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.

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.

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!

Nick A. Chicago Heights, IL

Nick A. Chicago Heights, IL Chicago Heights FD

M medallion Cairns and Brothers 5A New Yorker. This helmet was worn by my Dad a 30 year veteran of the department. It's stood the rigors of the 1970's till today 2014. It will be getting refurbished this year. Love the helmet love the tradition and pride along with it.

Sean J. Cannon Beach, OR

Sean J. Cannon Beach, OR Cannon Beach Fire & Rescue

My name is Sean Johnson and I am writing on behalf of my grandfather Robert Schmitt. Grandpa was a firefighter in the city of Baltimore Maryland, or what he referred to as the jungle, in the 1940's through 1960's. Grandpa retired as a Lieutenant with honor. Though he retired he never stopped serving his community. He loved his family and his work. Grandpa continued to serve as a park ranger in the Blue Ridge Parkway. I met with his supervisor and he had said that grandpa was the best maintenance worker he ever worked with. Grandpa showed up to work with a smile on his face and left proud of what he did. Grandpa spoke very highly of his fire fighting days. Till the day he died he could still tell you about every fire he had ever been involved in. Grandpa still knew which alarms were for which block and knew which trucks and engines needed to respond. Grandpa had the old newspaper clippings of every fire and would point out where he was in each photo. " you see those three fire fighters on top of that ladder? The first two didn't make it and I am the third." Grandpa had so many stories to share with all of us grand kids, unfortunately he recently passed away. I first found out of grandpa missing the day my wife and I found out we were having our first baby, this was on thanksgiving. Grandpa was missing for months. I stayed in contact with my uncles and the sheriffs office in Floyd, VA to get any updates on grandpa. Grandpa was just recently found. The day I received the call my wife Allison and I were at the hospital finding out what the sex of our baby was going to be. Call it whatever you want but I believe grandpa was waiting to find out about his first great grandson. I loved my grandpa so much as did everyone who ever met him. My biggest regret is that my own son will never have the opportunity to meet his great grandpa. My son will never have the opportunity I did to hear grandpa tell his stories. I have been trying to locate any more information about my grandpa and his service. We are lucky that grandpa saved all of the old photographs and newspapers from Baltimore. I have been going on the web looking for an old badge, dress cap, and helmet from Baltimore fire in order to honor my grandpa's selfless service. He loved everything he did till the day he died, his only regret was getting old. Grandpa would always tell us "don't ever get old." I love you pop pop! Sean Johnson sean_john1984@yahoo.com http://m.wdbj7.com/news/92yearold-floyd-county-man-still-missing/23193526 http://m.roanoke.com/news/search-for-missing-floyd-county-man-continues/article_92656294-8240-11e3-be37-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm http://www.wsls.com/story/24902899/missing-92-year-old-floyd-co-mans-body-found-in-franklin-county http://www.gardnerfuneralhomefloyd.com/index.php?pr=obituary&id=393

Kurt g. foster, RI

Hi my name is Kurt Gensel I currently volunteer most of my time at the local volunteer fire department, I have recently been looking into buying a new helmet off you guys do to the fact my department does not currently have the funds to upgrade my current helmet which is recently out of date. About a month ago lost my job in the Untied States Army, after my return from my year long deployment in Iraq I was awarded a job in the recruitment office, after 4 years i just recently got laid off and dont have the money to purchase a new helmet. Thank you very much for your time and i hope to hear from you soon

Matthew R. Franklin, MA

Matthew R. Franklin, MA Collector

When I was growing up I had a neighbor who was a member of the FDNY, and I was always fascinated with his Cairns New Yorker, and the craftsmanship that went into it. I remember him showing me how it was custom fit to his head. In any case, I started collecting Cairns helmets a few years ago, and I recently purchased my second model 650 Seamless helmet. Since this model helmet is fairly rare (they were only made from about 1947 until the mid to late 1950s), I wanted to share it with others who might find it interesting.

Jim K. Throop, PA

Jim K. Throop, PA Wm. Walker Hose Co.

I have a been wearing Cairns helmets all my career. I have to say that Cairns/MSA produces the best helmets in the fire service. I currently will only wear a Cairns Leather helmet, unless I am teaching a burn class then it either my 360 or 660. The picture shows just a sampling of the Cairns helmets that I currently wear and will continue to wear as long as I can. Thanks for making such a great and safe product.

danie v. port elizabeth, IN

danie v. port elizabeth, IN PORT ELIZABETH FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES

i started of as an volunteer fire fighter during the summer of 2002.I am from South Africa) - couldnt add my country so I add Canda and I think Illionos) That stage I used the pacific kevlar helmets which our department issued to us - I was never happy with that helmet untill 2005 when i became a fulltime firefighter - I did my research on fire helmets and find the best ever - the CAIRNS 880 traditional ....there is just this something about a fireman and his helmet,about this helmet - I want to say thank you to CAIRNS for making the best structural fire helmets ever - I still use a yellow CAIRNS 880 traditional( although it is burnt on the one side) I will change that one for nothing else.... she can so many untold stories.....each one in the brotherhood of fireman will know - a fireman wear his CAIRNS with pride on his head - SO MOTE IT BE.

Aaron M. Scituate, RI

Aaron M. Scituate, RI Foster Center Volunteer Fire Company.

Cairns helmets have protected me since I was A Jr. Firefighter in 1991. As a volunteer fireman I have gone from a Jr to Deputy Chief. Cairns has allways been the helmet of choice.

Darren B. Schuylkill Haven, PA

Darren B. Schuylkill Haven, PA Liberty Fire Company #4

Hello, My story isn't anything spectacular, but to me it means alot. I'm only 20 years old, new guy, Joined when I was 16. Ever since I joined I wanted a Leather so bad like any other new guy. I had the opportunity to buy one several times over the past 4 years but plans changed... recently i got "The Itch" to get one and I was absolutely determined to get one. Well a very good friend of mine knew I wanted a Leather and he had a Used Cairns N6A that he bought used when he first joined. New Years day we went down to the firehouse to hang out a little and he brought his leather with him and tole me he wanted to work on it. I went on doing my own thing while he was working on his helmet. About 30 minutes later he called me back to the Dive Shed. I walked back there to see that he had put my Frontace off of my helmet on his leather and said here you go. My friend didn't as for anything in return. That shows me that with everything thats going on in this world there are still people who still care about other people.. I guess what I'm getting at is that I know that this helmet really meant alot to him. I was to return the favor and get him a N6A,Or fix up the one he gave me and give it back. The Sheild Holder is all bent and damaged so I was looking around to get the Carved Eagle Holder for it.

warren s. Pamplico, SC

warren s. Pamplico, SC Windy Hill, Carrer FF / Hannah Salem Volunteer

I Have 2 old leather helmets a 93 Sam Houston and a 92 New Yorker. Both are still in active service. I have been to too many HOTTTTT structure fire to count and they are still stong as ever. They have all been refurbished and still going. You make the best helmets known to man and God Bless you all.

