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Photo by Justin Dickstein.
challenges of refilling air bottles. The Urban
Search and Rescue Team saw the benefit in
providing realistic collapse and confined
space training without banging up expensive SCBA equipment. Finally, the cross-fit
athletes and those training for the Firefighter
Combat Challenge saw the immediate benefit
and convenience of the BLASTMask.
The BLASTMask is not for IDLH training.
Nor is it a particle mask. It has no filtration
system, though I think they should consider a basic filter insert for dust in any future
The BLASTMask is only available for Scott SCBA face pieces. An
MSA face piece unit will be available
in late summer or early fall of this year.
Depending on the response and success
of this new idea, other SCBA brands will
The BLASTMask will obviously
save time and resources after training
exercises. It will help keep units and res-
cue equipment—i.e., SCBAs—in a ready
state for immediate deployment. Most
of all, it will increase firefighters’ health,
safety, and preparedness by allowing them
to increase the fitness and stamina levels
required to perform strenuous tasks on air
while increasing their self-confidence in
the application and use of SCBA.
BY CARL J. HADDON
This year’s FDIC International heralded
lots of new products and equipment from
manufacturers across the globe. In the area
of rescue tools, I saw a number of new bat-tery-powered hydraulic tools from a few
different makers. I also noted a number of
new tools that cut laminated vehicle glass.
Still, I found a new heavy-duty reciprocating saw blade that claims to be able to cut
the toughest of automotive boron steels.
With whitewater rafting season ramping up, I was also able to take in the latest in
swiftwater rescue advances, including new
personal protective equipment, custom rescue outfitted swiftwater rescue craft, water
rescue gloves, and the latest in personal f lota-tion rescue vests.
On the “Rurally Speaking” front, new mul-
tivocational apparatus were of particular
interest. Additionally, we learned of what
appear to be exciting new apparatus financ-
ing options for even the smallest of rural fire
departments. Firefighting advances in prod-
ucts such as encapsulating firefighting agents
also drew our attention to learn more. These
same encapsulating agents are also prov-
ing to be an invaluable asset in fighting lithi-
um ion battery (hybrid and electric cars) and
magnesium-based vehicle fires, which are
becoming more of a firefighting challenge
than most of us would have expected.
With the new moniker of FDIC
International for 2015, it was also a good
opportunity to check out and learn how some
of our American firefighting equipment and
technology compares to that of what our fellow responders use in service in different parts
of the world. Not only did I gain a better understanding of how this equipment and apparatus compare, but I also got a glimpse of some
of the things that we can learn from these
other countries, be it from a “To the Rescue” or
from a “Rurally Speaking” vantage point.
Triggers Are Not
Just for Cops
BY CHRIS MC LOONE
Task Force Tips (TFT) brought its new
IMPULSE trigger valve system to FDIC
International 2015. The system can be inte-
grated into many of TF T’s firefighting nozzles
as an option. Inside the nozzle, everything is
the same. According to Rod Carringer, chief
marketing officer at TFT, said, “Really, it’s
just a method of opening and closing that
valve which is different.” Carringer stated
that the system is basically taking the place
of the standard bail handle. The integration
of a trigger actuator with TFT’s slide style of
valve provides operator flow control with only
one hand, allowing the other hand to control
stream pattern selection.
“There has been and remains a large
trend especially across Europe of pulsing the
fire environment,” said Carringer. “Pulsing
is the quick opening and closing of the valve,
introducing small droplets, a little bit of
water, into a superheated overhead without
disrupting the thermal balance. We make
an awful lot of nozzles that have to meet
European standards for pulsing. So that’s a
technique that has gained huge favor. We’ve
had to keep up with that as that trend has
changed. And, one of the things that works
extremely well is the trigger. It gained wide
popularity over there. We said, ‘OK, let’s see
what happens here.’ The nozzle is the same.
We’re just acting in a different manner as to
how we manage that valve.”
The trigger controller operates smooth-
ly throughout the nozzle’s rated f low and
pressure range and allows operators to hold
multiple valve positions at their discretion.
According to TF T, the ergonomic pistol grip
complements the trigger valve design and