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PPE, TIC, and SCBA reviews....

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  • PPE, TIC, and SCBA reviews....

    I am asking for you opinions and experiences with different brands and models of Structural PPE, SCBAs, and TICs.

    1 Which brand of PPE have you found to be the best in funtionality and durability?

    2 Which SCBA is the king of the hill? MSA or Scott? Which models would you recomend?

    3 Which TIC have you had the best luck with? Which are the best bang for the buck?

    4 Has anybody used or know of the Fire Knight helmet? There is a lot of interst in my department in this helment, is it a marked improvment over a traditional style?


    Thanks for the reviews, I hope this doesnt start a 5 alarm debate! I just want your opinions. We have been useing our OLD gear for a long time, as have our neighboring departments, so we are kind of out of the loop when it comes to what new gear is worth looking at.

    Thanks a bunch.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  • #2
    One TIC I am very interested in is the HelmetVue.


    This seems like a very handy system, and it doesnt weight down the helmet all that much.

    Has anybody used this unit? Anybody demo it? Heard anything about it?

    This is in our pricerange, fits our needs (is it works as advertised that is), and offers hands free operation which we hold in high regaurd.

    It is small though, might be easy to loose/break.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


    • #3
      First thought on the helmet mounted cameras is switching them off between members. If this one simply clips to the helmet, how reliable is the clip? If there is some kind of mount needed on the helmet, then you need that on every helmet. Hand carried cameras are just too simple to use and convenient to worry about hands free. There are all kinds of straps you can get with a camera to let it hang by your side if needed. We tried a helmet cam in testing once, inadvertantly hit the camera and pushed it "off center". Walked into a wall because I thought I was going through the doorway and couldn't tell since the camera was pointing to side a little bit. Try all the cameras you can, try them in many various situations, see what you like best and go with it. On a side note, we use our camera many more times on alarm calls than structure fires since they make up the majority of our calls. TICs are very usefull, just open your imagination. Good Luck.

      PS - we use Survivair as we have found them the best SCBA.
      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?


      • #4
        Hey how it going. These are just some things that I have found in my time around, don't take anything the wrong way. SCBA, Scott, FDNY,Boston,Chicago,LA, need I say more. They in my opinon are by far the best out there hands down, simple to operate, many,many options. Gear, good question so much out there, we use globe but I am not a particularly huge fan, works well but I think theres better stuff out there. TIC we have 2 cairns vipers, I don't like them at all, one nice feature, the screen moves to look behind things, or up in a drop ceiling, bullard or tallsman is the way to go. And I can not beleive that a real firefighter would want to put one of those helmets on there head. Nothing personal, but leather for ever, or something close to it, 1010 or something. Take the 660 and put them on the truck for a wheel chalk. Just my personal opinions take as you will.

        Stay Safe


        • #5
          If market share means anything Morning Pride, Scott, Bullard, are the answers by a mile over second place the same way Piece and E-one are to fire trucks


          • #6
            TIC- We run Bullard, two small T3's and one larger TIx model. At first I though I'd like the small ones but after a year I think I'd take the big one 1st. The small have poorer image quality due to small screen and a shorter battery life. They are also too small to crawl with on your hand but too big to let swing from the neck strap (you can imagine where it hits me). I've also liked the ISG Talisman and the Scott Eagle 2, I disliked the Cairns Viper as too heavy and clunky. The Eagle 2 (Scott) has the best ergonomic features, its made to crawl with, has many display features (color or B&W) and the screen is offset from the camera allowing you to look around corners and into attics and such. Only problem is that there are a lot of buttons (relatively) on it and might confuse a new user and it is very expensive compaired to the T3's.

            SCBA- I've only used one brand, Scott, but I've heard from guys at the state fire acadamey that Scott is the only one which survives a year at the acadamy, other brands fail within 6 months of continuous use.

            FireKnight- I think its worth a shot. I really like the concept of the intergrated SCBA mask harness, your mask just clips to your helmet, no need to remove the helmet. I've tried one on in the store and it felt pretty light.

            Truckco1, I don't want to get into a pick a fight with you, but that attitude is the basis for that old saying "200 years of tradition unimpeaded by progress". There are thousands of firefighters around the world who wear those helmets and love them and consider us backwards (they also tend to kill a lot fewer of themselves too). That attitude prevents some FD's from using LDH and 1.75" hose. Have you tried one on yet? Sure it looks silly, but 20 years ago pants, hoods, and SCBA looked silly too.
            Last edited by Fire304; 09-07-2003, 01:58 PM.
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            A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

            IACOJ Fire Boat 1


            • #7
              Originally posted by truckco1
              Hey how it going. These are just some things that I have found in my time around, don't take anything the wrong way. SCBA, Scott, FDNY,Boston,Chicago,LA, need I say more. They in my opinon are by far the best out there hands down, simple to operate, many,many options. Stay Safe
              I believe that LA uses Survivair, not Scott.
              My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).


              • #8
                For PPE I've had very good experience with Globe. I like Morning Pride but haven't gotten to use it. Currently I have Securitex-PBI gear. It's almost 2 years old and holding up good - only thing I don't like is the suspenders. They seam to not stay put on my shoulders wear they are most comfortable.

                As for SCBA...I've always liked scott. My department just upgraded to Survivair's newest Panther model. Feature, design, comfort wise and ease of use it is a very nice unit. As for long term durability, we'll see - we've only had them for a week now and no fires to break them in yet. MSA is nice, but the regulator, integral pass, HUD module, etc that hangs off the right shoulder and down to your waist line is to big and clunky for my tastes.