Robert R. Trenton, MO

Robert R. Trenton, MO Trenton Fire Department

When i took over as the Buyer for the Departments PPE i was faced with a staff of just over 20 and some how only 6 Cairns 1044 Helmets and 2 Cairns 880 Helmets. The others were donning the "Modern Brain Buckets" as we knew them as they were Simply Modern Style (Competitors) helmets. A couple of Firefighters had private owned Traditional helmets made by another competitor but they were way too heavy to be comfortable. When it came time for me to liquidate the old PPE and order the new standard of PPE i was proud to make Cairns 1044 Deluxe with Defender Visor my prime choice of my orders. As some time has gone by i have already had to replace and repair other articles of PPE but the Helmets have held strong and show little wear even on my roughest of Firefighters. Because of my time and experience with Cairns Helmets i am proud to say this January i will be outfitting five new probies with the Cairns Helmets and placing a True Leather Helmet with Goggles & Bourkes on my wishlist!

Teddy W. Bridgeville, PA

I love cairns Helmets. They have always stood up to everything i put them through from my 880, 1010 and my New Yorker leather. Excellent products and great company. I love the history and like collecting helmets from cairns.

Ian G. Roanoke, VA

Ian G. Roanoke, VA Cave Spring Volunteer Fire Department

My father wore a leather (I beleve it is an N5A) in Chicago. And as soon as I come into some money I will be buying either an N5A or a N6A.



David A. Buxton, ME

David A. Buxton, ME Buxton Fire & Rescue

I have been working on leather helmets for awhile now and truly enjoy this hobby. A fellow firefighter asked me if I could restore an old lid he found at the dump. I was sure surprised to see what he had and knew I had quite a challenge. Here is a 'before' pic. I have since fully restored this piece of history and she is honorably and properly retired on an office wall. I am guessing the helmet is from the early 50's? Would love to find out more. Is there any way to date an old leather? I can send some 'after' pics but do not know how to add multiple pics in this entry. Please let me know if I can add.

Ben W. Hemlock, NY

Ben W. Hemlock, NY Livonia Fire Department, Livonia NY

My Cairns helmet got me through probie school!



William H. Baltimore, MD

William H. Baltimore, MD Middleborough VFC

Maryland blue crab pride



Kent P. south hamilton, MA

Kent P. south hamilton, MA Hamilton FD

Hello! First off thank you for the chance to win a such a well made helmet in the first place! Since I was born I have grown up in the Fire House. My father has been a firefighter his entire life and it is all I have wanted to be. When he made deputy chief my mother bought him a Cairns N6A White Sam Houston that he has worn ever since with a gold leaf front. A picture of this helmet has been attached. When I finally became old enough to join the department I joined and was given an old beat up N5A NY'er that I restored! Although this helmet looks beautiful, It does not have an impact cap and is not as safe as I would like. I need a new helmet to protect myself at my job. As I am reaching the end of my high school career I am planning out my future in the fire services. Currently I am looking at several fire science related schools and the military! No matter what path I go down it will eventually end up with a full time firefighter/paramedic job. Thanks so much for your long lasting, traditional products that protect my brothers and sisters as they fight what others fear. have a nice day and be Safe! -Kent

Robert E. New Windsor, MD

I do not have a story of my own... Yet. I do love the helmet brand, all of my fellow brothers wear them, and would like to start my career with the best protecting my head! I will post lots of photos of me wearing my new helmet on duty... Upon winning the contest. Regards, The All American Firefighter. Probie Robert Epps

Jeffery R. Kannapolis, NC

As a kid growing up there was nothing in this world I wanted more then to be a firefighter. From the start there was no hope for me being anything other then a firefighter because I was raised in it. While other 5,6,and 7 year old kids were climbing out of bed to watch their favoite saturday morning cartoons, yeah but not me I was up and ready to go to the fire department with my dad.I would help do truck checks, sweep the bays,wash the trucks, roll hose, anything that had to do with being a firefighter.The first fire helmet I ever put on my head was a Cairns 660,my dad still has the picture somewhere as he often reminds me of those day but that little boy grew up and became of age to join the fire service as Jr firefighter at the age of 16. I still remember that night like it was last night as the officer over PPE started chunking bunker gear boots gloves hoods saying try this on and then he tossed out a box with a helmet in it. It was a brand new still in the plastic 1010 the guys said it looked as if I had unwapped a gold nugget so now it off to classes getting certified before reaching the age of 18 so by this time I have graduated high school in 2003 and recived my state FF certs for all my hard work for christmas my dad rewarded me with a brand new N6A Sam Houston that I still wear today at my career department this fine hand crafted helmet has saved my head more then once and is now about to be a shelf piece but all my years in an around the fire service Cairns by far makes the best fire helmets and thank you for what yall do.

brodrick e. smithland, KY

I am currently a rookie firefighter for Smithland fire and rescue and joined in april of 2012 and will continue to serve my comunity and my brother firefighters in the never ending struggle of life and death for many years to come. I currently wear a carins 660c metro but is getting very worn and has been in service since 2007 when it was new.

ricky c. jonesboro, LA

ricky c. jonesboro, LA use to be a volunteer foreman

i have wanted a old cairns tin fire helment for years but could never find one until now.i got this helment from goodwill.thats right i found it at goodwill and couldn't beleive my eyes it is in beautifull condition and has never been used or put on someones head.the liner is in mint condition.the helment is all original it does have a few minor scraps i dont know how old it is but i wish i did so if you can help out it would be great.the helment is red with a firemans fund sheild.it still has the cairns tag inside that reads modle #350 seconds dont know what that means liner #C order 106744.it was well worth the wait to get one in this condition does anyone know if this is a misprint or the value of this helment

Kyle B. paxton, MA

Kyle B. paxton, MA Town of Vernon Fire Dept

As a member of the fire service community for almost 10 years, I have realized how imperative it is for every firefighter to feel completely confident with the PPE they are wearing. Every firefighter is faced with a new type of fire now including new forms of building construction and insulation, making for hotter fires with a greater chance of collapse increasing risk of injury tenfold. What I have learned is that through the years Cairns has been a leading name in firefighter safety. The photo I submitted was a photo of me while I was a firefighter intern for a small town in New Hampshire. Just as the photo was taken fire rolled over the ceiling from fire room of origin. I found this picture to relate because it proves that you can never predict what a firefighter will be faced with. Cairns has protected me on numerous occasions. The one that strikes me the most was while working at a residential house fire. I was on the first fire attack crew to enter the building. After being in the building for no more than five minutes a large bookshelf/cabinet type of furniture fell directly on the heads on me and my crew. Causing the nozzle man to loose control of the hose. I am positive that without Cairns, that situation would have caused me to lose consciousness. This fall only bent the bronze eagle on my helmet and some scrapes. My crew eventually regained control of the hose and knocked the fire down without injury.

