Fire Season threats have Fire Fighters Focusing on Safety and Preparedness

5.11 Tactical's new fire retardant clothing improves breathability (cooling) while maintaining safety

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA – Fighting fires in 110+ degree weather requires officials to closely monitor firefighters for their comfort and health as well as safety in fire retardant clothing. Because heat casualties and overheating frequently exceed burn casualties in fire fighting, 5.11 Tactical® developed a breathable, fire retardant material and created a line of fire retardant clothing.

Temperatures and drought conditions in southwestern states from May – August 2011 (1) exceeded averages requiring fire departments to more closely monitor heat exhaustion. The extreme daytime temperature adds to the heat stress and requires apparel from flame resistant clothing to firefighter t-shirts that will facilitate the ability of the body to cool itself.

“Fire retardant clothing is the norm, everything we purchase has a certification from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).” explains Chuck Montgomery, Deputy Fire Chief for the Glendora Fire Department. “The improved breathability means that our fire fighters will be more comfortable and safe, which is really important to avoid heat exhaustion in our Arizona heat.”

The specifications for fire resistant clothing require rigorous NFPA certification testing for the fire resistant nature of the person in close proximity to the fire and for the clothing’s self extinguishing properties. 5.11’s Tactical’s FR-x3 station shirts and pants received the NFPA 1975-2009 certification and are known for their breathability, color retention, wrinkle and fade resistance. Created with a fabric called Amplitude®, by Milliken FR, these garments rival the best in the business. 5.11’s Wildland Apparel is also NFPA 1977-2005 certified meaning increased comfort for both wild fire and urban fire fighters.

The short term forecast doesn’t spell relief for fire crews: above normal fire potential conditions, a moderate to high Haines Index (2), and with excessive heat warnings due to continued temperatures hovering around 100+ degrees stretch across the southeastern three quarters of Arizona, much of New Mexico, and throughout west Texas. Normal significant fire potential is forecast for the northwestern quarter of Arizona, southwestern Colorado and regions of Central New Mexico.

While Mother Nature isn’t providing relief from heat or fire danger; local fire crews and hot shots are preparing themselves for a tough season ahead.

About 5.11 Tactical FRx3 Fire Apparel
Our FR-x3 apparel is made with Amplitude® fabric which has nearly twice the airflow of the leading competitor offering outstanding breathability. Breathability helps improve firefighter comfort and safety while helping reduce the risk of heat related injuries. FR-x3 has twice the fade-resistance of the leading competitor, which means more uniform appearance. 5.11 Tactical’s FR-x3 delivers this superior performance and comfort at prices below competitive products giving fire fighters a great value.

___________________________

(1) 2011 National Seasonal Assessment Workshop, National Interagency Fire Center
(2) http://wfas.net/images/firedanger/haines.png