Heat Stress Prevention: Why not apply this technology to fire helmets?


Firefighter's attack a fire inside a locomotive... Think it gets a little hot inside?

Smart Football Firefighter Helmet Monitors Body Temp, (and could) Saves Lives


Heat stroke kills players firefighters every year. But a new helmet gives coaches firefighter's a novel sideline monitoring system.
The greatest danger that football players firefighters face is a [insert something else here like heart attacks, asphyxiation, internal trauma, burns, drowning, HEAT STROKE, asthma attack or getting shot ] bone-crushing hit, right? But the stats tell a different story: Since 1995, 39 football players firefighters, most in high school, have died of heat stroke. And it's not the province of psycho coaches in Texas either: In 2001, Minnesota Vikiings lineman Korey Stringer died, with a body temperature of 108.8 degrees. Now take that same individual playing football and put that person into a firefighting situation that could involve structure fires, motor vehicle fires, wildland fires or any arduous activity that occurs in high temperatures that much of the United States is currently encountering.
In the last decade (1), of the 40 firefighters who died on the fireground, 13 succumbed to heart attacks, 8 were asphyxiated, 7 died of crushing injuries, 5 died of internal trauma, 3 died of burns, 1 drowned, 1 died of heat stroke, another died during an asthma attack, and 1 was shot. Nineteen of the victims were volunteer firefighters, 15 were career firefighters, 4 were contractors with wildland agencies, 1 was a career federal forestry agency employee, and 1 was a seasonal state forestry agency employee.
As Popular Science reports, a new football helmet could finally end those tragedies so...
Why not apply this technology to fire helmets?
Hothead Technologies invented the Heat Observation Technology (HOT) system, an in-helmet temperature monitor that will alert coaches when a player is overheated. Inside the helmet's padding, near the players temporal artery, the monitoring comes from a thermistor, whose electrical resistance varies with temperature. (Which sounds fancy, but almost all metals have that property; thermosistors merely have a more regular resistance pattern, which is easier to model.) A built-in radio transmits temperatures to a PDA monitored on the sidelines. Hothead, apparently, is "as accurate as a rectal thermometer" but obviously far more useful to football players (and firefighters).
References
1. NFPA's files on fatal injuries to on-duty firefighters are updated continually for all years. The current total of 95 deaths for 1996 is three more than the number identified in the July/August 1997 issue of NFPA Journal.
2. For this report, the term "volunteer" refers to any firefighter who isn't a full-time, paid member of a fire department. The term "career" refers to full-time, paid fire department members or employees of career organizations whose assigned duties include firefighting.
Refresher Training: What is the difference between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke?

 

Refresher Training: What has NIOSH recommended to prevent Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke?


Refresher Training:

 The apparent temperature is how hot the heat-humidity combination makes it feel?


We are in the 21st century where technological advances and miniaturization of circuits and radio transmitters makes things like this possible. If a football coach can monitor a football team, then can't a Safety Officer do the same? Any monies spent on this type of technology being made available to high school football teams should be adapted and made available for firefighters.



Firefighters safety is paramount and using a tool such as this that can warn supervisors that one of their own is in danger seems like an obvious thing to do, at least it does to me. Passive systems with GPS monitors and vital sign monitoring should one day be the norm verses my suggesting it here on the FFN. 



What do you think?


CBz


"Failure to prepare is preparing to failure, be prepared..."


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IAFF PPT

Exceptional, informative power point presentation by the IAFF on heat related emergencies for firefighters.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCo...

Hope this link works...
Sums it up nicely...as usual. Damn people and their damn logic.
Update: we may not even worry about something in our helmets that weigh ounces...

BLOGSElectronic "smart skin" would simplify vital sign monitoringAugust 12, 2011
(Credit: AP) (CBS/AP) Call it smart skin. Researchers have developed a tattoo-like film that would allow doctors to monitor a patient's vital signs without the bulky wiring and electrodes now required.
Pictures: Smart Skin - Can "tattoos" tell when you're sick?
"What we are trying to do here is to really reshape and redefine electronics...to look a lot more like the human body, in this case the surface layers of the skin," said John A. Rogers, founder of the company that is developing the device. "The goal is really to blur the distinction between electronics and biological tissue."

In a paper published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, researchers explain that they embedded electronic sensors in a film thinner than the diameter of a human hair - and then placed it on a polyester backing like that used for kids' temporary tattoos. The result? A sensor flexible that is enough to bend with human skin.
Instead of using an adhesive, the bandage-like device relies on a weak force called the van der Waals force, which causes molecules and surfaces to stick together without interfering with motion. Sound familiar? This is the force that allows geckos to climb smooth vertical surfaces. In tests, the device remained in place for up to 24 hours. Although normal shedding of skin cells would eventually cause the monitors to come off, Rogers said he thought they could remain in place as long as two weeks.
In addition to monitoring heart rate and temperature, the device could monitor brain waves, aid muscle movement, sense the larynx for speech, emit heat to help heal wounds and perhaps even be made touch sensitive and placed on artificial limbs, Rogers said. He declined to state how soon the electronic skin would be ready for market or what it would cost.

The device could help fill the need for equipment that has more reliable monitoring - and is more convenient and less stressful for patients, said Zhenqiang Ma, a University of Wisconsin engineering professor who was not part of the research team. The device can simply be stuck on or peeled off like an adhesive bandage, he said.
Smart Skin: Can "tattoos" tell when you're sick?

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