turnouts and just put them in a white hat. At $500 and more for a coat, it makes little sense to be buying a new white coat every time the chief (and they never wear the same size) changes.

            Newer aramids are often those found in tan. Also good stuff.

            We're still in yellow Nomex. I suspect we'll start "going for the gold" in the not too distant future.
            Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

            Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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            • #7
              PBI and the more advanced textiles (including "Advance") can be had in black, but it costs more than basic tan.

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              • #8
                ..................
                Last edited by ColoradoDave; 02-13-2013, 02:06 PM.

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                • #9
                  The color is a matter of preference.

                  The outer shell is a matter of preference.

                  Once you get past both of those... just go with your preference.

                  I have worn yellow, tan, black and a few variations in between. I can't tell that color makes a difference in function. But I can distinquish a difference in the outer shells in how they hold up.




                  I think the "can of worms" pretty much sizes up the debate. Well played LeatherHed4Life.
                  HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PaladinKnight View Post
                    I think the "can of worms" pretty much sizes up the debate.
                    There were a couple of valid questions in there. And they were answered.

                    If this was simply a debate about the best color - yep - can o' worms.
                    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                      Local choice and cash.

                      I know of a department that has black gear with yellow sleeves, and has for years, even before Nomex arrived on the scene.
                      I'd love to see a picture of that.

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                      • #12
                        It is a can o worms.

                        Unless your talking about tan = Globe Extremes = the coolest. LOL

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                        • #13
                          Marlon Brando voice on from Apocalypse Now: "The HORROR, THE HORROR..." Marlon Brando voice off.

                          My volly FD after using Bristol Boston spec BLACK turnout gear for years has switched to either Globe or Quaker (I don't remember right now) in PBI Gold color. Now we look exactly the same as everyone else.

                          Turn out gear is supposed to be BLACK. Helmets are supposed to be tradional styled. I think that is federal law, or it damn well should be!!
                          Crazy, but that's how it goes
                          Millions of people living as foes
                          Maybe it's not too late
                          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nameless View Post
                            I'd love to see a picture of that.
                            From their website:
                            Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                            Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                              From their website:
                              Now I understand.

                              A well funded department got sick of this same argument and decided to solve the issue.

                              Took apart the turnouts and sewed the opposite colors together.

                              Issue solved, lesson learned, no more griping.

                              (Kevlar colored Globe Extremes)
                              Last edited by jam24u; 07-27-2010, 11:06 PM.

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