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New Firefighting Helmet Concepts - looking for some feedback

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  • New Firefighting Helmet Concepts - looking for some feedback

    Hey all,

    I'm a current Industrial Design student at University of Cincinnati. My current project is to design improved head protection equipment in a specific field. I've been interviewing firefighters and working on concepts for innovation in fire helmets.

    I'd like to preface the following ideas by saying that I do not intend to encroach upon or disrespect the icon of the traditional firefighters helmet in any way. All of my research thus far suggests that the style and shape of the helmet should be left well enough alone.

    This being said, it would be extremely helpful to have any and all feedback from the anyone here at Firehouse.com


    Concept 1:



    Concept 2:



    Concept 3:





    What, if any, parts of these concepts do you like/seem plausible and why?

    What parts, if any, of these concepts do you dislike/seem unnecessary?

    What would you like to see that isn't here? What changes would you make?


    Thank for your input,
    Blake

  • #2
    I have zero trust in any helmet/SCBA facepiece that connect to one another. Helmets have a habit of getting knocked around, whether by being bumped, debris dropped on them, entangled, etc.....Sometimes when the schit hits the fan guys even manage to lose their helmets. I want my respiratory protection solidly clamped to my face with straps or netting around my head, and the seal firmly against my face.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      Too many different styles/ sizes of faces.
      ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
        I have zero trust in any helmet/SCBA facepiece that connect to one another. Helmets have a habit of getting knocked around, whether by being bumped, debris dropped on them, entangled, etc.....Sometimes when the schit hits the fan guys even manage to lose their helmets. I want my respiratory protection solidly clamped to my face with straps or netting around my head, and the seal firmly against my face.
        Thanks for that, scrapping the direct attachment of the SCBA. could you say a bit more about what you've seen happen when someone's helmet comes off?

        Comment


        • #5
          Concept 1 - The 'out in the open' ratchet system seems like it could be an issue (if it comes in contact with anything there is a risk of inadvertent tightening/loosening of the head band). I think a design like this would also cause the helmet to sit lower, causing the rear brim to sit lower and finally causing interference with an SCBA tank (which is already a problem for me at least with a helmet that sits pretty high right now...my brim comes in contact with the top of my tank when looking up.)

          Concept 2 - The SCBA directly attached to the shroud and/or helmet - same concerns as those listed above...directly attached to my face is the only way I would want it. There tends to be some slack between the suspension and the helmet's shell.

          Concept 3 - I like the built in 'storage' system.
          The light holder you might think about incorporating it under the brim.
          As for the 'shelf' on the top you might want to think about drainage, as well as dimensions/shape that these would be? Door chalks come in different sizes/styles, from nails, wood triangles to cherry bombs (dowel rods with a nail in it to hook to a door hinge)...you might need to focus your research on the type/style of equipment that some guys stash on their helmets and design to that.
          Last edited by ljm; 02-08-2011, 11:08 AM. Reason: general lack of spelling ability....

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay dislikes:

            The ratchet assembly for adjustment coming out of the back of the helmet places the adjustment band too high on the head. That band usually rests on the lower back of the head.

            The side ear protectors are unnecessary bulk and weight. With a hood and the normal ear flaps of a helmet the protection is adequate. In the summer or any other warm weather where I am not involved in actual firefighting activities I will fold the ear flaps up to allow for more airflow and cooling. For normal use of an SCBA facepiece it would interfere with the seal by not allowing the mask to be pulled back tight enough. Ibelieve it would also intefere with hearing by muffling sound.

            My personal opinion only here as I have no personal experience with this type of system but the idea of my facepiece being hooked to my helmet is something I am not interested in. If something hits my helmet and dislodges it my mask is sutomatically dislodged from my face. If the mask is independent and my helmet is dislodged my mask may remain inplace or in place enough for me to recover. Also unless you have a better plan than lacing straps from the helmet through the facepiece harness to put it on the process will be too slow and impossible to do with gloves on. Firefighters do not always put their facepieces on while outside of the building, in fact we may go deep into a large building before se put them on, both to save air and to allow for better visibility. So if the process to put on the mask is slow or cumbersome it is simply unacceptable.


