Firefighters test 'cooling gloves' in Phoenix
For firefighters in Phoenix, keeping cool is constantly a battle – especially on days like Friday when temperatures are expected to be close to 120 degrees. So, the department is always trying new methods. Its latest? Something called a “cooling glove.”
Imagine you’re emerging from a fire with temperatures over 2,000 degrees. You’ve got protective gear, but it doesn’t breathe, so you’re dripping with sweat. How do you keep going through the rest of your shift?
The Phoenix Fire Department thinks it might have an answer in CoreCrontrol. It sort of looks like a hand-held vacuum cleaner with an open end fitted with rubber that envelops the user’s hand. Thanks to a chilled pad under the hand, someone’s entire body can be cooled down in a matter of minutes.
Eight are now on loan to the department. Firefighter Luke Anderson says they’re practical for his line of work.
“It’s designed just to go after core heat only, pulls it directly through the palm of our hands, so that we don’t have to take off our equipment,” he said. “We don’t have to rely on the environment to cool us down.”
Anderson says he’s heard positive feedback from fellow firefighters, but he’s unsure whether the department will adopt the gloves. He stresses if it does, other departments will probably follow.
In Anderson’s words, the Phoenix Fire Department has often been a “test case” for many departments across the country.