3 Things that Make Globe Boots Safer and the Science that Proves Why

3 Things that Make Globe Boots Safer and the Science that Proves Why

By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Globe When we got into the leather fire boot business 10 years ago, people told me it was a mature and saturated market. Little did they know where our imagination would take us. That’s because we listen to what you, the firefighter, tell us you need to perform your duties effectively and safely. And then, as part of our product development process, we rely on science to study exactly how the human body moves. Boot Construction For years, all firefighter boots were made of rubber. They were waterproof, but they were also hot, heavy, and clunky. In the 80s, advances in materials made the development of a new kind of fire boot possible – constructed with leather on the outside and a waterproof, breathable bootie on the inside. They were lighter, more comfortable, and a huge improvement. Some leather fire boots are made with Goodyear welt (stitched) construction. The end product is a boot that is flat as a pancake and stiff as a board. The stiffness is a consequence of the welt construction method in combination with the steel plate. Boots made with athletic footwear (cement) construction are flexible like your feet. Your feet are designed to flex 50 degrees. If your boot doesn’t flex 50 degrees, then your movement will be restricted. Other leather fire boots are made with a hybrid construction method. It starts with a cup outsole like athletic footwear construction but uses a creased steel plate along the bottom and then injects urethane foam. Again, these boots are stiff by the very nature...
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...
Globe Presents at Smart Fabrics Summit

Globe Presents at Smart Fabrics Summit

By Mark Mordecai, Director of Business Development at Globe We were recently invited by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Industrial Fabrics Association International to speak at the first-ever Smart Fabrics Summit in Washington, DC. Advances in technology have enabled the development of “smart fabrics,” with the capability to interact with their user or environment, including by tracking and communicating data about their wearer or environment to other devices through embedded sensors and conductive yarns. This is exactly the premise behind our Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP™), the world’s only system for real-time monitoring of physiology and location designed for firefighters and first responders. That’s why we were asked to speak – and we were honored to do so. Along with our project team partner, Propel, we presented the multi-year process of bringing wearable technology for firefighter monitoring from idea through to commercial availability. The WASP™ system tracks heart rate, heart rate variability, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, and other physiological factors, as well as 3D location inside a building. Specialty Fabric Review magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, reported on the...
Imagination at Work

Imagination at Work

By Rob Freese, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Globe It’s all the rage today to talk about how your company listens to its customers.  In business school, they call it “market in” rather than “product out” thinking.  But at Globe, it’s what we do all day, every day.   And we’ve been doing it for a long time. In 1887, my great grandfather revolutionized outerwear design with a later to be patented, three-layer component system designed to keep you warm and dry.  He made a special version for firefighters – the very first turnout gear.  It was made from a strong canvas outer shell, a waterproof oilcloth mid-layer, and a warm flannel lining.  Though today we use ever newer generations of technical fabrics, this three-layer system remains the foundation of turnout gear construction today. So we are proud of our long history of innovation.  It’s in our DNA. But how do we know what firefighters want next?  First, we go to the experts – you, the firefighter.  We ask “What do you like about your gear?”, “What don’t you like?”, and “What would you change if you could?”  If you put together the answers to these and other questions from every region of the country, big and small departments, career and volunteer departments, with veterans and newbies, and with men and women running engines and trucks, you would be conducting an exercise called “Voice of the Customer.”  We are a big believer in the value of this kind of organized listening too. During one recent Voice of the Customer interview in Texas, one veteran firefighter told us “If...
Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

By Mark Mordecai, Globe Director of Business Development; Photos courtesy of Fire Fighting in Canada | Canadian Firefighter  There’s been a lot of talk for a lot of years about the problem. Stress and overexertion combine with a host of physiological and environmental factors to trigger cardiac events in firefighters that result in 50% of line of duty deaths and an even larger number of disabilities. With all the advancements in personal protection, operational tactics, and training, this is still an alarming fact. And rescuing a downed firefighter inside a building is still like finding a needle in a haystack with RIT teams often spending valuable time doing necessarily thorough searches in areas where the victim isn’t instead of being able to focus on a narrower and more productive area. So what if you could wear sensors that would allow real-time monitoring of firefighters’ heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, estimated body core temperature, as well as 3D location inside a building? And what if all of this critical data could be transmitted outside the building where it could be monitored for safety? Could this technology make a difference? That is the goal of Globe’s Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP™) – the world’s only system for real-time monitoring of physiology and location designed for firefighters and emergency responders. Enter Bruce Power, a privately owned nuclear generating facility in Ontario, Canada. In November, their fire department held a WASP™ technology demonstration, the first in Canada, at their brand new and state-of-the-art fire training facility. Seven firefighters wore the WASP™ base layer t-shirts with embedded electronic sensors and...
Application Period Now Open for 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway to Volunteer Fire Departments

Application Period Now Open for 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway to Volunteer Fire Departments

Volunteer firefighters deserve the best personal protection to ensure their own safety Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up for the fifth year to provide new gear to volunteer fire departments in need. The application period for the 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway is now open, and eligible departments can apply for four sets of CLASSIX® turnout gear for their members. Thirteen department awards will be made, for a total of 52 sets of gear. Applications are due by June 1, 2016. “The Globe Gear Giveaway is helping fill a critical need for fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. As demonstrated by the amount of applications we receive each year, volunteer departments are constantly looking for ways to keep their firefighters safe while operating on tight budgets,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “On behalf of the NVFC and volunteer fire departments nationwide, I am truly grateful to Globe and DuPont for helping more and more departments provide their personnel with compliant turnout gear.” The Globe Gear Giveaway launched in 2012 to celebrate Globe’s 125th anniversary. As the world’s largest and most trusted manufacturer of structural firesuits in the world, Globe wanted to give back to the fire service and enhance the safety and readiness of our nation’s first responders. To date, the program has provided 299 sets of new turnout gear to 56 departments in need to help them improve the safety and protection of their firefighters. The first 500 applicants also receive a one-year department membership to the NVFC, compliments of Globe. NVFC membership comes with a wide array...