How the MSA Cairns® XF1 Helps to Support Firefighters’ Health and Safety

Firefighters who have switched to the new, innovative MSA Cairns® XF1 Fire Helmet have shared positive feedback about their experience with its benefits in helping to promote their health and safety agenda. Among the benefits they cite are comfort, balance, integrated accessories, and both protection on the fireground and rescue operations.

Personalized Fit

The MSA Cairns XF1 Fire Helmet’s three-position ratchet adjustment enables an individualized/customizable fit. Robust, yellow components designate helmet interaction points. The front headband angle adjusts to help provide an accurate fit when wearing a hood or a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) facepiece. The pivoting, three-point chinstrap automatically aligns to the appropriate wearing angle whether the helmet is worn with or without a facepiece.

Assistant Chief Sean Johnson of the Stoney Point Fire Department in Fayetteville, North Carolina, one of the first departments in the United States to switch the entire department to the Cairns XF1, reports, “I can’t believe how well-balanced it is.”

Accessory Options

The integrated secondary eye visor, the lighting system, and the communication system decrease the risk of snag hazards. All systems are integrated seamlessly into the design, retaining the helmet’s sleek profile. “The shield for extrication…that’s actually very beneficial. And it just feels like it fits on the helmet better versus with the old traditional…that one [the shield] actually feels like it’s more secure with the MSA masks that we have,” P. Nuttle, Stoney Point Firefighter.

Eye Visor. It is compliant with ANSI/ISEA Z87.1:2015 as an impact protector – comparable to the safety eyewear typically worn by firefighters for nonstructural fire responses such as motor vehicle accidents. The patented pivot adjustment system allows the visor to articulate to and away from the face, facilitating gap-free protection, even when wearing corrective lenses. It provides a wide field of view in all directions. Addition of the ocular visor does not affect compliance with NFPA 1971 or NFPA 1951.

Light Assembly. This compact light accessory is housed inside the helmet, reducing its exposure to heat, flames, and impact. The strategic placement of LED lights on either side of the helmet improves visibility in dark conditions without detracting from others’ vision.

Communication Kit. The integrated communication kit stays out of the way when not in use. The flexible, noise-canceling Electret boom microphone stows away and can easily be deployed for on-scene communications. It extends to a length of more than 3 in. (76 mm), and it can be used with or without an SCBA facepiece. Moreover, you can operate the large push-to-talk module while wearing fire- or rescue-style gloves.

The internally mounted headset snaps easily inside the helmet, providing incoming communication directly to the ear. It can be installed without tools and does not affect the helmet’s fit on the head or affect compliance with NFPA 1971 and NFPA 1951.

There is an option for one or two integrated speakers. The fire-retardant cable downlead offers a NEXUS (7.1 mm jack, four-pole) connecting plug. The headset, which is ATEX (Zone 1, IP56) rated, adds a minimal weight of 3.5 oz. (99 g) for one speaker or 4.4 oz. (124 g) for two speakers.

Facilitates Cleaning to Help Protect Health

The construction of the helmet helps protect against toxic substances on the fireground. The soft goods components are removable, washable, and replaceable. They can be quickly disassembled, without tools, for care and maintenance in accordance with NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, facilitating compliance with cancer-prevention strategies and cancer awareness programs such as that of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN). The soft goods, including the chinstraps, when washed according to instructions provided, withstood 52 wash cycles in the wash cycle testing conducted at MSA.*

Customized Look

There is more: In addition to these health and safety benefits, the XF1 offers options that enable you to customize your department’s identity. It is available in four colors – black, white, yellow, and red – and two finishes – matte and glossy. You can choose front plates from among nine colors and in black preprinted or custom-printed options, including those for ranks from firefighter all the way to Fire Chief. Customized front plates are also available to add the fire department logo or other graphics to create a truly unique fire helmet.

Learn more about the MSA Cairns® XF1 and hear more from Stoney Point Fire Department at

*When washed according to instructions provided.


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