Industry News 8/13

W. L. GORE & ASSOCIATES INC. has reported on new research that highlights the importance of moisture barriers in managing firefighter heat stress. Although firefighters need protection against extreme heat, the vast majority of calls do not involve this kind of challenge. Instead, managing heat stress is often the real challenge. Gore studied the effects of working in warm conditions and those with low-level radiant loads such as from the sun, asphalt highways, rooftops and even fireground sources, which often pose significant heat-stress challenges.

Allen Maples, product manager in Gore’s Technical Fabrics division, said, “The human body is extremely sensitive to seemingly small increases in core temperature, and these increases can potentially lead to impaired decision-making and heat exhaustion events. The ability for turnout layers to allow greater moisture vapor transmission for evaporative cooling to take place is key to preventing the rise in body core temperatures. Gore evaluated the performance of turnout gear in warmer and low-level radiant conditions, for example when exposed to the sun, and was able to link the heat loss ability of various turnout technologies to the performance in a garment and the impact on the wearer.”

For more information about the study, see


PIERCE MANUFACTURING and DETROIT DIESEL CORP. have announced a five-year extension to their original 2009 agreement involving the Detroit DD13 engine and Pierce fire apparatus. Through 2018, the Detroit DD13 engine remains available only on Pierce’s line of custom fire and emergency vehicles, including those built on the Dash CF, Quantum, Velocity and Arrow XT chassis.

The DD13 engine features Amplified Common Rail System (ACRS) and BlueTec emissions technology to improve performance and fuel economy. It satisfies 2014 Greenhouse Gas (GHG14) regulations.


R•O•M CORP. has hired Don Fishel as vice president of sales and marketing. Fishel has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and industry. Most recently, he was the senior director of sales and marketing strategy for Commercial Vehicle Group Inc.

“Don has a proven track record of driving change and growth. He understands the results we’re looking for and has a great vision of how we can take R•O•M to the next level,” CEO Jeff Hupke said. “His well-rounded background in sales, engineering and marketing are a great fit for ROM and will help us continue to drive year-over-year growth during difficult economic times.”


INVISTA, in response to the tragic wildfire near Yarnell, AZ, will make a cash donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to help support the families of the 19 firefighters who died while trying to contain the fire on June 30.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragedy,” said Bob Butler, vice president, INVISTA Performance Materials. “The fire department’s elite Granite Mountain Hotshots team gave the ultimate sacrifice, and they will not be forgotten.” In addition, to help the Prescott Fire Department rebuild, INVISTA will provide the department with 20 sets of the company’s TECGEN XTREME protective gear for wildland and technical rescue operations.

Also, INVISTA has acquired ASHBURN HILL CORP., associated intellectual property (including the TECGEN brands) and a manufacturing operation in Texas.

The acquisition includes two flame-resistant brands: TECGEN Xtreme, NFPA/UL-certified, lightweight apparel that repels moisture and designed for firefighters for wildland and technical rescue applications; and TECGEN Select clothing developed for manufacturing, transportation, mining, oil and gas and energy utility operations. The brands will fall under INVISTA’s existing Performance Materials business segment, which includes the CORDURA fabric brand.


TETRAKO LLC, the fire suppression subsidiary of EARTHCLEAN CORP., has announced that Fire X Protections of Amherstview, Ontario, and Al Aman Firefighting Materials Manufacturing of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, are the TetraKO water-enhancer distributors for Canada and the UAE, respectively.

“We are very excited to have these two fine companies join the TetraKO team as distributors of our game-changing water enhancer,” said Scott Bocklund, TetraKO president. “Fire X Protections is an aggressive and hands-on distributor that will help introduce TetraKO across Canada. Al Aman is a quality organization focused on firefighting and dedicated to introducing innovative products in the UAE.”

Also, Randy Wahl has joined TetraKO as sales manager, reporting to Bocklund. Prior to joining TetraKO, Wahl worked for 12 years at the Waterous Co.’s Fire Pumps Division, most recently as a regional sales manager. Wahl is retired from the Chanhassen Fire Department in Minnesota where he served in many positions from firefighter to assistant chief.


EZ LIFT RESCUE SYSTEMS INC. has named Stephen P. MacMillan, former chairman and CEO of Stryker, to it board of directors. In addition, he has become an investor in the company.

The EZ LIFT Rescue System is a patented, easy to implement, solution to the lift problem that allows first responders to lift patients from a safe position – just below the knees rather than from the danger zone below the knees and in front of their body that traditional backboards demand. The EZ LIFT Rescue System features a patented handle that retracts when not in use, as well as a patented line of accessory products, including an ergonomically correct head immobilizer, knee wedge and strapping systems. All of the accessory products are designed to be low-cost, disposable products that are used once for each transport.

“We are thrilled to have a professional of Steve’s caliber join our board of directors,” Dr. Robert Heck, cofounder and chairman, said. “His deep experience and industry knowledge will help ensure that EZ LIFT Rescue Systems gets the market traction and industry attention we need as we begin to grow the company, as well as guide our operations as we grow.”

MacMillan said, “It’s rare to find a product with such potential. EZ LIFT Rescue Systems belongs to a very small group of truly innovative ergonomic products that protect our first line responders. It will extend careers in an industry that is still experiencing endemic problems with back injuries, improve emergency healthcare delivery and protect patients, all while reducing operational costs.”


ZOLL MEDICAL CORP., a manufacturer of resuscitation devices and related software solutions, has entered into an agreement with REFLECTANCE MEDICAL INC. to develop and market a ruggedized version of the Mobile CareGuide sensor for detecting the onset of shock in patients during air and ground military and EMS patient transports as well as hospitalizations. Reflectance Medical’s CareGuide sensor continuously and noninvasively monitors tissue metabolism and can be used to determine when a patient has undetected internal bleeding and may be in danger of going into shock.

Rapid treatment of traumatic injuries and shock has been shown to help save lives and reduce complications. By incorporating these new clinical parameters, ZOLL’s patient monitor/defibrillators will provide more than just standard vital signs monitoring. Having early indicators of blood volume loss and impending circulatory failure in the ZOLL monitor/defibrillators will ensure rapid treatment is given to the patients who need it the most. The technology measures muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2), to determine the adequacy of tissue perfusion.