Firefighter Equipment - Types of Gear Carried by Firemen
Firefighter equipment is designed to achieve two main objectives: preserving the firefighter's life while enabling the fireman to move into and out of fiery hazards quickly to rescue victims. The term "firefighter equipment" in actuality covers a very broad spectrum of tools, vehicles, garments, demolitions materials, communications equipment, respiratory gear and imaging devices, but is most colloquially used to refer to the equipment a fireman wears and carries on his person.
The Basics of Firefighter Equipment
The first line of defense in firefighter equipment is the flame-retardant protective fire suit. Special chemicals, known technically as brominated flame retardants, have the unique chemical effect of inhibiting or slowing the combustion of organic materials. Hence, their application in the various layers of protective insulation and external flame retardant shells that comprise the fire suit, perhaps the most iconic element of firefighter equipment. While entering fiery hazards while wearing a flame retardant fire suit is still extremely dangerous, specialty firefighter equipment like fire suits and protective clothing reduce the risk of intense burns and scalding while operating in extreme temperatures.
Firefigher Equipment for Easy Breathing on the Job
Perhaps the most commonly thought of system within firefighter equipment, the respirator and fire mask allow firemen to work in extremely dangerous smoke-filled areas without permanently damaging their lungs, brain and other internal organs via toxic smoke. This is an absolutely essential piece of standard issue firefighter equipment, as anyone not wearing this advanced protective gear will succumb to smoky and fiery conditions very rapidly. The fire mask serves the dual purpose of allowing the working firefighter a view of the conditions around him while protecting his eyes and face; meanwhile it feeds the firefighter oxygen.
The Brute Tools of Firefighter Equipment
Although many people forget about the more brutish entries in standard firefighter equipment, the tools used by firefighters to clear debris and quickly gain access through obstacles like locked doors and walls are no less crucial than any other piece of firefighter equipment. Fire axes are perhaps the most commonly used fireman's tool within this category. Fire axes are usually specially painted either a bright red or orange to help victims and firefighters alike to identify them quickly during the panic and frenzy of an emergency. Fire axes serve the same basic purpose of normal axes, but they have a special modification, a long sharp spike on the back of their heads, to give firefighters extra concentrated oomph when attempting to bust down locked doors and windows. Fire axes are essential pieces of firefighter equipment because they allow firemen to quick destroy doors, thin walls and windows in order to gain access to trapped fire victims.
The Advanced Elements of Firefighter Equipment
In the last two decades, more technologically advanced elements of firefighter equipment have begun to surface, leading to increased collaborative capacity amongst firemen, increased response speed, and superior decision making capabilities thanks to complex imaging technologies. Some such pieces include thermal imaging devices which allow firemen to quickly scan a flaming structure to analyze the spread and course of the fire, in order to determine the most effective and safe plan of attack. Standard issue firefighter equipment now includes radio equipment which is situated into the fire suit and interfaced with the fire mask to allow firemen to communicate over distances and the roar of flames and crackling buildings. Meanwhile, more and more firefighting outfits throughout the world are adding specialty gps trackers to their firefighters' suits, allowing team coordinators to keep tabs on the whereabouts and status of all firemen engaged in an operation.
Firefighter Equipment to the Rescue
Firefighter equipment allows the brave men and women that rush into harm's way for perfect strangers to do their jobs with increased effectiveness and survivability. Advances to the various fields of firefighter equipment are constantly being made, and constant financial support is needed to keep firefighters in the safest and most advanced gear available. Consider making a donation to your local fire brigade today, or simply stopping by to tell them how much their work means to you and your community.