WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington Fire Department (WFD) is trying out new helmets that allow for much better communication in the field.
WFD bought four of the new helmets, which don't look like traditional fire helmets, more like motorcycle helmets for a few firefighters to try out.
The main difference is that each helmet has speakers inside and a microphone; they also have built in lights on the sides of the helmet for much better visibility.
“It’s not the traditional style helmet that the US fire service is known for and quite honestly takes a great deal of pride in,” said Steve Mason, WFD Deputy Fire Chief. “They would tell you the communications is much better, the lighting is nice, but I don’t quite think everybody is sold on it yet...but certainly people are very curious.”
The biggest obstacle is the cost—they would need to upgrade their lapel mics (the part of the radio that attaches to the jacket).
All in all, each helmet would be about $1200, compared with approximately $320 they spend on their current helmets.