At FDIC 2017 we met with Chris Martin from Elkhart Brass to take a look at the new XD nozzles. Elkhart has really done a good job on these nozzles listening to the feedback of firefighters and using suggestions in the design. This series from Elkhart is titled XD for a reason, it stands for extreme duty. Once you take a look at them you will realize they truly are built for work. Everything on this nozzle was considered and not just what you see in plain view. The waterway inside is also refined offering a full round ball for a smooth internal barrel. Take a look at the video below to get a nice overview of the new Elkhart XD nozzles.
If you haven't heard of Dennis Legear or about his research from hydrants to nozzles you have to read up and watch this video. Dennis has provided the fire service with some great ideas and research and his latest project has come to fruition. Tru ID hose was a major effort by many to produce a spec of fire hose built with purpose and built to solve several critical issues. In the video below Dennis explains some of the reasoning and details behind the design and why this is important to every firefighter that rides the nozzle. If you would like to read more about his work visit his website at: www.hydrant2nozzle.com
The HALO Hood is a new firefighting hood designed by Majestic Fire Apparel. The HALO Hood stemmed from recent research on the prevalence of cancer among firefighters. Typical hoods offer limited protection from particle infiltration which results in particles making their way through your hood and onto your skin where absorption can take place. The HALO Hood has a built in particle barrier in key places throughout the hood. The hood features panels of protection placed in key areas in order to create a balance of comfort and protection. This hood offers significant levels of thermal protection, higher than most hoods on the market. You can view the detailed TPP ratings from the Majestic Fire Apparel website. Check out our video below to see the review. You can also visit www.majhoods.com for more information.
HALO Hood Review Video
Scott released it's newest innovation at FDIC 2016, the Scott Sight. We had a great opportunity to check out this brand new device and from what we have seen so far the future of thermal imaging is very bright. Immediately the very first question firefighters ask is "How much does it cost?" knowing that this technology must be out of reach. However, Scott shocked most firefighters when they announced the list price on the entire system (Mask and Imager) would be around $1,875. They were selling the Scott Sight system, as a show special, at FDIC for less than $1000. We were very fortunate to meet with a very well educated representative from Scott who explained many intricate details behind the product's success. I wanted to break down a few of the key discussion points to help all of you find the answers to the questions you may have. We have provided two videos for you to check out below followed by our breakdown of the key questions.
The Scott Sight
Our live Periscope Broadcast from FDIC 2016
How much does it weigh?
The Scott Sight reportedly weighs just 4 ounces. When we think about the weight of accessories on the face piece we generally do not want any extra weight than necessary. This system is very light considering the value of having an in-mask thermal imaging system. You also have to realize the imager itself rides just in front of your ear. This places the imager in a really good center of gravity point and does not feel like it pulls the face piece down like some of the other accessories.
How good is the image?
The image is surprisingly good considering how small the display actually is. We were told the system actually delivers an image that represents a distance of about 12 feet away. So, you would think that firefighters wearing glasses may struggle seeing the image when they actually can see the image fairly clearly because the focal point is so far away. The display itself rides on a hinge system just above the nose cone and is adjustable up and down using a small tool. This lets you line the display up to each firefighter's personal preference.
What kind of batteries does it use?
Right now the system uses standard AAA batteries but I could see this turning into a rechargeable system in the future. We were told they were seeing close to 4 hour run times during FDIC.
How do you clean the Scott Sight?
The entire system can be dunked into a cleaning solution. However, you can actually remove the entire camera from the mask if you want to perform a better cleaning job. The lens is held in with a removable bezel which can be removed to clean the lens if you have trouble getting debris out of the small opening.
What information is on the display?
Right now you can see standard information like air and battery levels. This system could be used to send a lot more information in the future. Just think about information we can already gather like accountability info or breathing rates, etc. Basically any data we can obtain could be pushed to the face piece in the future. This opens the door to many interesting concepts.
All in all this is a really exciting system and I look forward to seeing what is in store for the future.
Check out our latest product review video on The Pig forcible entry tool from Lone Star Axe. This tool falls into a category on its own and is by far one of the best forcible entry tools on the market. If you want some more info on The Pig check out their website at: www.lonestaraxellc.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNMhuXKkGiw
Check out our latest product review of the Iron Fox Axe. This axe has caught the attention of many especially with it's "battle axe" look. Once you look past the aggressive aesthetics you will find several nice features. If you would like more info about the Iron Fox Axe take a look at their website: IronFoxAxes.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnEQo3xelAw&feature=youtu.be
I recently purchased an FD Leatherworks chinstrap and decided to shoot a quick review of it. FD Leatherworks makes a ton of different leather products for firefighters like: Radio Straps, Suspenders, Truckman's Belts and Chinstraps. You can check out the review below and you can also visit their website at www.fdleatherworks.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GleY6fXVI14
Many firefighters have asked us about the FF Wedge™ and where to find them. We have put together a short video below and have also provided Dale Pekel's in depth video of the wedges. If you are looking for them you can find them in our website store just Click Here. Check them out below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU2GNrFf-k
I just recently received my new helmet shield from Black Smoke Shields. I was very pleased with the results! These shields are hand made in Georgia and you can tell they take pride in their product. In the past I have purchased custom shields and it seems like you always have to wait an eternity to find a good one. Right now Black Smoke Shields is around a 6-8 week turn around on orders. That is really quick for a custom shield. Check out our product review video below:
For more information you can visit their website and Facebook Page:
Our latest product review video features the Majestic Fire Apparel fire hoods. Majestic Fire Apparel manufactures a very wide variety of different style hoods with different materials. Take a look at the video below and then we provide some additional information if you continue reading. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daoxyzYxdOY
Majestic Fire Hoods come in three primary styles; the PAC I, PAC II, and PAC III. The PAC I provides a length of 19" where the PAC II extends the overall length to 21". If you are looking for a little extra coverage the PAC III will provide you with 21" overall length and a little extra width to cover your upper shoulders.
