Boots - Expert Commentary

Firefighter Uniform Adapts To Cancer Risk, Active Shooter Threat
Firefighter Uniform Adapts To Cancer Risk, Active Shooter Threat

More than an outfit. More thought than one leg at a time. Putting on the uniform is not just an ordinary daily task, but a habitual part of preparing for the unexpected. Yes, a firefighter’s uniform is more than an outfit. Think about who is wearing it and the risks they are exposed to on a daily basis. The firefighter comes from a long line of heroes, a brotherhood and sisterhood, with traditions to uphold and a reputation to maintain. Their uniform is no different. Its historical navy-blue threads. Classic, professional appearance. Tactical features. Technology-driven fabric. Over time, the uniform’s engineering has needed to adapt with new designs and react to worsened exposures and more dangerous rescue missions. The 21st Century firefighter’s uniform is unique and specific to the job with current trends fixating on the best user experience while future plans focus on preventative and safety measures due to increased societal and architectural risks. Comfortable firefighter uniform So, what does the 21st Century firefighter want? Comfort. Beyond Personal Protective Equipment, it is an overwhelming plea for a more comfortable uniform to wear. This includes garments that are easy “wash and wear” materials that do not require additional ironing. Firefighters do not want to lose the professional appearance or tactical functionality of the uniform The trend calls for lightweight, breathable, cool-weather wear that is less restrictive and offers more give and more stretch so firefighters can perform their job responsibilities more efficiently. However, they do not want to lose the professional appearance or tactical functionality of the uniform. “We need something that looks presentable every time,” said Chief Robert Burdette of Grand Blanc Fire Department, Michigan. Additionally, more firefighters are also starting to wear polo shirts or mesh T-shirts under their Turnout gear, for a lighter weight, more breathable option from the traditional uniform shirt. The trend calls for lightweight, breathable, cool-weather wear that is less restrictive Risk of cancer Unfortunately, comfort is not the only concern firefighters have when it comes to uniforms, or their safety in general. As risky and demanding of a profession the fire service can be, the fires have proven not to be the most hazardous or life threatening. According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, “Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today.” A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that firefighters have a 9% increased chance of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% increased chance to die from cancer compared to the general United States population. Chief Dennis Jenkerson of the St. Louis Fire Department in Missouri is one of many chiefs actively fighting these statistics. Responsible for 32 firehouses, Jenkerson has witnessed the reality of this threat with the loss of four of his own and understands the validity of the situation. For the last 18 months, the St. Louis Fire Department has made headway implementing a drastic culture change by evaluating everything from equipment, apparel, lifestyle and more.  Cancer affecting firefighters “It is so prevalent that everything we do anymore has to do with some emphasis on protecting firefighters from getting cancer,” said Chief Mike Ramm of Sylvania Township Fire Department, Ohio. “Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today” According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the cancers that have mostly affected firefighters are respiratory (lung, mesothelioma), gastrointestinal (oral cavity, esophageal, large intestine) and kidney. “Testicular cancer is through the roof,” added Jenkerson, who has pushed his firefighters to get tested for cancers earlier than normally necessary. He also explained that the imagery of a firefighter drinking from a fire hydrant can no longer happen. He emphasized the importance of cleaning up instantly after every fire. Think of the simple act of removing grimy gloves after a call – at least one hand has been exposed to the cancerous contaminants if it was accidentally used to take off the other glove. If that unwashed, contaminated hand touches food that goes into the mouth of the firefighter, he/she is essentially eating what may cause esophageal, oral cavity or gastric cancers. Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today According to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) via the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, cancer caused 61% of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from January 1, 2002 to March 31, 2017. Additionally, 70% of the line-of-duty deaths for career firefighters were because of cancer in 2016. Unfortunately, this hazard is not going away any time soon. The new building materials and new house furnishings have become the culprit for this major concern. These materials are man-made and are not of natural resources. When burned, they create deadly carcinogens that the firefighters are getting exposed to firsthand. Immediate decontamination process Jenkerson’s implementation of a culture change includes an immediate decontamination process following a fire, which involves getting hosed with water, cleansing wipes for all soft tissue areas of the body and an immediate shower back at the station. “Any place you can get a five degree rise in skin temperature, the absorption level goes up 10 times,” Jenkerson warned. His firefighters are instructed to remove their bunker gear, uniform, helmet and all other equipment right away that get immediately washed once they have returned to the station. Hems, collars, cuffs and cargo pockets are areas of the uniform where toxins get caught He also restricts all firefighters and EMTs from going on a second run until they have showered and have put on a new, clean set of clothes, all the way down to their underwear. “There are no two-runs. We have to get this stuff off [of them].” Uniform manufacturers are tasked with finding a solution to help facilitate Jenkerson’s and other Fire Chiefs’ visions by designing a uniform with as little gaps and fold-over materials as possible. “Everything needs to be sealed tight,” Jenkerson explained. Hems, collars, cuffs and cargo pockets are all areas of the uniform where toxins get caught. A lightweight shirt option that offers a crew collar with a two to three button placket and a lightweight, ventilated hidden cargo pant could be the future of fire uniforms. “There isn’t another profession that has the thousands of dangers that we have every day,” Ramm explained. Additional and ongoing efforts currently underway according to the NFPA Journal, include those by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the Congressional Firefighter Cancer Registry, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the FPRF Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control, and the International Association of Firefighters. Active shooter emergency response Firefighters and EMTs increasingly need to wear bullet proof vests with the surge in active shooter calls An additional and unfortunate trend that is also sweeping the nation is the need for firefighters and EMTs to wear bullet proof vests. Departments are trying their best to arm their men and women with this protection along with ballistic helmets in certain regions due to the surge in active shooter calls. “In areas that have a lot of gang-related activity, [bullet proof vests] would be beneficial,” said Jason Reyes of Allen Fire Department, Texas. “Sometimes you go on calls when the city doesn’t have enough police to respond to calls, which creates a situation that leaves firefighters unprotected and vulnerable.” Currently the market has ballistic vests available that can either be worn over or under a firefighter’s uniform and under their bunker gear. Uniform manufacturers also offer an external vest carrier option that is worn over a firefighter’s uniform to look like part of the uniform shirt to maintain a professional appearance. Distinguishing firefighters from law enforcement “Firefighters find themselves becoming targets more and more these days,” added Deputy Chief of Operations Dwayne Jamison of Bartow County Fire Department, Georgia. “Many departments, including my own, are looking to outfit their firefighters with bullet proof vests.” Although this trend has not affected every region, industry experts can see the need becoming more widespread if threats continue to increase the way they have been. Along the same lines, firefighters want to be identified as firefighters and not mistaken for law enforcement. “We don’t want to look like police,” Jenkerson said. “We want to be identified as firefighters. Even if it takes a different stripe.” When it comes to uniform trends for firefighters, it is clear there is more to focus on than the technical details. For many fire departments, future trends could serve as a tool to prevent deadly toxins from being absorbed and from lethal bullets puncturing unprotected firefighters and EMTs. The uniform is more than an outfit. With a larger purpose than to shield a body, the uniform goes beyond the navy-blue threads, professional appearance and tactical features to one day supporting what could be a lifesaving concept. Sources Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Preventing Cancer in the Fire Service National Fire Protection Association,  Firefighters and Cancer NFPA Journal, Fast Track: Some of the national efforts underway to fight cancer in the fire service; Roman, Jesse; 2017 

