West Fargo Fire Department first in ND to use new type of helmet
WEST FARGO — The West Fargo Fire Department received a gift of 57 new jet-style helmets from Gate City Bank, Monday July 22, making the department the first in North Dakota to use the updated style of firefighter helmet.
The new helmets do away with the traditional firefighter helmet brim and are designed to look like firefighter jet pilot helmets, the city of West Fargo said. They have two adjustable visors, lights and a built-in communication system.
West Fargo Fire Department Chief Dan Fuller said the new helmets, which are described by city officials as state-of-the-art and cost about $230 each, are a much-needed upgrade.
"The helmet design that we currently have for the majority of our firefighters is from the 1800s. So, this is what the rest of the world pretty much uses," Fuller said.
Five of the department's firefighters tested the helmets out last year, and Fuller said they were impressed with them.
"They like how lightweight they are," Fuller said. 'It's not pushing your head forward, it's not pushing your head back, it stays balanced on your head."
And the benefits of the new helmets go beyond comfort, convenience and protection while fighting fires, according to the city of West Fargo. The helmets might also help protect firefighters from cancer.
Fabric parts of the helmet, such as the liner, can be easily removed, washed or replaced after fighting fires, which helps firefighters limit their exposure to carcinogenic chemicals, the city said.
The West Fargo Fire Department's old helmets have about six years of use left and will be donated to rural fire departments in need of equipment, according to city officials.