Fireys warm to new gear

WORLD-CLASS HEL­METS OF­FER SAFETY BOOST

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

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.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Mt Druitt fire­fight­ers Bryce Ryan, Craig Kit­son, Cliff Van Eck and Ai­dan Cook with their new hel­mets fea­tur­ing built-in light­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

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