Steve C. Marietta, GA

Steve C. Marietta, GA Palmetto Ga. Fire / Rescue

I was hooked on the quality of Cairns leather fairly early in my career. The first time I wore one was all it took for me to want one. The comfort, design traits and tradition, merged with the impact cap technology of today. The sum of all parts accomplished brilliantly into a piece of functional beauty,that will take the beating of daily shift work and allow it to simply roll off the brim. I have been wearing ONLY Cairns N6A leather since 1990, to date I have managed to get four of them in my possession, all of them are special in their own right and all of them are well worn and used. I am not one to send testimonials on products but found this site and was compelled to respond and state my praise for your incredible product. Sincerely and Respectfully Steve W. Cook Palmetto Ga. Fire / Rescue B-Shift

Erik K. Modesto, CA

Erik K. Modesto, CA Keyes Fire Protection District

The Cairns 880 in this picture has since been taken out of service after 3 years in service. Thankfully it never had anything too serious to protect me from,other than my clumsiness, but from the color of it, I'm glad I had it on my head. Now using the department's "stock" helmet while wishing for a N5A New Yorker.

Justin T. Chichester, NH

Justin T. Chichester, NH Chichester Fire-Rescue

I' am a firefighter who started off as an explorer in a near by town to where I' am working now. I have enrolled in a program with Chichester Fire-Rescue where a student (me being the student) will move into the fire house and live there for two years while I attend Lakes region community college for my fire science degree. I have achieved Firefighter I EMT-B Instructor I and many other certifications that are relevant to having in my career. I plan on attending Keene state university for the OSHA program and earn my Bachelors degree while attending being enrolled in another two year Residency Program with the Swanzey Fire Dept. I have wanted to be a firefighter my whole life and I am blessed that I have had the opportunities in my life so far and I want to continue to do this job for the rest of my life. It truly is the best job in the world. Cairns has provided some of my brothers and sisters with unmatched protection from Firefighter environments countless times and I and so thankful that there is a company out there still todays that makes their product in the Best country in the world, The United States of America! And it always will be. As well as the unmatched quality there goes into every product that they make day in and day out. Thank you Cairns for allowing me to share just a fraction of my life as it is so far and how your company has kept my family safe!

Brian B. Deerwood, MN

Brian B. Deerwood, MN Ironton MN

I was rookie chief standing on the top of a RIT training trailer looking down when one of the guys took the shot. Ten years later still I remember the training and the tuck and roll I did out of the trailer window. No doubt the helmet saved my head during those acrobats.

Kristopher O. Herndon, VA

Kristopher O. Herndon, VA City of Manassas Fire and Rescue

First photo taken when I took delivery of my N5A. Placed on the front bumper of Tower 501.



Sean H. pacifica, CA

Many firefighters at the station i am an explorer at recommend cairns again, and again for being the best fire helmets out there.



Kris C. Krakow, WI

Kris C. Krakow, WI Green Bay, WI Fire Department

This is the next generation of firefighters! My 4 year old son and his fathers helmet. Kris Cairns



jon b. oceansprings, MS

jon b. oceansprings, MS fortbayou firedept

this was shot while training for lp gas



jon b. oceansprings, MS

jon b. oceansprings, MS fortbayou firedept

i have had a cairns for years i love this helmets it is a great way to show how things in the fire serivce had came so far from the old leather helmets to the new turtle shell ones most wear today i wont give up my cairns

Brandon O. Tyrone, PA

Brandon O. Tyrone, PA Neptune fire company

Family Tradition.



Clayton D. Mocksville, NC

Clayton D. Mocksville, NC County Line Volunteer Fire Department

My old New Yorker "Hank" Seize the day, Prepared for anything, Onward to victory Photo credit to Adam Berry



Jacob E. Jasper, GA

Jacob E. Jasper, GA Hinton Volunteer Fire Department

Wearing my Carins 880 at a training fire



Lance S. Allentown, PA

Lance S. Allentown, PA Fountain Hill Fire Department

Cairns has been an intergal part of my firefighting career. I started off with a Cairns 660 Metro. I then bought my own Cairns 1044 and got plenty of use out of that helmet until I was recently promoted to EMS Lieutenant. I now wear an orange Cairns 1010 Defender. I have never trusted anything else but Cairns for my protection. Thank you for making such a great product. Please keep up the superior craftsmanship. The attached photo I have titled "The corporate ladder".

William R. ORLEANS, MA

William R. ORLEANS, MA Brewster Fire and Rescue Department

My father just recently retired from the fire service after 36 years full-time, 41 years total. For the last 34 years the two helmets that he used were both Cairns New Yorkers that protected his head and kept him safe in the line of duty. Other then a little smoke and heat damage from many years of fire, structurally they are in great shape and have held up well to many years. When he retired the only thing that he wanted was to keep his helmets as they are his prized possessions. When I graduated college with my degree is Fire Science he asked what I wanted for a graduation gift and I of course asked for my own Cairns N5a.

Jeremy W. Dallas, NC

Jeremy W. Dallas, NC Spencer Mountain Road VFD

Hello everybody my name is Jeremy i have grown up in the fire service. my father is a veteran of 25 years in it. And throughout his and my career in it we have always relied Cairns helmets. As of now he has a 1010 and I have a 1044 my first helmet that he gave to me is a 1010 that i have hanging up on my wall. One day i hope to be able to have the honor of wearing a new yorker.

James M. Exmore, VA

James M. Exmore, VA Northampton Fire / Rescue, Inc.

In 1988 I bought my Dad a Cairns 660, in honor of his election as Chief of the East Milton VFD in Milton, Fla. He wore it thru several years, until he retired in 1995 due to health reasons. He passed away last July,at the age of 85. Before he died he passed the helmet back to me, to wear at my volunteer fire company, after 23 years of service, I would like to retire my dads helmet to a place of honor, and to preserve it to pass on to my grandchildren.

