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...
Helping Volunteer Departments Protect Their Responders

Helping Volunteer Departments Protect Their Responders

Globe and DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), awarded 13 fire departments with a total of 52 sets of life-saving turnout gear in 2017 through the Globe Gear Giveaway. The program is designed to help fire departments with limited budgets who struggle to maintain adequate protection for their personnel. Awards in the 4th quarter were made to the following departments: Tanglewood Volunteer Fire Department (TX) ‒ The Tanglewood Volunteer Fire Department is located in Lexington, TX. Its 16 firefighters serve a population of 1,500 residents over 48 square miles and also provide mutual aid to three neighboring departments for structural fires, grass fires, and vehicle accidents. The department is predominantly self-funded and relies heavily on grants and donations for their equipment, repairs, upgrades, and daily operations, which leaves no funding for new or updated gear. One-third of their personnel have only wildland personal protective equipment (PPE), and the rest of the firefighters are outfitted with structural PPE that is over 10 years old and not compliant with current recommended safety standards. Tuscumbia Fire Protection District (MO) ‒ The Tuscumbia Fire Protection District (TFPD) is located in the middle of Miller County, MO, and protects 55 square miles with a population of 1,100 permanent residents. In addition to providing mutual aid to surrounding departments, the TFPD sees an influx of over 1,000 transient residents who come into the district to work at the area nursing home, court house, and school. They also have three daycare centers, five major churches, and the county health center in their service area, along with a service station...
You pull up to a call in winter and what do you encounter? Water and ICE!

You pull up to a call in winter and what do you encounter? Water and ICE!

By Bill Ells, Vibram USA, Inc. How do you then minimize the risk of slips and falls in winter conditions? Globe fire boots with Vibram Arctic Grip Pro Technology provide a level of traction on wet ice not seen before. In 2014, Vibram challenged its chemists, product engineers, and team of testers to develop a technology that changed the standard in winter traction and one of the most treacherous surfaces known to man – WET ICE. Added to the challenge, was to do it without the use of metal spikes or the need to stop and fix a separate component, or overshoe, to footwear. After years of development, countless trials, and a few failures, success was achieved in the development of Vibram Arctic Grip and Arctic Grip Pro – the most advanced cold weather gripping system Vibram has ever created. Globe, a longtime supporter of the Vibram brand, immediately took interest in this revolutionary product. After all, the goal of both Vibram and Globe is to provide the first responder with the highest level of performance available. Vibram Arctic Grip Pro is a combination of the highest performing rubber outsole compound, combined with an advanced filler system that provides unparalleled traction on wet ice, along with Vibram durability. The areas within the sole (see image at right) with yellow fleck in the lug, contain the advanced filler system that runs throughout the full thickness of the material. Vibram Arctic Grip and Vibram Arctic Grip Pro (Pro is the industrial version that meets NFPA requirements) have been tested in some of the most extreme environments. Vibram Arctic Grip Pro is...
New download: 2017 AFG PPE Project Guide

New download: 2017 AFG PPE Project Guide

Applications to AFG for turnout gear have consistently been one of the two top activities requested under the Firefighter Operations grant category and for good reason. Turnout gear is utilized on every alarm. It is the core of every fire department. Your department simply cannot exist without it. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program provides the best means to cover these expenses. However, because of their popularity, turnout gear requests are among the most competitive activities of this grant program. To assist you in this endeavor, our guide will provide you with information and suggestions to formulate your application for turnout gear. The guide gives you: A quick checklist of items essential to your application; Information on successfully planning and developing your application; New requirements for 2017; An easy-to-understand segment on administrative requirements for your AFG application; A section dedicated solely to regional applications for turnout gear. <a href=”https://p-d.formstack.com/forms/policeone_motorola_ebook__predictive_policing_copy_1_copy” title=”Online Form”>Online Form – Globe – FR1 – AFG Guide 2017</a> Web Form...
Balancing Firefighter Protection Is Like a 3-Dimensional Chess Game

Balancing Firefighter Protection Is Like a 3-Dimensional Chess Game

By Rob Freese, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Globe Manufacturing Company, now part of MSA The alarming rate of cancer diagnoses among firefighters is very real and very serious. What we know is that firefighters have an increased risk for several types of cancer. Fires produce hundreds of toxic compounds; and some are carcinogenic. Everyone in the fire industry is at least talking about it. And some are quick to market with what they think the answer might be. We cannot lose sight of the fact, however, that cardiac events remain the leading cause of duty-related deaths. Firefighting leads to significant cardiovascular strain. Sudden cardiac events account for approximately 45% of all LODDs in the United States each year. The solutions to both of these problems are complex and involve trade-offs. It would be relatively easy to make turnout gear into hazmat gear to help protect against cancer-causing particulates and gasses, but that degree of encapsulation would lead to dramatic increases in heat stress. And that gear would make the work of firefighting almost impossible, which leads to the third dimension of protection. Fighting fires is demanding, physical work requiring maximum athletic performance. To perform like an athlete, turnout gear has to enhance performance and allow for a full range of motion. Like a 3-dimensional chess game, all of the above must be taken into consideration. Today’s threats are more complex and so helping to keep firefighters safe has become considerably more challenging. Science-Based Research A “silver bullet” to solve this 3-dimensional dilemma has been elusive because first we must attain a deeper level of understanding. Meaningful, realistic...