Wabi sabi is the Japanese concept of beauty in older, sometimes even damaged, objects. I asked friends from all walks of emergency services to send or let me take photos of pieces of kit from their bags, their belts or their pockets.
Mechanix Original Gloves, Constable MW
When MW was in the store and he pulled out his gloves, I had to take a picture, because the amount of abuse a tactical law enforcement officer dishes out on gloves, especially when working in rural settings. This has been MW’s only pair of working gloves for the past year and a half, and they’ve taken everything he’s dished out.
Danner Acadia, Paramedic SC
Three years of use with a provincial ambulance service. Danner built their boots initially for loggers in the Pacific Northwest but they take the punishment of urban settings too. Maybe a little polish wouldn’t hurt?
Fisher Bullet Pen, Constable GN
GN bought this on his first week on the job with a major municipal police service, and has ridden in his pocket every day since. The Fisher Space Pens have a thick matte black coating that takes a decent amount of punishment to wear off. The patina on the exposed brass is beautiful in person.
Surefire 6P LED, Constable KK
This 6P LED (now discontinued and replaced by its newer iteration, the Fury series of lights) has had the finish scorched, oxidized and annealed by being mounted next to the hot barrel of a working carbine, as the carbon built up just behind the bezel shows. The purple and grey colouring is not a trick of the light, but the effect of the repeatedly heating and cooling the aluminium and anodized finish.
Streamlight Rubber Helmet Band and Surefire G2L Fire Rescue, Firefighter BP
Simple kit often works the best, and it doesn’t get much simpler than the Streamlight Helmet Band. Having been through vehicle extrication, structural fires, medical calls and repetitions through the flashover simulator, this one has been around the block once or twice, but does exactly what it’s supposed to: Keep your light tight to your helmet and out of the way.
Benchmade Griptilian, Corporal now Constable JN
This knife travelled with my friend through an 8-month Roto in Afghanistan with the Canadian Forces, where it was an everyday carry tool for him. While now it’s part of his larger overall collection, it has a special place in having served him so well while he was serving overseas.
We at 911 Supply pride ourselves on selling clothing and equipment that stands the wear and rigors of day-to-day professional use. I offer my thanks to everyone who took the time to show me some of their great kit and sharing some of the stories behind them.