Fire Department shakes up tradition with new helmets

New helmets at Ohio Township volunteer fire department

ROCKPORT, IN (WFIE) - When you think of a firefighter, you may often think about that classic fire fighter helmet that they wear. But Ohio Township Fire Department realized they were weighing them down, so they made a big change.

About two years ago Ohio Township Fire Chief Scott Chapman realized a change needed to be made for his firefighters helmets.

“The ceiling fell on one of my firefighters, hitting him on the back of the helmet, on the long part of the brim," Chapman said. "With the chin strap and everything it took his SCBA mask off and cranked his backwards.”

So Chapman worked to figure out how to prevent that from happening again and came up with the idea of a new helmet- one that looks a lot more like a motorcycle helmet.

S"With the old helmets, yeah it’s an old tradition that they have," Samuel Thuerbach a firefighter with the department said. “But you’re on scene for an extended amount of time, your neck starts to hurt. You start getting a headache and it just gets annoying.”

Several firefighters told us the new helmet is much more comfortable and easier to get into tight spaces with it on. And most of the firefighters felt an instant difference, even just trying them on for the first time.

“They did," Chapman said. "And in about 10 minutes, the majority of them said man this is nice.”

Chapman believes they are the first fire department in the Tri-State to try a new style helmet like this, but believes it’s been the best decision for his crew’s safety and comfort.

“The fire service is full of traditions," Chapman said. "Our gear is different now, it’s better. Our boots are better. Why can’t our helmets be a little bit more comfortable?”

For more information or to contact the fire department about the helmets visit

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