MN8 offers products that "reduce disorientation, improve accountability and increase visibility." Firefighter's turnout gear and helmets always feature reflective material to help keep them safe. However, what happens in low light situations where there is little to no light to cause the reflection? What happens if a firefighter goes down in a pitch black environment?
MN8 offers products to solve these problems. Their products feature photoluminescent technology. Their products do not reflect light, but actually give off their own light. Their product line includes helmet bands, helmet tetrahedrons, epoxy coating kits, equipment bands and grip wrap, as well as apparel.
From the MN8 website:
"Our products will charge in just a few minutes from any light source and can be recharged indefinitely. As a result, there is no need for any external battery, electrical, or energy source other than light."
I have recently been in contact with the founder - Zachary Green. Zachary was kind enough to send 374 and I a helmet band and set of tets to review for him.
I was very excited to receive the products and see them first hand. As a fire wife, I very much appreciate anything that can help keep my firefighter safe and help him return home to us in one piece. 374 runs a lot of night calls - whether they are actual fires or vehicle accidents or setting up landing zones for EMS runs. I worry about the calls in the middle of the night. We live in a very rural area. Many times calls are out in the country with no street lights. Knowing he has these self illuminating products on his helmet easy the worry a bit.
The helmet band stretches tightly over and around the helmet. It fits very snugly. 374 had it on his helmet in seconds.
The helmet tetrahedrons applied just as easily. 374 removed his old tets, and wiped off the stops with some Goo-Gone. He applied the MN8 tets in just a few minutes. They went on smoothly and seem to have adhered very well. These tetrahedrons not only glow, but are reflective as well.
We are both very impressed with the quality and performance so much that we will be ordering more. 374 is very interested in the grip wrap. The uses for the wrap and epoxy coating is endless. These products could be used for a broad range of application, not just firefighting.
Below are two pictures of 374's helmet featuring the MN8 products. His helmet sits on a gear rack when not in use. There always some natural light to the fire bays at the station via windows in the bay doors. We took his helmet into the darkest place in the station - the mechanical room. The pictures were taken one after the other - one with the light on, and then immediately after, one with the light off. My camera is not the best, but you get the idea.
Great self illumination!
I would like to thank Zach for the opportunity to test his products. 374 and his fellow firefighters are very impressed! This technology opens many doors in firefighter safety. 374 can't wait to get his hands on more MN8 gear!
Please watch for an update post on these products, as well as more news from LBtT and MN8 in the near future!