TORQUAY CFA Brigade has received shiny new firefighting helmets that not only look great but more importantly have increased manoeuvrability and offer greater protection to firefighters when things get serious.
More than 2,000 helmets were distributed to 179 brigades as part of the project before distribution was suspended in March 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.
The new structural firefighting helmets were funded as part of the state government’s $60 million Fire Services Statement.
The helmets have been distributed to members who hold qualifications in the use of Breathing Apparatus equipment and Search and Rescue.
Cameron Martin, Second Lieutenant of the CFA Torquay Brigade, welcomed the design of the new helmets.
“The new ones have extra protection around the back of your head and around to the sides which give you extra protection compared to the old ones. They are also lighter so you have more movement in them,” Mr Martin said.
There was some initial concern that new helmets would impact hearing but Mr Martin says there is no hearing loss and in fact the new helmets actually enhanced hearing.
The new helmets replaced the CFA’s existing structural firefighting helmets for firefighters who conduct internal search and rescue operations and are trained to respond to structure fires.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the new helmet provides firefighters with a range of new features.
“This helmet has specific benefits for internal structure firefighting attack, and we’re excited to have been able to provide it to a large cohort of our firefighters,” he said.
The helmet includes a one-touch visor, a full-coverage internal face shield, integrated helmet torch, comfort harness and liner, and flame-resistant multi-layer neck flaps.
It also has a reinforced composite shell and an advanced polymer chassis which Mr Martin said was important in a serious fire situation.
“Helmets protect against falling objects and things that can come down inside buildings it’s about making sure you have that full protection around your whole head,” Mr Martin said.
“I’ve had a couple of jobs where people have gone in and you’re hitting your head on bits and pieces, and you walk out and you look at your helmet and there are scratch marks and paint missing, and you are thankful for the world-class technology that we have these days.”