Firefighters Save Lives And Break Stuff.
My recent trip brought me back out to the land of perpetual sunshine of California (and a stop in Las Vegas) This was another great trip meeting some new firefighting brothers and visiting some new stations. My travels first brought me north of Santa Barbara to the Alan Hancock community College to meet with Chief Andy Dinsmore. Chief Dinsmore runs the Fire training program and reached out to me after reading an article in the recent FireRescue magazine. Chief Dinsmore and I spent quite a bit of time talking about advanced photoluminescent technology and how it can help firefighters improve visibility, increase accountability of tools and personnel and reduce disorientation. We plan on rolling this information out to students and outfitting his cadre with Foxfire illumination products. All of this training will be taking part in their soon to be built spectacular public safety center. Click the following link to learn more about this amazing facility:
Allan Hancock Public Training Facility
The next morning I had the privilege to join Captain Chris Granucci of Los Angeles Fire Department Engine 7 and his crew for breakfast.
Captain Granucci has been testing our products for the LAFD over the last several months. As a true firefighter, he found a way of taking something good and making it better. He builds fly fishing rods in his spare time and used some of that knowledge to improve the way you can apply our illuminating epoxy kits. With some plexi-glass, hardware and a BBQ rotisserie he created a machine that slowly spins your tools so as you apply our illuminating epoxy you don’t get and drips or runs.
The next day I picked up my dad to join me for a USC football game. As I picked him up from the train station, he had a huge grin on his face. The huge grin was because just as he stepped out of the train-station he was greeted by several other members of the LAFD as they were trying to flip over a vehicle that rolled on it’s side.
He walked right up to the officer in charge and showed him a picture of Foxfire and asked him if he had ever heard of Foxfire’s illuminating technology. To my dad’s excitement, he replied that he had heard of Foxfire and thought it was a great way to illuminate the dark environments firefighter’s operate. It’s great to know that our marketing and PR efforts are working. Firefighter’s from coast to coast and even abroad are learning more about these innovative products that are transforming the firefighting industry.
The next day I was off to Las Vegas for a quick 24 hour stop to visit Clark County fire department and the poker tables. Clark County was one of the first fire departments to start using our products. They use our full portfolio of products, the illuminating grip wrap, helmet bands, epoxy and SCBA bottle bands. As great as our product are, they found that they do have limitations. Firefighters do a great job at saving lives and breaking things and Clark County is no different than other departments throughout the US.
Two specific issues that came up were that the SCBA bottle bands can rip after repeatedly removing and re-securing and the glow could diminish on our bands after repeated exposure to high heat (600+ degrees) and especially if you have a black rubber band under it. Keep in mind that a SCBA mask will start to fail at 450 degrees, the only way the butyl rubber on the mask can make it past 500 degrees is if the nomex hood covers the edges. I feel it is important to share these issues about our products because we are a firefighter run business and our number one priority is to best serve our brothers. We stand behind everything we produce but remember all products on the fire-ground have limitations. It is important to know that our products are designed to be heavy duty and firefighter-RESISTANT but not firefighter-PROOF. We all know the adage that a firefighter can break on anvil.
Speaking of firefighters breaking things, I had the chance to cross of another task off my bucket list, taking a dune buggy for a spin in the desert. I joined about a dozen other guys on a high intensity ride through the beautiful desert outside of Las Vegas. We all jumped sand dunes, ran over rough terrain and had an absolute blast with one small hiccup. As I way cruising done a flat stretch of road, I felt my dune buggy swerve to the left and immediately slow down as I saw a tire pop over the top of my buggy and roll out in to the desert. Wouldn't you know that the only firefighter in the group, me, sheered the 2” wide sold metal bar holding the tire. No matter where you go or what you do if there is a way to break it, a firefighter will find the way...