Firefighting has advanced over the past few decades thanks to improvements in technology. Gone are the days when firefighting meant simply spraying water to douse the flames. Primitive technologies are gone and have been replaced with advanced techniques and tools.
Firefighters rely on procedures and tests. For example, a fire hydrant flow test guarantees that when firefighters need water, it is available for them.
The improvements that firefighters have been able to make in their equipment and their techniques not only makes it easier for them to put out fires, but it makes it easier for them to save lives. The protective gear that they wear allows firefighters to go into dangerous situations and minimize their risk of being injured or dying.
Firefighters use equipment and techniques designed to suppress the fire, help them survive, and preempt any additional damage caused by the fire. A lot of the preemptive technologies that have been designed may prevent a fire from starting. Suppressive technologies make it easier for firefighters to quench a fire once it has already started. If firefighters find themselves in the worst-case situation, their survival technologies help them protect themselves as well as others from the worst-case scenario. Survival technologies help firefighters and civilians survive longer when they are surrounded by flames, it makes it possible for them to breathe in a smoky environment, and it protects them from debris.
One example of advanced firefighting technology is the C-Thru firefighting helmet. When you look at this helmet, it appears to be something that should be in a science fiction movie. It mixes the helmet a fighter pilot would use with the protection provided from a traditional firefighter’s helmet.
What’s unique about this helmet is that the face shield has a heads up display. The heads up display is connected to sensors, which tell the firefighter how much oxygen is left in the room, how high the carbon dioxide levels are, as well as the temperature levels in the room. The visor comes equipped with infrared or thermal imaging. This allows a firefighter to have clear visibility, even though they are in a room that is full of smoke.
Other pieces of technology include shields and shelters that are made from space-age materials. Some of these shelters are as light as 4.3 pounds. They can be carried in a space no larger than a half gallon milk container. These shelters will protect firefighters and civilians from fire, smoke, and debris.