What to Wear: Evolution of the Firefighter Helmet

What to Wear: Evolution of the Firefighter Helmet

Helmets are an iconic component of the typical firefighter ensemble.

The classic helmet shape dates back to the early 1900s, when helmets fabricated with leather and metal caught on with firefighters everywhere. The design was purposeful: a high dome to deflect falling objects and a wide brim to protect the firefighter from debris, water and burning embers.

Helmets continued to evolve in the 20th Century, when new, more durable styles were introduced incorporating materials like aluminum, fiberglass and a wide variety of plastics. Firefighters, though, resisted the new styles and remained loyal to the traditional leather helmet options.

Manufacturers reacted by putting out helmets with the traditional shape and decorative features—including an outer leather covering—but upgraded with new materials and technologies. Newer helmets offer improved interior headliner and suspension systems and more improvements.  

Fire-Dex makes both a traditional helmet design along with a more modernized helmet. Our 1910 Traditional Helmets embody a vintage aesthetic, with leather detailing and an exaggerated brim to protect heads from heat and debris. The 911 Modern Helmets, meanwhile, offer a sleek, streamlined, rounded look for optimal comfort. These brightly colored fiberglass shells are available in yellow, red, white or traditional black.

Both are made with a state-of-the-art fiberglass compression-molded shell to provide exceptional flame and heat resistance. A thermal impact cap insert makes the helmet 66% cooler than those without an insert, and is connected with hook and loop, a safety feature that allows the shell to break away and the impact cap to remain in place in the event of a severe impact.

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