Step in the right direction: Decontamination of PPE must include boots

Step in the right direction: Decontamination of PPE must include boots

Shoes can be gross. We wear them everywhere. They collect everything – dirt, bacteria, germs, chemicals and mold spores, just to name a few – as we wear them throughout the day. And, then, most of us walk straight into our homes without removing them, only to transfer all that contamination to our carpets and rugs. GROSS DECONTAMINATION OF FIREFIGHTER BOOTS Imagine what your firefighting and station boots track into the station: road debris, petroleum residue, contaminated mud and dirt, blood and body fluids. While many fire stations have non-carpeted surfaces for easy cleaning, most dormitory areas are still carpeted. So, what’s in your carpet? Hopefully, your fire department prohibits bunker pants and boots in the living quarters of your station. But, do you still walk into the kitchen at 2:00 a.m. after returning from a call wearing your bunker pants and boots? Be honest. We’re paying more attention to conducting gross decontamination of our firefighting protective ensemble components before leaving the fire scene, and that’s a good thing. But what about your firefighting boots? Are they getting a good scrubbing, and not just a rinse from the water flowing down from above? WHAT DO THE GUIDELINES SAY ABOUT CLEANING FIREFIGHTER BOOTS? NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting doesn’t provide specific guidelines for cleaning firefighter boots to the degree that the standard addresses cleaning for turnout coats and pants. According to Pat Freeman, technical services manager at Globe Manufacturing, for normal cleaning, such as surface debris from a structural fire, Globe advises their customers to use a soft sponge or rag with...
Deadline 6/1: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win Globe Gear

Deadline 6/1: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win Globe Gear

The application deadline for the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway is June 1, 2018. Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up for the seventh year to provide state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets. To be eligible to apply for the Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria: be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50 percent) serve a population of 25,000 or less be located in the U.S. or Canada and legally organized under state/province law demonstrate a need for the gear department or person applying must be a member of the NVFC. Proper turnout gear is vital to the safety of firefighters; however, budget restrictions often leave many volunteer departments struggling to outfit their crew with personal protective clothing that meets recommended national safety standards. Since 2012, Globe and DuPont have provided 402 sets to a total of 82 departments in need. Learn more and apply for Globe gear at www.nvfc.org/globe-gear-giveaway. Winners will be announced monthly between July and...
Takeaways from the AFG Turndown Letters | Free Grant Assistance Available

Takeaways from the AFG Turndown Letters | Free Grant Assistance Available

By Jerry Brant, Senior Grant Consultant and Grant Writer, FireGrantsHelp Here’s what we know and can tell you about the AFG turndown letters. 1. THE AFG TURNDOWN LETTERS WERE GENERATED BY ACTIVITY Each letter should have a heading that notes a specific activity (e.g., Equipment). This means that the item or items you applied for under this specific activity did not make it to peer review. If you applied for several categories of Equipment (e.g., TIC, hose and radios), then all those items were turned down. 2. ONE TURNDOWN LETTER DOES NOT MEAN ALL YOUR ACTIVITIES WERE REJECTED If you applied for more than one activity, receiving a rejection notice does not mean that all of your activities were turned down. If you applied for another activity and you did not get another turndown letter, than you can reasonably believe that the other activity made it to peer review. So, if you applied for SCBA and Equipment: radios, and you received a turndown for Equipment only, the radios were turned down at this point and the SCBA application went to peer review. The good news? FEMA anticipates that 2017 AFG awards should start being awarded this month. Awards will continue on a rolling basis until they are completed, which should be before mid-September. If you need grant help for Turnout Gear or Personal Protective Equipment, Globe has partnered with FireGrantsHelp to provide your department free grant research and assistance. Submit a request here today to get started. A version of this article originally appeared on...
Globe Invited to Present at iWomen Conference

Globe Invited to Present at iWomen Conference

Globe has been invited to present at the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Service (iWomen) Conference being held May 24-26, 2018 in Fairfax County, Virginia. The iWomen Conference is hosted by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and includes a workshop titled “Where Research and Firefighting Experience Come Together to Develop the Future of Personal Protective Equipment.” Between the years of 2010 and 2014, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimated that female firefighters experienced an average of 1,260 injuries on the fireground each year (NFPA, 2017). The concern is that some of these injuries can be attributed to poorly fitting and functioning turnout gear. Through this session, firefighters will gain more awareness of current turnout gear performance challenges and participate in a process to improve the safety and design of future turnout gear for women. Pat Freeman, Globe Technical Services Manager, will present Globe’s research and design development of NFPA-certified turnout gear for female firefighters. Although NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, requires a female pattern in stated sizes, and manufacturers have been meeting these minimum requirements for years, many female firefighters are still getting gear that doesn’t fit well. Pat will discuss the many dimensions of fit, including the Globe exclusive dimension of shape. The key to proper fit is gear that comes in different shapes, not just sizes. For more information about the iWomen Conference, visit...
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...