If you might be wondering what the next generation of fire helmets will look like, here you go!

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Between our two graphics, you get a better idea what this helmet looks like. Considering the technological / tactical advantage, and the fact that you have firefighter's lives at stake here, I would hope that everyone would be open minded to accept whatever is invented to make the job safer so everyone goes home in the morning. Save the fashion statement for non-structure / chemical environment type calls. I can see the need for both. This is an expensive piece of equipment, not to be just sat down on the jump seat. Because of it's protective design, firefighters will have less exposure to the products of decomposition. The stuff that causes cancer in firefighters... and makes your hair smell for days afterwards each time you shower. I'm watching more and more young firefighters get cancer, and die. We need to be proactive here more than ever. Maybe fully shrounded structure helmets is the answer?

Unless you are going to fully encapsulate firefighters the idea of a fully shrouded structural helmet is not going to solve the problem of firefighters smelling like smoke after they take off their turn out gear.  The smoke and smell penetrates the turn out gear and the gloves to still get on the body.

What exactly is the tactical advantage of this helmet?  Technologically the integrated IR could be just as easily put onto any scba facepiece as the one on this helmet.  Further what is the cost?  With many smaller rural FDs not able to afford new SCBA because of cost I am sure this will be in the same boat, too expensive to be practical.

I don't get the point of your post above.  So what if MSA is a 100% US owned company?.  The helmets are made in France, again so what?

How about this for some anecdotal evidence?  The only time I have ever seen one of Gallet style helmets used in a live fire training class that student was the only one to go down from heat exhaustion.  Does that prove anything?  Nope.  But it is as relevant as your entire post above. 

 

So the helmet will survive to 1800 degrees F, show me a firefighter that will survive inside his turnout gear at 1800 degree F.  Because if you can't what difference does it make?

 

If a department wants to adopt this helmet, or the current Gallet design I say good for them.  I just don't see firefighters clamoring for this design or bean counters changing to it no matter how much safer you proclaim it to be.

I like the way it looks. Guy's we can't keep old ways forever. 

Ahh gee, another helmet thread....go figure.

On the topic itself...so what? Is it really any safer? I agree with Don's points here that it doesn't matter the manufacturer, nor it's affiliation, it doesn't matter if the helmet can withstand temp extremes of 1800F plus, the rest of a FFs PPE doesn't. Having a pretty helmet with a dead FF means absolutely nothing.

 

Let's look at the other aspects as well, primarily COST. Yeah, I really don't see this as a cost effective solution, especially given the nature of budgets and so forth in today's fire service. It is a reality that is there and I do not see going away, regardless of what technology one wants to push.

 

I see that the SCBA regulator is integrated into the helmet, I don't see this helmet as being practical to meet all the different SCBA manufacturers out there. Even if the helmet did meet other SCBA manufacturers, the dept is thus limited to that particular helmet AND SCBA manufacturer, regardless of technological advances, cost comparisons and so forth among competitors. As it stands now, NFPA requirements limit such PPE to a ten year service life, for those dept's that follow such standards, I don't see this as cost effective at all.

In regards to keeping "old ways", really? We don't. Regardless of the helmet style, the fact remains that any new helmet must meet those NFPA requirements and even those old style traditional lids have seen improvements and changes with the times. This doesn't mean that one needs to embrace some space age technology just because it is new and in some perspectives, seen as "safer" because it doesn't account for the overall picture.

Regardless of PPE, the fact remains that fires themselves have changed, tactics have changed, staffing has changed and so forth. FFs today need to be more educated, better trained, more knowledgeable and so forth and PPE is not providing those aspects. PPE is just one part of the overall picture. To place some feigned "blind trust" into some new fandangled, technology driven, helmet style as the be all end all solution, is not practical, nor realistic. The overall bigger picture needs to be accounted for, not just one's preference.

And there in lies the problem.  If your major reasons for liking this helmet are you like the way it looks and we can't keep the old ways forever then how do you justify the cost of converting to this helmet?  I am all for PROGRESSIVE change, but not at all interested in change just for change's sake.

The truth is one of the saddest changes in the fire service is too many people saying things like "We can't keep the old ways forever" and expecting that to justify any changes they want to make.  Sorry, I need more than that to decide to change PPE, equipment, apparatus, strategy, and tactics.

 

The fact is we are losing too much of the old ways in the fire service today.  Pride, honor, and putting those we are supposed to serve as a priority.  While I agree with striving to do the job safely those that believe it can be made 100% safe are delusional.  If we will still enter structures to do fire attack, search for and rescue victims we cannot eliminate all the hazards of the job.  I am all for advances in turn-out gear.  I much prefer the construction of turn-out gear today over the rubber coat and 3/4 boots I started with.  I am absolutely in step with the better hoods of today constructed of P-84 Lenzing or Carbon fibers.  Gloves have come a million miles from the orange fireball gloves of the 60's and 70's.  But to try and defend a helmet by saying it can withstand 1800 degrees F and keep cancer causing smoke off your head does no good at all if the rest of your PPE won't protect you against 1800 degrees F, or keep smoke and toxic gasses off your skin.  

