Dealing with Dehydration Risk While on Patrol
When emergency situations require rapid response teams to insert themselves into harm’s way, the last thing they are thinking about is having a water bottle handy. In times of crisis, law enforcement moves with swift determination fully aware they are putting themselves at risk to protect others and restore order. These brave men and women strap on riot gear as quickly as is humanly possible, knowing every second could cost someone their life.
But what police departments, agencies, and even military units may not realize is that same protective gear could be contributing to dehydration. Outdated, last-century protective gear was not necessarily designed with health considerations in mind. The idea was that riot suits and other protective equipment would be used for brief periods of civil unrest. Police gear designers just 20 years ago probably couldn’t imagine that full or partial riot gear would possibly need to be worn during every patrol officer’s shift.
Even a casual review of the daily headlines demonstrates violence can escalate at a moment’s notice. Mass shootings, stand-offs, and violent street gangs give law enforcement zero time to prepare. Fortunately, Haven Gear designs and manufactures adaptable riot gear and suits that deliver hydration for on-patrol officers to keep their bodies functioning on the longest shifts.
How Haven Gear Keeps Patrol Officers From Becoming Dehydrated
Haven Gear’s frontlines Patrol riot suit has been designed with the needs of officers keeping a watchful eye for offenders in our communities. Peace officers who conduct 8-hour shifts in squad cars have unique challenges. Among these are mobility, comfort, protection from unexpected bodily harm, and physical well-being. The Haven Gear Patrol suit delivers all of these. But for the purpose of placing a laser focus on hydration, this is how Haven Gear equipment delivers next-generation benefits.
- Integrated Hydration: The Patrol suit, like all levels of Haven Gear, provides fully accessible hydration by outfitting the suit with a sturdy water bladder. The bladder is attached to the back panel, and drinkable water is delivered to patrol officers via a hose with a bite valve to reduce leaking. Regardless of the temperature or heated situation, water is always available.
- Integrated Cooling: When heightened situations present themselves, officers can deftly upgrade Haven Gear riots suits to meet emerging challenges. The line of protective suits is created in a way that allows an officer to add gear or accessories such as cooling packs. Officers can carry frozen cooling packs on patrol that can be slipped in full riot gear and enjoy reduced temperatures inside the suit for up to four hours. If the crisis continues, they can be swapped out for freshly frozen packs in seconds.
It’s common knowledge that older protective products did not emphasize potential health risks in their designs. The focus, materials, technology, and culture of violence were vastly different from the dangers patrol officers face today.
Law Enforcement Faces Increased Dehydration Risks on Patrol
It may have been difficult for protective equipment makers to consider during the 20th Century that military police officers would be stationed in places where temperatures routinely exceed 110 degrees. But the U.S. military has been forced to ensure the peace in the Middle East where 100 degrees is common, and peak temperatures can top 125 degrees. No matter how hot it gets, military police do their job. Now imagine not having a riot suit with state-of-the-art integrated hydration and cooling systems. Intense dehydration can quickly bring about the following negative health issues.
- Impact Vital Brain Function
- Cause Migraine Headaches
- Cause Rapid or Erratic Heartbeats
- Cause Nausea, Fatigue, and Loss of Consciousness
- Cause A Fatal Heat Stroke
In the U. S., patrol officers are wise to wear the maximum protective gear possible because street gangs, angry mobs, and standoffs can result in blunt force trauma, stab wounds, and even firebombs being hurled at officers working to restore the peace.
Although high temperatures can inherently place law enforcement at risk of dehydration, emergency situations also heighten the amount of energy expelled when making a rapid response. On top of the dangerous heat, body temperatures naturally rise during crisis response. That means patrol officers may be at double the risk of civilians.