Gabriel D. Georgetown, TX

Back in 2008 I was in the Fire Academy. We were in live burn weeks and doing nothing but live burn car fire dumpster fire house fire and a hotel fire. When we were in one of the house fire skills a piece of the roof feel off and hit me in the head at the time i didnt know that it cracked my helmet I had a Cairns 1010 that I had got from my father for my birthday. when we got out of the fire I looked at my helmet and could not see or feel the crack. The next thing we did was the Flash over chamber. I went in with the helmet. I could feel the heat on my head. It wasnt alot. when we got out I saw that the top of my helmet was melted and the inside was burned. It never burned thro I was really lucky ever since then I have had cairns helmets untill now my department has morning pride and I just dont have the money to buy a cairns yet

Brent B. Jerome, ID

Here is my story, At my old department my helmet was my protector, and I treated it with pride everyday. Well one day right at shift change, I had my gear out on the ramp, next to Engine 5 and was distracted by one of my firefighters needing assistance. I then told my Driver to meet me over at our next door station with Engine 5, and we would then head out for our morning training evolution. I was at the other station speaking with my firefighter, and I noticed my Driver walking over to the station carrying something. When he opened the door he showed me my beautiful helmet, which was crushed by Engine 5. I was very upset by this because I put the helmet and gear by the truck, and my Driver did not do a walk around before leaving the ramp. So this was a lesson learned on both parts. The most upsetting thing was I lost my pride and joy and also I paid for this helmet with my own money, and now I am at a new department that can only afford the cheaper helmets. So all I can say is I hope my story helps out, and I hope will see a new helmet in the future. Thank you, and be safe!!

Mark B. Milwaukee, WI

I have been a pround owner of carins products since I got into the fire service 6 years ago. I started with a 1010 then went to a 880 when wy department swithced to a different manufacturers helmet. I then moved up to a '91 new yorker that I refinished myself. I love this helmet but fear I will have to retire it due to it not meeting requirements. In my eyes carins products are the gold stadard when it comes to technology, comfort, and customer service.

Tyler S. Lexington, KY

I was on a working fire last summer during the overhaul stage of a single story shotgun style home with several additions over the years. While operating a member of the crew i was operating pulled a ceiling joist down while pulling ceilings and the joist came straight down on top of my N6A and other than seeing a few stars and stumbling a bit from the confusion associated with the sudden hit i was able to continue operating at the scene. My Leather helmet took the hit and shows no signs of damage. I own three Cairns Helmets a 1044 w/defender that i purchased to where at my volunteer house which has since been turned into a training helmet i wear to Live fire classes. This helmet has exceeded all expectations and more. I was issued a 1010 by my employer and loved it up until i purchased my N6A. Thank you for making such a great product.

Marty M. Dallas, TX

In 2006 our engine was dispatched on a second alarm for a working grain silo fire. Upon arrival there was heavy black smoke pouring from the third story windows. Command immediately assigned our engine to rapid intervention for crews trapped on the third floor. I ordered my crew to throw a 35ft ladder to the third floor to start providing escape routes for the fire fighters working on that floor. Just as we had the ladder raised, but not locked in, a master stream was introduced from the other side of the building trying to cover the escape of the fire fighters. The tactic projected large chunks of metal from the fire floor out our window. We were quickly being rained on by metal weighing up to 25lbs, of various shapes and jagged edges. The largest piece struck the halyard man directly in his Cairns 1010 helmet. He was visibly shocked and lost control of the halyard. Meanwhile, all four of us were still taking direct hits from metal ourselves. The incident did result in a serious thumb injury to one crew member. With that said, it is my belief that without quality helmets, my halyard man would have sustained brain injuries. He was able to complete his shift, after we issued him a new helmet, as the incident did crack his helmet. More than that though, we all were able to complete the ladder raise, evacuate our injured fire fighters from the scene. I have refused to wear anything but a Cairns ever since. Marty Mayes, Captain Retired

Jozef T. Elizabeth, PA

One of my fellow firefighters has a n5a and it's seen fire and is still good. I am turning 18 In October and I really want a Cairns n5a black but I can't afford it and after seeing him have ceiling fall on him and debris everywhere and going into a fire alot, honestly I want a helmet that will be safe then a composite plastic one. I have always loved the leather helmet due to that it's safe light and made from leather and looks " ole school " and I just think i should try and see if I can win a leather. Everyone at my station is like get a leather it won't let you down ever but I just can't afford it due to the price over 500 dollars. So i hope this story is good enough to get picked and I would be super happy if I won a Black N5A and my goal would be success if I owned and used a leather. And Also I bought 3 other cairns 1000 and 2 1010s but I just wish I bought a leather. So please pick this story I would be grateful if I was awarded a leather helmet Thanks you Jozef

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.

Scott S. DeSoto, MO

I have worn Cairns helmets for 15 yrs. A year ago, I inherited a Cairns leather helmet with a date of 1893 on the center medallion. This helmet was my great, great uncles when he was on the job in Secaucus, NJ. It is an awesome feeling to look at the history from that helmet to the current Cairns 880 that I wear on the job today. Thank you for being an American tradition!

Erik H. Norwalk, OH

I can't wait until I can lose this blue smurf colored cadet helmet! When my training is complete and I become a full time member of our department, I will be sure to get a Cairns Chicago 880 just like my grandpa and my older brother wear. It is like a family tradition!

Sharon D. Cahokia, IL

Sharon D. Cahokia, IL Camp Jackson Fire Department

I am the Assistant Chief of a volunteer fire department in Illinois. I am responsible for purchasing PPE for the firefighters, and I only buy Cairns Helmets. I have worn helmets from other manufacturers in the past, but nothing wears like a Cairns Helmet! I personally wear the Cairns 880 and I recently bought a special one; one for my daughter who is 15 years old and an explorer with the department. I trust Cairns to take care of her.

Stephen F. Crestwood, KY

Stephen F. Crestwood, KY Ballardsville Fire Department

We are proud to say that we have and will continue to use Cairns helmets. I took this picture of my son when he was 3 years old. He has and will continue to love the fire service as I do and have since I was a kid myself. I always get comments on the pic and thought I might share it with you guys. Thanks for helping protect and keep all within our family safe.

David S. Valatie, NY

David S. Valatie, NY Niverville Fire Department

I am a 15 year member of the Fire Service. My career so far has been filled with Cairns. From the first time that I put on my fathers helmet which is when I became hooked on Cairns. I will never choose anything else. I own six of my own helmets. I also have a Cairns charm that I wear on my necklace with my St. Flourian for good luck. My love for Cairns has been picked up by my Fire Department. My Chief just purchased new Cairns 1010s for every Firefighter. We all are proud of the Cairns name. Thank you for keeping me safe in the past and in the future.

