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Sierra H. 16 Salem Street, NY

My Dad is almost 77 years old, and he is a long time collector of all things firefighter related, especially helmets and helmet shields. This Christmas I got him a beautiful vintage Cairns from Florida Rescue 1, but I don't have any details on it. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about it. It came from Brooklyn, but from someone that was selling a collection he bought. So, he didn't have any details. My dad loves to know the history behind his pieces and write up little signs as he displays them in his room. Both he and I have a great respect for all the men and women that serve as firefighters.

Adam L. Southport, NC

Adam L. Southport, NC Boiling Spring Lakes Fire Rescue

This is a picture of me at a control burn in Pinehurst, NC in 2005. This was not long after I had completed DOD fire school through the USAF. I'm wearing a Cairns 1010 with Bourke Eye Shields that I had installed. This helmet was my first helmet I was issued when I first started in the fire service. I still own and use this helmet today.

John R. Oxford, MS

A fellow officer and I arrived on scene of an approx. 1200 sq. ft. house with moderate smoke showing. We were dressed as soon as the engine pulled in the driveway. We both packed out and began to make entry. My fellow officer made entry through the front door while I pulled some hose up the front steps. When I felt I had enough on the porch, I entered the structure behind him. As he walked into the room adjacent to the fire room, he began his fire attack. When he began to hit the fire, the fire rolled over the room he was in and hit him head on. He was wearing a fairly new red Cairns N6A Houston. The flames were so intense, even for just a brief moment, that his leather shield almost seemed to melt. The helmet itself sustained no damage other than some melted Bourke Eye Shields and some cool sooting of course. Had he been wearing a plastic helmet, I feel he would have been hanging that helmet on the wall afterwards. There is no way a plastic helmet could have withstood that intense fire that seemed to engulf his entire head.

Ronnie G. Liverpool, NY

Ronnie G. Liverpool, NY Liverpool Fire Dept. Inc.

Cairns amazing helmets, poor wheel chock



Matt W. McEwen, TN

Matt W. McEwen, TN McEwen Fire Department

I bought my Cairns 1010 in 2001 when I joined the Castile Fire Department in Western N.Y. for three years. Then, I moved to Tennessee in 2004 where I joined the McEwen Fire Department. Over the past ten years my helmet has seen multiple incidents. One of the most memorable incidents happened in the winter of 2009 - 2010 where we were paged out for a working structure fire. I was in our first engine out. On arrival, we had heavy smoke and flames showing from a two story house. Myself and another firefighter made entry and an initial attack in the basement where the majority of the fire was located. During the initial attack, my helmet received heavy heat and smoke damage. The basement and first story of the house had heavy damage. The second story was a save from fire extension. The house had little content, because it was in the finishing steps of construction. Being a rural fire department, we had two mutual aided tankers to the scene. We operated on-scene for approximately two hours. This is mainly where my helmet received its appearance. This helmet is still in-service today.

Jacob E. Jasper, GA

Jacob E. Jasper, GA Hinton Fire Department

While Fighting an interior attack in a small residential fire, I was in charge of pulling ceiling. The fire was burning pretty good above me and the ceiling was made of thick plywood. I had burned insulation and plywood fall on top of me. My Cairns N5A New Yorker Helmet kept my head safe and kept the debris from hitting my thin Nomex hood.

