Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

By Mark Mordecai, Globe Director of Business Development; Photos courtesy of Fire Fighting in Canada | Canadian Firefighter  There’s been a lot of talk for a lot of years about the problem. Stress and overexertion combine with a host of physiological and environmental factors to trigger cardiac events in firefighters that result in 50% of line of duty deaths and an even larger number of disabilities. With all the advancements in personal protection, operational tactics, and training, this is still an alarming fact. And rescuing a downed firefighter inside a building is still like finding a needle in a haystack with RIT teams often spending valuable time doing necessarily thorough searches in areas where the victim isn’t instead of being able to focus on a narrower and more productive area. So what if you could wear sensors that would allow real-time monitoring of firefighters’ heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, estimated body core temperature, as well as 3D location inside a building? And what if all of this critical data could be transmitted outside the building where it could be monitored for safety? Could this technology make a difference? That is the goal of Globe’s Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP™) – the world’s only system for real-time monitoring of physiology and location designed for firefighters and emergency responders. Enter Bruce Power, a privately owned nuclear generating facility in Ontario, Canada. In November, their fire department held a WASP™ technology demonstration, the first in Canada, at their brand new and state-of-the-art fire training facility. Seven firefighters wore the WASP™ base layer t-shirts with embedded electronic sensors and...
Application Period Now Open for 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway to Volunteer Fire Departments

Application Period Now Open for 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway to Volunteer Fire Departments

Volunteer firefighters deserve the best personal protection to ensure their own safety Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up for the fifth year to provide new gear to volunteer fire departments in need. The application period for the 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway is now open, and eligible departments can apply for four sets of CLASSIX® turnout gear for their members. Thirteen department awards will be made, for a total of 52 sets of gear. Applications are due by June 1, 2016. “The Globe Gear Giveaway is helping fill a critical need for fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. As demonstrated by the amount of applications we receive each year, volunteer departments are constantly looking for ways to keep their firefighters safe while operating on tight budgets,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “On behalf of the NVFC and volunteer fire departments nationwide, I am truly grateful to Globe and DuPont for helping more and more departments provide their personnel with compliant turnout gear.” The Globe Gear Giveaway launched in 2012 to celebrate Globe’s 125th anniversary. As the world’s largest and most trusted manufacturer of structural firesuits in the world, Globe wanted to give back to the fire service and enhance the safety and readiness of our nation’s first responders. To date, the program has provided 299 sets of new turnout gear to 56 departments in need to help them improve the safety and protection of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also receive a one-year department membership to the NVFC, compliments of Globe. NVFC membership comes with a wide array...
How to photograph firefighter PPE

How to photograph firefighter PPE

By Jeffrey O. and Grace G. Stull – When investigating a firefighter injury or death, documenting the condition of the PPE is critical; that includes a visual record When firefighters are injured or killed their protective clothing is often inspected as part of the investigation. These inspections can provide useful information for how the clothing might have been worn as well as provide some insight as to the fireground exposure the firefighter encountered. Therefore, undertaking a methodical and comprehensive examination of the clothing and equipment is an important process of any investigation and the photographs that are taken form a significant portion of its documentation. There are procedures for clothing items covered by NFPA 1971 that are especially useful in fully photo-documenting a clothing inspection. Additional procedures apply to the inspection of self-contained breathing apparatus and PASS device. These items can be subjected to detailed assessment through the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program. General information on the turnout clothing inspection process is provided in the chapter on inspection in NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. However, no guidance is given for what images to capture as part of an investigation. For those not wanting to conduct their own investigation, many PPE manufacturers have both the capabilities and willingness to do it. Solid background For those departments examining protective clothing worn by a firefighter following a serious injury or fatality, it is important to have a suitable inspection area and the right equipment. While it is sometimes convenient to have clothing laid out on a table,...
Are we crazy to change America’s most popular turnout gear?

Are we crazy to change America’s most popular turnout gear?

by Mark Mordecai, Director of Business Development at Globe – When you make a best-selling product, it’s tempting to just rest on your laurels. But at Globe, we believe in continuous improvement and, based on our most recent “Voice of the Customer” exercise, we knew we could do even better. Just like athletes, firefighters train to be the best, prepare to win, and dominate their opponent. And like athletes, they wear their equipment into battle and expect it to protect them without interfering with their performance. Their safety and the lives of others depend on it. For those of you who weren’t at the recent Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC International), you missed the official launch of G-XTREME® 3.0. With a more tailored fit, reduced bulk, and increased flexibility and mobility, this new style was the hit of the show. But don’t worry, you’ll be hearing lots more about it and have a chance to try it on for yourself. Of course, G-XTREME® 3.0 keeps all the best features of the original. Firefighters told us they liked the AXTION® Back, Sleeve, Seat, and Knee in our original G-XTREME® design because the added length and fullness where the body bends allows them to move without restriction. And they said they liked the choice of tapered or relaxed shapes. So we made sure not to change these feature favorites. So, what’s different about G-XTREME® 3.0? Pants are retailored in the waist, seat, and thigh for less bulk while making them much easier to get on and off. Without changing the sizing, jackets are retailored in the chest, shoulder, and sleeve for even...