Blue Sky

"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which a fireman has to do believe it is a noble calling. There is an adage which says that 'nothing can be destroyed except by fire.' We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world, which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and poor. We are the defenders from the fire, of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. But, above all, our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men - the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society."


(killed in the line of duty 1911)

Bullard is an internationally known manufacturer of high-quality personal protective equipment and systems designed to help save lives. Serving workers in the fire service and law enforcement markets, Bullard is a leader in manufacturing thermal imaging cameras and firefighter and rescue helmets.

Market Leader

Bullard has remained a manufacturing leader in its markets for more than 114 years. The Company maintains its competitive edge through advanced engineering technology, adopting the principles of ‘lean’ manufacturing, and offering value-added services. In addition, Bullard utilizes cross-functional teams to develop the most sophisticated, technologically advanced products designed with worker safety in mind.

We are a Company that knows the specific needs of the fire service. Bullard Thermal Imagers and Fire and Rescue Helmets reflect that knowledge and experience. With Bullard products, you’ll find the ultimate in toughness and durability. You’ll also find extraordinary service and the most innovative designs.

Bullard's History in the emergency services

Fire Helmets

Bullard entered the fire service market with the introduction of its first fire helmet in 1930. Since then, Bullard has led the market in product safety with the development of the first fiberglass fire helmet in 1947, followed by the first NFPA-approved thermoplastic fire helmet in 1983, and a new helmet that incorporated a non-slip ratchet suspension with a knob in the back for simple sizing. In 2009, Bullard introduced TrakLite®, the industry’s first integrated helmet lighting system that blends engineering, functionality, and safety to help firefighters see forward in dark or smoky conditions. Bullard offers a full line of fiberglass and thermoplastic helmets for structural, Air Rescue, Rescue, and Wildland applications.

Thermal Imagers

Bullard introduced its first high-resolution thermal imager to the fire service market in 1998 with the innovative Bullard TI. This breakthrough in thermal imaging technology quickly secured Bullard’s market position as the industry’s leading thermal imaging manufacturer. In 2003, Bullard introduced its T3 Thermal Imager as the first palm-size, lightweight imager offering innovative features including the Electronic Thermal Throttle® and Super Red Hot colorization.

Three years later, Bullard introduced its state-of-the-art T4 Thermal Imager with its ultra-high resolution infrared engine, widescreen display, digital zoom, Electronic Thermal Throttle, Super Red Hot colorization and superior clarity. Bullard introduced the Eclipse® in 2009 as the industry’s first low-cost, lightweight, personal-issue thermal imager designed for every firefighter. In 2012, the Eclipse® LD was launched. The Eclipse LD combines the compact, sleek Eclipse design with a state-of-the-art thermal imaging engine and the latest Liquid Crystal Display technology on a large 3.5” screen. Bullard Thermal Imagers are built ‘Bullard Tough’ with durability, reliability, and usability.


Today, Bullard continues to lead the industry with innovative thermal imaging products and accessories designed specifically to meet the needs of firefighters. The Bullard T4N is the newest thermal imager from Bullard offering the latest in thermal imaging advancements while meeting all of the requirements of NFPA 1801, Standard on Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service, 2013 Edition. Bullard offers thermal imagers that meet the needs of every fire department with its Eclipse®, T3, and T4 Series thermal imagers.

How Resilient are your fire helmets in typical heat exposures due to firefighting? Typical heat exposures due to firefighting fall well within the range of performance for composite and thermoplastic helmets. Concerns should be raised when helmets are exposed to high heat such as flashover chambers, training fires, and direct flame impingement.


Repeated heat exposure under the 120" C range will have limited effect on helmet shells. The difference begins to take place above this range. Thermoplastics can deal with repeated exposures well above 205" C with little damage. Composites however, will begin to breakdown over time.


Heat exposures as they have been described will have less of an impact on thermoplastic helmets. Both composite and thermoplastic helmets will perform well when new. The degradation is a time/heat combination that has greater impact on composites.


Thermoplastic helmets can exhibit blisters or bubbling due to heat exposures. The types of bubbles that you might see on these helmets can range from small ballpoint pen size blisters to large thumbnail size blisters depending on the type of heat as well as the length of time of the exposure. Thermoplastic is much like a sponge with the ability to absorb moisture via humidity. The blistering or bubbling in thermoplastic helmets is a reaction due to moisture trapped in the material that boils and in turn gases. When the water becomes a gas it expands. The softened plastic stretches to accommodate this expansion of gas causing the blister/bubble to form.

Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is the line-of-sight heat found in high heat exposures such as fuel fires. This heat can develop in structural fires due to the synthetic compositions of the material found in structures today. This type of heat exposure is like a laser beam. Reports have shown where 2 firefighters have been within inches of each other and one would receive damaging heat exposure to some portion of the ensemble while the other firefighter did not experience any serious heat. Any blistering or bubbling of a thermoplastic helmet when exposed to radiant heat usually results in small pen size blisters in a very localized area of the helmet shell. This reaction to radiant heat can result in seconds of the exposure.