Nicholas N. Connellsville, PA

Nicholas N. Connellsville, PA Connellsville TWP. V.F.D.

I was wondering if any one could help? I’ve been actively involved in the fire service for 10 years and collecting antique fire fighting equipment since I've been a little kid. I’ve always admired my father’s extensive helmet collecting, so I’ve been focusing on expanding mine. I recently found an early model Cairns and Brothers Aluminum 350 Senator. The roadblock I’ve run in to is putting a date to my unique find. I’ve found some information and different changes that the Senator helmet line has gone through (like the old versions have minimal rivets, no ear flaps, and no chin strap) which mine is similar to. My main reason for this post is to hopefully gain more information about what I have found. Either way, the research I’ve been doing has increased the passion for something I’ve grown to care so much about. Thanks.

Matt A. Merced, CA

Matt A. Merced, CA Merced Fire/Rescue

The tradition lives on



Frank F. Cape Coral, FL

Frank F. Cape Coral, FL FMFD

I started the fire service with an N5A New Yorker and its the best a fire fighter can get, its rugged durability and safety are proven every time the alarm goes off. I just wouldn't feel safe with out it. Cairns has been a part of my family and continues from my uncle fighting fires in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem to me and soon my younger brother. It would be great if my younger brother can join the Cairns family with his very own Cairns N5A New Yorker.

Mark A.J. R. Taylors, SC

Mark A.J. R. Taylors, SC Taylors Fire Dept.

"Back in the Day" FDNY used to have what was called CFC's or Combination Fire companies. They only ran for a few years, but Cairns made these helmet fronts for them as well as supplied FDNY with helmets at that time. This is reported to be the only known "complete set" of the CFC fronts known to exist at this time, and were given to me by "Old Sam" at the Cairns plant in Clifton, N.J. Above them is also another Cairns artifact of a Cairns helmet front from Satellite One of the old Super Pumper System. Definitely some rare items.

Ryan C. Winthrop, MA

Ryan C. Winthrop, MA Cambridge Auxiliary Fire Department

Me with my Cairns 880 helmet which has served me well for the past 7 years. Its an honor to wear a helmet that has such a deep root in the fire service. Regardless of the outcome, thank you for keeping the tradition alive.

Byron G. Liberty, NC

Byron G. Liberty, NC Chapel Hill Fire Department

When I began my fire service career over 25 years ago, I quickly became interested in the history and tradition associated with the job. I began collecting antique fire equipment early on, and I enjoy sharing that part of the history with younger firefighters as they get started. The helmets pictured are part of my collection, some of which I have worn throughout my career. Left to right are a Cairns 350 Aluminum Senator, a Cairns Classic 1000 that I used for many years as a Live Fire Instructor, a Cairns Leather War Baby complete with a letter from a Cairns family member describing the history behind that model, a Cairns 1010 that I currently wear as a Senior Captain with Chapel Hill, a brand new Cairns N6A Sam Houston ready for service, a Cairns Metro 660C that was my first helmet at Chapel Hill, and my pride & joy - a Cairns N5A New Yorker painted Carolina Blue with our IAFF Local Ram Mascot on the front. Enjoy the picture, remember the history & tradition, and Be Safe!

Jonah S. Fayette, OH

Jonah S. Fayette, OH Gorham-Fayette Fire Department

This is a Cairns & Brother helmet that was given to me when I was very young from a retired firefighter from a suburb of Detroit. This helmet was used during the Detroit riots.

Greg S. Bothwell, ON

I have a Cairns 1010 that I wear on every call I go on. My dad who was the past Chief at our hall told me I had to have to wear it to be safe so that he knows I'm safe. He wore Cairns helmets for 25 years before he retired and now the tradition carries on with me wearing one hopefully for another 25 years. No other helmet goes on my head, keep up the great work! Be safe and god bless :)

Thomas H. Leduc, AB

I think a brotherhood is forged from helmets and patches that bring us closer together the tradition of the Cairns 1044 that we wear. Thanks cairns for doing a great job.

David L. Aurora, IL

David L. Aurora, IL Aurora Regional Fire Museum

Three generations of Cairns Helmets - 1890s-1990s. Helmets in the collection of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. www.AuroraRegionalFireMuseum.org



Joseph M. Indian Land, SC

Joseph  M. Indian Land, SC Shelton Fire Dept.

This one of two helmets I've worn. I wore this white one for 9 years as a LT. in my volunteer fire department in Connecticut. I have seen many fires and commanded lots of car wrecks in those nine years. A leather helmet is a part of the fire departments tradition that I feel is being put to the way side with lighter helmets. The saying "leather forever" for me is a true statement. If it is not a leather helmet it doesn't go on my head in a fire.

Mark B. Milwaukee, WI

I've had Cairns helmets for my whole career. My father wore them for his 29 years in the fire service. I currently have a 880 Chicago. I have always wanted a N5A New Yorker. Just the tradition and stories that go along with such beautiful helmets that are handmade with care and pride. Your company is the highest quality maker of fire service equipment and I would be proud to wear one of your helmets.

Wayne C. Sewell, NJ

Ever since i walked into my grandfathers house as a young child I knew that I wanted to be a fireman. His home was littered with statues and memorabilia. I learned of his 20+ year career as a Captain in the Newark, New Jersey Fire Department. One of the most amazing stories of his that I know of is the fires that he and his crew battled during the 1967 riots. Not only were the fires some of the most dangerous they'd ever faced, but the people rioting added an extra threat, as they would throw bricks and cinder blocks off of roofs down at their roofless fire apparatus. If it weren't for a few pieces of 1/4 inch plywood and and his Cairns leather helmet, who knows what kind of injury could have resulted. Winning this helmet would mean the world to me, I've wanted one ever since I first joined my department 3 years ago and It would be an honor to carry on not only the tradition of the fire service, but that of my late grandfather as well.

Andrew K. Palm Coast, FL

I have used Cairns Fire helmets over the last 20 years in the fire service as well as the past 5 generations of my family. Thanks for protecting the Keppler family heads for over 150 years.

Eric M. Flower Mound, TX

Each and every day we send folks to calls, we are confident in the headgear we are wearing. We employ 97 shift personnel who answer the call, conduct live burn training, and rely on the 175 years of tradition, engineering, and the quality of Cairns products.

