The firefighting helmet we've been dreaming about
The helmet profiled in this story demonstrates what contemporary technology can offer the fire and emergency services
Editor's note: A Swedish designer — with the backing of a local fire brigade — has unveiled an ambitious prototype called the C-Thru Smoke Diving Helmet. Here's Chief Adam K. Thiel's thoughts.
Wow! Here it is, the firefighting helmet many (but probably not all) of us have been dreaming about for a long time!
I don't know about you, but as someone who's been playing Xbox/Halo for years, I've always wondered when we were going to be able to experience some of the same gear (exoskeleton anyone)?
While it certainly appears to be a long way from commercialization and a firehouse near you, the helmet profiled in this story demonstrates what contemporary technology can offer the fire and emergency services.
Our military has been experimenting for a long time with similar items, and you'll see a lot of situational awareness aids incorporated in the basic kit of today's soldiers, sailors, air force personnel and Marines.
The big questions are:
1) Will we be able to afford it
2) will we accept it?
These questions are different, but inextricably linked. To some extent, the degree to which we adopt a product will drive the cost; it's basic supply and demand, although the direction isn't always what you might expect given the level of competition in the marketplace for certain technologies.
Acceptance is really the bigger issue; and I get it. Yes, the "Pac-Man" helmets provide great impact protection and a lower profile than traditional helmets; what do I wear? (Guilty — traditional.)
But maybe "3-D wireframe" modeling and integrated thermal imaging is cool enough (and effective enough) to get us all onboard? Imagine the difference this helmet could make while searching for a fire victim; or a fallen brother/sister?
Now if they can just add a charred and flexible leather neckpiece...