Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

We’re sponsoring a National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) webinar on Thursday, November 17: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies at IFSI Research. Conducted by Gavin Horn, PhD, Director of Research, this webinar will provide a high level overview of recent studies conducted at IFSI Research along with partners from UL FSRI and NIOSH to characterize some of the leading health risks on today’s fireground and training ground. Studies will be described and initial results shared as well as a description of where to find more information as it is released. The webinar will be at 1:00 PM ET. While NVFC is hosting the webinar for its members, anyone can register and...
The Science Behind Fabric Stiffness Testing

The Science Behind Fabric Stiffness Testing

By Brian Shiels, Senior Development Engineer, PBI Performance Products, Inc. As you’ve probably noticed, there is a recent trend towards lightweight systems for turnout gear. Along with that trend, many fabric suppliers are shifting their focus towards the stiffness, or conversely the flexibility, of their fabrics being offered as part of these new lightweight systems. Anyone can easily perceive if a fabric is extremely stiff or flexible. But there’s a long-standing scientific test method that is used to determine, objectively, even the smallest differences in fabric flexibility. This article will explain how labs are using that test method to assign a standard quantitative value for stiffness to the new fabrics coming onto the market. ASTM International is widely recognized as one of the leading standards developing organizations in the world. NFPA 1971 currently references 40 different ASTM standards; that’s 10 more references than all other standards developing organizations combined. For that reason, many labs have turned to ASTM standards when looking for a new way to evaluate a fabric property. To evaluate fabric stiffness, most labs perform ASTM D4032 Standard Test Method for Stiffness of Fabric by the Circular Bend Procedure, which was originally developed in 1981 by ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles. Although the test equipment has evolved over the past 35 years, the principle of the test remains unchanged: to determine the amount of force that is required to push a fabric sample through a round hole. Naturally, a stiffer fabric requires more force to be pushed through the hole, while a more flexible fabric requires less force. Logistically, performing the test is quite simple. Because the...
Firefighting gear: Is it time for large changes?

Firefighting gear: Is it time for large changes?

Here’s a hard look at the barriers prohibiting meaningful PPE innovation “Don’t fix what is not broken” is a common phrase used to impede change or at least to question change for change’s sake. If we look at the turnout clothing industry, we actually see a product range that is relatively mature with continual, gradual improvements. In essence, gear is pretty much the way it has been for more than two decades. Yes there are the occasional blips where something new comes along like barrier hoods, and novel improvements can bring about an interesting materials or features. For the most part, the vast majority of the fire service seems to be satisfied with current state of technology for turnout gear. But the reality is that we live in a rapidly changing world, and we are constantly affected by new discoveries and technological developments. The current situation leads to two questions: why are there not larger changes afoot in the industry, and what types of changes might the fire service be missing out on? Change comes about usually because of firefighter needs or a new technology becomes available that supplants the old technology. In the early 2000s, SCBA went through a tremendous change when there was a perceived need that there needed to be chemical, biological and radiological protection as part of the SCBA. This need drove some significant changes in how SCBA were designed and the materials used in their construction. At about the same time, it became possible to incorporate a heads up display that allowed a more effective means for firefighters to monitor their air levels. These...
New download: “How to choose the right firefighting boot”

New download: “How to choose the right firefighting boot”

Evaluating and selecting the right firefighting boot may seem like a daunting task for some. As a rule of thumb, you want to select a structural firefighting boot that fits, performs and lasts. With this free guide from FireRescue1, Fire Chief and Globe, we take a look at what’s going on to improve both protection and functionality in firefighter footwear, what has been learned from recent studies and how to apply that information to your next boot selection. This guide will give you essential tips and advice for how to: • Select the safest structural firefighting boots • Look at the science behind firefighter boot choices • Balance footwear function with protection Fill out my online...
New download: “Guide to Cancer Prevention Through PPE”

New download: “Guide to Cancer Prevention Through PPE”

Firefighters can do little to control their exposure to toxic substances that adversely affect health. They can, however, mitigate that exposure through sound practices like wearing SCBA, cleaning PPE after incidents, not smoking, exercising, sleeping better and eating well. There is the monumental task of better understanding the biological  mechanisms  that  make  firefighters  ill.  Added  to  that  mix  are  fire service cultural issues that may resist beneficial equipment and behavioral changes. And there are political and legal forces at play in  the  battle  to  decide  what  impact  firefighting  has  on  our  health  and  when  benefits  are  awarded  to  those  with  job-related  health  problems. In this brief guide from FireRescue1 and Fire Chief, we’ve zeroed in on firefighter cancer. We begin with a piece that helps explain some of the latest research on firefighter cancer. We follow that up with two pieces on how firefighters can protect themselves with their PPE. This guide will provide you with information on: • 8 ways to protect against cancer with PPE • How to rid firefighting PPE of contaminants • Featured resource: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risks in Modern Firefighting Interim Report – Summary Fill out my online...
Submit Your Photo to our FEETS OF STRENGTH Sweepstakes!

Submit Your Photo to our FEETS OF STRENGTH Sweepstakes!

Look at some of the great entries we’ve gotten so far: Globe wants to extend our thanks to the firefighting community and celebrate the strength of firefighters with this photo sweepstakes. Have a cool photo of yourself in the field or helping your community? Submit it for a chance to win! There are still multiple pairs of boots to win in the following categories: Atheleticism, Charity, Family. Submit your photo by 2/1/16 for a chance to win a pair of Globe boots. To enter the contest, enter...