Gordon W. Indianapolis, IN

Gordon W. Indianapolis, IN Wayne Township Fire Department

The Helmet that started it all. When I was born into this world in 1975 my father was already a firefighter. He volunteered as a firefighter here on the West side of Indianapolis with the Wayne Township Fire Department. He kept his first helmet and gave it to me at the age of 3 when he replaced it with a Leather Cairns. I wore and carried that helmet every where I went as a child, hell, I grew up with my father's helmet. I know that over the years staring at that helmet and growing up around the fire service greatly influenced my choice to become a Firefighter. I joined the US Army to become a Firefighter and have served our beloved country as one for 15 years now as one. I also was lucky enough after going through a rigorous hiring process and recruitment school, to get hired onto the now, Full time Career Department of Wayne Township. The very same Department in which my father volunteered over 18 years of his life for free I became a part of as Professional Firefighter. Upon completion of the Fire Academy here at Wayne, I was issued my own Cairns 880. I have used the same helmet for over 5 years now. It has been pieced and glued back together over its years of service to our community because of a loyalty to a brand, a tradition, and a helmet I grew up with. That helmet will be my son's helmet when I can someday have my own Leather just as my Father did. My Hero and his Helmet started a Second Generation of Firefighters and what is soon to be a third with my son as he too has already made up his mind. I have kept my Fathers helmet my entire life over 35 years now and restored it to OEM to the best of my capabilities. It now hangs proudly on my wall of Firefighting Achievements where it will be passed down. A Cairns MSA Helmet, an original skull cap and protector of firefighting knowledge. Ours will never to leave our family, so as to stand for a purpose, a reason and a man and his helmet who started it all for us, the Walker Firefighting Clan.

Tom H. Leduc, AB

Tom H. Leduc, AB Nisku fire

We wear the Cairns 1044. These helmets provide great protection. I submitted a picture of my self when we were training probies. I like these helmets because they are light weight and provide good protection while keeping the tradition at the same time. Thank you for all your hard work and keep it up.

Karl M. Phillipsburg, NJ

Karl M. Phillipsburg, NJ Stewartsville Fire Co. 1 Greenwich Township, NJ / Green Knoll Fire Company Bridgewater, NJ

Greetings, my back story on my Cairns helmets begins back in June of 1998 where I received my N5A New Yorker helmet as a graduation gift. I had begged and pleaded with my father to let me buy one. Not even a week in use, I responded to a barn fire and came out with it loaded with chicken feathers. It was quite a sight. A year later while attending the NJ State Fireman's Association Convention, I came upon a vendor selling used leather helmets. This gentlemen was the owner of the now widely used Firestore.com . At the time he was selling parts and used helmets, which I purchased one as a back up. (I couldn't have just one) Early in the year 2000, I was fighting a fire when a concrete wall started to collapse. As I and other firemen ran from the collapsing wall I swear I felt a "brush" on my back. Later that day I took my helmet off to find the front holder smashed. Obviously during that fire I was hit in the head and didn't even notice it. I still use my Cairns helmet today which has been repainted countless times. I have used the Firestore.com using their parts department many times and have had the best customer service and repair products. I thank cairns for providing such a great product and tradition to the fire service. I have included a photo of my Great Grandfather's helmet from when he was a fireman in NY. My grandfather estimated that his father was a volunteer in Morris Park from around the 1910's. It now sits on my filing cabinet in the Code Enforcement office where I work.

Ralston S. Lenoir, NC

Ralston S. Lenoir, NC NCFR (North Catawba Fire-Rescue)

Hi My name is Ralston. Today I'm going to tell you a story about my Twin Brother and His Cairns 1010. Myself and my twin brother Mason are premature. We were born 27 weeks early. I weighed 2lbs, 3oz and Mason weighed 2lbs, 2oz. We were so small my Dad could hold us in his hand and take his wedding ring and put it all the way up are arms. We were in the Hospital for 3 months. I came home first, but my brother came home a couple of week's after I did. My brother got the bad end of things when he was being born. He had to have open heart surgery when he was 3 days old and had surgery on his intestine. The doctors told my mother my twin brother would never be able to sit up or walk, he would be blind and would never be able to be on his own when he got older. But, God proved the doctors wrong! Today on February 15, 2011 my Brother is a Junior Firefighter with me and will be one for a year on February 23, 2011. He is not blind. He can walk on his own. He can run (not as fast as the normal person but it's running for him). My twin brother is the most caring and loving person you will ever meet. He will do anything for you!! If he can't, he will do his best. I love my Brother with all my heart. I don't know what i would do without him, but God has Blessed me with him for 15 Years now. My Father has been in the Fire Service for 23 Years now. We grew up in it, and we love every bit of it. My Brother has a Yellow Cairns 1010. One of the Captions at my Department gave it to him and said he could use it for anything he wanted to. My brother has been on fires and wrecks and woods fires. I know he will be safe wearing his Cairns Helmet, and I'm glad there are people in God's world that would put people on this earth to make Cairns helmets and etc. To protect myself and my brother. I'm happy to say that my brother is alive today and is with me everyday!. i just wanted to say thank you for reading my story and thank you for all you guys and girls do. God bless all of my brothers and sisters in the Fire and Medical service. Your brother, Ralston.

Patrick H. Buffalo, NY

I am a second generation fire fighter following my father's footsteps. Hired in 2010 I am two weeks from the end of my probation and was in the Market for a Cairns helmet when I came across this giveaway. My father's career and time on this world was cut short after a structural fire in Buffalo eastside went horribly wrong. A roof collapsed on his leaving him without oxygen for several minutes causing irreversible damage to his brain. " It's a story that made headlines around the world when on April 30, 2005, Donny Herbert, a 43-year old Buffalo firefighter, stunned his doctors, family and friends when he suddenly emerged from a vegetative stupor after nearly 10 years. Over the next 16 hours, Donny, who had been deprived of oxygen for six minutes when the roof of a burning building caved in on him in December 1995, began talking and became his old lovable self again, catching up with family and friends on the decade he'd lost. Donny gradually slipped back into a vegetative state and died in December 2006" - http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=3916331&page=1 - 60 minute clip which aired november 2007 http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4402014n&tag=related;photovideo - He always wore the city issued non traditional helmet, because he could not afford nothing else, But i remember one day as a little child how happy he was when our family bought him his first traditional helmet a Cairns 1010 which one day became the cover picture on the book about my dad. Today it sits on my mom's mantle silt covered with the front holder bend from the roof collapse (no other damage). Your helmet with the actions taken by the Buffalo Firefighters gave my family another 11 years which I will always cherish. Thanks You Patrick Herbert

William B. Trenton, FL

My story is simple. My great-grand father was a firefighter my grand father was also a fire fighter (FDNY) my father on the other hand broke out of the family business and became a cop (NYPD). I don't really know what went wrong, he might have feel and hit his head as a child. As for me, well, I'm in the family business and I'm a firefighter in Florida. As far as I know, both grandfathers had a Cairns, and to my Dismay, I cannot use them on duty. So, I would just like my own to pass down to my son who hopefully will keep it in the family business

Allen K. Verona, PA

I got my first leather about a year and half ago and it has seen a lot of work since then. I love wearing it because its a huge symbol in the tradition in the fire service and I'm all about that and the brotherhood of the job. I am currently trying to get a new one one due to the fact that i don't wanna ruin what my helmet has seen and to keep nice to give to my son one day.