Conveciive Heat

Conveciive Heat Convective heat is the type of heat that envelops the room or rooms involved with a fire. This is much like walking into an oven. Heat is everywhere. Since this heat stratifies, the time it takes to boil moisture inside a thermoplastic helmet shell becomes shorter the greater distance from the floor. Unlike radiant heat, convective heat that causes blistering or bubbling most often requires several minutes of exposure.

Any helmet should be removed from service if it has sustained a substantial blow from falling objects. The same would be true if the wearer has fallen and his head and helmet impacted the ground. When in doubt, take it out of service.


Should a thermoplastic helmet experience blistering/bubbling due to high heat exposure, remove it from service. Remove any helmet that is exposed to direct flame. Carefully examine composite helmets exposed to high heat for potential surface cracking/crazing due to the exposure. The composite shell should remain rigid when you attempt to flex the material. Any cracking sounds and ease of flex are signs of weakened material.


Helmets are sometimes kept in service well past their useful life. All elements of the firefighter's ensemble will and do "wear out". Frequent inspection with trained/educated eyes is needed to determine if a helmet can remain in service. These inspections should increase in frequency and their level of scrutiny as helmets get older.

Bullard offers an array of fire helmet fits and styles that are NFPA certified.

What is NFPA?

Established in 1896, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety.

A major focus of NFPA is the development, publication, and dissemination of codes and standards for the fire service. NFPA codes and standards are developed by about 250 committees, each of which represents a balance of affected interests.

In fact, the 300 NFPA codes and standards influence every building, process, service, design, and installation in the United States, as well as many of those used in other countries.

How do I know if a helmet meets NFPA standards?

Check the label. Look for the compliance statement and the certification organization’s mark. The compliance statement indicates that the specific product meets the requirements of the relevant NFPA standards. Language such as “Designed to meet …” or “Meets the relevant portions of …” are not true compliance statements. Only products that meet all requirements of an NFPA standard, including independent third-party certification, can carry a compliance statement. You can check for third-party certification by finding the certification organization’s mark on the product label. Only product labels with a mark such as those certified by Underwriters Laboratories or the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) have met all the rigors of a third-party certification process required by each NFPA product standard.

Are Bullard fire helmets certified to NFPA standards?

Yes. Bullard fire helmets are certified to various NFPA standards. Our Company’s strict compliance with these standards can ensure you that Bullard helmets provide a certain standard level of protection. Our helmets have been certified to NFPA standards by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI). That information, as well as the NFPA compliance statement, is located on the label of each helmet. The listing below shows the NFPA standard for which each Bullard helmet model is certified.

NFPA 1971-2013 UST Series
  PX Series
  FX Series
  LT Series
  AX Series
  USRX Series
NFPA 1977-2011 Wildfire® Series
NFPA 1951-2013 USRX Series

Understanding NFPA standards for fire helmets

In a number of previous columns, the usefulness of several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards has been explained. NFPA standards covering fire and other emergency service personal protective equipment set comprehensive detailed requirements for their design, testing, performance, and documentation. Key parts of the NFPA standards also include product labeling and certification. The product label is the representation of the product as being certified to the standard. It is important the firefighter and other emergency responders be able to recognize certified products and be able to apply the user information provided by the manufacturer. This article describes what it means for a product to be certified to an NFPA standard.

End users rely on personal protective equipment for their health and safety during emergency operations. It is the emergency responder's expectation that PPE provide the highest possible level of protection along with other qualities that permit the products to usable under a variety of exposure conditions. The fire service and other emergency response organizations specify products that comply with NFPA standards as these standards set the minimum requirements for product design and performance as established by a balanced consensus process. The use of standards helps to free end user from knowing all the details related to the construction and materials used in products. The evidence that PPE meets a specific NFPA standard is found on the product itself in the form of the product label.

The product label contains specific information identifying the product, such as the manufacturer name, contact information, style or model number. Other information on the product label includes the product size, principal materials of construction, cleaning precautions, and a serial number or other means for tracing the product back to its production lot. For purposes of certification, the most significant parts of the product label are the compliance statement and the certification organization's mark. The compliance statement indicates that the specific product meets the requirements of the relevant NFPA standards(s). This language is set in the standard itself and is not supposed to be altered. Language such as "Designed to meet…" or "Meets the relevant portions of …" are not true compliance statements. Only products that meet all requirements of a NFPA standard, including independent third-party certification, can carry this compliance statement. Third-party certification is demonstrated by the appearance of the certification organization's mark on the product label.

The mark of the certification organization on the product label is testament to the fact that the PPE item has been independently certified. Only product labels with a mark such as those certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI), have met all the rigors of a third-party certification process required by each NFPA product standard.

