MARGATE – Local firefighters seeking greater protection in the performance of their lifesaving duties are testing and evaluating European-styled safety helmets.
According to Fire Chief Dan Adams, three Margate firefighters will be using the helmets to see if they are effective enough to purchase for all Margate firefighters.
Adams said he recently discovered the Rosenbauer Heros Helmet and decided to purchase a few to evaluate and determine if they could become the department’s helmet of the future.
“We purchased these helmets as a pilot program reflected in all around safety,” he said.
The helmets cost $395 each, including face shield and torch system.
“These helmets have been used and operated in European countries for years,” he said.
Adams said some of the safety features offered in the Hero helmets exceed the traditional Cairns 1044 helmets firefighters currently use.
Features include built-in eye and full-face protection. The flip-down shields are quick, efficient and effective, and the overall weight of the helmet is approximately half of the department’s existing helmets and therefore, are more comfortable to wear, he said.
The helmets have been supplied to Margate’s fire lieutenants, who will evaluate them before completing a survey based on the overall use and operation of the helmet.
“They will be wearing them on all fire incident responses and training activities,” Adams said.
The pilot program is part of the departments long-range planning and goal setting.
“We are always looking for the safest and most efficient equipment possible,” Adams said. “If we decide these helmets are the best choice for the Fire Department, we will switch over in the most fiscally responsible way possible.”
The helmets cost the same as traditional fire helmets, he said.
Although change in any job or circumstance can be difficult, Adams said the Margate Fire Department is hoping to become trendsetters in firefighting at the shore.
“As everyone is aware the American fire service is built on tradition, and it takes a proactive department to look beyond tradition to find the safest personal protective equipment possible.”
Check out this promotional video from the Rosenbauer company.