Dustin D. Glendale Springs, NC

After years of using Bullard and not having the option of using a Cairns, our department finally agreed on going with Cairns helmets, and I'm so happy now! It's been a long time coming. I finally have a black Cairns 1010 with a Defender Visor with Bourkes Eye Shield! I had to literally beg and plead for it. I melted my Bullard in a training fire, and later when we ordered new turnout gear I was calling around for prices and arranging for dealers to come and give us a demonstration for different types of gear. We had enough grant money to order 3 sets of gear, and then he asked us about what type of helmets we needed. The other guys said just give us the regular helmets, and then I spoke up. It was my only chance to get a Cairns. I said the only helmet I trust and the only helmet that's built to last and take the heat is the Cairns Traditional Composite Fire helmets, and I went on telling them about the safety feature where the helmet shell can flip off and the inner shell stays fastened to your head and your still protected. Immediately the dealer throws in his two cents and says "you should get the Morning Pride Ben-2." "It's the toughest helmet on the market and it has a safety feature where the chin strap pops loose. If you have a situation where you fall through the floor and the back brim catches something so it doesn't break your neck." And I'm thinking shut up. Don't ruin this for me; I want Cairns. He just wanted us to buy his line of helmets to get himself more of a commission. I said the Ben-2 may have a break away chin strap but how does that protect your head when you fall through the floor after it breaks away. Your no longer protected, but the Cairns breaks away leaving the inner shell still on your head and you still have protection! I trust Cairns, you can keep your Ben-2. He looked puzzled, but the other guys saw that the Cairns had way better safety features. The next thing I know we ordered 4 Cairns 1010s. And in the future, each time we order gear we are going with Cairns! When you are in a firehouse with a bunch of narrow minded guys who don't wanna spend a few extra bucks for safety and you finally get them to go with a Cairns it's nothing short of a miracle! But I wanna say Cairns is the best helmet ever made! It's truly the firefighters helmet.

Matt A. Merced, CA

Matt A. Merced, CA Merced Fire/Rescue

The tradition lives on



Michael C. Roanoke Rapids, NC

On August 27, 2011 the coastal plains region of North Carolina was devastated by Hurricane Irene. My hometown of Roanoke Rapids, situated on the I-95 corridor near the NC/VA state line, received considerable damage from high winds, flooding and downed trees and power-lines. In the days following the storm my department sent crews out to assist public works with clearing trees from streets and alleys so service vehicles could get in to make repairs and offer services. On August 29 my crew came on duty and I decided that I would go out with one other crew member to clear storm debris. I am the Battalion Chief of A-shift and my thoughts were that I would have my crews carry out regular daily duties and remain fresh for whatever calls for service came in, while I handled the tree cutting with one more member. We had cleared several trees before we came across a large oak tree that was holding down a high tension line between two power poles. We carefully cut the tree and limbs away and had almost cleared the alley when we got to the portion of the tree that was holding down the line. We were both taking full safety precautions while operating the saws, using Turnout Pants, Gloves, Eye Protection and Helmets. I was wearing my personal Cairns N5A New Yorker with Bourke Eyeshields. My partner was wearing his department issued Cairns 1044. After a short discussion about what could happen I made the final cut. Despite trying to stay clear of the large limb as I cut, it still came up with the line and struck me in the face, with enough force to knock me backwards against the pile of debris. It also knocked my helmet across the alley and into a nearby yard, approximately ten yards away. I immediately started holding pressure on my bleeding face and trying to figure out what kind of truck had just hit me! My partner gathered up our equipment and had to find my lid before we could head back to the station and, and eventually the ER. The log that hit me below my right eye was approximately eight inches in diameter and about three feet long. Because I was looking down at what I was doing, the brim of my helmet caught the majority of the force from the log, right between the Bourke Eyeshields. The force of the blow pushed my safety glasses against my face and left a cut below my eye approximately one and one half inches long that was glued and steri-stripped closed at the ER. A minor injury for the amount of force that came from the high tension line. My partner and I both agree that, had I not been wearing my helmet, my face/head would have taken the full force of the blow and could have resulted in possible facial fractures or possibly a head injury. I have been on the job for 22 years and have always used Cairns Helmets, despite the fact our department only started issuing Cairns Helmets six years ago. I purchased my own. I had just bought my New Yorker this year at FDIC, after wanting one for as long as I can remember, and I am the the only guy in our department with a leather lid. My Helmet now has a nice "ding" in the brim where the log struck it. I guess I could paint over it, but I won't. I will just leave it as a reminder of how your Quality product helped me "save face". Thanks. Sincerly - Michael Clements, Battalion Chief ,Roanoke Rapids F.D.

