Most of today’s duty belt designs solve too few problems related to work effectiveness, pain relief and comfort for prolonged wear. But it’s not entirely the fault of duty belt designers and manufacturers. On one hand, the accessories that officers are asked to carry are getting heavier than they used to be. Oh the other, the manufacturer’s customers and the manufacturer’s end-users are not always the same. Granted that officers may be the end-users and decision-influencers, but they’re not always the final decision-makers.
Law enforcement management must embrace the responsibility, along with the officer, in remedying to the pain caused by poorly designed and engineered duty belts. Several of the most commonly cited pain points attributable to duty belt and its accessories can be fully or largely remedied with Duckbill gear.
Up until now, the officers credo has been: functionality always trumps comfort. Up until now, duty belt induced pain has been treated as the symptoms appear, instead of preventing them from appearing in the first place. This is about to change with the revolutionized Duckbill solution!
Duckbill’s focus on a more comfortable duty belt has resulted in a belt that meets or exceeds all professional appearance standards, and one that also makes a more comfortable, and more stable operations platform than any other in a number of ways.
Duckbill duty belts eliminate unnecessary rigidity.
The Duckbill duty belt is half the thickness of conventional duty belts and eliminates the thick plastic stiffener insert. It is also manufactured using Nytek, which is a synthetic material that is lighterweight, more flexible yet stronger and more durable than leather.
In addition to the material used, unnecessary rigidity is designed-out of our system by utilizing our unique Max-Con™ technology. The 360°, maximum connectivity between inner “anchor” belt and outer “patrol” belt is the key innovation to a more stable and comfortable platform. Plus, our clamshell docking literally “locks” all the modules on the belt and absolutely WILL NOT slide or creep unless the user repositions them.
The outcome is a platform that’s significantly more flexible in both the vertical and circumferential dimensions which eliminates the pain caused by impingement (belt on bone, belt on lumbar and sacral nerve bundles, belt on major veins and arteries) and significantly increases the comfort of daily use.
Duckbill duty belts eliminate the need for keepers.
Due to our Max-Con™ technology, the Duckbill duty platform DOES NOT require keepers.
This frees up at least 3″- 6″ of useable space on the belt. And with the ability to precisely position our modules, more space is available for modules to be placed in the optimum and most comfortable position by the user.
Because our technology results in the elimination of keepers, the compelling need to over-tighten the duty belt as a way of stabalizing it is gone. And by eliminating over-tightened belts, you can eliminate the circulatory and nerve ailments associated with that need.
Law enforcement professionals in a well-being shape and who aren’t in constant pain or chronically fatigued will, not only perform their duties more efficiently and with more energy, but will spend less time on sick-leave and sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms, thus decreasing health care costs, both for the individual and for management.
Kinetic linking is minimized.
Duckbill’s unique platform incorporating our Max-Con™ technology greatly reduces the adverse affects of kinetic linking. In the case of duty belts when unchecked, kinetic linking can lead to muscular overcompensation and abdominal strain leading to pelvic rotation and the hyperextension of the spine causing cumulative pain and discomfort.
What is Kinetic linking?
Segments (in our case, duty belt accessory modules) do not exist in isolation. By understanding their relationship to each other we’ve maximized the effectiveness, the productivity and the comfort of day-to-day work related activities for law enforcement professioals. An important development in biomechanics research is the concept of kinetic linking (also known as the kinetic chain). Kinetic linking is the combination of two principals:
Acceleration of distal segments by a proximal segment. In simpler terms, the movement of one segment tends to also move adjacent segments.
Conservation of momentum. Momentum is always conserved in physics. In a given system, inefficiency will result in momentum ‘leaking’ away to outside the system with a certain proportion being maintained. So when a segment is slowed, its momentum is passed on. This can either be heavily absorbed by the main segment or transferred to another segment of comparable or smaller size.
What does this have to do with today’s duty belt?
It is not unusual for a typical, fully equipped and loaded duty belt to weigh between 10 and 18 pounds – or more. The average load in North America weighs 12.8 pounds. Until now, duty belt modules have been designed to slide onto and around the duty belt leaving all the modules free to shift or “creep” when changing position from sitting to standing or while running.
Let’s apply the acceleration principal from above: for example, cuffs inside their module move, thereby moving the module, which, because it is free to slide on the duty belt, move along that belt. With the belt moving, other modules move. As more modules and weight is shifting along the duty belt, the body has to constantly make incremental muscle adjustments to compensate for all of the movement. Now apply the momentum principal to not just one accessory in one module, but multiple accessories in multiple modules and the movement and adjustments to muscle, joint, and cartilage that the body makes are exponentially increased.
What does this mean?
All this movement may be minute, but the prolonged and cumulative instances of uninterrupted muscular-skeletal trauma, where little time is allotted for recovery (less than 16 hours), results in the body fighting back by signaling pain and discomfort.
This is the primary reasons that 67% of law enforcement professionals admit to muscular, skeletal, nerve or circulatory pain.
Running without holding your belt.
Because there is no module movement or creep associated with the Duckbill platform, (because all the accessories are completely secured) when running is necessary, it can be done without the need to hold onto the belt to prevent any modules from moving around.
Muscle memory achieved.
Since our modules will not shift or change position on the duty belt, true muscle memory can be achieved. You can be assured that once an accessory is put into the position desired, it will stay in the same place each and every time one reaches for it – or until it is repositioned by the user.
Why is muscle memory important?
Without it, an officer needs to work that much harder to find the exact location of an accessory on their belt. As trivial as it may sound, too often a situation dictates that the quick retrieval of an item (weapon, cuffs, spray) is necessary – and split seconds can make a critical difference. Ultimately, what working in pain and dealing with the hassle of readjustment translates to is on-the-job dissatisfaction and low morale. And that can’t be good.
Lower back pain. Hip pain or bruising. Thigh pain. Leg and thigh numbness. Shoulder pain. Neck pain.
During multiple pilot programs at departments throughout North America, our research revealed the above complaints. The complaints were overwhelming and virtually the same for each participant. Many also complained that the weight carried on their current duty belt was constantly shifting and wasn’t being supported.
The source of the complaints.
Impingement on the nervous system and circulatory system and stress to the muscular-skeletal system is where the source to most of the pain associated with today’s duty belts start. The pain experienced is caused by many things from poor posture, to improperly allocated and unbalanced module and accessory weight.
The stability of the Duckbill platform.
Our Max-Con™ technology, with its unique interlocking of anchor belt, duty belt and accessory modules, promote maximum and stable retention between all three elements of the platform. Because of this stability and retention, module shift and creep is completely eliminated, and kinetic linking is substantially reduced.
The flexibility of the Duckbill platform.
Because our platform is more pliable, a Duckbill duty belt adapts to the body and does not impose uncomfortable or injurious pressure on nerves, arteries, veins or bones.
OSHA claims reduced.
In addition to the physical well-being of law enforcement professionals increasing, extended paid time-off, sick days, and the potential for on-the-job OSHA claims will be decreased when a Duckbill strategy is utilized.
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