The HEROS-xtreme fire helmet, worn by firefighters all over the world, was developed with Rosenbauer over two intensive years to meet the toughest of industry standards.

The HEROS-xtreme is an entirely new adjustable helmet system that is superior to conventional products in terms of safety, function, comfort and design. 

An explosion-proof helmet lamp, a thermal imaging camera, a radiotelephone, dual visors, breathing masks, and telemetry for the transmission of physiological data are integrated into the helmet, so it is no longer necessary to carry this technology separately.

Thanks to new materials it was possible to reduce the weight of the shell by thirty per cent, with resilience and heat resistance being improved at the same time.

The helmet is easily adjustable and well ventilated.

Protective features are in accordance with the latest industrial standards. The form language implies lightness, dynamism and robustness and corresponds to the heroic image of firefighters.

“The helmet shell is injection moulded in a unique glass-reinforced composite material,” says Stefan Degn, design director at formquadrat. “All the other helmets are constructed using laminated glass fibre. This totally new mouldable material was developed in cooperation with Bayer AG. The material is also easier to recycle.”

“We worked hard to perfect the ergonomics of the helmet and to combine this with weight reduction, optimal functionality and a unique and emotive style and appearance.

“The helmet had to protect the health of the firefighters, and ultimately their life. So we had to ensure firefighters could trust its functionality.

“It was very important for us, as a creative team, to convey a strong firefighter image, so the helmet was styled to make the wearer look very impressive, a hero who beats the flames. The higher flange detail in the middle of the helmet makes the wearer look bigger and taller; the sharp edges show strength, firmness and courage.

“We wanted firefighters to feel proud to wear the helmet, and it was important to make the helmet feel like a part of the body.”

Formquadrat have also designed revolutionary firefighting boots for Rosenbauer, following the same strict standards, to protect against heat, cold, flames, sparks and sharp objects.

“The boot design had to fit in with the philosophy of the Rosenbauer firefighter image,” says Degn. “Firefighting is pure adrenalin and the equipment had to express this feel. Firefighters are heroes, almost like daredevils. They have to risk their lives to save lives and assets. Not everybody is able to do this job or is even ready to.”

“There were significant design elements such as lines and colours that we had to use in the styling. The seams were designed to emphasise the parts and features of the boots.

“The number-one priority was to minimise the time taken to put the boots on and take them off, so we implemented the BOA lacing system to close and open them. The lacing system is made from stainless-steel cord and you only have to scroll the wheel in the front a small way to open and close the boot very quickly.

"It’s the first time this technology has been used in a firefighter boot. A Sympatex membrane and hydrophobic leather make the boots waterproof. The sole has multiple layers with air cushioning and a steel insert. The toe has the mandatory steel cap.”

The boot also adapts to an individual foot shape.

“About ten different prototypes were created and then tested in extreme conditions over 200 degrees Celsius,” says Degn. “Optimal ergonomic design was paramount.”

“The design and development of the boot was a continuous and extremely intensive process that ran over two years. Aspects of the project were very tough, as the end product had to adhere to stringent technical requirements while dovetailing with the overall design philosophy.”  

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Looking at you

Looking at you

Seeing Machines is an award winning company with a focus on vision based machine interfaces. Based in Canberra, the company is developing technology that enables a computer to monitor fatigue and provide appropriate responses.

Work
Beauty before disaster

Beauty before disaster

A Czech design team, Michal Fronek and Jan Nemecek from Designerske Studio in Prague, recently won an ‘Excellent Product of the Year Award’ for their tableware and vase designs for glassware manufacturer Kavalier, in the Czech Republic.

Rest
Cataloguing life

Cataloguing life

When browsing through interiors magazines, one is certain to find iconic pieces. It could be the Eames Lounger, the Jean Prouvé Standard chair or the über-pop George Nelson desk or sofa – all very safe bets in terms of styling.

Rest, Share
Sci-fi junky

Sci-fi junky

Sci-fi structures. Jet-propelled cars. Robots. Most designers spent their teenage years doodling one if not all three of these classic design subjects. As did Jay Shuster, art director at Pixar Animation Studios. Only he has also made it his career.

Play, Share