John H. Sheridan, CA

My Father is a retired Captain he wore a Cairns classic 1000 for 25 years. Every time he came home after a shift, we used to fight over who got to wear his helmet so we could play firefighter. Now that I am firefighter myself and have my own helmet, I like to think its like we are passing on a torch from one generation to another.

Joshua E. Hope, RI

Hi name is Joshua Etchells. I joined the fire dept 7 years ago. I joined the fire dept so that I could follow in my great grandfathers foot steps. He was a providence firefighter for the state of RI. He passed away before I could ever talk to him about the fire dept. I'm on two volunteer fire stations and I've always wanted my own gear like my great grandfather had.

Alley M. Merced, CA

Alley M. Merced, CA City of Merced Fire/Rescue

Proud to wear my Sam Houston. Trusted for 175 years.



Alex N. Shelton, CT

Alex N. Shelton, CT Storm Engine Co. 2

In the photo i added there are 3 generations of cairns N5A New Yorker helmets still being used to this day by these members of my company. i will never buy any other helmet except for cairns. this picture was taken in mid july of 2010.

Erik J. Fairhaven, MA

Erik J. Fairhaven, MA Fairhaven Fire Dept.

I Have always used Cairns since 2003-present and love It. I bought cairns 1010 when i got on my dept as a volunteer fire fighter. Its a great helmet sits on my head well and has protected my head dozens of times from pulling ceiling hitting my head on beams fighting a fire in a crawl space. My dept gave me a morning pride had it fell a part in my first fire with it the eagle fell off and the rubber trim came off So I went back to my Cairns1010. I became a professional fire fighter where i work as a volunteer fire fighter. I bought a Leather cairns N5A New Yorker and love it. Have only seen one fire with it but is great. I come from a long line of fire fighters and they all had leather cairns N5A new yorker. Cairns is the only helmets I will use.

Derek K. Venice, FL

Derek K. Venice, FL Englewood Area Fire Control District

Hello, I have always wanted a Cairns leather fire helmet. Now when I have the opportunity to purchase one, the helmet is no longer in production (Houston). I've always wanted a Cairns leather helmet due to the tradition behind them. I'm a big supporter of tradition in the fire service. I'm a second generation Firefighter. My father started around the same age I did in California as a Wildland Firefghter. We even volunteered at the same department, different times. I've been living the dream since I was 15 when I started as an Explorer at Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department, Nokomis, Fl. In 1999. I participated in the program until I graduated from High School and turned 18 in 2003. Then I graduated to full staffing of a Volunteer Firefighter. I did my time and was promoted to Lieutenant. I was hired at Englewood Area Fire Control District in January 2006 as Firefighter/ EMT. I'm now a member of our Honor Guard. A semester away from completing A.A. Degree in Fire Science at State College of Florida. I also instruct at our academy, Englewood Fire Training Center. I also instruct CPR in our community. I hope to one day promote through the ranks to Battalion Chief. The first two links below are my departments. The next two are related to a near fatal event that I was involved in. http://englewood-fire.com/ http://englewood-fire.com/EFTC/default.htm http://www.firefighternearmiss.com/index.php/search-reports (search: training/paid municipal/firefighter) http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100715/ARTICLE/7151084

Brandon G. Bluff City, TN

Brandon G. Bluff City, TN Avoca Fire Rescue

That's my dad and me. My dad is in a Cairns 1010.



Andrew V. Tonawanda, NY

Andrew V. Tonawanda, NY Brighton FD

Tradition and Pride N6A Houston Leather Helmet



Steven D. Jasper, AL

I'm 21 years old and I've been in the fire service for 3 years now. All I have used has been Cairns helmets. My dad has been in the fire service for 30 years and cairns is the only fire helmet he has ever used. It's a great helmet and they all fit comfortably. I currently have three Cairns helmets and i use all of them at different times because I'm with three different Fire Departments, and they all have Cairns helmets as well. Over all its a great helmet and i will never have a different name brand helmet.

Ryan S. Kamiah, ID

Hello, I am a 2nd generation fireman and listening to my grandfather tell stories i picked up on this one about a year ago. They were at a hotel fire in Sparks Nevada where my grandfather was raised and one night they were called out for a fire at I believe it was The Marks Hotel. When they arrived it was fully engulfed and so they positioned 2 snorkel trucks on the North side with monitors to keep the blaze down. At the time my grandfather was a captain and he and his engine company were stationed on the opposite side and were for 6 hours operating a hotel loop with a great torrent of water raining down on them from the monitors on the opposite side. There was a picture taken, which I do not have access to at this time, which ran in the local newspaper which showed my grandfather and his crew in the middle of what looked like a waterfall and the water was hitting them so hard, my grandfather told me, that if he had not had his helmet that he would have most likely been bald by the end of it. My grandfather served under that helmet and came to be captain 2 years later serving for another 10 then they moved and finally came to rest here in Kamiah. Listening to his stories is what inspired me to become a fireman and I hope to serve many years under my own helmet.

Samuel H. Las Vegas, NM

My story is not that of one where the helmet saved me, rather the helmet made me feel safe and proud. Every time the alarm activated, I knew we made the right decision when we ordered the new helmets. My Cairns 1010 with the 4 inch faceshield was a symbol of tradition and pride, it was lightweight, compared to other models on the market.

Scott K. Hightstown, NJ

A few months back we had a house fire in our local. I was on the nozzle of the first line in the structure. Fire was in the upstairs bed room on the Alpha side of the building. Myself and the Lieutenant ( who was my back up man) mad enter. about halfway up the stair we were met with black smoke and alot of heat, banking us down to the ground. As I made it to the landing of the second floor we found fire to the left of the stairs in the front bedroom. We called for water and as the line was charged the sheetrock that was placed over the plaster and latthe began to fall on both of our heads. At first I thought someone else on the team was pulling the ceiling on me but after watching it fall in other places in the room i realized what was happening. We knock the fire down and began overhaul. After going to rehab one of the guys said something to about my helmet. I looked down at it and realized the paint on the top of it was cracked and a piece of paint was missing from it. Nothing else was wrong with the helmet and i got luck that i had such a great helmet to protect me. Althought I do not have a picture due to having to place paint back on the helmet per my chiefs request, i figured that Cairns would like to here my story. I have two new yorkers, a 1010 and have friends that have nothing but Cairns. I do not never see purchasing another interior structure other then one that has a Cairns name on it.

