Boston Fire Department’s Bunker Gear Particulate Testing

Boston Fire Department’s Bunker Gear Particulate Testing

By Edward McCarthy, Logistics Manager, Boston Fire Department The Boston Fire Department (BFD) has a long and proud history, one that we take great pride in. Boston has been at the forefront of the fire industry for well over 300 years. It was the first fire department in North America, tracing its lineage back to 1678. In 1851, the BFD was the first department in the world to protect the city through the use of a public telegraph fire alarm system, a system still in operation today. The BFD operated the first fire engine, a hand engine, put into service in 1678. It was one of the first to purchase a steam engine, one of the first with a fire boat, one of the first to use radio for communication. We pushed for, helped develop, and were the first department in the country to use modern breathing apparatus. While we are proud of our past, we must also be focused on the future, and we must always strive to continually improve. The Cancer Threat Recently the fire service, and Boston in particular, has been struggling with the reality of an ever-increasing number of firefighters being affected by cancer. While the reasons for this are hotly debated, the effect has been devastating. In Boston, 1 in 6 members will develop cancer and some will never recover. We have taken many steps to reduce exposure to toxic substances, increased physical fitness programs, shown members the benefits of healthy diets, and created a host of post incident decontamination processes. However, we felt that there was more that could be done. One area...
Thanks to Firefighters Who Participated in ATHLETIX™ Virtual Reality Activity to Raise $25,000

Thanks to Firefighters Who Participated in ATHLETIX™ Virtual Reality Activity to Raise $25,000

We believe in giving back to the fire service and continued our partnership with the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund at FDIC International 2017, the nation’s largest firefighter training conference and exhibition held April 27-29 in Indianapolis. FDIC was our official launch of ATHLETIX™, the world’s first turnout gear with stretch. We invited attendees to experience the unprecedented range of motion that is possible with the new ATHLETIX™ gear in a virtual reality experience for firefighters in the booth. Firefighters then spun a wheel to determine a donation ‒ $10, $20, $50, or $100 ‒ to the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund in their name. Thanks to all the firefighters who participated, Globe donated $25,000 to the Fund. Terry Farrell was a father, a husband, a brother, and a dedicated firefighter who lost his life on September 11, 2001, during the World Trade Center attack. The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund is made up of firefighters and family members who volunteer their time and energy to help fellow brothers, sisters, and departments in need. The fund operates annually on a budget of 1-3% and sustains itself through fundraising and the donations of individuals, fire departments, and corporate sponsors. National chapters are in Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Las Vegas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and...
[Video] Globe Wearable Technology in SMARTER Research with Hanover Park Fire Department

[Video] Globe Wearable Technology in SMARTER Research with Hanover Park Fire Department

The ultimate goal of the SMARTER study (Science, Medicine, Research, Technology for Emergency Responders) going on now through most of 2018 is to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities through the appropriate implementation of technology. Firefighters at the Hanover Park Fire Department in Illinois are wearing shirts designed by Globe that incorporate a physiologic status monitoring system developed by Zephyr. The firefighters wear the Globe shirts throughout their 24-hour shifts and physiologic data such as heart rate, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate, ECG, movement, and more are recorded via electronic modules that are snapped into the shirts. The data shows the impact of live field operations on their bodies. 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...
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...
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...
The Science Behind Fabric Stiffness Testing

The Science Behind Fabric Stiffness Testing

By Brian Shiels, Senior Development Engineer, PBI Performance Products, Inc. As you’ve probably noticed, there is a recent trend towards lightweight systems for turnout gear. Along with that trend, many fabric suppliers are shifting their focus towards the stiffness, or conversely the flexibility, of their fabrics being offered as part of these new lightweight systems. Anyone can easily perceive if a fabric is extremely stiff or flexible. But there’s a long-standing scientific test method that is used to determine, objectively, even the smallest differences in fabric flexibility. This article will explain how labs are using that test method to assign a standard quantitative value for stiffness to the new fabrics coming onto the market. ASTM International is widely recognized as one of the leading standards developing organizations in the world. NFPA 1971 currently references 40 different ASTM standards; that’s 10 more references than all other standards developing organizations combined. For that reason, many labs have turned to ASTM standards when looking for a new way to evaluate a fabric property. To evaluate fabric stiffness, most labs perform ASTM D4032 Standard Test Method for Stiffness of Fabric by the Circular Bend Procedure, which was originally developed in 1981 by ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles. Although the test equipment has evolved over the past 35 years, the principle of the test remains unchanged: to determine the amount of force that is required to push a fabric sample through a round hole. Naturally, a stiffer fabric requires more force to be pushed through the hole, while a more flexible fabric requires less force. Logistically, performing the test is quite simple. Because the...