Full turnout gear, helmet, and eye protection required by my fire chief and every other fire chief when working an motor vehicle accident (MVA) or fire. MVA and fires are dangerous place even when the scene is "secure". There is no option to wearing proper gear. Its not about the Fire fighters or EMTs having a good time and enjoying their freedom. Its all about safety and everyone going home alive to their family and loved ones.
It should be noted that the Fire Deparments have a lot more resources versus one or two Ski Patrollers that are on their own much of the time. Huge difference. When an interior Fire Fighter exits a burning building he/she enters a REHAB area, where EMTs check their vitals, provide fluids and ok them to go back in by changing their air tanks. Full turnout gear is damn hot even when the outside temp is 60F degrees. A 90+ degree day a firemen can use up a lot of fluids to try to keep their bodies cooled down. Even with REHAB we loose a lot of firemen every year due to heart attacks and over exertion. Don't believe believe me look at the data in the links below. A helmet that is required for ski patrollers at all times that are on their own with little or no resources and no REHAB "may" cause additional exertion and stress on the ski patroller.
As of today 40 firefighters have lost their lives on duty in 2009. 17 of these firefighters died as the result of a heart attacks. If a ski area requires a helmet be worn at all times it may result in over exertion and heart attacks when the patroller is giving his all to help save a life. Remember its about safety and not about the feeling of freedom when patrolling on duty.
Here are a few links.