After the helmet itself, one of the most personal items for every firefighter is the helmet shield. There are as many different styles and layouts as there are fire departments. Name, numbers, rank, colour, panels, materialâ€¦ Each tell a story about who you are, who you work for and what you do. Like the helmet, the shield will tell a story and as they age they only get better. Any fireman can look at the panel of a FDNY shield and immediately identify unit and task. Bostonâ€™s distinct curved and pinched patent leather front with a simple number stands out a mile away. Chicago has their two lines of text and printed panel. Each are as unique as the tools and tactics employed by their department.
Most of us wear a shield made of leather, but in the great city of Detroit, there is a tradition of shields made from steel. These simple pentagonal shields were traditionally painted with the unit number only, but a company started by two Detroit Firefighters has taken the steel shield to a new level.
Now, here at Hooks and Hooligans we belive in Brotherhood in a big way. This year has seen many Â changes, so when it came Christmas time I thought what better a gift for my Brothers than custom helmet shields? I wanted to do something special for Lt.-S and Vinny so I got in touch with Thomas Suchora at detroitshields.com and asked him about a truly custom H&H shield. The process that they use to manufacture their shields allows them to put ANYTHING you would like on the steel. I sent off a couple of images and gave him an idea of what I would like to see, and within a few days I received the proofs for the shields. After I gave him the go ahead, it was a matter of days before the crew had their new fronts in hand. They are even nicer than I had expected. With the holidays and the vagarities of international post, mine took a few more days to land here but still very fast service.
Detroit Shields are a high quality product, made by Firemen for Firemen. Their customer service is second to none, and at under $50 for a TOTALLY custom shield they have to be the best value going for a truly unique product. In addition to custom helmet fronts, they do a whole range of printed steel items from locker signs to presentation plaques. You can even get a keychain sized version of your front.
If you are looking for a new shield that will really make you stand out or a gift for that firefighter who has everything, I highly recommend checking out detroitshields.com. You will not be disappointed.
My helmet may be a NewYorker, but my shield is 100% DETROIT.