After nearly 2 months of sourcing materials and ordering new suspension liners the firefighting-rescue helmets are up to date! I’ve constructed sweat band liners with a thin foam pad that uses elastic to hold it in place. Ratchet covers with another thin layer of foam with snap closures like the originals. Crown pads with a layer of foam with Velcro holding it onto the original pad. The double fold bias trim I made was difficult to finish and make look good due to the thickness, its easy to see it in the crown pad photo. Not perfect but will work just fine for our needs.
At first I was reluctant to add foam of any kind. I ordered some any way to test it then decide if I’d use it on my project. After doing a burn test on the 1/8″ foam and watching the product be almost completely consumed by the flame turning into a thin black stream of smoke with no dripping or melting of any kind I decided I would be willing to take the risk. What sold me was there was no dripping or melting, plus I would have all of the foam be completely enclosed in Nomex twill. Plus I could easily blow out and snuff out with a bare finger the open flame emitted when freely burning.
The end result is I have a much more comfortable helmet. And a bag full of extra replacement parts in case I need to clean them, or replace them for some reason. I like the fact that I can now outfit a completely new or unfamiliar Phenix First Due 1500 in a matter of minutes and be back in service quickly. I can use this on any of the 1500’s and from the looks of it maybe all of Phenix Helmet lines.
Thats all for now on the helmet updates. I will be searching for new 1 x 4 Reflexite Helmet Strips to replace the seeming good old ones. The old ones reflect light perfectly it’s the typical edge curling I always see with aging reflexite helmet strips. Look at any helmet that has had them on for more than I’d guess 2 years and you’ll see the edge curl. I really like those things except for that pesky fact. I’ve also learned over the years to buy a sheet of them not just what you think you will need. They will come off unexpectedly and end up in your hair or other weirdness sometimes so it pays to be ready.