The certification process specified by each NFPA product standard is by far the most comprehensive and detailed set of requirements that are used for the certification of PPE. This process requires independent testing by the certification organization or its laboratories to establish that the product meets every requirement in the standard. This testing is carried out when the product is first submitted for certification, but is continued for as long as the product is presented as being certified on an annual basis through follow-on testing. But certification is much more than product testing. Since only a small portion of the actual products can be tested (most product tests are destructive), certification also includes mandatory quality assurance procedures to be used by the PPE manufacturer to ensure that each and every product they fabricate meets the requirements of the standard, not just those samples that are submitted for testing. Not only must manufacturers have in place quality assurance programs in place that are separately registered to ISO 9001 (a comprehensive quality assurance standard), manufacturing sites are also subject to periodic unannounced audits by the certification organization, where quality practices are checked and samples may be selected for random testing.

The certification organization has the right to withdraw their mark and the listing of the product at any time where the product does not continue to qualify to the requirements of the standard. Products that are certified are "listed" by the certification organization. This means that the certification organization maintains a list of the manufacturers and respective products meeting the each standard. One way to check on a product being certified is to go the website of the respective certification organization to determine if the particular models or styles of specific PPE are indeed listed as certified against a specific standard (for the two certification organizations indicated above, their websites are and, respectively).

Not any laboratory or organization can be a certification organization. The certification organization labs and their respective laboratories must be accredited to applicable certification and laboratory standards. A laboratory that simply can test a product cannot qualify for all requirements for a certification organization as defined by the NFPA standard.

Certification organizations are obliged to investigate complaints of product performance. If problems with a specific item of PPE arise, end users should notify both the manufacturer and the certification organization. Such notifications are important because it helps to identify possible trends in problems, which may be occurring over a range of products or for a particular style or model. This information can then be used to apply corrections to the product or additional requirements to a particular standard can be proposed to address the issue. Manufacturers are required to maintain logs of customer complaints, which in turn are reviewed by the certification organizations.

As comprehensive as the NFPA certification process is, it is not perfect. Abuses of the process can still happen whether intentional or unintentional. In particular, there are no organizations that undertake the policing of the entire safety equipment market, such as the Food and Drug Administration does for drugs and medical devices. Legitimate certification organizations will vigorously monitor the proper use of their marks and will generally take steps to ensure that manufacturers, which they certify, comply with the different standards. However, some manufacturers may take short cuts or misrepresent their products. There have even been circumstances where false certification claims have been made and products that should not comply with standards are represented as meeting an NFPA standard. Sometimes, these misrepresentations take the form of carefully worded statements that imply certification but unless the product is actually certified and listed by a qualified certification organization; it does not meet the standard.

To have confidence that the PPE you select meets NFPA standards, the follow steps can be used:

- Check the product label to see if there is the mark of a certification organization.

- Contact that certification organization to ensure that the specific style or model you are using is listed and is in fact certified. This may be done on line or by directly calling the certification organization. The certification organization will let you know if the specific product is certified

- If you cannot readily identify the certification organization or have questions about the way the product is represented, contact the National Fire Protection Association (617-770-3000). The NFPA does not enforce certification, but they may be able to answer your questions or at least point you in the right direction to find out if the product is certified.

- If you find that a product is not certified but is making claims for certification, inform your state attorney general's office. Misrepresentation of products is an offense that may be prosecutable and warrant action by the state attorney general office.

Certification has been established to help improve the firefighter and emergency responder protection and to ensure the quality of PPE that is available for improved health and safety of fire responders. Recognizing certified products is essential to knowing the manufacturer is making appropriate claims against the NFPA standard and the product is delivering a minimum level of protection.

Bullard offers fire helmets in a variety of materials, in order to suit the specific needs of each firefighting situation.

Composite Helmets

Composite helmet shells are a mixture of thermoset resins and glass fiber. The thermoset resin is the "glue" which is needed to hold glass fibers together in a composite helmet shell Thermoset resins are a family of plastics that do not melt but chemically degrade at high temperatures, and thermoset resins are aeated by mixing two base materials just like epoxy glues (Epoxy glues are thermoset resins). One of the ingredients is a catalyst that, when combined with the other agents and heat during molding, will solidify the mixture, locking itself and the glass fibers into a rigid state. In compression molding applications, very little catalyst is used so that the Liquid resin remains stable at room temperature; the heat and pressure of the molding operation initiates the chemical reaction to solidify the resin.

Understanding the different materials used to manufacture fire helmets

Thermoset resins by themselves have relatively little strength; the strength of a therrnoset composite material comes primarily from the fibers of glass or other materials that are bonded together by the resin.

