Home Fire News Cooling vests help Cali firefighters beat the heat

Cooling vests help Cali firefighters beat the heat

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Some California firefighters will be issued special vests to keep them cool as they wear bunker gear in often triple digit temperatures.

According to Fox 40, the city of Rocklin is issuing firefighters vests aimed at lowering the number of heat injuries sustained by firefighters.

“Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the fire service,” explained firefighter Jerry Dolley. “The heat is a stressor, and it’s one of those things that we can eliminate or at least reduce.”

The vests are designed to pump ice water through tubes inside the fabric to cool the firefighter’s core temperature. The design is not dissimilar to that found in space suits, and could shorten the needed cool-down time by nearly 30 percent.

“Basically, we immerse the body. We cover about 40 percent of the body with ice cold water,” said Dolley. “We are able to reduce the time in rehab for the firefighters by 28 percent.”

“It wraps your core, it drops your temperature,” stressed Dolley. “There is an effect there. You avoid all the cramping, and the spasms and all that stuff. We’ll monitor their vital signs before they come into rehab, and then as they go out of rehab just to get a baseline and make sure they are stable.”

Each vest costs around $5,000 and the department only has 5 of them, but the agency believes they have a worthwhile product on their hands.

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