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Designs For Marine Firefighting
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Designs For Marine Firefighting

The latest personal protection equipment (PPE) are being designed to meet new regulatory standards Marine firefighting encompasses activities to extinguish any type of fire in a marine environment. For many years, this meant dealing with fires on seagoing vessels, or more specifically, shipping. In this article, Richard Cranham, International Sales Manager at Bristol Uniforms, sheds light on the various fire hazards at sea and the latest protection outfits designed to meet new regulatory standards.   Nature of marine fire hazards At one time, marine fire risks were primarily associated with shipping and the vessels or their cargoes. In the 21st century, however, the seas and oceans are increasingly becoming sites for static structures. Many of these are associated with oil, gas and other mineral exploration and harvesting. Clearly the range of fire hazards associated with these different activities varies widely. In some situations, firefighters will be able to work onboard, depending on the severity of the fire, but, following a blow out or explosion aboard an oil rig or gas production platform, fighting the ensuing fire may only be possible from firefighting vessels. Also, the characteristics of the fires facing firefighters will reflect the volatility and flammability of the materials involved in the conflagration. Some materials burn much hotter than others. Some will throw off burning shards or molten materials, some can be unpredictable either due to the composition of the flammable materials involved (in particular hydrocarbons and chemicals) or prevailing weather conditions. Wind speed and direction can be particularly variable out at sea and can cause rapid changes in the levels of hazard experienced by firefighters. Personal protection equipment (PPE) to suit the conditions As with land-based firefighting, the type of personal protection equipment required is increasingly being designed to protect against the specific nature of the fire hazards most commonly encountered. New marine firefighting standards introduced for use throughout Europe equate the hazards, if not the conditions, associated with typical shipping fires with those commonly experienced in structural fires. This has led to the new Marine Equipment Directive (MarED) standards, enshrined in EU Commission Directive 2010/68/EU, to adopt EN 469 (2005) as its benchmark for basic protective clothing for firefighting (A.1/3.3). This means that, throughout the EU, local fire & rescue authorities can deal with ship-board fires occurring in rivers, docks and coastal waters wearing their regular structural fire kit. As with all PPE, compatibility is important and appropriately matched helmets, boots and gloves should be supplied For parts of the world outside the EU, a new international standard has recently been developed. The new standard, BS ISO 22488:2011 [Ships and marine technology – shipboard firefighters’ outfits (protective clothing, gloves, boots and helmet)], has drawn substantially on the work undertaken for the recently issued European Standard. Close proximity firefighting involving gas and oil fires requires protection from the intense heat and flames produced in such ‘hot fires’ and call for quite different types of protective clothing. In some circumstances this type of firefighting will require PPE satisfying ISO 15538 (2001) - Protective clothing with a reflective outer surface (A.1/3.3). New PPE designs to meet new standards Yellow outerlayer on marine firefighting garments signify its use by emergency incident crews battling different types of fires at sea. Garments meeting EN 469 (2005), as used by European municipal firefighters, can also be deployed by them when dealing with shipping fires on river estuaries, in ports and docks and in coastal waters. For fighting fires involving shipping at sea, and for other marine fire emergencies, an alternative is the new design fleet suits which are being introduced to coincide with the implementation of the new EU Commission Directive. As with all PPE, compatibility is important and appropriately matched helmet, boots and gloves should be supplied. In Europe, these should be to MarED approved standards, and include firefighting helmet to EN 443, gloves to EN 659 and firefighter boots to EN 15090 whilst the new international standard, BS ISO 22488:2011, when introduced, may be adopted in other parts of the world.   Richard CranhamInternational Sales ManagerBristol Uniforms

Latest Rosenbauer International AG news

Rosenbauer Brandschutz Deutschland Relocates To New Address
Rosenbauer Brandschutz Deutschland Relocates To New Address

  In order to create more office space and to make warehousing and logistics more efficient, Rosenbauer Brandschutz Deutschland moved two streets down to Krugbäckerstrasse from its old location in Mogendorf at the end of 2020. With a floor space of almost 2,000m2, the new office space is not only significantly larger, but also brighter and more modern. The warehouse has also been incorporated into the new location. This means that construction sites can be supplied with material more efficiently in the future. new office building In addition, the material flow has been realigned, and the layout of the two halls redesigned. "We practically planned all of the logistics from scratch, and took the opportunity to carry out structural optimization and adjust the production processes where possible," says Andreas Steindl, Head of Central Technics.With the move to the new office building and the redesign of the logistics, another step into the future has been taken. Thanks to the huge commitment of the employees, all of this could be achieved in record time.Rosenbauer Brandschutz Deutschland GmbH can now be found at the following address:Krugbäckerstrasse 356424 MogendorfGermanyPhone: +49 2623-9642-0