            Likes:

            The disappearing visor to protect it from damage. Too bad it is already on the market.

            The molded in flashlight holder. Once again too bad it is already on the market.

            The utility space is an interesting concept. How would you determine what is the appropriate size?

            I like the idea of the accessory rail for attaching lights. Just not on a hard shell ear covering.


            What would I like to see?

            A helmet offering maximum protection in a lighter shell. Helmet weight is an issue to many.

            A helmet that sits lower on the head. Many times the newer helmets sit so high on the head as to look almost clownish.

            Eye protection that doesn't melt, deform, distort and look like crap after a couple of good working fires.

            AND...I want all that in a traditional styled helmet with a true leather look.


            Well, I hope I didn't crush your dream. I have 34 years in the fire service and well, some might say I am a tad bit opinionated!

            Good luck with your project.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              For starters and not in any order

              - thermo plastic melt and melt readily. If you want one that doesn't distort at lower temps you need to consider a fiberglass type blend. Guys on here are going to laugh but years ago I saw a state instructor in a new white Chieftain. Fast forward 2yrs it was paper sack brown and had the black ring and reflective stripes burned away but the helmet was intact with no bubling. My dept recently opened a burn building at our training center and the very first fire (controlled) we had 2 Thermo plastics destroyed.

              - personally dont like the ratchet outside of helmet

              - ear protection plausable. some of the detrements would be listening for radio traffic or listening for victims during search.

              - to integrate SCBA mask into helmet would require a change in NFPA1852. It has been tried before in the marketplace to gain interest about 15-20 yrs ago when the first "space" helmet came out.

              Not sure if it was part of the project but the chin cup in the pics if it is was part was taken out of the standard around 1986-87

              - as for the retracting face shield I could take it or leave it
              Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                Well, I hope I didn't crush your dream. I have 34 years in the fire service and well, some might say I am a tad bit opinionated!
                Don't worry Brother we all are. Anyone that lives IN the fire service and not just survives the fire service will be. The other night in training at my VFD I was told the very same thing
                Am I being effective in my efforts or am I merely showing up in my fireman costume to watch a house burn down?” (Joe Brown, www.justlookingbusy.wordpress.com)

                Comment


                • #9


                  European Standard MSA Gallet Helmets
                  Last edited by fallujahff; 02-08-2011, 04:53 PM.
                  "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

                  --Thornton Wilder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Quick note after taking a RIT course. I am not so sure I would like to have "utility space" on my helmet in certain situations. It leaves extra room for your helmet to get caught up in wires and/or other loose objects. Would love to hear what some of the more experienced guys think of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Capt387 View Post
                      Don't worry Brother we all are. Anyone that lives IN the fire service and not just survives the fire service will be. The other night in training at my VFD I was told the very same thing
                      Heck, I was teaching RIT to my volly FD last night and I admitting being opinionated, egotistical, and even at times a little arrogant. No one said "Oh NO Don, not you!"
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        and maybe if you could design a helmet with faceshield wipers and defrosters. Those would come in handy
                        Fire scenes: A well organized cluster F......
                        These are my veiws and opinions.....Im just saying

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think too many people are trying to redesign something that doesn't need to be redesigned.
                          The fire helmet has been around for hundreds of years and from the old style to the current, not much has changed (traditional style, no tupperware).

                          Like FyredUp said, maybe making them lighter, stronger and allowing them to sit lower, but to add pockets, light holders and other gadgets is just un necessary.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You asked this exact question months ago, under a different name and many, many people responded and gave great info. So why are you posting the same question again as opposed to bumoing the old thread?:

                            http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117675

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WD6956 View Post
                              You asked this exact question months ago, under a different name and many, many people responded and gave great info. So why are you posting the same question again as opposed to bumoing the old thread?:

                              http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117675
                              Tom Gatlin was a student in the previous class. I apologize for the repetition, but several students have worked on the same project at different times, and may even post here again.

                              Thanks to everyone else - This is extremely helpful information.

                              Comment

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