Hanover Park Fire Chief Craig Haigh Presents at Symposium
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Chief Craig Haigh
Hanover Park, IL- Hanover Park Fire Chief Craig A. Haigh along with Dr. Denise Smith and Andrea Wilkinson of Skidmore College presented at the Fire Industry Education Resource Organizations annual protective equipment symposium. The symposium focused on the design and performance requirements of firefighter protective gear.
The presentation given was titled The Right Gear for the Job: Balancing Protection vs. Physiologic Strain and looked at Hanover Park’s new program of using a special hybrid protective gear for all non-structural fire responses. This new gear protects the firefighters but lessens the physical strain that is associated with the heavy thermal gear used to fight structural fires. This is important in that only about 5% of all emergency responses require use of the heavier more protective gear.
The fire service has significant interest in Hanover Park’s new program because of its science-based approach to reducing firefighter illnesses and injuries. The concept of using the new gear came about based on data collected during the year-long research project called SMARTER. All Hanover Park firefighters participated in the SMARTER research project that was funded by a grant from FEMA/Department of Homeland Security. It is hoped that the reduction in firefighter illness and injuries associated with heat stress will reduce overall costs to the Village.