Rosenbauer Österreich Opens New Customer Center In Asten
Rosenbauer Österreich Opens New Customer Center In Asten

  Rosenbauer is continuing to expand its operations in Upper Austria. The international fire equipment provider, which has its corporate headquarters in Leonding, Austria, is setting up a new point of contact for its customers in Asten. The Rosenbauer Österreich Customer Center will offer fire services for everything they need for operations. There, they will be able to have all their technology, vehicles, pumps, and equipment inspected and serviced, procure spare parts and buy a new kit. The location, which is already home to a logistics center, is the fourth in Austria after Leonding 1 and 2, the two production facilities for vehicles and extinguishing systems, and Linz-Pichling, where fire helmets are made. Its opening underlines the company's commitment to the region. More space for servicing Fire trucks will be maintained and repaired in a purpose-built workshop with twelve service bays. That is five more than Leonding, where servicing will cease once the Asten site is up and running and the space that this frees up will be used for production. The servicing infrastructure at the new location includes state-of-the-art test equipment for firefighting pumps and foam proportioning systems, a cable winch test rig, a washing station, and a preservation unit applying for underbody protection. Vehicle service bays are fitted with efficient exhaust extraction systems The vehicle service bays are fitted with efficient exhaust extraction systems, while the extinguishing agent test stations have a dedicated tank for collecting foam concentrate. The preservation unit features an automated air purification system with high-performance filters. An assembly area with metal machining equipment and a welding station is also being set up in the workshop so that minor modifications and refurbishment, modernization, and general overhaul work can be carried out on fire trucks. "We want to keep on growing in our Customer Service business unit and broaden our range," says Andreas Zeller, Chief Sales Officer at Rosenbauer. "We see a lot of potential in the refurbishment in particular and are setting our sights on more than just domestic fire services – more than that, we want Asten to be a base for an international operation." New one-stop-shop Alongside the servicing infrastructure, Rosenbauer will be offering fire services a full range of spare parts and equipment at its customer center in Asten. The new shop will have much more floor space than was previously available in Leonding and will offer all key products for fire services, particularly own-brand personal protective equipment and technical safety gear. This includes HEROS firefighting helmets, FIRE FLEX protective suit, Rosenbauer nozzles, and the NAUTILUS range of submersible pumps. Experienced expert consultants will be on hand to help fire services choose the right equipment, and the key products will also be available online in the near future. "We want to be easily accessible to fire services, and close links with our customers are very important to us," says Markus Wieshofer, Managing Director of Rosenbauer Österreich. "They can visit us at our new shop in Asten, order equipment conveniently online, or put in requests through our mobile equipment shop. Then, we'll take a bus full of products directly to the fire house and provide an on-site consulting service."The Rosenbauer Österreich Customer Center will be open to fire services starting in April. The shop is due to open on April 12, followed by the service department a month later on May 10. Thanks to its convenient location near the Asten exit, the new Rosenbauer customer center is easily accessible via the West Autobahn freeway.

Rosenbauer Designed Four New Detection And Decontamination Vehicles As Per The Chinese Emergency Management Fire Rescue Bureau Demands
Rosenbauer Designed Four New Detection And Decontamination Vehicles As Per The Chinese Emergency Management Fire Rescue Bureau Demands

