Radio solutions for HEROS helmet systems using the HEROS-titan as an example

There is no doubt that firefighting tasks are diverse and difficult to predict and plan in most cases. Communication among the emergency crews is therefore a key success factor. The radio is still the most common means of communication, since it is largely self-sufficient. To relieve your hands from having to operate a handheld radio device, radio systems integrated into the helmet enable flawless communication, for example when wearing respirator masks, and increase occupational safety under difficult operating conditions, such as noise or acute danger.

In principle, three things are required:

  • Handheld radio: is always the basis and starting point for the design of helmet radio systems.
  • PTT key (PTT = Push To Talk): there are various providers for this. It is important to check for compatibility with the handheld radio, in particular whether the radio signal is analog or digital. Each manufacturer provides corresponding lists specifying compatible handheld radio models.
  • Helmet radio systems: there are essentially two systems
    • Helmet radio system with airborne sound microphone:
      • Separate microphone and loud speaker, gooseneck microphone
      • Combined microphone and loudspeaker
    • Piezo microphone (fixed to the roof of the helmet)

 

A comparison of helmet radio systems

Separate microphone and loud speaker, gooseneck microphone:

Rosenbauer Funkgerätelösungen Feuerwwehrhelme

Advantage Disadvantage
The majority of gooseneck microphones can be fixed to or removed from the helmet in a matter of seconds via an adapter. This means that the unit is not attached to the helmet!
Furthermore, the flexible gooseneck ensures targeted voice capture, which means it can also be used with respirator masks.
Even though electronically suppressed, background and wind noise is still present

 

Combined microphone and loudspeaker:

As regards this type of helmet radio system, the loud speaker and microphone are integrated into one component, which is fastened to the helmet near the ear.

Funkgerätelösung Rosenbauer Feuerwehrhhelm

Advantage
Disadvantage
  • Quick assembly
  • Small space requirement
  • Does not get stuck
Due to the relatively large distance to the mouth, the majority of noise absorbed comes from ambient sounds and wind noise.

 

 

Contact microphone:

With contact microphones, the voice is recorded by means of vibrations caused when speaking, which are captured at the top of the helmet. The unit is positioned via an adapter or directly in the inner helmet´s installation position which is provided for this purpose (only with HEROS-titan).

Funkgerätelösung Rosenbauer Feuerwehrhhelm

Advantage
Disadvantage
  • Dirt-proof
  • Best suppression of ambient noise
  • Excellent voice quality when using heavy breathing protection
Is fixed to the helmet and can only be used for other purposes by appropriately removing/assembling (removal of inner helmet).

 

Conclusion

There are of course a variety of models and manufacturers for all three systems. Rosenbauer has therefore compiled a well selected range of products for you (Rosenbauer equipment catalog / page 34). This assortment is sure to include the right product for your application. Yet, given that helmet radio systems often cost far more than firefighting helmets, you need to be deliberate when making your purchase.

Here is a tip when selecting your helmet radio systems:

  • Determine whether the unit should be fixed to the helmet or whether it is to be exchangeable or transferable to another person.
  • Define the operational uses, for example, operational management, breathing protection, or even full body protection.
  • It is imperative that you clarify the compatibility with your radios in advance. If possible, we recommend purchasing the PTT key and helmet radio systems from the same manufacturer in order to avoid any compatibility problems.
  • Contact your Rosenbauer partner and ask for personal advice.
    That will save you time and will enable you to resolve many questions from the outset.