Q: Is there a single headlamp that fits all needs?
A: No. If there is one item in the rescue world that exceeds all others in sheer numbers of makes, models, and manufactures it might very well be headlamps. A common thread with all rescue equipment, including headlamps is the influence of specific work environments. The personal lighting needs for underground construction versus cave rescue versus IDLH environments versus wilderness rescue and so on is radically different.
FEMA’s Approved Equipment List typically refers back to NFPA codes, i.e. NFPA 1951 for approved rescue helmets and NFPA 70, National Electric Code for lighting recommendations.
Maybe a good starting point would be to reference applicable regulations and standards. Here are a couple of links to reference for starters.
- Article 500 of the National Electrical Code (NEC), NFPA 70
- "NFPA 70, National Electric Code". National Fire Protection Association
- 1910.307 Hazardous Locations
Q: Are permanently helmet mounted headlamps preferred to removable ones?
A: This is a user’s preference answer to this question. Headlamps typically have a much shorter life span than helmets and it can be problematic when trying to replace a head lamp that is permanently mounted to the helmet.