William H. Baltimore, MD

Recently, my company has done a series of training in our flash over simulator at the academy. First time I used another brand helmet, and it didn't last at all. Second time I used my black N6A Sam Houston, and the only damage to it was my shield and Bourkes getting melted.

Jacob E. Jasper, GA

Jacob E. Jasper, GA Hinton Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighter Jacob Edwards with the Hinton Fire Department in the turnout gear with red/silver triple trim wearing a Cairns 1010 with Bourke eye shields during a training session

Mark B. Bovey, MN

Retired 20 years ago as a fireman and fire instructor, I wore a N5A New Yorker, first one was regular leather, then got the compliant leather helmet, Bourke Eye Shield, Milwaukee strap, was one of only 4 or five guys in Mn and ND that knew what a real fireman's helmet was. Leather to take the crunch, shed water etc.. Now there all buying them since 911. I wish they would buy real fire engines in this area as well. With Seagrave for years, and now with KME. Hard to sell in this area.

Shane N. Jasper, GA

Shane N. Jasper, GA Hinton Volunteer Fire Department

Sergeant Shane Nelson Wearing a Cairns 1010 with amber Bourkes.



Timothy G. Schenectady, NY

Back in the summer of 2004, I responded to a house struck by lightning. I was on the third-due apparatus (a ETA/engine-tanker) and saw dark smoke pushing from the eaves on either side of the house. I went inside with a pike pole and the first handline. All of us were in full PPE and SCBAs. At the time, I was wearing a Cairns 1010 with Bourke Eye Shields. I started to pull down walls and ceilings to find the fire. Eventually, I found the fire and the handline started to extinguish it throughout the second floor. At the same time, we had a team working on the roof above us performing ventilation. Throughout the next ten minutes of these operations going on, I hooked up with the hose team to check on their progress. The smoke was dim and white so I was able to stand. While I stood there, something fell from above. This long, but heavy, object hit me on the right side brim of my helmet and fell next to my right boot. I looked down and, lull and behold, a six-pound flat head ax had fallen through the roof out of one of the firefighter's hands, who was performing ventilation. After exiting the structure, I checked my helmet and discovered no dents or serious scratches. I was impressed that the Cairns 1010 helmet stood up to that kind of abuse and didn't have to take it out of service. In turn, the helmet saved me from being taken out of service too. By properly wearing the helmet and utilizing it in a hazardous atmosphere, this piece of equipment protected and saved my life. I entrust Cairns 1010 or any other of Cairns' helmets. Thank you for all your dedication and hard work.

Daniel S. DoverPlains, NY

Daniel S. DoverPlains, NY Dover FD, DoverPlains, NY 36 Truck!

I have worn my helmet for nearly 17 of the 20 years I have been a fireman. Old school N5A New Yorker, impact cap, no ratchet...Black, Bourkes, with a Boston Style device. This is a working man's helmet..seen a lot of fires in those 17 years, even here in suburbia. It's cracked, bent, stained, and smokey, but never once has it failed to protect me. I will never give up my lid, I will never sell my lid, I will never repaint my lid. It earned every mark, burn, and bend, the sacrifices of keeping the fireman who wears it safe. It is an American Classic, replaced by too many safety rules, regulations, and ideals put forth by people who have most likely never worn any type of fire helmet. For those who have, and those who do, there is a special place for an old school New Yorker...certainly in our hearts, but more so first due!

Beau S. Cridersville, OH

I had a cairns 1044 with a Defender Visor and Bourkes , and the first fire I had it on I had a piece of plaster and lathe fall from the ceiling and it only left a couple scratches on the top. AMAZING products Cairns keep up the awesome work!!

Douglas H. Cumberland, RI

At a training exercise 2 and a half years ago, my cairns helmet save my head from popping like a pimple in the heat. We were training in a burn trailer to simulate flashover and it got so hot inside of the trailer that my Bourke Eye Shields melted and the ear flaps discolored to red. Without my helmet my head would have been severely burned and i would most likely not be able to do the job i love any longer. Although this story is not an award winning story or a good story at that, it is a tribute to how important the use of a helmet is and there is no better helmet than a Cairns.