One of the coolest things I have ever received in the mail, ever... arrived at my house a couple of days ago. It was from one of the friends I made here on the FFN, and he is from France, where he works as a professional firefighter. Like many firefighters, we both like fire service related things and are involved with trading things back and forth. What amazed me however, was the functional design that I saw first hand.
Up to this point, I have only seen photographs of french firefighters wearing a very unfamiliar fire helmet style. To be honest, I blew off the design because they just did not look like fire helmets. After having the chance to actually wear one, I offer the following insight for those, like myself, who never have had the chance to see what our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic wear for head and face protection.
The world just keeps getting smaller... I invite everyone to take the time to get to know others around the world with the spirit of sharing and providing the most up to date training and response information available. We are not alone, we have each other.
Prenez garde à rester en sécurité, (TCSS)
The Casque Pompier (Fire Helmet):
Built in Safety Goggles:
Fire Helmet Protective Visor / Heat Shield:
View Through Fire Helmet Protective Visor / Heat Shield:
Fire Helmet Heat Shield:
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...
The larger question here is whether there is utitlity in converging the various national and supra-national PPE testing regimes and standards. The automobile industry is gradually - VERY gradually - moving toward converged standards for emissions testing, for example.
Globally-accepted standards drive down manufacturing costs in every other industry.
Se-Wy-Co Fire Company in Pennsylvania:
Just take a look at any picture ( especially 911 pictures) of a firefighter wearing his helmet and you will see Pride Honour Courage Dedication Brotherhood.
No, I look at the firefighter and I see those traits- the uniform (namely the helmet) doesn't show me any of that.
When it comes to operational stuff I am all for looking outside the box trying new things but don’t touch my helmet !!!
So if these helmets are proven to be safer, you'd still be against it?
I can't beleive some of the closed minded responses I read in this discussion! You guys crack me up- it's a helmet! It's aim is to protect us- we're not talking about chopping a body part off you- we're talking about possibly saving you....
I loved my red USA style fire helmet but understand that change occurs because something is functionally better.
Go back a few years when nomex hoods and wristlets were admonished just like some are of this enclosed helmet style used in europe.
Change will occur if necessary and/or people become more informed and educated.
Time will tell...