Sponsored by Fire-Dex
By FireRescue1 BrandFocus Staff
Recent studies bear out the increased incidence of cancers among firefighters compared with the general population.
Yet, encapsulating firefighters as one approach for limiting exposure to fireground carcinogen-contaminated soot and gases increases the likelihood of heat stress. Heat stress is best addressed with lighter, mobile gear, which is often confounded by better interfaces.
To help solve these two competing issues, Fire-Dex developed a series of products as part of their Interceptor Package. The package includes a bundle of gear that can keep firefighters safer at incidents: TECGEN PPE, a multi-purpose single layer garment designed to be used on non-fire calls, the company’s top-of-the-line FXR Turnout Gear, and the new H41 Interceptor™ hood that reduces exposure to harmful carcinogens on the throat and neck.
TECGEN PPE: CARCINOGEN EXPOSURE AND HEAT STRESS DEFENSE
TECGEN PPE is a form of protective clothing engineered to serve as an alternate to turnout gear for 90 percent of responses including medical calls, extrication, MVA, wildland/grass fires, search and rescue, confined space, trench/angle rescue, service calls, traffic control, incident command and support personnel.
TECGEN PPE is certified to both NFPA 1951 for technical rescue and NFPA 1977 for wildland firefighting.
“Wearing traditional turnouts on non-fire related calls creates undue physical burdens on firefighters,” McPherson said. “TECGEN PPE is an intended low stress, yet highly protective alternative for these situations.”
TECGEN fabrics are made with a high density TECGEN aramid fiber with a carbon shell that offers high levels of thermal protection (TPP) and breathability (THL), McPherson said.
“The resulting fabric is lightweight, highly flexible, and extremely breathable,” she said. “These characteristics mean firefighters are less likely to succumb to the effects of stress while using these garments. Wearing this clothing also creates less wear and tear on turnout clothing, ensuring that the turnout gear is able to maintain its protective performance for longer service life.”
H41 INTERCEPTOR HOOD: CARCINOGEN EXPOSURE DEFENSE
The Fire-Dex H41 Interceptor hood is one of the newest products for Fire-Dex and a second part of the Interceptor Package.
This innovative product is designed to block harmful soot particles and the chemicals carried with those particles from reaching the firefighters skin on their head, face, and neck not protected by the SCBA facepiece and other parts of their ensemble.
Instead of just building a version of turnout clothing for the head, the H41 Interceptor includes a revolutionary new particle blocking layer positioned between the two 6.0 ounce PBI®/Lenzing (20/80 percent) knit layers of the hood.
This blocking layer comprised of the DuPont Nomex Nano Flex material provides a superior filtering barrier to smoke particles, McPherson said.
“The DuPont Nomex Nano Flex is incredibly light and flexible so even while there is an additional third layer as part of the overall hood, the product feels and wears just like an ordinary two-layer knit hood without any additional bulk or added stress to the firefighter,” she said.
The Fire-Dex H41 Interceptor hood is already positioned to meet the upcoming new requirements for a particle blocking hood that are being established in the new 2018 edition of NFPA 1971 with product certification expected in the next several months.
FXR TURNOUT GEAR: HEAT STRESS DEFENSE
When higher level protection is necessary for structural fires, FXR Turnout Gear is top-of-the-line, designed specifically to minimize firefighter stress and fatigue, McPherson said.
When combined with the H41 Interceptor Hood, positioned for blocking carcinogen-containing soot with high levels of breathability, an overall systems approach is laid out for the department targeting the primary threats to firefighter health.
This lightweight clothing system utilizes the Fire-Dex Active Posture Design (APD) that facilitates full range of movement while maintaining high-levels of protective performance.
Other features such as deep water well as the coat sleeves, a liner that fully extends to all parts of the shell, and the tab-less collar closure all help to keep firefighter more protection with less encumbrance.
The gear clothing meets or exceeds the industry NFPA 1971 standard for structural firefighting protective clothing.
A NEW SYSTEMS APPROACH
With greater protection challenges facing the fire service, practical but forward-thinking solutions are needed to keep firefighters safe.
Fire-Dex has built on its H41 Interceptor hood introduced last year by bundling an entire system of low stress, highly protective gear to address the top threats to firefighter health and safety.
“By bundling our FXR turnout gear, TECGEN PPE, and H41 Interceptor Hood into the Interceptor Package, Fire-Dex is addressing both cancer and cardiac stress concerns in both a comprehensive and affordable way for fire departments to protect its members,” McPherson said.