New download | SMARTER: Advancing Health-Related Technology

New download | SMARTER: Advancing Health-Related Technology

In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighting Grant (AFG) funded a program titled “Science, Medicine, And Research & Technology for the Emergency Responders (SMARTER)” to explore the potential use of technology to address some of the most pressing health concerns in the fire service. The SMARTER team was led by researchers at Skidmore College’s First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory, and included leading scientists, fire service professionals, and gear manufacturers. The collaborative teams were designed to include expertise from science, technology and industry, and to be guided by a deep understanding of the fire service culture and the needs of firefighters. Some technologies explored were already on the market but needed to be adapted for potential use in the fire service, while other technologies still needed to be developed. Specific goals of the project were to study the feasibility of specific technologies and to develop/advance technology in targeted areas. Specifically, SMARTER focused on: Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring for detection of arrhythmias and ischemic changes Improving and extending a heat stress algorithm to accurately assess core body temperature Developing a low-cost, portable sensor to monitor particulate matter Exploring the use of physiological status monitoring in a fire department To learn more from the SMARTER project researchers about work done on each of the targeted areas, download our Firehouse Supplement. SMARTER Project partners include Skidmore College; National Fallen Firefighters Foundation; Fire Protection Research Foundation; Globe by MSA; Hanover Park, IL, Fire Department; Houston Fire Department; International Association of Fire Fighters; New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control; UCLA−The Ozcan Research Group; University of Illinois Fire Service Institute;...
Upcoming Webcast | Science in the Fire Service: Research Update

Upcoming Webcast | Science in the Fire Service: Research Update

  The fire service continues to drive the movement for science-based research to better understand the fire environment and how tactics influence the fire conditions. Please join us for a free webinar on Thursday, January 17, 2019 – Science in the Fire Service: Research Update. To be conducted by Gavin Horn, PhD, this webcast will share the latest firefighter research and its implications for the fire service. The latest results from the ISFSI/UL FSRI Basement Fires Study, UL FSRI Fire Attack Study, and IFSI/UL FSRI/NIOSH PPE Cleaning study will be shared and discussed, as well as ongoing fire research projects. The webcast will be at 1:00 PM EST. Registration is required. Sponsored by Globe. Gavin Horn has served as the director for the IFSI Research program at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), a department within the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2004. In that same year, he received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IFSI Research studies focus on firefighter health and safety, first responder technology development and material testing. Gavin also serves as a volunteer firefighter/engineer with the Savoy (IL) Fire...
Research to Improve Turnout Gear for Women

Research to Improve Turnout Gear for Women

By Susan Sokolowski, PhD – Director & Associate Professor, Sports Product Design, at University of Oregon Portland and Linsey Griffin, PhD – Assistant Professor Wearable Product Design, Human Dimensioning Lab at the College of Design, University of Minnesota The Size FF Research project is sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (https://www.nimss.org/projects/view/mrp/outline/18359) and consists of academic experts from the fields of anthropometrics and product design. The group’s focus since 1982 has been on the development of better performing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). iWomen Partnership Through a partnership with the 2018 International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services (iWomen) conference directors, the research team adopted a user-centered approach to understand the PPE needs of female firefighters. A protocol was developed to collect 3D scans of the hands and feet, along with 1:1 interviews where female firefighter attendees shared information about their experience as firefighters and the practice of using turnout gear (coats, pants, glove, boots, and accessories). User-Centered Approach The user-centered approach considers the user (e.g. firefighter) throughout the research and design process, so their input is always considered (Vos, 2009). The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), through their standard 9241-210, have published principles regarding using a human-centered design process. Those principles include: 1. The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks, and environments. 2. Users are involved throughout design and development. 3. The design is driven and refined by user-centered evaluation. 4. The process is iterative. 5. The design addresses the whole user experience. 6. The design team includes multi-disciplinary skills and perspectives (ISO, 2010). The benefits of a user-centered approach have been proven to produce...
The Continuing Debate on Turnout Gear Service Life

