This is a forum for Community Emergency Response Team volunteers in the United States to connect, collaborate, share knowledge, inforrmation, references, plans, ideas, and anything else that supports and improves our ability to effectively serve our communities in a time of disaster.
Post by Major_Disaster on Oct 29, 2015 15:29:43 GMT -8
I suspect most CERTs are issued an inexpensive "bump cap" or "hard hat" after graduation. I, too, got one and quickly realized it was enough protection for me.
However, I was unwilling to buy a brand new firefighter helmet, either.
Following the suggestion from a fellow CERT, I looked on eBay and purchased as used Cairns Model 660 helmet --- I use the MSA webpage only to illustrate the helmet, not to advertise for them or suggest that anyone buy a brand new helmet.
I had to clean off some stickers, make a few very minor repairs to the interior, but in general the helmet I got was unscratched and certainly seems to be undamaged. I added an LED headlamp, some red reflective tape, , and letters "NET" cut from the same reflective tape, and my name to the outside of the helmet. I added a behind-the-head strap that ties into the chinstrap.
In my area, a earthquake is the most likely natural disaster that I might be involved in as a CERT and falling objects will be a significant hazard, so I wanted something a bit more sturdy.
I also just picked up a used one of those off ebay for $25. The issued one has a crappy suspension that kept re-adjusting itself, not to mention if you tip your head too far forward, the hat falls off onto your victim. I also like the idea of a face shield, rather than the issued saftey goggles they give you. In our MCI exercise, my goggles kept fogging up and I had to take them off to see. They don't do much good if they aren't covering my eyes. The used one I got - the face shield is pretty scratched, but I will buy a new one.
Post by Major_Disaster on Feb 14, 2017 16:57:56 GMT -8
I added a chingstrap to my issued helmet. You can see what I did here.
You're right. The issue helmet liner often comes loose (I glued mine in place) and, without a chinstrap---and a nape strap, the helmet falls off your head when you lean over.
I bought the used Cairns helmet because I decided that there was no way I was going to go into a quake-damaged building with the issue helmet. If the issue helmet was that good, the fire department would be using them.
I did add a nape strap to the Cairns helmet and it helps keep it from tilting forward.
I added the face shield for the same reason you mentioned; safety glasses or googles often fog up. Plus, I can wear reading glasses, if needed, and quickly lower the shield to protect my eyes. No fumbling to put reading glasses away and then getting out safety glasses.
I've gotten a little bit of flack over buying a used Cairns helmet ("you don't know what's history is, what impacts it has sustained, etc), but mine had no scuff or scratch marks on it. I figure it is far better protection than the issue hard hat and has a much higher ANSI rating.
I wasn't going to spend a couple hundred dollars for a helmet that I likely will never use in a real disaster. TI think it's a pretty decent compromise and far better protection than the issue helmet.
I recommend the iKross headlamp for use with the Cairns helmet and face shield, it's small enough to allow the shield to be lowered/raised without hitting the light. And the iKross is really bright and offers blinking/strobe mode. I have two one my helment, one in front and one in back. The back one I set to blink/strobe for increased visibility.
My 660 helmet just showed up and it is really well made. I think my vintage was 1979 and is very comfortable, although a bit heavy. The one I purchased came with a scratched up faceshield, and I was hoping I could buy that stuff you use for cleaning up faded headlights to clean up the scratches and yellow, but although it kinda worked, it didn't work good enough to eliminate the scratches enough that I could decently see through it, so I looks like I may have to pop for a new face shield and those things aren't cheap. The helmet is yellow, so I will need to spray paint it green to fit our color motif, but that is ok. I just need to get some handy dandy CERT Stickers and I will be good. I happen to have that headlight and it is super bright, so I will plan on using it.
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2017 20:27:27 GMT -8 by minerrick