Share your Cairns Helmet Stories and Photos!

See the most recent stories and photos your firefighting brothers and sisters have submitted… Send in your own stories and pictures by clicking here.

Adam S. Great Cacapon, WV

Adam S. Great Cacapon, WV Great Cacapon VFC

On Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 our station caught fire due to an apparent electrical issue and burned to the ground. Lost in the fire was a tanker, a brush truck, 30+ sets of turnout gear including 4 leather N5As, and all other contents of the station. 2 of the leathers were new. I'd just like to share a picture of what's left of the only one that was recovered, which just so happens to be mine.

Joe T. Long Beach, NY

Joe T. Long Beach, NY Long Beach Fire Department

My 2016 New Yorker sittin' pretty, Leather Forever



chrris F. Michigan city, AL

chrris F. Michigan city, AL Michigan city

Cairns 1010 worlds largest



Richard M. Matawan, NJ

Richard M. Matawan, NJ Matawan Borough Fire Department

The Matawan Borough Fire Department (MBFD) assisted with a commercial structure fire as a Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) and defensive operational support.

William B. Trenton, FL

William B. Trenton, FL Gainesville fire rescue

My great grandfather fire fighters helmet he retired from FDNY in 1918 Engine company 34



Ed S. Apollo, PA

Ed S. Apollo, PA Kiski Twp Fire Dept

After 2 fires.



Thomas M. Ronkonkoma, NY

Thomas M. Ronkonkoma, NY FDNY

In 1970 I was assigned to Ladder Co. 26-2 in Harlem. I am interested in having the company frontpiece reproduced. Many members of the company expressed interest also. Can you reproduce this exact frontpiece?

Kevin J. Wallkill, NY

Kevin J. Wallkill, NY City of Poughkeepsie Fire

I started collecting fire memorabilia a few years ago and now I have my cousin into it - he started as a general collector/antiques guy. My son and he were out yesterday and found this helmet. There's no model number on the inside and I can't find an exact match through the magic of Google! Any help would be appreciated in identifying it. Thanks!

Tony C. Arlington, TN

Tony C. Arlington, TN Southwest TN FD

My Sam Houston N6A leather fire helmet has served me well the last 9 or 10 years and I have taken very good care of it. Last week we responded to a house fire around 1930 at night. During fire operations, me and another member of my crew were pulling ceiling when I decided to proceed down the hallway to find attic access. While walking twords the hallway, it all of the sudden felt like someone hit me with a sledge hammer on the top of my head and I could even feel my neck compress down. The first thing I thought was that it was sheetrock but when I heard the object's second impact to the tile, I then realized that it was in fact a 15lb bowling ball. I took two steps then just sat down on the couch to regain my senses then went back to work. During overhaul operations, we discovered a box of several bowling balls in the attic and figured due to my height, the height of the ceiling, and the height of the box; it ended up being a 10 foot drop. I will attach several pictures of the helmet and bowling ball. I absolutely feel that this helmet quite possibly saved my life. If I had been wearing my city issued helmet, this might have ended differently. After X-rays at a doctor visit the next day, I was pleased to find out that I did not have any compression injuries to my neck which is what I feared. I knew that my head was safe because the helmet did its job. I loved that helmet, not only did it do its job at this particular fire, it served me well for several fires over the course of my career.

William L. Port Hope, ON

William L. Port Hope, ON Canadian Fire Fighters Museum

The Canadian Fire Fighters Museum recently received these 2 Cairns helmets. We assume they are both late 1800's, but the styles are different. Perhaps the Red one is a parade helmet? Anything you could tell us to narrow down the date of manufacture would be much appreciated. See photo.

Julie B. Clawson, MI

Julie B. Clawson, MI Oxford fire department?

Can anyone tell me about this fire helmet of my great grandfathers? Late 1800's. I would love to know the history. Thank you!



floryan z. Dearborn, MI

floryan z. Dearborn, MI Detroit Fire Department

Just wanted to say a big thank you for keeping the company alive. Theres alot of tradition in your helmets. I take great pride in wearing my 880 on the job. I would love to see a remake of the 350 senator using composite materials. These would look great if that could be done. Well to everyone reading be safe and God bless.

Jerome D. Fairfax, VT

Jerome D. Fairfax, VT Stephen Raymond Fire Rescue / Extinguish the misconception of Autism program

We have been lucky enough to acquire a retired pumper for my two sons. Especially important to my son Stephen as he has Autism and finds great calm in all things related to the fire service! He loves looking at my Leather New Yorker all Battle Scared and retired after 10 years of service and I was forced to start wearing a NFPA compliant helmet (unfortunately not a leather and worse yet not one of yours!) I digress I wish to share a photo with you all a coue of shots of my boys wearing their favorite helmets. They each have several but these are their favorites! They are the Cairns Philidelphian 770. Thanks for making a rock solid product line to help firefighters and EMS providers keep coming home to their famies!!

manny f. syracuse, NY

June of 1981 I started wearing a Cairns, my first was a metal style new Yorker, silver , then red when I became an officer, in 1982 I bought my first new Yorker and used it until 2004 when I left as chief. but have continued to wear a black leather new Yorker until today. I own 10 leathers from antiques to my latest new Yorker white 5a , I am going back in as chief in 2016 so I bought a new white one with Gold leaf front.

Patrick N. East Straudsburg, PA

I'm a 21 year veteran always had a cairns helmet on my head. Recently my white 1044 took some heat yes white iam a chief and I do get dirty when we are short handed. Sadly it cracked I'm so upset. This is the first helmet that has ever done this to me. It's my own helmet that I purchased my self. This will not scare me away from any cairns helmets again. Once my personal funds allow me I will be purchasing a new 1010 in white.

Charles S. souix falls, SD

Charles S. souix falls, SD WVFD

Cairns Helmets from 1970's and 1940 aluminum, My story Cairns 1010 black fire helmet saved my skull from burns and falling debris, numerous times to many to reacll all of them. Thanks MSA

Mike K. New Rochelle, NY

Mike K. New Rochelle, NY FDNY

This helmet belonged to FDNY Battalion Chief John Kirwin. He was a member of the department from 1904 to 1937. He attained the rank of Battalion Chief in 1931 and was assigned to the 12th Battalion in 1932.

David A. Buxton, ME

David A. Buxton, ME Buxton Fire & Rescue

Beautiful 1989 fully refurbished and refinished in mid-gloss with classic old school hardware and shape.



thomas k. Phoeniz, AZ

thomas k. Phoeniz, AZ ex levitown ny

Restored ex chief hat from 1965 retirement. Fixed up for grandson graduation from Seattle fd academy



Edith L. Toms River, NJ

Edith L. Toms River, NJ New York City Fire Department





Garrison Fire & Rescue Corp. H. Palenville, NY

Garrison Fire & Rescue Corp. H. Palenville, NY Garrison Fire & Rescue Corp.

Congratulations from all of us at Garrison Fire to Chief Buckley of Cairo FD on his wedding day! The Cairns 1044 helmet shown was purchased by the his son, AC John Buckley for the special day. Best wishes!