In the fire service, we always had the opportunity to try new equipment, gear, tools, uniforms, turnout gear, etc. Anyone with the opportunity to try different and innovative offerings from different manufacturers should take advantage of it. It can make your job easier, safer, more cost-efficient.
The only way to keep up with trends and technology is to be "in the know" about what your particular industry is doing. There is no better way than to use what manufacturers or representatives have to offer in a field test.