Firefighter’s have always relied on specialized equipment while responding to at working at various types of fires, extrications and rescues. One small but very important piece of equipment, the fire helmet, can tell you which department the firefighter works for, the station the firefighter is from and their rank. In historical photos, the fire helmet can help give you a better time frame of when the firefighter was on the department and when the photo was taken. Black helmets are worn by firefighters and lieutenants while white helmets are worn by battalion chiefs and the chief. During the time Mdic 55 and 56 were runnings, blue helmets signified the ambulance crews on the fire scene. The shield on the helmet frequently gives the station or the company the firefighter is on and the rank.
For the definitive fire helmet information I turn to Youngstown Fire Captain Fred DeLuca. Capt DeLuca provided some basic historical information about fire helmets used by the YFD.
YFD HELMETS THROUGH THE YEARS:
LATE 1800’S TO LATE 60’S…. CAIRNS SENATOR
1970’S…. CAIRNS 900 CLIFTON, 880 CENTURY, LEATHER NEW YORKERS WERE USED.
1980’S… CLIFTONS, NEW YORKERS, NEW “MODERN STYLE” EURO STYLE CAIRNS 660 METRO’S AND BULLARD FH 2100 ROUND STYLE . THE NEW STYLE PHASED OUT THE 900’S, AND THE NEW YORKERS, AS WELL AS THE REMAINING SENATORS .
IN 1987, NFPA 1500 ELIMINATED ALL THE OLD SCHOOL HELMETS LEAVING ONLY THE EURO STYLE HELMETS UNTIL THE LATE 1980’S WHEN A NEW APPROVED STYLE LEATHER HELMET CAME INTO USE (N6A-1 SAM HOUSTON.)
IN 1992, THE CAIRNS 1000 CLASSIC CAME INTO USE, AND BY 1996, ONE -HALF OF DEPT. HAD CONVERTED BACK TO THIS “TRADITIONAL” STYLE HELMET.
IN 1994, THE 1010 CAME INTO USE AND THIS HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH THE OFFICIAL YFD HELMET USED IN FROM THE MID 90’S TO PRESENT.