Buy this for our department if you want to AND your department can afford it.  But predictions of wide spread acceptance or mandates are speculation and personally I just don't see it happening.  Remember the uproar when there was a push to make all SCBA bottles the same, and the same pressure?  Yeah, that went a long ways didn't it?  

It might be a cost problem now, but would you have believed me 10 years ago if I told you nearly everyone would carry an affordable, pocket-sized phone-camera-GPS-agenda-walkman, all that accessed through a touch screen ?

 

10 years ago, in my region, only the biggest FD had thermal-imaging cameras, when today nearly any FD with an engine and SCBAs gets one of those ...

 

I find the idea of fixing the facepiece on the helmet interesting, even though we might indeed not see this in the 2015 PPE catalog ...

 

well, that part isn't done by the FD, but given that home insurance against fire is mandatory and managed by a state owned non-profit organisation (the same that pays for the fire apparatus and equipment of the FD), we are really well covered.

 

 This allowed several companies to specialise in cleaning and rehabilitating homes damaged by smoke or natural disaster. They do have some smell removing chemicals, but I don't know the details.

 

As to firefighting, we do have some strong points, but we also have weaknesses. We are 10 years late when it comes to offensive ventilation, for example.

PPE has made many advances over the years. In many ways safer, but I believe in some ways more dangerous.

Some of us will remember "using our ears" to let us know when it's time to leave. Modern gear shields us from that heat, which allows us to stay in longer, and go deeper. At the same time, it holds heat in, and we are starting to see the increase in heat related illnesses. Add this helmet to further encapsulate us. Hold in even more heat, and boil the most important tool on the fire ground... our brain. The integrated respirator would mean fit testing each and every firefighter for a proper seal. (OSHA 29 CFR 1910) Each helmet would need to be custom sized. 

What we sometimes tend forget is; "For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction". That's the one rule we will never change. Safer? Perhaps not.

Gee Don... You sound so angry and agitated in your post. All I did was continue a thread I posted in 2010 sharing with firefighters what another futuristic style will look like. That's it. I'm not professing to have fire helmet design changed for USA departments. I even mentioned that I was jealous that I did not have the opportunity to wear a leather helmet as duty PPE. With that said, let me explain what I posted to see if this better explains my intent here buddy.

I don't get the point of your post above.  So what if MSA is a 100% US owned company?.  The helmets are made in France, again so what?

Comment: Using descriptive terminology like european design or style denotes that the concept, design and manufacturing occur in europe. This is not necessarily true. It's an American company. I thought that was salient to the discussion.


How about this for some anecdotal evidence?  The only time I have ever seen one of Gallet style helmets used in a live fire training class that student was the only one to go down from heat exhaustion.  Does that prove anything?  Nope.  But it is as relevant as your entire post above.

Comment: Your comment about a one-time event where a firefighter went down completely discounts every firefighter in europe wearing this style, for decades...

So the helmet will survive to 1800 degrees F, show me a firefighter that will survive inside his turnout gear at 1800 degree F.  Because if you can't what difference does it make?

Comment: No argument here but the fact that the helmet is good to such a high temperature is to illustrate how cool the helmet is inside according the manufacturer and firefighters I have spoken with in the past.

 

If a department wants to adopt this helmet, or the current Gallet design I say good for them.  I just don't see firefighters clamoring for this design or bean counters changing to it no matter how much safer you proclaim it to be.

Comment: If you were involved in a large department with the funding, I'm sure you would not turn one down. They may not necessarily be for engine company crews but they would be one hell of a tool for rescue squads, CFR, Hazmat and USAR folks.

Love the helmet and the concept but my department with over 40,000 firefighters would balk at the cost, use positive pressure ventilation they would say.  Like the idea of being able to see the hot spots without an expensive TIC.  My only worry is that it further insulates you from the heat which was a good indicator that you are too close to the fire

Not even a close comparison by any stretch of the imagination.  Here's why.  By your logic scba should now way about 3 pounds and cost a couple hundred dollars a piece.  After all they have been in use for over 60 years.  Yet the lightest weigh about 20 pounds and cost between $3K and $5+K.  Technology doesn't always produce cheaper prices.

I can drive less than 10 miles from my house and find rural FDs with either no TICs or one for the entire department. 

The dream you have of fundingand equipment is just that, a dream in many places still.

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