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Scientists have developed a vest which they claim can help fire-fighters stay cool during an emergency, by reducing heat stress and fluid loss.  A team at James Cook University has designed the Cool Me Vest that can help fire fighters keep their cool, reduces heat stress significantly and cuts down recovery times even in extreme heat conditions.

The CoolMe vest can be worn under a protective suit to allow emergency workers to keep cool on the job, or it can be applied afterwards, to speed up recovery.

“A fire fighter wearing a protective suit in a hot and humid environment can experience temperatures up to 50ºC and lose up to two litres of fluid in just 30 minutes. It can take up to two hours for that worker to recover and be ready for redeployment.

“We’ve been able to reduce that recovery period to 30 minutes, as well as significantly reducing fluid loss, core temperature and thermal discomfort.

“Each vest is a disposable, single-use item made of recyclable materials. It can keep workers cool for short periods of high exertion, without requiring access to refrigeration or electricity.

“It’s very easy to use in the field and will benefit fire fighters’ recovery between call-outs. Being disposable eliminates any hygiene or contamination problems,” said Dr Glen Deakin, a team member.

Via Times of India