Why the new Cairns XF1 will get rid of traditional fire helmets

MSA Cairns have released their new XF1 helmet in 2018 which is designed to protect firefighters against new hazards that traditional fire helmets fail to protect.

The new XF1 helmet.

The MSA Cairns XF1 is designed in France, where the firefighters have been using the Gallet F1 XF. The Gallet F1 XF is a jet-fighter style helmet with no brim, and a large face opening that can either be protected by a built-in full face visor, or a facepiece.

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The United States version is the XF1, which holds a current NFPA 1971:2018 and also NFPA 1951:2013 for USAR applications.

Many firefighters hold tradition over safety. Originally, the N5A New Yorker failed to meet it’s NFPA certifications due to there not being a lexan impact cap. It was, however, OSHA compliant, whereas the newer helmets such as the N6A Sam Houston meets NFPA certification.

MSA is a Pennsylvania-based company which was originally developed for mining safety. Their dedication has lead to saving lives for decades.

The XF1 helmet is extremely lightweight, balanced, and sleek. The helmet design was created so first responders do not have to remove their helmets when performing vehicle extrication, or technical rescues. A helmet will only protect a firefighter if they always wear it.

A firefighter’s helmet is left on top as they enter a wrecked vehicle.

The XF1 provides a built-in illumination light on both sides (an additional add-on that cost’s between $50 and $80). This light features a downward pointing light and also an outward facing light, which is enough to brighten your immediate surroundings without blinding nearby first responders. The lights are rated for 10-hours of continuous use and require two replaceable batteries.

The built-in illumination light slides into place on the clear edges at the base of the helmet.

In addition, the XF1 features a single and dual headset integration that allows you to connect your XTS or APX portables too. Firefighters can hear in close proximity exactly what is being said from their helmet instead of listening through the nomex shield and helmet.

The XF1 features a full face shield built directly into the helmet.

Also as an add-on, the MSA Cairns XF1 allows firefighters to add an optional ocular vision visor. This works much like the Defenders, but can be used in addition with the full-face shield, which is not found on any other helmet. If a firefighter needs to use safety glasses, the full face visor and/or the ocular visor would suffice.

The XF1 Ocular visor works with and without prescription glasses. The former “Defenders” required firefighters to remove their glasses.

The XF1 helmet also has built-in hearing protection, which allows firefighters to protect their sensitive hearing from tools, sirens, and structure collapses. The XF1 has been in development for several years and has just recently been released to the public following an NFPA certification.

The XF1 is brimless, which means there are no overhangs on the edge that could easily snag and trap a firefighter while crawling through a smokey room. In some training aspects, instructors tell their students to remove their helmet when crawling through studs in a wall. Within the timeframe of taking off one’s helmet, crawling through a wall, and putting it back on, a building could collapse within that time.

The XF1 helmet was designed so a firefighter does not have to remove their helmet in any circumstance. The robust and snugness of the helmet allows for a firefighter to equip their facepiece, nomex hood, and still, have time to quick equip the helmet.

You can still purchase this helmet from The Fire Store and receive 10% off your order when using the promo code “JETSTYLE”.



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