Fireys warm to new gear
WORLD-CLASS HELMETS OFFER SAFETY BOOST
THERE’S nothing more important than safety when battling a blaze, and now Mt Druitt firefighters are equipped with world-class helmets to help them in the field.
The helmets, called Gallet F1 XF, feature built-in communications, pull-down visors and safety glasses that have LED lights on either side.
They also provide protection of the head and face against shocks, sharp objects, chemicals, radiating heat and electric currents.
They were developed in consultation with firefighters from all around the world to deal with structural and outdoor fires, as well as road traffic accidents.
Mt Druitt station officer Rod Kinder said the helmets were the best designed firefighting helmets in the world.
“Only ourselves and the French have them at the moment,” he said. “They are very much state-of-the-art, so we’re very lucky they ordered them for us.”
The in-built communications would replace their old handheld microphones and give them more flexibility in the field, Mr Kinder said.
“Before we just had hand- helds but now we can talk in the microphone and there is an earpiece built into the helmet, so we’re able to talk even when we’ve got our masks on,” he said.
The firefighters have already used the helmets at several incidents and the feedback was all positive, Mr Kinder said.
The helmets are a similar weight to the old ones, so it didn’t take long to adjust to the new equipment.
“The design of the helmet now sits lower on the head, which means better balance and less injuries in terms of neck injures,” he said.
“They are very comfortable and feel fantastic. It’s just a much better design of helmet.
“The lights mean we don’t have to hold a torch, the communication means clearer communication, which means it’s safer and we can hear each other better.
“It saves us carrying glasses because of the builtin visors. It’s a better set up all along.”
The helmets are being rolled out across the state and are expected to be in use by firefighters at all stations by the end of August.
Mt Druitt firefighters Bryce Ryan, Craig Kitson, Cliff Van Eck and Aidan Cook with their new helmets featuring built-in lighting and communications.