Balancing Firefighter Protection Is Like a 3-Dimensional Chess Game

Balancing Firefighter Protection Is Like a 3-Dimensional Chess Game

By Rob Freese, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Globe Manufacturing Company, now part of MSA The alarming rate of cancer diagnoses among firefighters is very real and very serious. What we know is that firefighters have an increased risk for several types of cancer. Fires produce hundreds of toxic compounds; and some are carcinogenic. Everyone in the fire industry is at least talking about it. And some are quick to market with what they think the answer might be. We cannot lose sight of the fact, however, that cardiac events remain the leading cause of duty-related deaths. Firefighting leads to significant cardiovascular strain. Sudden cardiac events account for approximately 45% of all LODDs in the United States each year. The solutions to both of these problems are complex and involve trade-offs. It would be relatively easy to make turnout gear into hazmat gear to help protect against cancer-causing particulates and gasses, but that degree of encapsulation would lead to dramatic increases in heat stress. And that gear would make the work of firefighting almost impossible, which leads to the third dimension of protection. Fighting fires is demanding, physical work requiring maximum athletic performance. To perform like an athlete, turnout gear has to enhance performance and allow for a full range of motion. Like a 3-dimensional chess game, all of the above must be taken into consideration. Today’s threats are more complex and so helping to keep firefighters safe has become considerably more challenging. Science-Based Research A “silver bullet” to solve this 3-dimensional dilemma has been elusive because first we must attain a deeper level of understanding. Meaningful, realistic...
Helping to Protect Our Volunteer Firefighters

Helping to Protect Our Volunteer Firefighters

Since 2012, we’ve partnered with DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide 351 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need – a value of over $800,000. Through our Globe Gear Giveaway Program, an additional 13 departments will receive four sets of gear each in 2017. Awards in the 3rd quarter were made to the following departments: Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department (AK) ‒ The Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department is located in a rural community 50 miles west of Juneau and covers nearly 38 square miles plus mutual aid to Glacier Bay National Park. The department serves a population of over 500 in the winter and up to 2,000 in the busy summer months during the tourist season. With only 10 sets of gear available for their 27 volunteer firefighters, this donation will enable the department to train and respond safely and in accordance with state and national standards. Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company (NJ) ‒ The Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company is funded entirely by donations, fundraisers, and grants. Their members, comprised entirely of volunteers, devote countless hours to training, emergency response, fundraising, administrative duties, and maintaining equipment, apparatus, and the station. Firefighters are trained in all aspects of fire suppression, ventilation, search and rescue, forcible entry, ladders, salvage and overhaul, water and ice rescue, hazardous materials, and CPR. Many members also pursue additional training as fire officers, instructors, wildland firefighters, incident commanders, and more. While all 30 of their volunteers currently have turnout gear, 18 of those are more than 10 years old and no longer compliant with safety standards....
Globe is Now Part of MSA | Still Globe, Only Better

Globe is Now Part of MSA | Still Globe, Only Better

By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Globe Manufacturing Company, now part of MSA It’s been all over Wall Street and Main Street, within the fire service and outside, and all around the world that Globe’s fourth generation owners have sold the business to MSA Safety Incorporated. It’s true. Globe protective clothing manufacturing, boot manufacturing, and cleaning and repair businesses are now part of MSA. What brought us together? If you know me, you’ve probably heard me say in the past that Globe is more than a business. It is a calling. If so, maybe you were a little surprised to find out that this family business now has new owners – a publicly traded company, not a fifth generation of the Freese family. So let me tell you a little about how we came to join forces with the world’s leader in safety. Several years ago − when really solidifying plans for the future of our great organization − we found ourselves without fifth generation family members in the wings ready to lead the business into the future. So we engaged in a multi-year process to identify potential new ownership that would be good stewards of what my family has created over four generations and 130 years. I can tell you that it wasn’t about auctioning off the business to the highest bidder. It was, in fact, about finding a home that reflected our core values. A home that would ensure a bright future for the business, our employees, our communities, our dealers, and most importantly for the firefighters and first responders who rely on...
3 Ways Boots Made in the USA Benefit You

3 Ways Boots Made in the USA Benefit You

At Globe, we believe that “Made in the USA” means something. When you buy our athletic construction fire boots made in Maine, you’re helping to protect and preserve American jobs – not just for the workers in our boot factory, but beyond. We’ve made significant investments in the capacity to manufacture American-made footwear through lean manufacturing and producing components that were previously only available from offshore suppliers. Those investments are in new technologies, equipment, research and development, processes, and people. We are committed to source all boot components in the USA, a challenge in an industry that has essentially moved to Asia. If we cannot find a domestic source for a part, we learn how to make it ourselves. Globe worked with the University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center over two years, with a pair of seed grants from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), to develop a process, then a machine, to make toe caps for our boots. That work was brought back to the USA from China. In a second MTI-funded project, in partnership with another Maine manufacturer and the University of Maine, we determined how to build a flexible fabric-based puncture-resistant barrier for all of our boots, replacing two components that were made in Asia. From there, we moved the sources of outer soles and footbeds from China to the USA. These changes have provided Globe with a flexible supply chain that can respond quickly to changes in market demand and design. They also have the benefit of keeping dollars circulating in the American economy. But what does all of this mean to you, the firefighter? There...
SMARTER Project Update: Data Collection and Analysis

SMARTER Project Update: Data Collection and Analysis

By Craig A. Haigh, MS, EFO, NRP; Fire Chief, Hanover Park Fire Department; Research Partner, SMARTER Project The deployment of physiologic data as part of the SMARTER project is well underway.  Data collection is progressing and the team is beginning the arduous task of analyzing the vast amount of information collected on each firefighter. The SMARTER (Science, Medicine, Research, Technology for Emergency Responders) research project is focused on advancing technology to improve health and safety in the fire service. SMARTER aims to employ scientific advances, medical knowledge, research findings, and technological solutions to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities. The research is supported by the Assistance to Firefighters Grant funding and 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. Data Collection and Analysis All Hanover Park firefighters are wearing Globe’s WASP™ wearable technology throughout their work shift to monitor and track physiologic data such as heart rate, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate, ECG, and movement. This data is then downloaded and transmitted electronically to Skidmore College – First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory where the analysis process begins. Individual files from firefighters are compared against emergency response reports, trainings, daily physical fitness activities and other events to determine how the firefighters physiologically responded to the various incidents and events. The process to manage individual physiologic data files and link the data to the physical...