The challenge in designing an effective composite material is getting the right mix of a good thermoset resin and high content of glass. The glass fiber is heavier than the resin, so getting the right mix also creates the best potential for a lighter helmet shell. Most fire helmets today have a glass content of approximately 50 percent.

High Performance Thermoplastics

Until relatively recently, it was possible to obtain either great heat resistance or great impact resistance, but not both in the same material. Thanks to new thermoplastic advancements, thermoplastics can now exhibit a high quality surface finish, impact resistance and heat resistance. While todays advanced thermoplastics can perform at temperatures exceeding 500" F (260" C), thermoplastics can be sensitive to some chemical solvents.

Task Force Tips Inc.

3701 Innovation Way, Valparaiso IN 46383-9327

Main phone: (800) 348-2686
Telephone: (219) 462-6161
Fax: (219) 464-7155

Vanguard Fire & Safety

We are the sole and exclusive distributor for Africa

Tel: +27 41 451 2461
Tel: +27 31 564 3200

History of TFT

Company History

Ever since the invention of the fire pump, firefighters have been plagued with the difficulty of obtaining correct nozzle pressures for nozzles. Based on a simple and reliable design, Task Force Tip nozzles solve this dilemma by constantly adjusting to the varying pressures of the hoseline. First developed by Clyde McMillan, the Company is still managed with the personal touch of the McMillan family. Over the years, many additional products have evolved to make firefighting more effective and safer for firefighters around the world.

As a result, the company which first started in the family basement has grown many times to meet the expanding market demands. A constant interest in staying on the leading edge of technology, the in-depth use of computerization at all levels, and strong desire for continuing innovative research and development, has made Task Force Tips one of the leading companies in the fire industry.

Task Force Tips' recent move to 3701 Innovation Way in Valparaiso Indiana marks the eighth time the company has moved or expanded in its nearly four decades of business. The new TFT world headquarters boasts a total area of 168,000 square feet, and employs some 180 workers. The brainchild and dream of founder Clyde McMillan, TFT has championed the manufacturing and distribution of fire fighting nozzles and equipment since 1971. Its sales force spans the globe, representing the Midwestern business in at least 100 countries with no way to determine the actual count.

It was in working with the Gary Fire Task Force that Chief Clyde McMillan, founder of Task Force Tips arrived at the idea of an automatic nozzle, which he drew on a Sunday morning back in 1968 with a paper napkin and a red felt pen. Shortly thereafter, the McMillan family basement became a small business and Task Force Tips was born.

At TFT employees are our most valuable asset. The company works continually with employees to make their work experience both enjoyable as well as productive. We are a proactive employer and are constantly looking for ways to improve the workplace and quality of the work environment. The "team spirit" and goal oriented nature allow employees to meet personal goals while achieving the objectives and goals of the expanding company. Each employee's personal involvement and enthusiasm has resulted in record breaking months for Products produced and shipped. The entire TFT "family" is firmly dedicated to excellence and performance as well as unmatched customer service. With this much interest in achieving top performance in all areas, success is sure to result.

History of TFT

We at Vanguard Fire & Safety have claimed for a long time our TFT products are made to deliver water safely and reliably AND to endure the tough fire ground conditions fire-fighters face on a daily basis. The letter written below by a New York Fire Officer bears testimony to that claim, and reinforces our belief that TFT makes the toughest water-delivery equipment by far.

“Dear TFT Co., wanted to write to you about one of your products, an oscillating blitzfire portable monitor. In 2010 our Fire Co. responded to a fire alarm at a local lumber yard Whites Lumber Pulaski NY. This alarm involved over 20 fire companies. The blitzfire was deployed in the store section of the building. As the fire spread the blitzfire had to be abandoned and could not be retrieved due to fallen debris and the intensity of the blaze. Later during overhaul the blitzfire was recovered and considered a total loss. It was sent to our County training facility as a display object, I am employed at that facility and my curiosity caused me to connect the damaged blitzfire to "test it" to my surprise it actually functioned fairly well, charred and damaged as it was. I even photographed it in action. Thank you for building firefighting tools of this quality and durability. I will try to attach pictures of the unit in action in this e-mail. Again thank you,

Rich Brodeur 3rd Assistant Chief, Ringgold Fire Co. Pulaski, NY”

TFT Blitzfire as recovered from fire

TFT Blitzfire as recovered from fire.

Blitzfire flow tested after fire engulfment

Blitzfire flow tested after fire engulfment.

How it all started......

February 11, 2010, First Reported 8:00 p.m.

PULASKI, N.Y. — The cause of a fire that destroyed White's Lumber, 3704 Route 13, remains under investigation. Numerous fire departments from throughout Oswego County assisted in battling the blaze that was reported at about 6:38 p.m. Thursday. Further updates as information becomes available.

TFT Blitzfir
TFT Blitzfir

To find out more about the TFT Blitzfire or any of the TFT water delivery products please contact us via the link below.

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