By Fay Schlesinger
It looks like something out of Star Wars - but inside this futuristic helmet is a fireman.
Brigades across the country are buying the headgear which can stand heat of more than 1,000C, without the temperature inside going above 35C.
And in technology reminiscent of cartoon character Inspector Gadget, firemen can use a lever at the side of the helmet to pull down a gold-plated visor for extra protection.
Deja vu? A man models the new Gallet F1-SF firemen's helmet (L), and a Star Wars stormtrooper (R)
Torches are clipped to either side of the helmet, and speakers, microphones and cameras can be attached to allow firemen to stay in touch.
The £130 helmets are made in France by safety equipment experts MSA.
The new headgear provides protection all the way around a fireman's head, face and neck.
The reinforced eye screen is designed to protect against flying objects, radiating heat and 'flash back' caused by explosions.
Padded chin straps, vented netting and a combination of soft and rigid foam make the helmets more comfortable than ever before.
A side view of the Gallet F1-SF fireman's helmet. The F1 has been used by the Paris Fire Brigade since August 1985
Bosses at Suffolk Fire and Rescue are the latest to buy the Gallet F1-SF helmets in Britain. This month they bought 850 - one for every fireman in the Suffolk brigade. Each requires an individual fitting.
Tradition: A firefighter models the well-known yellow helmet
Assistant chief fire officer Gary Phillips said: 'We did expect some comments from members of the public, especially when attending road traffic accidents because they resemble motorcycle helmets.
'But the tinted visors tend to be used for major fires and when someone is being rescued from a fire they don't tend to notice or care how futuristic their rescuer looks.
'Our firefighters are over the moon about the helmets. They're comfortable and safer than ever before, with full cranial protection. They're also better fitting and less likely to come off if a firefighter falls over.'
Ordinary firemen's helmets are currently made from heat resistant plastics.
Metal helmets were phased out early last century because of the danger of electrocution presented by collapsing electric cables.