When looking at your equipment requirements, always consider what you need to accomplish, and the best equipment to do that for you. Also, look at the quality and duration of the equipment.
Had the opportunity to use a new SAR rescue helmet by Leader, and even passed it around for my team members to try. Everyone thought it was a great helmet. The helmet only weighs 550 grams. Now, if you are like me, that 550 grams needs to be put into language I can relate to, so how about 19.4 ounces or 1.2 pounds. Any way you look at it, it is a very light helmet for the protection it offers. The helmet comes in the following colors; red, yellow, orange, white, blue, green and black, depending on your needs. This gives the department a good choice of options to consider.
The Leader helmet can be used as a USAR helmet, rope and climbing helmet, confined space rescue, ATV helmet, wilderness rescue, equine rescue and water rescue. With the detachable reflective strips on either side, this allows for openings that let water flow through the helmet. Having this feature makes it ideal for technical rescue and not having to switch to a different helmet. The outer shell is 3-6mm in thickness and rated at 90 joules on all sides, as well as 100 joules on the crown. The inner lining is 18-22mm and gives a nice buffer to the rescuer.
The helmet meets a variety of requirements and specifications. The one that concerns us most is the NFPA, 1951 2007 Protective ensemble for technical rescue. It also meets EN397, flame resistant, EN1384, equestrian helmet and FS/1, Quad and ATV helmet, just to name a few. We will continue to put this helmet to the test, but so far it has been extremely impressive. You can find out more about this helmet at http://www.leader-group.eu/products/search-rescue/helmet-285.html.
We looked at some really good equipment in 2012. The Flipjack from Res-Q-Jack was a good addition, allowing us to invert the jack in either position. This enables more flexibility when lifting, should the handle be encroached on by part of the vehicle being lifted. Visit www.res-q-jack.com, for more information. The new Pro-Tech WPT8 Boss rope glove, from Tech Trade, maker of the Pro-Tech8 firefighting glove, is another good addition of rescue gloves. This glove offers the protection and dexterity needed in a rope glove. You can see more on the gloves at www.techtradellc.com.
We looked at the Coaxshire “Bowline Haul Pack” that will carry your personal rope gear and a small amount of rope, or just your harness and hardware. It has compartments for organizing the gear, a codura tarp for laying the equipment out and the capability of carrying the pack on your back or like a duffle bag. See the pack and other Coaxshire products at www.Coaxsher.com.
Another product was the LED grill lights from RTS Emergency Lighting Systems. The “Grill 8” lights clip into your grill when there is no good place for mounting the standard LED grill lights. They have numerous patterns as well. At www.rtsemergencylighting.com, you can find out more about the lights and other lighting products they carry. The last product was the new “In-reach” system from Delorme. This system allows for the rescuer to receive and send text information anywhere in the world you have satellite coverage on your GPS PN-60 unit. The information also includes your current position and has a distress signal if needed. This is another good product from Delorme.
Next year we’ll be looking at more equipment worth adding to your cache. Be sure and do your research before buying. If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email at [email protected]. Until next time, train hard, be safe, and know your equipment.