West Fargo Fire Department
July 22, 2019
West Fargo Fire Department to become first in state to new helmet design
Gate City Bank presented the West Fargo Fire Department with 57 new state-of-the-art jet-style helmets to increase their safety and protection on the job. This gift makes the West Fargo Fire Department the first department in North Dakota to utilize the new style to increase their safety.
Helmets are crucial protective gear as they guard against heat, steam, cinders and falling materials. According to the manufacturer, the helmets represent “a significant design departure” with a brimless design that mimics firefighter jet pilot helmets.1 It provides increased safety and protection benefits with a 4-point retention system to keep the helmet secure and coverage for ears, side of the face and back of the neck.
“Firefighters are committed to tradition and today’s helmets haven’t changed in design much in the last 120 years,” said Chief Dan Fuller, West Fargo Fire Department. “Our department respects tradition. However, with Gate City Bank’s generosity, we are able to embrace a safety innovation to better protect our department.”
The helmets have been certified by the National Fire Protection Association as meeting thousands of performance standards for structural firefighting and technical rescue. They can be adjusted to properly fit individuals to increase comfort.2
“Gate City Bank is committed to providing a better way of life, and is extremely thankful for our first responders and the difference they make in our community. We are proud to be donating these helmets that will protect those that protect our communities,” said Gate City Bank executive chair Steve Swiontek.
Long term, the new helmets will also help West Fargo firefighters protect against a significant occupational hazard – cancer. According to the Lavender Ribbon Report, prepared by the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Volunteer and Combination Officers Section and the National Volunteer Fire Council, “cancer is now recognized as one of the major killers of both career and volunteer firefighters” due to the carcinogens found within building materials and fire-retardant materials firefighters come into contact while fighting fires. With the helmet’s ability to remove, wash and replace the soft goods, firefighters will be able to reduce their exposure to these carcinogens. This action is one of the best practices recommended by the Lavender Ribbon Report to prevent cancer in firefighters.3
“With these helmets, our firefighters will have a better way of doing their jobs and protecting the public,” said Fuller. “We cannot thank Gate City Bank enough for this incredible donation with long lasting benefits.”
The traditional West Fargo Fire Department helmets formerly used by the department that are still suitable for use will be donated to the West Fargo Rural Fire Department.