Majestic Fire Hoods are sewn with flat seams. This helps keep the seams from rubbing your neck or anywhere else the fabric is joined together. You can order their hoods with a single center seam over the top of your head or a double seem which gives you a panel of material on the top of the head instead of a seam. You can also order a Strategic Vent Zone (SVZ) hood which replaces that top panel with a ventilation panel to improve evaporation performance in order to keep you cooler.
Lastly, choosing the fabric material will help you tailor the hood to meet your needs. I typically prefer the C6 material due to it's high Thermal Protective Performance (TPP). I have also really enjoyed the Rayon/Kevlar hood with the additional C6 upper. The highest thermal protection offered lies in their MM4/FYR-HAWK (Moisture Membrane) which exceeds 60 TPP. The MM4 provides protection through 3 layers of C6 material and 1 layer of Melange to provide the moisture membrane. You can see all of the performance specifications by visiting their website here.
I recently had the opportunity to check out Jackson Fire Department's new Pierce 100' Platform. This is one good looking truck. Truck 28 will serve the south side of downtown Jackson, MS and the surrounding area. Truck 28 is a busy truck company in Jackson affectionately known as the "Hood Rats". Great group of guys and I wish them the best of luck with their new chariot! Check out the video of their truck here:
We recently had the opportunity to get a look at the new MSA G1 SCBA. This unit just went into production and we have put together a review for you to get a look at it for yourself. Below the video we share some of the details about the new NFPA 1981 and 1982 standards and also some more information about the SCBA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKbL57ReqSI
The new G1 is a complete overhaul of the past SCBA systems you have seen from MSA. We have broken each of these features down below:
The new G1 face piece is completely different from past models. The new face piece is very light, coming in at just under 1.5 pounds. You will also notice the new G1 mask has all electrical systems removed. This is accomplished by allowing the regulator to handle the communications, HUD, and air. Now that these systems are relocated you have a very streamlined and low profile mask which is very comfortable.
The regulator is a fundamental component of this entire system because not only does it supply your air but also pipes the lighting through your face piece for the HUD and includes two microphones to amplify your voice through the voice amplifier.
The new harness features a new quick release system for both the cylinder mount and the coupling itself. You will find this system to be very fast. The most notable comfort feature of the G1 is the new adjustable and swiveling lumbar pad. The lumber pad is adjustable to your height and also swivels as you move. The shoulder straps also have a few changes to help the straps stay in place as you move. The straps snap together at the frame and then each strap has a friction material positioned on you shoulders to help keep the straps from shifting. You will also notice status LED lights all over the SCBA. These lights give you a visual indication of the users air level. When the SCBA low air alarm activates you will also see the RIC connection will illuminate for other firefighters to make that connection.
The G1 pass device features an analog air pressure gauge and also a digital display. The display is customizable and can show your air pressure or time remaining using an algorithm to calculate the time you have available based on your air consumption. The SCBA is also bluetooth compatible and will include RFID as an upgrade. You will also hear the new NFPA 1982 common PASS sound which all SCBAs will have for the 2013 edition of NFPA 1982.
The new communications system has been well though out. They have moved your voice amplifier speaker off of your mask and onto your harness. This helps tremendously by removing unwanted weight off the mask and allowing the mask to be more streamlined with less to snag on. The regulator uses two microphones to amplify your voice through the speaker. You will find this system to be very clear and loud.
Overall this SCBA is very different from past models. My first impression was that the SCBA was a little heavy but after analyzing the systems you see where the weight has been shifted as an advantage. The G1 harness weighs 15.5 pounds with the battery, 25.5 pounds with a 30 minute 4,500 psi cylinder and the mask weighs just under 1.5 pounds. So, when you lift the harness for the first time it feels a little have until you actually strap it on and wear it. The reason it feels like this is because the weight you are used to carrying on your mask shoulder strap (for a PASS, HUD and Voice Amplifier) have all been moved to the harness. You also get a little added weight for the comfort feature of the new adjustable lumbar pad. This SCBA wears nicely and feels very balanced and the features give you a lot of advantages on the fire ground.
BOTTOM LINE: If you get a chance to see this pack do not just look at it and the features. Strap it on and wear it. You need to feel the pack to really understand it's design.