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 which we wanted to explore was bunker gear.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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