For Immediate Release:
June 4, 2019
Contact: Julie Happy
Community Affairs Manager
Spokane Valley Fire
SPOKANE VALLEY FIRE PILOTS EUROPEAN HELMETS
TESTING BEGAN JUNE 1
Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) is currently piloting European style fire helmets. The traditional iconic fire helmets have a higher center of gravity, a wider brim, and are limited in their use compared to the European style helmet. The new helmet, Carirn’s XF1, looks more like a pilot’s helmet, weighing just over 3 pounds and offering additional safety options including diverse face shield protection.
“We want our firefighters to be as effective as possible while they are encountering difficult environments. Keeping them safe at the same time is definitely a priority,” said Chief Bryan Collins. “Finding better products and options for our firefighters that provide increased safety and reliability continues to be a regular practice at the SVFD.”
The reception to the helmets has been mixed. The fire service is deeply steeped in tradition and change does not always come readily. But as important as tradition is it is also important to keep looking for gear and tools that helps us better provide service to the public, more efficiently, and in a manner that is safer for our firefighters.
Some questions to be answered during the trial.
- Comfort – More or less comfortable than a traditional or California style helmet?
- Weight – Is it too heavy when worn for extended periods?
- Visibility – Is visibility reduced during wear compared to a traditional or California style helmet?
- Hearing – Is hearing negatively impacted during wear compared to a traditional or California style helmet?
- Functionality – Are you able to wear it inside a vehicle while providing patient care where you would have to take off a traditional or California style helmet? Other examples?
- Integration – How does it work while wearing an SCBA compared to a traditional or California style helmet?
- Protection – Did you receive an impact, even minor, that the extra coverage of the helmet provided protection?
- How does it shed water compared to a traditional or California style helmet?
Firefighters began testing these helmets June 1.
Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the City of Spokane Valley, City of Liberty Lake, City of Millwood and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Spokane County with a combined population of 125,000 across 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, one of only a handful in Washington State.
For more information about Spokane Valley Fire Department, visit www.spokanevalleyfire.com,