Within the field of firefighting, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) created a standard used at all incidents to which firefighters respond. It is called LIPE: Life Safety, Incident Stabilization, Property Conservation, and Environmental Protection. Whenever responding to some sort of fire, firefighters face smoke, which in turn is a large cause of cancer for this riskful job.
Within firefighting, there have been many improvements made to the safety of firefighters; one place where this is lacking is within the hoods of turnout gear. When firefighters face intense heat, large amounts of pores in their skin open up, letting in carcinogens that are from the smoke and soot left on the hood. Within some departments, hoods are rarely washed; in others, they only give out one hood to each person due to the expensive cost.
Pro-Tec Hoods will develop an affordable hood that will have a better barrier to carcinogens, while also keeping the moisture barrier and breathability. The whole purpose of this product is to create something that will keep firefighters safe from one of the largest causes of death in firefighting. In fact, from 2002 to 2017, 61% of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths occurred as a result of cancer (Ryan Shaffer). We will break boundaries in the protection of firefighters from cancer causing agents.
The audience for this product will be fire departments everywhere. The deliverable will include a survey to firefighters on the hoods they have, and if they would be willing to use a better hood. I will also deliver a prototype with the protective barrier. Lastly, my community outreach will be connected to the Southbury Volunteer Firemen’s Association.
The whole reason i wanted to do a project like this is because of that fact that I am currently a volunteer firefighter in Southbury. For the theme this year my project is breaking boundaries by being a product that is aimed for protection with a tool that hasn't been looked into a lot.