Firefighting kit – is it time to end one-type-fits-all?
We know that every day as a firefighter is not the same. Every call-out is different – from road traffic collisions to industrial fires, the demands of the job change by the hour. You might not be rescuing cats from up trees, but we know that running into burning buildings isn’t what you spend most of your time doing either.
So if every shout is different. If the demands placed on you whenever you turn out to a job aren’t the same. Why do you put on the same kit each time?
From our research with firefighters, we know that the diversity of demands on your time has increased. The diversity of kit needs to keep pace with those changes.
A range of risks
Firefighters’ turn out kit protects you from a wide range of risks linked to tackling structural fires. It also provides protection from a range of potential contaminants you’ll encounter in smoke and fire water.
But do you always need that level of protection?
Wildland fires are becoming more regular. But they demand a different kind of firefighting; a long game. It’s unlikely you can turn up with a few pumps, stay a couple of hours and have totally beaten a wildland fire.
You walk for miles, across uneven terrain, away from the fire tenders and central stores of kit. The heat can be intense in a different way to the heat inside a burning building, and you’re in amongst it, often in the dark.
To perform at your best, you’ll need kit to work with you. Light to wear, but with protection from the heat and the thorns that also appear out to get you. And you’ll need to be easily seen from a distance.
RTCs demand you can easily operate equipment to free people from vehicles while managing potential risks of fire and explosion from damaged engines. Other rescue situations might involve no risk of fire at all.
Take floods. Another increasing risk as our climate experiences more extremes of weather. Firefighters have a crucial role to play in rescuing people and are often called on to pump away water to protect critical assets. It’s likely to be cold, wet, and the literal opposite of a call-out involving fire.
Modern challenges, modern kit
The protective clothing available to firefighters needs to meet the demands of the job. And that’s not a one-type-fits-all kind of situation.
You should have serious protection from heat and flame when it’s needed the most. But when it isn’t, what you wear still needs to help you do the job.
Investing in a diversity of kit to meet the variety of call-outs is what modern brigades are starting to do. Wearing the right kit for the job makes firefighters’ lives easier. It makes sense to match protection to risks, rather than always wearing one set of turn-out gear which could be over-specced and over-used, leading to higher maintenance and replacement costs in the long-run.
FlamePro’s team of experts has developed a range of firefighter protective gear for the different scenarios you face. Take a look at our new wildland and rescue ranges, or check out Valliant, the cutting-edge structural suit taking the market by storm.
To discuss your requirements and learn more about the range, give one of our friendly team a call on +44 (0) 1332 341030.