Are You a Tactical Athlete?

Are You a Tactical Athlete?

By Todd J. LeDuc, MS, CFO, FIFirE, Assistant Chief with Broward County (FL) Fire Rescue You may have heard the term “tactical athlete” a lot recently. The term itself is not confined to the fire service and firefighters but other high-risk professions such as the military. The United States Marine Corp (U.S.M.C.) defines a “tactical athlete” as an individual who trains for combat readiness using a comprehensive athletic approach. Tactical athletes use all facets of strength, power, speed, and agility to improve their combat fitness level to their highest potential. The Marine Corps recognize that using speed and agility training will improve maneuverability of an individual in a combat situation such as maneuvering under fire. Additionally, focusing on power lifting exercises in a training regime improves total body power and increasing success in combat engagement. The U.S.M.C. has also added “High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT)” to enhance operational fitness levels and optimize combat readiness and resiliency for the essential tasks that Marines are expected or likely to need to be able to perform in combat. Firefighting is a rigorous profession and the essential job functions that firefighters are called upon to conduct impacts nearly everybody system. Our actions on the fireground physiologically stress many responses that respond differently than from a homeostatic state. Below are some of the systems affected: Cardiovascular Hematological Thermoregulatory Respiratory Metabolic Immune/endocrine Nervous Muscular Firefighters essential job functions are measured in “MET” values or “Metabolic Equivalent of a Task.” This is the rate of oxygen consumption during a task as compared to resting, and can be used to compare levels of exertion across various types...
How to Clean, Maintain & Store PPE

How to Clean, Maintain & Store PPE

By Patricia Freeman, Technical Services Manager, Globe Manufacturing Company Proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective clothing are essential to improving firefighter health and safety. The following requirements are per NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2014 Edition. It should be noted that this standard is a comprehensive user document, and all fire personnel should read it to get a fuller picture of PPE cleaning, maintenance, and storage. The proper way to perform advanced cleaning (machine washing) Front loading washing machines (aka extractors) are preferable. Do not overload the machine. Pre-treat heavily soiled or spotted areas. Do not use chlorine bleach, chlorinated solvents, active-ingredient cleaning agents, or solvents without element manufacturer’s approval. Separate outer shells from liners, remove drag rescue devices and suspenders, and wash independently. Turn the liner system inside out. All closures (zippers, hook and D-rings, plush and loop) must be fastened prior to laundering. Water temperature should not exceed 105 degrees F. Use mild detergent (pH factor of 6.0 to 10.5), as indicated on safety data sheet or product container. Adjust the washing machine so that the g-force does not exceed 100 g (follow machine manufacturer instructions for proper setting or program selection). Inspect after cleaning and rewash if necessary. If the machine is also used to launder items other than protective ensemble elements, the machine must be rinsed out by running the machine without a laundry load through a complete cycle with detergent and filled to the maximum level with water at a temperature of 120°F to 125°F. Dry in an area...
Globe Invited to Attend Firefighter Physiological Monitoring Technology Summit

Globe Invited to Attend Firefighter Physiological Monitoring Technology Summit

Globe has been invited to attend the Firefighter Physiological Monitoring Technology Summit being held March 28-30, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Summit is presented by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Skidmore College’s SMARTER (Science, Medicine, Research, Technology for Emergency Responders) program and will present groundbreaking information on the emerging field of firefighter wearable technology. Three specific areas will be addressed: The use of wearable ECG technology to detect early signs of cardiac events following firefighting or training exercises; The use of algorithms to estimate core temperature to reduce the risk of heat related injuries and fatalities; The use of low cost, portable technology to monitor air contamination levels on the fireground and in structures post fire. Important information for the fire service will be disseminated through the marketing channels of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Skidmore College SMARTER program. The ultimate goal of the SMARTER study going on now through most of 2018 is to reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities through the appropriate implementation of technology. Firefighters in the study are wearing shirts designed by Globe that incorporate a physiologic status monitoring system developed by Zephyr. The firefighters wear the Globe shirts throughout their 24-hour shifts and physiologic data such as heart rate, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate, ECG, movement, and more are recorded via electronic modules that are snapped into the shirts. The data shows the impact of live field operations on their bodies. This research is being led by Skidmore College with collaborative support from University of California at Los Angeles, University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental...
Fundamental changes needed to address turnout gear contamination

