Articles by Month: April 2011
If you could point to one item of clothing that clearly distinguishes the firefighter, it would undoubtedly be the helmet.
What you see most firefighters wearing today, however, is a blend of progress and tradition. The classic shape dates back to the early 1900s, a time when helmets were made from leather and metal. The wide brim was designed to protect the firefighter from falling debris, water and burning embers. The style took hold, and firefighters everywhere adopted it as their own.
The 20th Century brought with it the invention of new materials, such as aluminum, fiberglass and a wide variety of plastics that could be used to improve the durability of the firefighter helmet. But although new designs were introduced, firefighters resisted the new styles, and they continued to wear the traditional leather head coverings. Helmet manufacturers solved the problem by making helmets using new materials and technologies, but with the traditional shape and decorative features. That included an outer leather covering. The most noticeable improvements are found on the interior headliner and suspension system.
Today’s firefighter helmets are a blend of the old and the new. They feature the traditional style with a leather look that is crafted using Space Age materials. The materials are OSHA approved, but the design is based on the traditional leather fire helmet. It’s interesting to note that many fire departments tried significantly more modern-looking styles, but most of them returned to the traditional look.
Helmets are special to every firefighter. Check out our helmets!
Each year, we host salespeople from our distributors to educate them on all the Fire-Dex gear and processes. Last week, at our Spring 2011 Fire-Dex University, we hosted 30 sales people from Florida to Ontario and Utah to New Jersey. The group toured our manufacturing center in Medina, Ohio, took training sessions taught by the one and only Fire-Dex sales team, and enjoyed networking with each other and the Fire-Dex family.
As you can see, we had a great time and look forward to our next university in September 2011.
There are more than 200 fire museums in the U.S. and Canada.
Firefighting has a rich historical background that is documented in the numerous firefighting museums located throughout this country and Canada. Years ago, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) recognized the need to link these institutions, which vary greatly in their makeup, primarily as a method for exchanging ideas. In 1989, the IAFC sponsored a fire museum seminar which took place during the Fire-Rescue International Conference. Representatives from nine fire museums attended, and they decided to make the seminar an annual event. Still, many of the museums wanted even more interaction, something they could rely on throughout the year. They formed a committee to research the possibility of developing an organization of fire museums, and in 1995, the Fire Museum Network was established.
Today the Fire Museum Network is a non-profit organization that allows for networking among the various fire museums, while also promoting the interests of collecting, preserving and interpreting the artifacts, history and traditions of the fire service. It is run by a volunteer board of directors. In addition to the annual Fire Museum Seminar, the organization maintains a comprehensive Web site with a directory of fire museums that belong to the network. This information can be accessed at www.firemuseumnetwork.org.
Everyone LOVES looking at pictures on Facebook. Apparently, our Fire-Dex community is no different. We posted this picture from FDIC on our Facebook wall and asked for captions about it. We had a lot of fun reading these comments. FUNNY STUFF!
Here are a few of our favorites:
Steve: “Rapid extraction with airbag deployments. Great save!”
Keane: “This is the only way some firefighters can pick up chicks at FDIC.”
Phillip: “The chief said pick out a new set of Fire-Dex bunker pants.”
Todd: “Do you think my toes need a pedi? Let me look.”
Steve: “Look Honey I took the Fire-Dex Challenge and Won!”
Read all the captions on our Facebook page. Oh, and, feel free to add your own!
Thank you again to everyone that commented. We really enjoyed reading and laughing at all the posts.
Fire-Dex University is a two-day educational event for the salespeople from our distributors at our headquarters in Medina, Ohio. The salespeople attend detailed sessions on Fire-Dex turnout gear, fabrics, features and benefits of Fire-Dex boots, gloves, helmets and accessories. Further, the salespeople tour our state of art manufacturing facility and technology lab to watch rolls of fabric become finished gear. When it’s all said and done, our distributors know what makes Fire-Dex products superior to our competitors.
Our spring session is coming up later this month on the 20th and 21st. We’re gearing up (yes…that pun was intended) to inform this spring class of all things Fire-Dex.
Sometimes a fleet of firefighters on ground isn’t enough to combat a rapidly-spreading wildfire—especially in areas with more treacherous terrain. In these situations, aerial firefighting helps to control the spread of the fire more quickly than traditional methods.
Aerial firefighting began around 1920 with the first attempts at dropping water from aircraft onto a fire. Most of these attempts were unsuccessful during this era, but they provided a platform for future initiatives through the USFS (U.S. Forest Service). In 1935, the Aerial Fire Control Experimental Project was created. At this point, aircraft became important for fire detection, but were still somewhat incapable of successfully extinguishing rapidly-spreading fires with water and fire retardant. It wasn’t until 1954 when a partnership between the USFS and other organizations produced an effective water dropping system using a TBM-1C bomber. This was put to the test during the Jamieson Fire, which occurred in southern California in 1954.
Inspired by agricultural spraying techniques, “helitankers” soon became the next progression in aerial firefighting. These easy-to-maneuver helicopters could deliver over 100 gallons of water when they were first introduced. With firefighting helicopters came “heli-rappellers”—firefighters who rappelled down to the fire as a ground force.
In the 1960s, surplus military aircraft became another effective way to combat wildfires. Planes like the B-25, Douglas B-26 and Lockheed PSV could carry 1,000 gallons of water. They also deployed “smokejumpers” or firefighters who parachuted from planes to help control ground fire. Smokejumpers became very effective, and smokejumper bases are located across western portions of the United States today.
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Simply, choose your materials, choose your options and write your specifications online. That’s it! I said it was easy!
Give Fire-Dex’s FireWriter a test run and create your own custom turnout gear!