12/03/12 157 W, 1 I - + 2 - 3 Overhaul and Protective Garb, 1947

Here's your morning historical photo, Raleigh firemen performing overhaul on February 13, 1947. What they're wearing is what they fought fire with. Turnout coats were used in the department as early as the 1930s, though not apparently always or by everyone. Scene photos from that decade show some people wearing dress coats and dress pants while fighting fire. (Admittedly, the number of photos from the 1930s is so small that its really not a good sample size.)

Same for turnout pants, which are also shown in some fire photos from the 1930s and 1940s. Again, not always or by everyone. Maybe there were limited sets? Maybe they had to be personally purchased? Helmets were added later, around 1950. Dress caps were worn while fighting fires and they're shown in scene photos going back to the 1920s. (There were some tin helmets in the departments past. We blogged about that in the past.) Click to enlarge:

Reader question, when was the first SCBA used and of what brand? Film footage from 1950 shows SCBA used. The tanks are yellow. Presume Scott.

That said, the museum has a mask/breathing air device from that era, that’s military surplus or maybe military issued. Unsure of brand.

Also, beginning in 1939, the department had pump-fed smoke masks. Might’ve been American LaFrance-Foamite brand, recalling a photo that I’ve seen from the Ammon’s Clothing Store fire of that year.
Legeros - 12/03/12 - 09:19

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