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  • Goggles vs. Face Shields

    I have been told by a city fire officer that I cannot participate in an extrication wearing my goggles (NFPA certified for firefighting and extrication). I must have a face shield and the goggles are not safe. I do not agree with this. I want to do what is the safest. I switched to goggles (no one else on my department uses them) because I have gotten glass in my eyes at an extrication (while wearing my visor down).

  • #2
    Wear the goggles with the shield. If that's not possible you've provided your own justification for the goggles when you say you got "glass in your eye" while wearing a shield only.

    Personally, our extrication teams must ware goggles as an SOP.

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    • #3
      I just got "flamed" on this in another topic. "Post a Picture" http://www.firehouse.com/forums/Forum5/HTML/000405.html In that pic, the camera caught me with my face shield up. During a hot summer night with a misty rain, I lifted my face shield many times so I could see better, we have cheap goggles guaranteed to fog up, so I didn?t wear them.

      Yes your right, goggles are safer, but, if you can't see what you're doing, it may not be practical. I think your officer was wrong. Could it be, he?s against them because they weren?t Fire Dept. issued? It wouldn?t be the first time I?ve heard of something like that.

      Who can recommend a set of goggles that doesn?t fog up under hot humid conditions?



      ------------------
      Be kind to fire fighters. Please don't let your dogs use fire hydrants.

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      • #4
        Dont listen to that fire officer, he is dead wrong.

        All the justification that you need for not using a shield only, is written on the shield itself, it says not approved eye protection.

        Approved eye protection, will have ANSI Z71 printed somewhere on the eyewear.

        I am currently trying to find info on a substance that they use on face shields of youth ice hockey players, if anyone knows what it is called please let me know, I figure that if it keeps their full face shield from fogging, then it should work great on extrication goggles and safety glasses.

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        • #5
          Obviously that fire officer has never had stuff fly up under the face shield during an extrication. As far as I'm concerned goggles or safety glasses with side shields are the only way to go.

          Look in dive shops for anti-fog stuff for your goggles. I have something called Sea Drops.

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          • #6
            We require face shields along with some other form of eye protection, whether it be goggles or safety glasses.

            Looking for a cheap solution to prevent fogging? Try hand soap. Doesn't matter if it's liquid or bar soap (obviously liquid is easier to work with). Rub the soap over the whole surface. Then take a dry towel and wipe it off. Don't use water. You may have to wipe a couple times to remove it all.

            Try it on a bathroom mirror . Just do part of it, then take a hot shower so it gets pretty steamy. I've also heard that shaving cream works just as well.

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            • #7
              fireflyer, have the officer read a face shield on a new helmet. It says "does not meet NFPA requirements for primary eye protection". Ask him if he wants to take on the liability of requiring you to use a shield vs goggles.

              [This message has been edited by fireman_387 (edited 02-04-2001).]

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              • #8
                On our heavy rescue team, we use ANSI compliant safety glasses of the wrap around design. We are issued both the smoked for daytime, and clear for night ops. They work great for us. Some members also have the goggles, ATAC & CAIRNS, but fogging is a complaint. We have used MSA's antifog with sucess and have also tried Rain-x and Cat Crap (Not the real stuff) and both work well. If anyone is intrested in the brand of saftey glasses we use, I'll get the exact name and model #'s posted.

                [This message has been edited by capt205 (edited 02-04-2001).]

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                • #9
                  I agree with Capt205 about the safety glasses. In my experience the goggles just fog up way too much; however, the glasses are awesome. Weather you use goggles or safety glasses the idea of only using the faceshield is disturbing. Tell your officer to read a recent training manual, NFPA 1500 requires appropriate eye protection. Faceshields just are not appropriate for primary protection anymore. Unfortunatly sometimes it takes an accident or two to get some of our commanders to change their way of thinking. Good luck and be safe.

                  [This message has been edited by Yanjam5123 (edited 02-08-2001).]

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                  • #10
                    During extrications in my department we have need to wear both NFPA safety glasses as well as our face shields. During any other operations we only have our shields down. However, I have also run into problems with both my glasses and shield fogging up. We have some no-name fog spray stuff, but it doesn't work that well. I find that my equipment onlg fogs up during certain times during the year and day (IE winter or early morning calls). One thing we always keep in mind, is that if you can't see what you are doing then you are more likely to cause or be involved in an accident.
                    There is a fine mix between being safe and operating unsafe as a result of the equipment.