The Continuing Debate on Turnout Gear Service Life

Over the past several years, we have written various columns associated with the care and maintenance of firefighter protective clothing and equipment. One of the perennial issues on this topic has been gear service life. In many cases, this particular topic has been a subject of polarization among the fire service, particularly when it comes to firefighter helmets. In this month’s column, we attempt to shed more light on this topic to allow fire departments and individual firefighters to make better informed choices with respect to their gear service life. All clothing and equipment have a finite service life. For the most part, turnout gear is designed to be quite durable, made with rugged materials that are intended to repeatedly provide protection under a wide range of varying exposure conditions. By definition, service life is the length of time that clothing and equipment can remain in service while still providing a minimum level of protection. Nevertheless, even brand new gear that is subject to a serious fire event can require immediate retirement. Similarly, gear that is abused or improperly cared for can also lead to a shortened service life. The interpretation of service life will further depend on an individual organization’s understanding of what factors constitute continued safe usability of clothing and equipment, which can also be influenced by available resources. Yet, since 2008, NFPA 1851: Selection, Care and Maintenance of Structural Firefighting Protective Clothing has imposed a 10-year service life limit based on the element manufacturing date for any structural firefighting ensemble element, including garments, helmets, gloves, footwear and hoods. The reality of turnout gear service life Every...
3 Scientific Tests Prove Globe Boots with Arctic Grip Pro Soles Improve Your Safety

3 Scientific Tests Prove Globe Boots with Arctic Grip Pro Soles Improve Your Safety

  Are you prepared for cold weather calls? What you put on your feet really makes a difference where your safety is concerned. While no footwear can eliminate all slips and falls, Arctic Grip Pro soles on Globe’s athletic construction boots take firefighter footwear to the highest level of performance and safety available. Arctic Grip Pro is state-of-the-art sole technology specifically engineered by Vibram to perform on wet ice. A combination of the highest performing rubber outsole compound and an advanced filler system, Arctic Grip Pro soles provide unparalleled traction on wet ice. In collaboration with Vibram, we undertook three scientific tests to prove that our Globe boots with the new soles can help to reduce slips and falls in cold and wet conditions. Incline Ramp Test: Wet Independent testing was conducted by scientists and engineers of the iDAPT Research team at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) of Toronto. TRI has a unique set of testing facilities whereby they can mechanically pitch, up to 20 degrees, an entire room that has been conditioned to form ice. In this environment, the test protocol requires the tester to repeatedly ascend and descend the icy surface to the maximum angle achievable. TRI tested Globe footwear outfitted with Vibram Arctic Grip Pro and other styles and brands of cold weather footwear. Conclusion: The data reflected an eight times increase in the combined incline and decline angle achieved with footwear outfitted with Arctic Grip Pro. Load Cell Test Vibram conducted a load cell test, which was developed to test Arctic Grip Pro in real life situations. Ice is formed on a surface where a...
Globe Discusses PPE on iWomen Talk Radio Show

Globe Discusses PPE on iWomen Talk Radio Show

  Globe was invited to participate in a talk radio show hosted by the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services to discuss the importance of personal protective equipment. Pat Freeman, Globe Technical Services Manager, and Stephanie McQuade, Globe Marketing Services Manager, addressed the construction and materials for turnout gear, proper care and cleaning, and the importance of being fitted correctly for PPE. Other guests included Linsey Griffin, Assistant Professor Wearable Product Design, Human Dimensioning Lab at the College of Design, University of Minnesota and Susan Sokolowski, Director & Associate Professor, Sports Product Design, at University of Oregon Portland. They spoke about their women’s PPE research project with a group of 12 universities in the United States. Listen to the talk radio show on FireEngineering.com An interactive non-profit network, International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Service (iWomen) provides education, support and advocacy for fire service women. For more information, visit...