Fundamental changes needed to address turnout gear contamination

In a recent meeting of the technical committee responsible for revision of NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, extensive discussion revolved around proposing modifications in how turnout clothing should be cleaned and, in particular, verified for removal efficiency of harmful contaminants. Changes have been recommended for moving forward with more frequent advanced cleaning of turnout clothing (At this stage, the changes have only been proposed. Ratification of the changes does not occur until the committee has formally voted on the overall standard.) Whereas the current edition of NFPA 1851 prescribes advanced cleaning to be performed at least annually, the new edition, if accepted, will require advanced cleaning at least twice a year. This means that those departments that follow NFPA 1851 will be conducting more frequent cleaning of their gear than in the past several years. AN EMPHASIS ON FREQUENT FIREFIGHTER GEAR CLEANING It must be pointed out that the NFPA 1851 standard has always indicated that firefighter clothing and equipment should be cleaned whenever it becomes soiled or contaminated. That requirement exists both in the current edition, as well as in the new edition. What is changing for the 2019 edition of NFPA 1851 is the fact that more frequent advanced cleaning is being prescribed for turnout clothing in general. Part of this change involves the promotion of language which indicates that exposure to the products of combustion represents contamination. Therefore, whether visibly soiled or not, the standard will be dictating advanced cleaning of clothing that is worn on the fireground. In addition to the increased frequency of...
6 Myths About Cleaning, Maintenance & Storage of PPE

6 Myths About Cleaning, Maintenance & Storage of PPE

By Patricia Freeman, Technical Services Manager, Globe Manufacturing Company The fire service has become extremely health conscious ‒ and rightly so. Proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective clothing are essential to improving firefighter health and safety. However, there are some misconceptions about PPE that could hamper a firefighter’s ability to take a health-focused approach to these topics. With that in mind, let’s dispel a few myths with facts. Myth #1:  If I launder my gear too frequently, it will lose some of its flame resistance.  FACT:  The outer shell, thermal liner, and moisture barrier fabrics that make up your three-layer turnout system, regardless of manufacturer, will NOT lose heat or flame resistance regardless of how many times they are laundered. These characteristics are inherent to the base fibers, which means they cannot be washed out, worn out, or dissipate with use. Myth #2:  Dirty gear is the sign of a seasoned veteran. FACT:  Dirty gear is the sign of an uninformed firefighter. The truth is that the byproducts of combustion are combustible. Even with the inherent characteristics, flame and heat resistance can be compromised if the garment is worn in an extremely soiled condition. For example, a fiber such as PBI (Polybenzimidazole) will not normally ignite unless in the presence of a super oxygen-enriched environment. However, if a PBI fabric was dipped in diesel fuel and then subjected to flame, the fuel would burn until there was nothing left, resulting in the PBI shell fabric becoming totally consumed. Additionally, firefighters are subjected to many different chemicals and contaminants, all of which can be absorbed into the protective gear...
IAFF Cancer Summit: Things Need to Change

IAFF Cancer Summit: Things Need to Change

Cancer is one of the biggest issues facing the fire service and a leading cause of death among firefighters. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is conducting a Cancer Summit on Thursday, February 1, immediately following their Affiliate Leadership Training Summit and Human Relations Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The one-day event will cover a vast array of topics, including the science linking cancer and firefighting, firefighting exposures, current research on the effects of this exposure, and new research on the fight against cancer. Globe is proud to collaborate with the IAFF and our supplier partners to raise awareness of the cancer risks faced by firefighters and to engage in research-based education initiatives to help keep them safe and healthy throughout their careers and in retirement. More information and registration is at...