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                    • #11
                      We ran into a situation two years ago where we thought that we were adequately protecting our members by providing safety glasses to our members for extrication in addition to their helmet shields.

                      One of my members was beginning to remove a windshield with a windshield saw while wearing complete ppe. Upon thrusting the saw into the windshield a piece of glass lodged in his eye.

                      Luckily for him he was not cut. On scene paramedics treated him immediately.

                      After returning to our station it was decided to purchase the approved NFPA rated goggles.

                      NFPA 1500 clearly states the protection needed for a members eyes. Have him read the document. ( Better yet, ask him if he has even heard of it.)

                      During use we have found the googles to perform with excellent results in many varied weather conditions. There has been some fogging but nothing too excessive.

                      As for your officer, all I can say is that he isn't alone. There are too many individuals like this in the fire service. If they can't taste it or ?!#% it, they don't care about it because it wasn't their idea.

                      I hope this helps. Keep the faith. You are RIGHT.

                      Philip Publicover, Fire Chief
                      District #1 F.D., Blandford, N.S., Canada
                      e-mail: [email protected]

                      Train Hard, Train Safe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is obviously a hot topic. We also have had many debates about safety glasses/shields in recent months. The simple fact (as stated by many others) is that one form of eye protection no longer meets the standards. If your department adopts NFPA 1500 standards as well as NFPA 1971 standards, then you and your officer should know that helmet mounted shields are simply rated for secondary eye protection. This alone tells you that if you have a shield on your helmet, NFPA requires you to use it with another form of eye protection, Never alone!
                        Secondly, the 1971 standards are for firefighting activities. Your helmet shield is most likely a secondary form of eye protection for firefighting (ie, worn with a facepiece). Looking at it from this perspective may give you a better idea of the requirements (just think of your helmet shield as extra protection for your SCBA facepiece).
                        Be safe out there!
                        [This message has been edited by BigPeach (edited 02-10-2001).]

                        [This message has been edited by BigPeach (edited 02-10-2001).]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Unfortunately, I think your T.O. is trying to go with an NFPA approved faceshield to cover his butt, however is it! As many have pointed out before, shields don't protect your eyes as well as goggles or a pair of safety glasses. It has been my experience that where the responder needs the protection the most is from underneath, the shield only protects from above or dead on. Which the shields offer little if any protection unless your tipping your head down and the shield hits your chest.

                          I offer to purchase and sell low cost effective polycarbonate safety glasses for hosts of my extrication programs. For less than $1.50/pr you can provide the responder with greater eye protection than any face shield from shards of glass or blood coming up at you.

                          The $1.50 of course is on the low end and the average wholesale is less than $4 for a pair of good quality safety glasses plus shipping.

                          The Bouton Galxis UFO goggles the ones with the bug eye look are identical to the Carins. Except for the price tag and screen print stenciling on the elastic band, you can not tell the differnce. I think you will find that they are made for Carins by Bouton. They sell for under $4/pr wholesale, I mean identical even to the manufacters lens numbers. You can order them with colored lens for about a $1.50 more. These offer the most complete eye protection and vissibility with a reasonable price tag. I think your department would like them when they go head to toe on price as well.

                          Sometimes I will even give both the glasses and goggles away as a door prize prior to going outside to the drill yard. To me, its cheap insurance when you consider you can't be everywhere during an extrication class and the troups are more likely to keep the safety glasses on than a shield down.

                          How many times have you seen the shield down and then when they can't see well, then up it goes. Most people don't mind the glasses, there comfortable and stylish, they come in colored lens if your out in the bright sun so there is absolutely no excuse not to use them.

                          To me the shields are a waste, I have never seen a firefighter yet drop them down over the face piece of an SCBA during a fire. Most don't wear them down while doing extrication. The safety glasses/goggles can be put in your coat pocket for protection when not in use.

                          I do like one concept on the helmet that comes with the googles in a pouch on the helmet so there free from debis and kept clean.

                          As far as the fogging up issue with goggles, has anyone tried the anti-fog additive? It works great on my bath mirrors!

                          What I would suggest you do is to get a good pair of safety glass and a pair of googles. Take the T.O. aside and ask to speak with him and show him your eye wear and the concerns you have by using the helment shield. If that doesn't work I would ask your company officer that you would like to speak to the next in the chain of command. To me, it's a personal safety issue and I think that once you can prove your point, the T.O. should allow you to wear a safer form of eye potection.

                          ------------------
                          Ron Shaw
                          http://www.extrication.com

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