Designed and implemented precisely to the customer's wishes and equipped with an extensive range of state-of-the-art equipment: The four new unique detection and decontamination vehicles for the Emergency Management Fire Rescue Bureau meet the highest demands. The requirements that the Chinese Emergency Management Fire Rescue Bureau outlined for the new detection and decontamination vehicles were very high. And thus, they posed a welcome challenge for Rosenbauer's experienced technicians, who developed and then implemented the corresponding vehicle concept. Because, with the exception of the MAN TGS chassis with its 480 hp engine, the concept on which the four new vehicles are based is a completely new development. The combination of high-end detection, command function, and extensive personnel self-autonomy, as well as a high-pressure decontamination unit, has never before been implemented in a single-vehicle. Analysis of gases at a distance of 5 km Several state-of-the-art detection devices have been installed in the vehicles: One such piece of apparatus is a high-quality gas detector that uses spectral analysis to detect, analyze, and locate a wide variety of gases at a distance of up to five kilometers using GPS and maps. If necessary, this can easily be extended over the upper edge of the roof at the push of a button, while in its retracted position it is protected within the superstructure. A detector for nuclear gamma radiation and numerous other mobile analysis devices are also installed. Command and analysis room features seating with integrated breathing apparatus holders provided Another special feature is the so-called glove box: In this container, which is housed in the command and analysis room in the front third of the vehicle, hazardous substances can be analyzed in a sealed environment. Thanks to an artificially generated vacuum and an in-house-developed filter system, no hazardous substances are able to escape. The command and analysis room features comfortable workplaces for two people, with seating with integrated breathing apparatus holders provided for an additional three people. All control units for the equipment are clearly arranged on a large control console, with the majority also being able to be controlled via remote control. Weather station, cameras, and light mast Thanks to a pneumatically extendable weather station, the crew is not only able to see the weather conditions at all times, but can also simulate the potential spread of a cloud of hazardous substances if necessary. Also, due to the extendable, rotatable, and swiveling camera system with zoom function, operation sites can be observed from a safe distance. If required, the camera images can be transmitted to the 55" screen in the command and analysis room or to a laptop - as can all other relevant information. Thanks to Wi-Fi and other transmission capabilities, the images can also be made accessible to other vehicles or the control center. By utilizing the Birdview technology, the crew can view their own vehicle and its immediate surroundings from a bird's eye view. A pneumatically extendable LED light mast and well-designed vehicle illumination ensure appropriate lighting for night-time operations. Decontamination of people and materials A shower cubicle for decontaminating people who have come into contact with dangerous goods is situated in the middle of the superstructure. The water comes from a 1000-liter fresh water tank and is treated with UV light before use, thus killing any germs. Water heating and chemical admixing round off the automated shower facility's water supply system. The resulting wastewater is collected in a separate 600-liter tank. The entire water treatment system is also designed for use with an isolated shower tent. A high-pressure decontamination unit and accessories are also installed in the rear of the vehicle A high-pressure decontamination unit and accessories are also installed in the rear of the vehicle. This means that equipment can be largely decontaminated and cleaned in-situ when needed. Depending on the hazard type, various decontamination agents can be added via a separate proportioning system. If necessary, the high-pressure unit can also be used to generate steam. The 60-meter hose reel ensures a large movement radius for decontamination work. Self-decontamination of the vehicles But that's not all: The four detection and decontamination vehicles can also decontaminate themselves. Separate lines are attached to the roof of the superstructure and driver's cab, which allow the vehicle to clean itself if required. The safety of the crew itself is also ensured by the vehicle's equipment: a central breathing air supply system allows up to five people to breathe pure, clean air in the event of an emergency. It is fed by three compressed air bottles, the volume of which is sufficient for at least one hour at maximum consumption. The equipment compartments provide sufficient space for protective clothing and other equipment needed to analyze hazardous goods and for decontamination. Pneumatically retractable stairs, an extremely quiet diesel-powered generator in the rear, retractable awnings on both sides, air conditioning, auxiliary heating, and a jacking system for perfect positioning of the vehicle: these are just a few more equipment highlights of the four new detection and decontamination vehicles for the Emergency Management Fire Rescue Bureau in China, which will provide valuable service in emergency operations. Speaking of operations: the four vehicles have already been delivered to China, and the teams are currently receiving intensive training on how they are operated. They are then stationed at central logistics bases in four provinces and will offer quick and efficient support for challenging missions in the event of an emergency. Because that's exactly what they have been developed and built for.

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