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...
Globe to Present at WEAR 2017 and Techtextil North America | Wearable Technology for First Responders

Globe to Present at WEAR 2017 and Techtextil North America | Wearable Technology for First Responders

The WEAR Conference is the preeminent wearable technology, smart textiles, material innovation, and consumer experience conference. At the upcoming event to be held June 12-14 in San Francisco, Mark Mordecai, our Director of Business Development, will present the Globe Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform – WASP™ – the world’s only commercial physiological monitoring and location tracking system dedicated to serving the critical needs of public safety personnel. As project lead since inception, he will discuss the challenges and successes surrounding this effort and speak to the gaps that remain in order for it to achieve its full potential for users and to become a viable business. The leading cause of line of duty deaths for firefighters is cardiac events. Challenging environmental factors and a host of personal factors combine in complex ways, particularly during and after fire suppression, to trigger physiological responses that all too often lead to death or disability. And the biggest fear of firefighters is not fighting the fire; it’s being unable to locate and rescue a downed team member. The WASP™ system tracks heart rate, heart rate variability, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, and other physiological factors, as well as 3D location inside a building. WEAR 2017 will specifically focus on the future of smart fabrics and wearable technology, with tours, workshops, and presentations about wearable apps, sustainability innovation, collaboration within the industry, fashion and technology, and the future of healthcare and connected medical devices. It is expected to draw over 300 attendees from adidas, IBM, Google, Lululemon, Nike, Amazon, and more. Mark is also scheduled to present the Globe WASP™ system...
Upcoming Webcast | Fire Suppression and Firefighter Physiology and Exposure Risks

Upcoming Webcast | Fire Suppression and Firefighter Physiology and Exposure Risks

Please join us for a free webinar on Monday, June 12: Fire Suppression and Firefighter Physiology Exposure Risks. Conducted by Gavin Horn, PhD, and Denise Smith, PhD, FACSM, this webinar will provide an update regarding research on firefighter physiology and exposure risk studies undertaken by the Illinois Fire Service Institute along with UL FSRI, NIOSH, and Globe, including fire suppression activities’ effects on cardiovascular health and chemical exposure. It will be moderated by Bobby Halton, Editor-in-Chief of Fire Engineering magazine. The webcast will be at 1:00 PM EDT. Registration is required. Sponsored by Globe. Gavin Horn, PhD, 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 Department. Denise Smith, PhD, FACSM, is a professor of health and exercise sciences at Skidmore College, where she directs the First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory, and a research scientist at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute. She has coauthored an exercise physiology textbook and an advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology textbook and has contributed to a textbook on live fire training. She has conducted far-reaching research on the cardiovascular strain associated with firefighting and has lectured extensively on health and safety issues in the fire service. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine...
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...
What a difference a year makes!

What a difference a year makes!

By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Globe A year ago, we previewed ATHLETIX™ – the future of turnout gear – at FDIC. We took this opportunity to interact with thousands of firefighters over the course of the conference to continue our “Voice of the Customer” development process. We were on a mission not only to innovate for firefighter safety but also to delight firefighters with that protection. ATHLETIX™ represents a step-change in firefighter personal protective equipment. It’s downright radical. So we got as many firefighters into the gear as humanly possibly while we were at FDIC last year and gathered even more feedback on our imagination-come-to-life design. The result was that firefighters were delighted. And then the real work started. We re-engineered the materials to push their performance even further. We tweaked the fit based on what we observed from the thousands of you that tried on the gear. We acquired new equipment, modified our process flow, and worked through pilot production lots to commercialize our capacity for manufacturing this breakthrough style. And then we received UL certification to NFPA 1971. ATHLETIX™ is turnout gear like nothing you’ve ever experienced. At FDIC this year, we invite you to experience it for yourself in a virtual reality experience for firefighters in our booth. And if you think your department is ready for ATHLETIX™, talk to your Globe Regional Sales Manager and your Globe Dealer to discuss how you can wear the gear that you have always...
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...
Firefighter face, eye protection advances stalled

Firefighter face, eye protection advances stalled

Attitudes, not technology, are what’s holding back significant improvements to firefighter safety One of the elements of a firefighter’s protective ensemble that often gets neglected is eye and face protection. Most often firefighters rely on their self-contained breathing apparatus facemask, but SCBA are not worn for every type of emergency response. Manufacturers must provide firefighter helmets with either a set of goggles or a faceshield, which is intended for supplemental eye and face protection. Yet, these items may not be the most effective for emergency response activities other than structural firefighting and also are easily damaged and become a source of contamination. Perhaps, it is time to rethink how eye and face protection is provided. It’s been a running debate in the fire service and one that NFPA recently looked at. Without any doubt, the full facepiece of an SCBA is a complete and reliable form of eye and face protection. When properly worn, it protects against physical, thermal, chemical and biological hazards. Current standards dictate a high degree of protective performance including extreme thermal exposures. The committee that writes standards for SCBA has endeavored to make the SCBA the most survivable part of the firefighter ensemble on the basis that protecting the firefighter’s air supply should be of paramount importance. This philosophy transcends into similarly providing high-quality eye and face protection. While there are certainly circumstances by which this protection can be compromised, the use of SCBA facepieces during structural fires and similar immediately dangerous to life and health environments is quite appropriate. FACEPIECE LIMITATIONS If there are any limitations for the SCBA facepiece in terms of eye...
[Video] How Your Bunker Gear Works

[Video] How Your Bunker Gear Works

Tactics in the fire service have changed. It used to be that firefighters stopped the fire at the building. But now they’re going in deeper to stop the fire at the room of origin. PPE is a critical line of defense against the dangerous environment in which firefighters perform their duties. Firefighters need training not only on the performance of their gear and proper donning and doffing but also on the limitations of their gear. This video will provide important information on: How bunker gear is designed to work Why fit is important The reasons to conduct a risk assessment before selecting gear How to properly inspect bunker...