                AS for TIC....We recently acquired two from ISG. The big K100 model and the K80 mini-cam. Both seem like pretty good units, but again we haven't had them long enough to give a thorough evaluation.
                Firefighter / Paramedic
                IAFF Local 10


                • #9
                  I know what your saying, nothing personal. Just my preference. I have tried one on and it really decreases your periferal vison i think, didn't really care for the built in light either. Not knocking anyone. We also kill just as many firefighters as we did in the past, and I attribute that a good deal to technology also, all the gear, hoods, pants, ect. allow our firefighters to get deeper and into more trouble than ever before, it gets us to the point of know return.

                  Stay Safe


                  • #10
                    In my old dept we had tailsman TIC... i personally did not like this camera.. we had battery charging problems, it took a short fall and broke and I was using it once in a single family basement firer and i got 3 feet into the first floor to do a search and the camera had a white out and wouldnt work... does any one else have these camera's??? wats your feed back on them? Personally i like the scott 4.5's and the 50's. light wieght, easy set up and the buddy breather option is great! As for gear I like morning pride and I have a sam houston n6a helmet... wud never use anythig else...AND YES... LA has survivair packs
                    Last edited by PgfdCo34; 09-20-2003, 07:43 AM.
                    Proud Member of the Prince Georges County Fire/Ems Dept


                    • #11
                      Fire Knight Helmets

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                      NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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                      FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                      FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                      FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
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                      • #12
                        we use:

                        bunker- Morning Pride, so far it has held up fine. Seems light enough.

                        SCBA- scott (4.5 & 50 mix), I really like the 4.5 because of the smaller frame and straps. It is just much more comfortable to me. The 50's straps are cushy, but the waist strap always seems to want to slide off my hips for some reason. I feel like my drawers are trying to came down... lol. Guess I need some flare in my hips cause pulling it tighter don't help. In my 13 years of fire service I have used, msa, survive air, & scott's. I still like the scott the best.

                        TIC- scott, I don't get a lot of time with the TIC. In my Dept. the trucks carry the TIC. But, from the small amount of time I have used it, the scott seems to work fine. No real complaints, but no other brands to compair to either.

                        As far as that.... helmet thingy. To each his own, but In my opinion, it would only serve as a good barf inducer. Frankly, if we made a call for a trash fire, and found one burning, I would have to refuse to put it out. LOL. I'm also not sure many fire related LODD can be related to wearring 1010's, N6A' or N5A's, or any other well made helmets for that matter. I'm sure that sudden collapse, flashover, medical related, and large area search & rescue, & entaglment are the bigger factors that contribute to those. I can say that strapping a pudding bowl to ones mellon is not going to increase thier survivablity factor. I agree with the lack of water shed on these helmets too. I'm willing to change something for something better, that performs much better than the last method. I'm not willing to change just for the sake of change, or because the fire service has used it for so long that someone wants to just update the look. As far as I'm concerned, the traditional style helmets were well desgined from the start. It's hard to improve on perfection. They of course have changed to be more user friendly. Brims are somewhat shorter than the original, and we have gone to a 6" shield w/ holder vs. the older 8".

                        Also, hello to E40FDNYL35, the "caveman". Been to your station, great bunch of guys. My 5 yo chose to wear yalls T-shirt to her 9/11 memorial at school this year.

                        Got Crust?

                        We lucky few, ... we band of brothers


                        • #13
                          TIC Info...

                          The Helmet Vue is a nice TIC, easy to hand off and the monocal can be moved out of the way if you don't need it.

                          We did a demo with them for another project, took several of them through flashover training, worked great, changed SCBA cylinders and took them through typical burnhouse training, still worked great.

                          It's about the size of a Rubic's Cube.


                          • #14
                            I have worn a number of different brands of PPE over my 29 years. My volunteer department just went to Morning Pride model 3232. I must say this is the most comfortable gear I have used. It is also very well constructed. A little expensive but I think worth it.

                            SCBA: Scott AP-50 (Scott 4.5), 4500 psi, carbon cylinder, lightweight, easy to don, reliable. Used Scott for the last 20 years with no problems. Have also used Survivair, MSA (older styles)

                            TIC: My volunteer department just purchased an ISG K-80. Best price we could find and had better features than Bullard in our reasearch.
                            We have it mounted in a truck charger.

                            Helmet: we evaluated the Fire Knight. Thought it was an excellent rescue helmet. Most of the guys did not like it for fire fighting though. Didn't think it had enough room for SCBA facepiece, complicated faceshield replacement, hampered hearing. A little pricy also

                            Good Luck


                            • #15
                              We have an older style helmet mounted TIC and find it weighs down the helmet and difficult to pass off if needed.

                              We recently purchased two Bullard T3 Max TICs. So far we are very happy with them. The quality of the image is greatly improved from the original T3. It's lightweight, slides on and off a gloved hand with ease to pass off. Very easy to use as it only has one button to turn it on and off. Comes with an additional strap with carabiners to clip it on your turnout coat or it's small enough to fit in a coat pocket. The price was reasonable through state bid. Also avalible for it is a truck mounted charger so it's always ready to use. The standard AC/DC charger requires the battery to be off the camera.

                              When shopping for the TIC, it was a toss up between the ISG K-1000 and the Bullard T3Max. The ISG has a few more bells and whistles that the Bullard didn't have, but these jacked up the price.


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