By Mark van der Feyst
Every firefighter helmet has a void space above the webbing of the head harness. This void space is an excellent storage spot for a couple of important items.
The first item is a flash hood. Stuffing an older or unused flash hood up in the void space adds some extra thermal protection for your head during structural firefighting operations. In my helmet, I have used a flash hood that was not fit for service because it was fraying on one side. It can still serve a good purpose by protecting my head at the top of my helmet.
The other item is a N95 mask. This gives me immediate access to the mask whenever I need such protection. At vehicle accident scenes where I am cutting glass or administering patient care, I can quickly access my N95 without going back to the apparatus to get one.
By using this space in my helmet, I can carry two more essential items that will allow me to provide better protection for myself.