Product Review- 5 Alarm Fronts and Leatherworks

5 Alarm Fronts

The Model City Firefighter Shield by 5 Alarm Fronts

5 Alarm Fronts was officially established in 2011, and is owned/operated by Jody and Nickie Meeks. The leather business has been in the family since the late 1800’s. Meeks’ great great grandfather started a shoe repair business in Sicily, Italy in the late 1800’s and moved the business to Chattanooga, TN in 1907 (which is still in operation). Jody was able to get his start in leather work from his grandfather, and has pretty much taught himself through trial. He operates the one man ship out of his house as a side gig away from the firehouse.

5 Alarm Fronts sent me this shield for my leather Phenix TL-2. It turned out great! Since I don’t have an official logo, Jody took the time to do some research on The “Model City.” He found out that one of the design features that was outlined in the planning of the city was the “round-about.” He decided to go with an AutoCAD layout, and added the text recessed above and below the design. Below is a list of the various products that 5 Alarm Fronts offer.

Contact Information

Website: www.fivealarmfronts.com
Facebook: Click here
Phone:  (423)298-7293
Email: jodymeeks@fivealarmfronts.com

Products

5 Alarm Fronts currently offers a variety of leather products. They offer custom leather fronts ($50-$100), truckie belts ($90), leather suspenders ($90), radio straps ($35), radio holsters ($55), glove holders ($20), leather helmet chinstraps ($35), and leather helmet bands ($30). All of the products are hand cut, and they are laid out and drawn up before completed. The only thing that is “mechanically” done are the letters. They can do custom letters and numbers but say that most people prefer the stamped ones.  Nothing they offer is mass produced, and they order everything from the leather factory and make it to fit.

The “Old Timer”- Hand Painted and Stamped

The ‘Old Timer’ is a 6″ traditionally outlined shield that is typically associated with the Ben Franklin/ Cairns type helmets. On the top, you can choose from one or two bars with lettering and in the center, you can choose a painted piece or Company Number. You can also choose to have lettering in the bottom bar. The ‘Old Timers’ also come with stitching around the border, the lettering bars, and the centerpiece. Also, adjustments can be made to the front to accommodate a “Fox Fury” type light. Artwork is not limited, and if you have a design, they should be able to put it on the shield. The ‘Old Timer’ Shields typically start at $75 (price can vary depending on complexity)+ Shipping and Handling.

The “Traditional”- Hand Tooled and Painted

The “Traditional” Hand Tooled and Painted is a traditionally outlined 6″ shield that is typically associated with the Ben Franklin/ Cairns type helmets. On the top, you can choose from one or two bars with lettering and in the center, you can choose a painted piece or Company Number. You can also choose to have lettering in the bottom bar. The ‘Old Timers’ also come with stitching around the border, the lettering bars, and the centerpiece. Also, adjustments can be made to the front to accommodate a “Fox Fury” type light. Artwork is not limited, and if you have a design, they should be able to put it on the shield. The ‘Old Timer’ Shields typically start at $75 (price can vary depending on complexity) + Shipping and Handling.

The “MINI” Pumper

The “MINI Pumper” Hand Tooled and Painted is a custom outlined 4″ shield that is typically associated with the Bullard type helmets. On the top, you can have one bar with lettering and in the center, you can choose a hand-tooled piece or Company Number. You can also have lettering in the bottom bar. The ‘MINI Pumper’ also comes with stitching around the border, the lettering bars, and the centerpiece. On this style shield, the top layer bars and center are cut out so that the bottom layer has the lettering/tooling resulting in a 2-layer shield. The typical ‘MINI Pumper’ Shields generally are $50 + Shipping and Handling.

The “Traditional”- Hand Tooled and Hand Painted (2-layer)

The “Traditional” Hand Tooled and Painted (2-Layer) is a custom outlined 6″ shield that is typically associated with the Leather Sam Houston/ Leather New Yorker type helmets. On the top, you can choose from one or two bars with lettering and in the center, you can choose a painted piece or Company Number. You can also choose to have lettering in the bottom bar. The ‘Old Timers’ also come with stitching around the border, the lettering bars, and the centerpiece. On this style shield, the top layer bars and center are cut out, so the bottom layer has the lettering/tooling resulting in a 2-layer shield. Also, adjustments can be made to the front to accommodate a “Fox Fury” type light. Artwork is not limited, and if you have a design, they should be able to put it on the shield. The typical ‘Traditional-Hand Tooled and Painted’ Shields (2-Layer) are $100 + Shipping and Handling.

Radio Straps

Five Alarm Fronts can custom make a radio strap using 1-1/4″- 1-1/2″ 10 ounce leather. The straps come with snap clips on the end of the belt. They use heavy duty roller buckles for the adjusting part and they come with mic clips and cord holder loops. If you prefer an Extra Long strap, they can make the radio straps however long you need them. The straps can be stamped with Name, Company Name and/or Company Number. They are also offering radio holsters in addition to the radio straps. The prices vary on the holsters depending on the complexity of artwork. For those of you who might have the straps that have the reflective strip down the middle, they have you covered. They can make a patch that rivets on to the strap so that you have a reflective stripe and keep your company pride visible. Also we offer “Gear Rack Nameplates”- email us at fivealarmfronts@gmail.com for a quote today. The straps are $35+shipping and the patch plate is $20+shipping.

Truckie Belts

5 Alarm Fronts also offer Truckie Belts. The belts are made with 2″ wide- 12 ounce Latigo. The belts feature Heavy Duty Roller Buckles, 2″ heavy duty swivel snaps, welded 1″, 2″, 2-1/2″ or 3″ rings. The connector assembly is double riveted and double sewn to add rigidity to the assembly. You can choose from 1″-3″ rings at any place on the belt. The ring attachment points can be looped tightly so that it will not slide around the belt. They can also be double sewn onto the belt. There are many options to this belt. The belts come in a burgundy color or can be dyed black- as always any letter stamping is always free of charge on these belts.

Custom Leather Suspenders

5 Alarm Fronts suspenders are made with 1-1/2″ 10 ounce latigo or cowhide strips. There are many options that are available with these suspenders. You may choose from any color stain that you like. All edges and the backside are typically dyed black. All lettering/ letter painting is free of charge. All the suspenders are riveted and sewn to increase the durability- you may choose from black, nickel plated or copper rivets. E-mail them at fivealarmfronts@gmail.com to discuss a quote with you today!