Northwest Fire Show- 2013

Last week we attended the 2013 edition of the Northwest Fire Show. It’s always fun to look at toys and this show has lots of them.

FireShowTruckWe saw fire trucks, big ones that run around $1,000,000.00. It seems they are so big you need special equipment just to wash them.

FireShowWasherSo they sell portable fire truck washing equipment (it is spinning which is why the picture is a bit weird). But what if you need to change the oil? There is stuff to help there full John Wick: Chapter 2 2017 film

FireShowLiftThree different types of vehicle lifts were on display so you can do that service right at the fire house.

On top of all these big “toys” there was plenty of other stuff to check out. Gloves, turn out gear, hose, tools, medical supplies and even our water rescue equipment and straps.

FireShowBoothWe had the U-Zip-It suit from Switlik, a representative sample of straps, webbing and buckles and some products from the Sterling Rope Company.

Next year’s show is in May and we are looking forward to returning with even more products for this market.





Personal Locator Beacons and hiking

A while back I wrote about how I carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) when riding my mountain bike. Last weekend my local newspaper ran an article on solo hiking and the writer suggests carrying a PLB. She talks about the cost and that some units have an annual fee. A true PLB does not have any annual fee. The satellite system it operates on is owned by the government so your only cost is the initial outlay and then seven years later, the cost of a new battery.

The Ocean Signal PLB is the smallest currently on the market. Selling for under $300.00 the cost works out to $3.56 per month, less than the cost of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Actually it is also less than five hours of on-street parking here in Tacoma.

With winter coming don’t forget that a PLB would also be great if you have a snowmobile, cross country ski or even drive in areas without cell coverage. Maybe this is just the ticket to get us all outside more often this winter!

Étretat during WW II- Joe’s post #1

My partner, Joe, was in the airborne during World War II. His father was a professional photographer and Joe was lucky enough to have a camera while in Europe so that we can enjoy his work many years later. A few years ago he gave me all of his negatives to scan and while some were in bad shape, a good number were fantastic. Joe has agreed to share some of his best so keep an eye open for future postings.

The picture above was taken on the beach in Étretat which is on the coast of France in the Normandy region.  Wikipedia has a good write up on the town and the beach looks the same today as it did in the 1940’s. The only difference is now the fishermen use outboard motors rather than oars.

Joe was on leave to recover from being shot when he took this picture. He had been in a hospital in Paris so this must have been close to the end of the war.

Since our main business is selling safety equipment I have to point out the lack of any form of safety gear in this picture. Not a life jacket in sight and the fishermen are fully dressed and most likely wearing leather or rubber boots. Going overboard would have been fatal.

Joe and I hope you enjoy this diversion.

Side Release Buckles

SRB1We stock three types of 1 inch side release buckles. As you can see they are all a bit different which means the parts will not interchange. These are all manufactured by American Cord and Webbing and are made out of acetyl plastic.

Buckle “A” is the original side release buckle. It is the most common version if you are trying to match something already in use. Note that everything is rather straight, and the corners are angular.

Buckle “B” is the newer “contoured side release” version. It is what we use on our standard straps and it is much more curved than the original model. Due to volume it is also a bit less expensive than the original.

Buckle “C” is designated as a Type V buckle which was designed for use on United States Coast Guard approved life jackets. It is larger than the other two and a bit stronger. Like the original, the Type V has straight sides and angular corners.

SRB2The photo above shows the three buckles unsnapped so you can see what the male portion looks like. It is easy to understand that the parts are not interchangeable.

Buckles from different manufacturers also can vary so you need to physically try to see what will work. We have found that the buckles used on Rigg’s motorcycle bags will work with our original pattern.

Should you need only half of a buckle, we can fill your order. Just give Rollie a call at (253) 627-6000 – they are not listed on our web site. If you want to place an order check out our complete selection of buckles and hardware Sizes from 1/2″ to 2″ are shown in both plastic and metal.