Best garments for firefighters attending high volume pumping incidents

They aren’t one of the most common forms of shout but still need specialist support from firefighting brigades, so what are the best garments for firefighters attending high volume pumping (HVP) incidents?

What kind of conditions do firefighters face at high volume pumping incidents?

HVPs are more usually used during flooding incidents – whether caused by rivers overtopping their banks or surface water flooding when large volumes of rain mean road-side drains can’t cope.

This usually results in firefighters spending long hours wading around in many inches of water while operating pumps, so waterproof rubber boots are a must.

It may still be raining, so kit needs to provide suitable protection from the elements while allowing firefighters to not get too hot or too cold.

High volume pumps can also be deployed when a significant amount of water needs moving very quickly. HVPs were used at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire in 2019 after a reservoir dam wall threatened to collapse. Sections of the spillway were washed away during heavy rain, leading to a major incident being declared and to the evacuation of 1,500 residents.

During the incident 150 firefighters were based on scene, using HVPs that removed 70,000 litres of water a minute from the reservoir as emergency services battled to reduce the water levels and with them the threat of a total collapse.

What is the best kit for firefighters to wear at high volume pumping incidents?

Clearly firefighters don’t need protection from heat or flames during HVP operations, so the best kind of kit will be single-layer, waterproof and lightweight so they can easily move around.

Standard turn-out gear is also well-insulated, and can get heavy and soggy if exposed to the relentless rain that goes hand-in-hand with flooding incidents. It’s important that HVP kit is lightweight due to the physical nature of the job – manning pumps, unrolling kilometres of hoses and joining them all together, then packing everything away when the job is done.

Crews need to be identifiable as firefighters and being able to be seen is still important, so both the overall look, branding and reflective elements need to be consistent with recognised state brigade standards.

Boots in standard turn-out kit are sometimes described as waterproof, but they are designed to resist the splashes created when tackling fires with hoses, rather than paddling around in many inches of flood water. Rubber boots are more suitable for HVP incidents as firefighters can be certain they’ll have dry feet by the end of the shift.

FlamePro’s specialist high volume pumping garments

Our range of specialist HVP garments is the best option when thinking about kit for these distinctive incidents.

Our new generation HVP salopettes, jacket and coverall are being launched in October 2020. Made from technical fabric with a breathable membrane, our HVP garments give you the best combination of protection from the elements while being lightweight to wear. And they all come with the usual range of thoughtful pockets, loops and stowage options that FlamePro is known for.

Combine our HVP waterproof coverall with fully waterproof Skellerup Firefighting Boots so your crews don’t end up complaining of having soggy feet. Add a Tytan helmet and gloves to ensure that your firefighters have all the protection they need.

For advice about the best garments for firefighters attending high volume pumping incidents give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 1332 341030.

 

There we have it. Lots to think about, I’m sure. We’re here to help. Please, if you have any questions about how you can implement this new standard into the daily running of the fire service, drop us a line. We’ll be working hard to make it as easy as possible for you to begin working to this standard.




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