Oh Good Lord! No thank you very much. Call me a dinosaur, or whatever, but that is NOT for me.
Luke... I am your father!
But what if OSHA passes regulations telling you that in order to be a firefighter, you have to wear "this" helmet? Anything is possible now. We are being told to do so many other things in our lives by the government, maybe our freedom of choice for fire helmets may someday be compromised... I sure hope not.
On a personal note, anyone out there that has had or currently has the pleasure of wearing a real leather Carnes structure fire helmet is lucky. I know all the pro's and con's but always thought the helmets were cool and very functional with the lid on the back. Very few SoCal fire departments use the leather helmets. I do not know of any department to date using the European version as shown in the photo.
The Europeans have been progressive, and ahead of America in many ways, for a long time. If I were a younger man I'd readily wear one of these. Looks like it would afford excellent protection and information.
Wouldn't want to be claustrophobic.
I'm big on tradition, too, and am glad I got to sport a Ben Franklin for many years.
My bet is the uproar with trying to force firefighters to switch to a space helmet would be deafening. I am seeing, in my area anyways, a return to traditional style helmets. Mostly "plastic" but there are a few going to Cairns N5A or N6A. This is after decades of either Cairns, Morning Pride, or Bullard salad bowl style helmets.
I wore an old style Cairns N5 that pre-dated the inner impact liner for roughly 10 years. To be honest I think this was the best fire helmet I ever had. Light weight, fitted to my head, and tough as nails. It was eplaced with a Cairns N6A Sam Houston with an impact liner and full current NFPA certification. It also had a ratchet adjustment and a full face shield. I diliked this helmet almost from the first day I had it. It sat up to high on my head, was heavy, and the leather on the back brim crumbled and broke off after about 5 years. Cairns did warranty it and replaced the shell for free, but sadly yhr second shell fell apart in the same place at about the same age. I just cn't see spending almost $600 for what I see as a disposable helmet. Now if could buy an N5 like I had originally I would buy one right now and use it everyday.
I don't necessarily believe that a blanket statement can be made saying that the Europeans have been progressive or ahead of America in many ways in firefighting.
I think there are enough differences in building construction and fire loading that some of what they do and some of what we do simply doesn't transfer to the other directly.
You are correct. I'm actually thinking of everything, not just firefighting. Things like medicine, too.
Here is the webpage of the designer :
I think the main idea of the concept is to integrate data from an IR camera and other sources and display them in front of the SCBA wearer. The form and style of the helmet seems secondary.
P.S : I'm not sure we fight fires that are really so different. Aren't your old buildings built the same way than ours ? And our homes are just as filled with synthetic materials than yours ...
Three years ago, I posted here on the FFN, predicting that a helmet would be designed to meet NA standards compared to the european versions of this helmet design that did not at the time. Here's what I posted:
05-25-2010 Update: I made direct contact today with MSA and spoke with one of two sales reps that have knowledge of the French Gallet F1-SF Firefighter Helmet. Here's what I learned:
• These "French" fire helmets are manufactured by MSA, which is 100% USA owned and is based internationally out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
• MSA bought out the french company Gallet 7-8 years ago, which included this helmet design and manufacturing rights.
• Existing USA style fire helmets are rated to no more than 1500˚F, while this particular style is rated to 1800˚F. Why more? The same technology used by NASA for astronaut helmets visors are incorporated into this design. Both the helmet and face shield reflect the heat, keeping the interior of the helmet cool, with maximum interior helmet temperatures reaching around 95˚F.
• The existing F1-SF helmet does not meet NA standards as mentioned in one of the posts. However, there is such a demand now for this style that MSA is working on providing a NA approved helmet that has the same features but also possesses the necessary impact standards.
• What we are looking at is a glimpse of what the 21st century firefighters are going to be wearing, internationally...
You are absolutely correct Mahea, there is no difference in the types of fires any of us deal with. In fact, from what little I know about Switzerland, not only do you fight fires, but you also treat the home to take away the smell? I have the impression that Swiss firefighters are a cut above the rest but that's because my best friend was Swiss and I have been influenced by him. Am I wrong?
What's funny is that the European fire helmets are manufactured by MSA, which is 100% USA owned and is based internationally out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.