Can SMARTER Technology Reduce Firefighter Injuries and Fatalities?

Can SMARTER Technology Reduce Firefighter Injuries and Fatalities?

By Denise Smith, PhD, FACSM; Professor, Skidmore College; Principal Investigator, SMARTER Project Most of us are aware that technology is becoming increasingly prevalent. Almost every firefighter has a smart phone with impressive computing powers and the ability to provide extensive amounts of data upon demand. But, how does advancing technology affect the fire service? More importantly, how could technology make the fire service safer? SMARTER Project A new research project, called SMARTER, is focused on advancing technology to improve health and safety in the fire service. The SMARTER project (Science, Medicine, Research, Technology for Emergency Responders) aims to employ scientific advances, medical knowledge, research findings, and technological solutions to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities. This research is being led by Skidmore College with collaborative support from University of California at Los Angeles, University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Fire Protection Research Foundation, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Hanover Park (Illinois) Fire Department, Globe Manufacturing Company, Zephyr Medtronic, International Association of Firefighters, and others. This collaboration between scientists and technologists, fire service partners, and industry leaders kicked off in January in the Chicago area when researchers from Skidmore College, located in Saratoga Springs (NY), began an ongoing collaboration with the Hanover Park Fire Department. For the next 12 months Hanover Park personnel will wear specially designed monitoring equipment to collect physiologic data showing the impact of live field operations on their bodies. Addressing Firefighter Physiological Vulnerabilities Despite all the dangers on the fireground, it is the body’s own physiological response to firefighting that kills or injures most firefighters. A shocking number of firefighters are...

Health & Safety Resolutions, Inspired By Research

As we get closer to 2017, many readers are making New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it is to exercise more, eat healthier, or take a training class. For firefighters, any of these resolutions could help you have a healthier, safer 2017, but the best resolutions are the ones you keep, and sometimes it is better to have a little more specificity. In anticipation of the 2017 results from the Illinois Fire Service Institute Cardiovascular And Chemical Exposure Project, we’ve gathered five firefighter resolutions that you can take right now. We formed these resolutions using early research findings expressed at the June 2016 IFSI roundtable of fire service experts curated by Globe and Fireengineering.com. Watch The Video: Five Resolutions For Firefighters 1. Improve Decon (don’t forget your hands) Decontamination of hands and proper hygiene can help you avoid accidental exposure to carcinogens through food or skin. 2. Prioritize cleanup of skin While cleaning gear and equipment is important, cleaning your skin should take priority. 3. Wear SCBA Utilize your protective equipment any time you may be exposed to smoke or fumes. Exposure happens on the fire ground even outside of a building. 4. Take personal responsibility Change starts with you. Assume the responsibility and make health-conscious choices for yourself and your fellow firefighters. 5. Add “health” to Health & Safety Seek out preventative care and opportunities for early screening and detection. Prepare your body to best face the risks associated with firefighting. Need more ideas? Download The Impact of PPE on Firefighter Health and Safety guide...
Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

We’re sponsoring a National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) webinar on Thursday, November 17: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies at IFSI Research. Conducted by Gavin Horn, PhD, Director of Research, this webinar will provide a high level overview of recent studies conducted at IFSI Research along with partners from UL FSRI and NIOSH to characterize some of the leading health risks on today’s fireground and training ground. Studies will be described and initial results shared as well as a description of where to find more information as it is released. The webinar will be at 1:00 PM ET. While NVFC is hosting the webinar for its members, anyone can register and...
3 Things that Make Globe Boots Safer and the Science that Proves Why

3 Things that Make Globe Boots Safer and the Science that Proves Why

By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Globe When we got into the leather fire boot business 10 years ago, people told me it was a mature and saturated market. Little did they know where our imagination would take us. That’s because we listen to what you, the firefighter, tell us you need to perform your duties effectively and safely. And then, as part of our product development process, we rely on science to study exactly how the human body moves. Boot Construction For years, all firefighter boots were made of rubber. They were waterproof, but they were also hot, heavy, and clunky. In the 80s, advances in materials made the development of a new kind of fire boot possible – constructed with leather on the outside and a waterproof, breathable bootie on the inside. They were lighter, more comfortable, and a huge improvement. Some leather fire boots are made with Goodyear welt (stitched) construction. The end product is a boot that is flat as a pancake and stiff as a board. The stiffness is a consequence of the welt construction method in combination with the steel plate. Boots made with athletic footwear (cement) construction are flexible like your feet. Your feet are designed to flex 50 degrees. If your boot doesn’t flex 50 degrees, then your movement will be restricted. Other leather fire boots are made with a hybrid construction method. It starts with a cup outsole like athletic footwear construction but uses a creased steel plate along the bottom and then injects urethane foam. Again, these boots are stiff by the very nature...
[Video] WASP™ at Firefighter Combat Challenge

[Video] WASP™ at Firefighter Combat Challenge

Globe’s WASP™ (Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform) is put to the test at the Firefighter Combat Challenge. WASP™ addresses two critical problems identified on the InterAgency Board’s (IAB) R&D Priority List: Emergency Responder Body-Worn Integrated Electronics System Development and 3D Tracking of Personnel. Firefighters experience extreme physiological stress during the course of their duties. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, stress and overexertion account for 50% or more of firefighter line of duty deaths. Factors that affect firefighter physiological responses include exertion of work performed, elevated thermal environment, wearing heavily insulated protective clothing, carrying heavy equipment, as well as individual health status, fitness level, medication, and hydration level. Firefighters are also exposed to extreme hazards during the course of emergency response. WASP ™ provides a tool for incident commanders to track the location of team members to improve situational awareness and potentially shorten the time needed for a RIT team to rescue a downed firefighter. Learn more about WASP™...
New download: “How to choose the right firefighting boot”

New download: “How to choose the right firefighting boot”

Evaluating and selecting the right firefighting boot may seem like a daunting task for some. As a rule of thumb, you want to select a structural firefighting boot that fits, performs and lasts. With this free guide from FireRescue1, Fire Chief and Globe, we take a look at what’s going on to improve both protection and functionality in firefighter footwear, what has been learned from recent studies and how to apply that information to your next boot selection. This guide will give you essential tips and advice for how to: • Select the safest structural firefighting boots • Look at the science behind firefighter boot choices • Balance footwear function with protection Fill out my online...