Rugged Laptops for Firefighters

As a firefighter, one has to be versatile and ready for anything to happen at any given time. The workplace is roaring flames and burning buildings sometimes, so it’s only expected that the workplace gear is adapted to this extreme environment. Laptops and internet connectivity are essentials to nearly every job now a days, and being a firefighter definitely is included in that. However, since the average workplace for a firefighter is much different than someone who works in a cubicle, this has to be taken into consideration when choosing the right laptop. Luckily for those who work with rough elements, there is a line of laptops that are made especially for this, called rugged laptops. Really, many of these laptops are the same laptops you’d choose for an engineering student, since laptops for college students go through all kinds of hell (as we all know!).

Here are the best rugged laptops for firefighters:

Getac B300
This particular laptop is built to be as tough as nails. It’s designed to have hazardous workplaces in mind as the laptop can be used in areas with hazardous particles and gasses. It’s a 13 inch laptop, which makes it very versatile. There is no fear that the laptop will explode or become defected, and the magnesium alloy case keeps it waterproof safe, too. The screen has the capability to lie down almost completely flat, and can be tossed around a bit without fear of breaking. Besides the physical feature, the laptop itself doesn’t hold back either with feature of 2 or up to 8 gigabytes of RAM.

Lenovo ThinkPad x131e
With a reinforced design with stainless steel hinges, it’s hard to ignore this well-engineered laptop. While it’s a bit heavier than the average laptop, it weighs a little shy of 4 pounds; it makes up for the weight in awesome features. The HDD drive and top cover are padded with rubber, so any bump or drop will seem like nothing as this electronic is built to last! It’s particularly useful for firemen due to their ability to work through extreme high temperatures.

Panasonic Toughbook 31
This laptop can handle the toughest jobs and can withstand any shock, slam or drops you can throw at it. It’s great for environments that have high winds and high temperature, perfect for any firefighter! This laptop meets the highest standards for the military. It also comes with a Intel Core i5 processor, so high end graphics aren’t a problem.

Dell Latitude XFR
This Dell has the backup of the United States Department of Defense. It can withstand pressurized water for when water from a fire hose gets close to the laptop. It has an intense armor protection that makes it actually lighter than most laptops on the list. The core and IT system is not bad, and comes with sturdy data protection and webcam.

General Dynamics GD8000
Never be unconnected on the job as this laptop comes with a serial port, three USB ports and a port for external video. It goes even further with 3G, Bluetooth and GPS. The laptop comes with strong security measures so important work files don’t land in the wrong hands or become lost somehow. And like any other rugged laptop, this one will not disappoint on the hot field of a firefighter.

On The Mend

Firefighter uniforms stay in shape with a little extra sewing attention

Courtesy Tymtoi

It’s pretty much a given that firefighters make the best cooks. Some of these men and women really know their way around a kitchen and how to feed hungry coworkers. But could they manage figuring out how to operate the best sewing machine or hand-sew a hem?


Firefighters are in a job where maintaining equipment is critical to success. How many hours are dedicated to ensuring the truck runs without issues or the hoses stay in top condition? As much as those items are essential to battling fires, so are your uniforms and protective clothing. Are you prepared to make sure they are in proper condition? If you’re brave enough to tackle roaring flames, then you should be gutsy enough to try your hand at sewing.


First, some basics: Obviously a sewing machine will allow you to do more heavy-duty stitching, and might be required for extensive repairs. However, there are many mending activities that can be accomplished by hand with a needle and thread. When hand sewing, make sure to knot the thread; after guiding the thread through the needle’s eye, even up both ends then, with them together, form a circle, slip the ends through and pull tight. If the material is thick, then repeat this step a few times to have a large enough knot.


Replacing a button

Hold the button in place while pushing the needle from the backside of the material through one of the buttonholes. Cross over the button to another hole and push the needle down through. Do this as many times as needed with each set of buttonholes until the button is tightly secured. When finished, slip the needle under some of the stitches you created on the backside of the material, pull through almost all the way, then slip the needle through the loop that’s created. This will knot the thread and keep everything in place.


If the fabric under the button is ripped, fix this before fixing the button. The easiest way is to use an iron-on patch and follow directions on the package.


Fixing a fallen hem

The secret to repairing a pant leg hem is to first pin the hem in place. Sew stitches about 1 cm apart and keep them loose to prevent puckering. The stitch should be hardly visible on the outside of the pants. For a no-stitch quick fix, try a hemming web that will fuse the hem in place (follow package instructions).


Securing a seam

A busted seam really is pretty simple to repair. Again, pin it in place before taking a needle and thread to it. However, for your repair to last, start sewing slightly before the tear, going over or reinforcing the still-intact seam. The same applies for the other end of the tear.


Knowing how to fix minor clothing mishaps doesn’t require the experienced hand of a professional seamstress. With a little know-how and a willingness to put in the effort, you can keep your work clothes in great shape.