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  • European (French in particular) helmets

    I understand that outside of North America, even our "modern"-style helmets are considered quaint.



    Other than the shape, just what is it about helmets from other parts of the world that makes them different? Or is it just the shape? Could the French helmet pictured above (MSA/Gallet F1) pass NFPA certification if it was submitted for testing in America? If not, why not? Are these helmets actually truly better, or is it just what's best for their theory of firefighting, and what we use in America is best for ours?
    -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

    The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JJR512 View Post
    I understand that outside of North America, even our "modern"-style helmets are considered quaint.



    Other than the shape, just what is it about helmets from other parts of the world that makes them different? Or is it just the shape? Could the French helmet pictured above (MSA/Gallet F1) pass NFPA certification if it was submitted for testing in America? If not, why not? Are these helmets actually truly better, or is it just what's best for their theory of firefighting, and what we use in America is best for ours?


    Are they better? Show the proof.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jonnee View Post
      Are they better? Show the proof.
      Well that's what I'm asking ("Are these helmets actually truly better?"). I can't very well prove something that I'm asking if it's even correct or not.
      -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

      The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

      Comment


      • #4
        It looks like it would hold more soup than a metro-style helmet.
        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
          It looks like it would hold more soup than a metro-style helmet.
          ...and more salad, too!
          -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

          The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

          Comment


          • #6
            not just French...just heard we (NSW - Down Under) are changing this style in our next re-issue sometime next year......should boil up the 'ole brain nice and quick on our 35 Deg (110F) summer days

            Comment


            • #7
              The MSA/Gallet F1 is rated up to 1800F and has EN443-1997 Approval (European equivalent to NFPA).

              NFPA calls for 1500F. It is not the thermal properties that prevents NFPA approval. It is inferior impact properties and restricted hearing. There are no clear ear ports, but some helmets are in use that have external amplifiers.

              Some European field reports indicate the helmet does not live up to expectations; but no specifics are provided. The F1 is in use in about 85 countries including Canada (Quebec).

              MSA bought Gallet (a French Company) 7 years ago including their designs and production. The technology is based on helmets used by NASA with shells and visors that reflect heat, with interior helmet temperatures not exceeding 95F.

              You may see similarities to the MSA USAR helmets.

              According to MSA, a NA version is being developed to secure NFPA approval.

              And, of course, MSA is based in Pittsburg, PA.

              You can Google MSA Gallet F1 for additional information.
              HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BlueMtnsFF View Post
                not just French...just heard we (NSW - Down Under) are changing this style in our next re-issue sometime next year......should boil up the 'ole brain nice and quick on our 35 Deg (110F) summer days
                I've been doing a little bit of research into these helmets. Apparently, they are more heat-resistant than traditional/modern styles; they can withstand temps up to 1800ºF compared to no more than 1500ºF for American helmets, if I correctly understood what I read. Also, when it's 1800ºF outside, it's only 95ºF inside the helmet, so I think your brains will be safe!

                On a related note, in one set of comments about this kind of helmet, one guy wrote the following:
                I served on a German Fire Department for better than a decade and they are probably more aggressive with interior fire fighting than here in America due to the style of construction that is prominent in Europe. Most of their buildings that are constructed after WWII are of poured concrete and very difficult to make an exterior attack on. Also due to the building style most of the fire remains compartmentalized or what we would refer to as room and contents. Standard American ventilation methods are a pain and they are very progressive of Positive Pressure Attack, still gets pretty hot which is a factor in their use of pressure vs volume pumps on their engines.
                I've read elsewhere that European firefighters tend to do a lot less ventilating than North American firefighters. I had assumed it was just a difference in their theory of firefighting, without it actually occurring to me that there might be a deeper reason at the root (the deeper reason being different construction methods in Europe). Is what this guy is saying correct, the European construction is harder to ventilate so they don't do it as much, and instead they use this "positive pressure attack" method? What exactly is a "positive pressure attack", anyway? (Bear in mind that I am new to world of firefighting/fire departments, and have no FF training yet. I'm doing EMT now and will do FF next year.)
                -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

                The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PaladinKnight View Post
                  The MSA/Gallet F1 is rated up to 1800F and has EN443-1997 Approval (European equivalent to NFPA)...You can Google MSA Gallet F1 for additional information.
                  Yeah, I've been doing that research, I guess you posted this after I started writing my previous reply. Looks like we both probably got our info from the same place, too, since that's pretty much word-for-word what I was reading at one website in particular.
                  -Justin J. "JJR512" Rebbert

                  The comments and opinions I express are solely my own and do not necessarily represent those of any employer or volunteer organization with which I am associated. Nobody is responsible for anything I say other than I alone.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MSA Europe and a few other sources for content filler.

                    If we are subjected to 1500F or 1800F for a prolonged amount of time, the helmet might survive, but we won't.

                    There are few guys that survived when their helmet melted or burned off their head. I'm not talking about shields and flashlights, I mean the shell down to the suspension.
                    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JJR512 View Post
                      I've been doing a little bit of research into these helmets. Apparently, they are more heat-resistant than traditional/modern styles; they can withstand temps up to 1800ºF compared to no more than 1500ºF for American helmets, if I correctly understood what I read. Also, when it's 1800ºF outside, it's only 95ºF inside the helmet, so I think your brains will be safe!

                      On a related note, in one set of comments about this kind of helmet, one guy wrote the following:


                      I've read elsewhere that European firefighters tend to do a lot less ventilating than North American firefighters. I had assumed it was just a difference in their theory of firefighting, without it actually occurring to me that there might be a deeper reason at the root (the deeper reason being different construction methods in Europe). Is what this guy is saying correct, the European construction is harder to ventilate so they don't do it as much, and instead they use this "positive pressure attack" method? What exactly is a "positive pressure attack", anyway? (Bear in mind that I am new to world of firefighting/fire departments, and have no FF training yet. I'm doing EMT now and will do FF next year.)
                      Here's some more research for you PROBIE. The Helmet will stand 1800F. What will YOUR AZZ stand? Hint: It AIN'T 1800. T.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's the newest version of their PPE. It will withstand 1850 degrees and phaser blasts.
                        Attached Files
                        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I visited a station in Paris and got a pretty thorough tour of the place and their equipment.

                          The main advantage of their style of helmet that I saw is that the SCBA mask is designed to attach directly to the helmet. They showed me that it just clicks right in and you are on air instantly. We, on the other hand, must take off our helmets to put our masks on, and then put the helmet back on.

                          Also, this style is more resistant to being knocked off accidentally. I don't know how many times I've seen someone loose their helmet and/or mask when hit by a stream or someone walking by.

                          Those are the big advantages that I saw. I'm not saying they are better, but just pointing out what's different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JJR512 View Post
                            I've been doing a little bit of research into these helmets. Apparently, they are more heat-resistant than traditional/modern styles; they can withstand temps up to 1800ºF compared to no more than 1500ºF for American helmets, if I correctly understood what I read. Also, when it's 1800ºF outside, it's only 95ºF inside the helmet, so I think your brains will be safe!
                            Your brain may be safe... but the rest of your body is roasted, toasted and flame broiled to something resembling a hockey puck.
                            ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                            Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sam has spent more $/time than any organization on earth on determining the optimal helmet design trading off protective converage for field of vision and ability to hear. Modified for fire service factors comes pretty close to a 660C.

                              The tail that comes down the back may be great when you standing. Unusable when you're crawling/low crawling.

                              Better quaint and functional than stylish and gay.
                              Attached Files

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