New Helmet Developed By California Department

New Helmet Developed By California Department

After more than two years’ research and development, the fire department of the industrial city of Vernon, Calif., has introduced a new fiberglass helmet. Adapted from crash helmets worn by racing drivers, the new headgear is designed for an all-time high in safety. According to Vernon Fire Chief Lester C. Husted, “Everything is designed to prevent injury.”

Student Fireman J. R. Winfrey (left) wears new safety helmet while Fireman Don A. Melker wears conventional type. Men are equipped with identical breathing apparatus

Among the built-in safety features, Chief Husted said, are a polystyrene foam liner that distributes weight evenly and absorbs the pressure of head blows, a flip-up plastic face shield and rear deflector shield. The wearer is protected from blows from the side and rear as well as the top. In addition, the helmet may be used with all types of breathing equipment. The outer shell is made of multiple layers of reinforced fiberglass coated with highly reflective aluminum base plastic. In repeated tests at 128 foot pounds, impact on the wearer has proved negligible. Total weight is 39 ounces.

Chief Husted said his entire 110-man department is to be equipped with the new helmets during coming months. While costs will be slightly higher than for conventional styles, he said he feels the investment in safety far outweighs other considerations.

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