John M. Horseheads, NY

I have been in the fire service for 26 yrs. its a great feeling being able to help the public. My Brothers and Father were in it before me and its a true family affair even when you are not related to you brother ff too FTMPTB

Stephen N. Austin, QC

Our volunteer department recently celebrated 30 years of service (1979-2009). Our departments first helmets were Cairns 910P's, and kept us safe for over 2 decades. We keep one of the helmets in the firehouse to remind everyone how much things have changed over the last 30 years. We still use Carins/MSA helmets to protect our firefighters. Happy 175th birthday!

Travis M. Hyde Park, NY

Everyday in the fire service, there are a lot of injuries and a lot of close calls. The helmet is not going to catch everything, but it will catch a lot. Our helmets tell our stories, reflect our traditions, and our values. Each mark, dent, discoloration is my legacy. My helmet knows all that I encounter and stands by me at all times. Look at each helmet and at the man to which it belongs, then tell me which speaks louder.

Chad A. Fort Wayne, IN

My father used a N5A New Yorker Fire Helmet for his entire career as a firefighter. I have since been given his helmet of which does not meet standards of today;s firefighter. I have seen this helmet go through so much and withstand heat and a lot of on the job time and it stood the test of time for many years. I too would love to have the experience of a New Yorker style helmet but just can't spend the money on one at this time. Thanks to cairns and the New Yorker for fine craftsmanship and quality.

John M. Uniontown, OH

When I first got a fire job it was with Uniontown Fire Dept. And all probies got tactical tupperware from Bullard. Even in probie school I wore one. You could feel the heat right through it even in in the burn building. But after we were on the dept for a year we finaly earned our Cairns 1010. I was like a kid at Christmas. Then we had a structure fire one night. I threw on my pac and lid and went in with my partner. This fire was a hot one. And we were going up stairs. When we got to the top of the stairs, my head was cool and I couldn't feel the heat. I had to stand up at the top of the steps to pull some hose around the corner. I reached up and could feel the brass eagle but no leather shield. When i went to rehab i found my leather shield had melted and my reflector had as well but the whole time I was fine my head was nice and cool and comfortable. When I went back in I just went back up and fixed my shield and stayed low. Cairns will forever be my helmet company of choice. We even use them at my new dept in Hartville. But I have always wanted to be a leather head.

Dan N. St Paul Park, MN

Dan N. St Paul Park, MN St Paul Park Fire Rescue

Born to be Firefighters



Richie N. Allison Park, PA

Richie N. Allison Park, PA Peebles District VFC & Berkeley Hills VFD

For 25 years my dad, Paul Nye, a 30 year vetern of McCandless Fire/ Rescue in Pittsburgh, Pa has been using an original New Yorker that has been through countless number of fires and rescues that McCandless has faced throught out his years of service. He has been in all ranks for the Highland Firemans Association in McCandless with his leather helmet. Currently Paul is working with Allegheny County Airport Authority as a firefighter/EMT for the past several years.

Nicki B. North Pole, AK

Nicki B. North Pole, AK Fort Wainwright

My husband and I just got married in June and he hauled his Cairns helmet all the way from Alaska to Idaho where we got married. He looked so sharp in his Class A uniform and the helmet was something that was important to us as a symbol that we wanted in our wedding. In the last four years we have been about 3000 miles apart because he found a great university program for firefighters in Alaska. We got him a leather helmet because he felt safer wearing it than the plastic ones. His Cairns helmet has been a symbol to us that this career is more than that, it is more than a job, it is a lifestyle and something that my husband loves to do. That helmet to us is a symbol of the sacrifices that we made for him to be the best fireman he could be. To be able to do his job to the best of his ability and to be safe doing it. I am so proud of my husband. He puts his all into his job and then when he is off, he volunteers at another station. He loves what he does and I love being part of it and supporting him. I am so glad I married him and that even though we had to be separated by distance for a while, it was worth it for him to become the fireman he is today. He has worked really hard to get to where he is and I could not be more proud of him!

Rik T. Chapel Hill, NC

Rik T. Chapel Hill, NC New Hope VFD

Leatherheads at a Live Burn. White Cross, NC



John K. Palm Coast, FL

Cairns Helmets have been protecting my family for 5 generations. From tin to leather, from my Great Great Grandfather to my Brother and I. We all have worn and loved our Cairns Helmets and have them all today. In Newark, NJ during the riots my father was protected by his N5A New Yorker from more than one brick thrown from roof tops. My Grandfather had a roof collapse on him in Westfield, NJ, and came away unharmed. My Great Grandfathers fought the Great Westfield fire of 1898 in their Tin Cairns Helmets. Firefighting is a family Tradition for us and Cairns has been with us so long they feel like part of the Family. Lt. John Keppler FCFR

Jason K. Whiteland, IN

Jason K. Whiteland, IN Whiteland Volunteer Fire Department

One day after a strong storm system had started a house fire. I had just bought my new Cairns 1010 helmet 4 days prior due to me being promoted to department safety officer and due to the fact that our department was in need of updating all of our outdated helmets that we had. The house fire was on the border of our area and we were called in as a 3rd due engine company. That day I was the officer on the engine due to the fact that the line officer was out of service. My company made it onto the scene and was order to relive the teams on the inside. Most of the fire had been knocked down but due to the home being a large home with many add-ons we had fire hiding in many places. My team had came out and switched our bottles when command had us go and do overhaul of the master bedroom. While in the room then 2 of my firefighters were on the line hitting hots spots when me and my engineer were in a walk in closet just inside the master bedroom. we were pulling the ceiling down when all of a sudden the ceiling came crashing down on top of myself and my engineer. We were pulled from the area very fast due to our other team members being right there. If we did not have our new Cairns helmets then its hard telling what would have happened to us. I still have that helmet today to remind me of my close call. But mostly a few days after that happened then my first child was born. The helmet saved my life and my team's life. And for that I am thankful but grateful that you have built a helmet that allowed me to say i survived. The photo that I am sending with this is that of me and my first born Bryce. I am wearing the helmet that saved my life.

Stephen W. Sylva, NC

Stephen W. Sylva, NC Sylva Fire Dept.

Father's and Son's 1010