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South32 GEMCO adopt MSA Bristol XFlex: the gold standard in firefighting garments

South32 GEMCO take delivery of MSA Bristol XFlex

Pac Fire is excited to announce the selection MSA Bristol XFlex by South32 GEMCO as their new structural firefighting ensemble.

South32 GEMCO operate a Northern Territory manganese mine, on the island of Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The remote location of the South32 GEMCO mining operation means the specialised fire and emergency services team attend a wide range of incidents including but not limited to structural fire, road crash rescue, technical rescue and bushfire that occur at the mine site, within the local township and amongst the indigenous community.

In short the South32 GEMCO fire and rescue team need to be ready to handle just about anything at a moments notice – with backup over an hour away by air.

Recently, South32 GEMCO’s existing structural firefighting garments reached the end of their service life. This prompted research into a new ensemble designed to suit the unique environmental demands that go hand in hand with mines location as well as the varied incidents the emergency services team are presented with.

Environmental factors such as the high, unabating temperature, averaging over 30 degrees celsius and relative humidity greater than 70% were major considerations during garment evaluation. The conditions encountered on Groote Eylandt result in thermal load being exerted on responders from the moment garments are donned, making the overall weight of the ensemble and breathability extremely important criteria.

After an evaluation of current market offerings and user trials, South32 GEMCO moved forward with MSA Bristol XFlex, Pac Fire’s premium structural firefighting ensemble which incorporates sports styling, making it one of the most comfortable and ergonomic garments on the market today.

South32 GEMCO take delivery of MSA Bristol XFlex

Nabeel Yassine, Pac Fire’s National Sales Manager, who was heavily involved with the project to deliver XFlex to South32 GEMCO, commented:

“The ergonomic fit, superior thermal protection and industry leading breathability made MSA Bristol XFlex the perfect choice for the unique circumstances surrounding the South32 GEMCO Mine.”

The South32 GEMCO XFlex features Nomex® 360 as the selected outershell material. Nomex® 360 is a recent innovation by Safety Components and provides vital protection against heat and flame. On the inside of the garment, GORE® Parallon®, the latest moisture management system from W. L. Gore & Associates, delivers complete balance between breathability and thermal protection.

Tim McKinlay Leading Hand with South32 GEMCO emergency services, reported the MSA Bristol XFlex moisture management system, GORE® Parallon®, to have delivered the best internal heat and moisture dissipation during user trials. He went on to say: “sweat and moisture was wicked away from the skin, helping to keep our bodies cool and dry during the various exercises”. During the trial, participants experienced improved manoeuvrability attributed XFlex’s unique shoulder and knee shaping coupled with under arm gussets, allowing for crawling and reaching while in the garment without it bunching or riding up.

Understanding the important role that the correct fit plays in providing optimum protection, Pac Fire delivered an onsite sizing session which included the utilisation of specialised sizing sets to effectively and accurately measure responders for their new ensemble. PPE/C integration exercises conducted during sizing ensured optimum compatibility with other elements of the South32 GEMCO kit.

At the conclusion of garment evaluation, South32 GEMCO selected PAC+CARE as their nominated service provider for care and maintenance of their new MSA Bristol XFlex. On dispatch PAC+CARE specialists allocated each item to it’s new owner, initiating life-cycle monitoring which in the future will track and report on important data like wash count, wash type, inspections and repair history.

PAC+CARE’S NFPA 1851 compliant approach to cleaning targets the most prevalent and persistent contaminants in firefighter protective wear and combats them with best practice methodology, state of the art washing and drying technology and leading chemical inactivation. This approach results in a significant reduction in contamination load thereby mitigating the effects of exposure to responders while maximising a garments operational life. Of particular interests to South32 GEMCO was PAC+CARE’S history of effectively removing asbestos contamination for PPE/C. Asbestos sheeting is still present in some buildings on Groote Eylandt and was highlighted as a risk to their emergency service workers.

The South32 GEMCO XFlex was delivered and began it’s service life in February 2021.

South32 GEMCO take delivery of MSA Bristol XFlex

MSA Bristol garments, including the XFlex are proudly distributed throughout Australia by Pac Fire

Click here for more information on MSA Bristol XFlex.

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Another innovation in the field of hand protection from Bristol Uniforms

Bristol Uniforms Composite Structural Firefighting Gloves - Cowhide Leather / Nomex

Pac Fire is pleased to introduce the AS/NZS 2161.6:2014 certified, composite structural firefighting gloves from premium PPE supplier Bristol Uniforms. The composite gloves combine Nomex® fabric on the back of the hand with hard wearing, cowhide leather on the palm, thumb and flexible absorber.

The GORE-TEX CROSSTECH® moisture barrier is both waterproof and breathable. It also offers protection against the penetration of viruses and bacteria found in blood and body fluids, as well as protection against the penetration of common chemicals.

Bristol Uniforms Composite Structural Firefighting Gloves - Cowhide Leather / Nomex

While the Bristol composite gloves are new to Australia, the EN version are already in service within the United Kingdom, having been selected as part of the UK Collaborative PPE Framework project. They have also been awarded to the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service which boasts over 8,000 members.

Read more about the Bristol Uniforms composite structural firefighting gloves or explore more of Pac Fire’s glove range.

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Premium Bristol XFlex starts it’s journey south

FRNSW XFlex Heads South

FRNSW XFlex Heads SouthFire + Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) members are one step closer to donning their new Bristol XFlex ensemble with the arrival of the first 8,000 garments to Pac Fire’s warehousing and distribution facility.

The FRNSW XFlex is Bristol Uniform’s premium lightweight structural firefighting ensemble. Ergonomically designed, the ensemble focuses on delivering maximum comfort for a vast range of male and female body types. FRNSW XFlex has a distinctive sporting style which allows the ensemble to move with the firefighter attracting less resistance resulting in greater flexibility and less energy expenditure.

The FRNSW XFlex outershell, Nomex® 360 by Safety Components, provides vital protection against heat and flame while its unique quick dry moisture management system, GORE® Parallon®, delivers complete balance between breathability and thermal protection.

Pac Fire’s specialised rollout of structural firefighting ensembles to FRNSW includes the allocation of an item to a firefighter on despatch. Allocation involves assigning service information, like garment specifics, date of issue and firefighter information to the unique UHF-RFID chip fitted within the item. This process allows garments to interact with inventory management and laundry syetems, tracking physical location and the condition of the item throughout its service life.

The first FRNSW zone will receive their new ensembles, as well as a second pair of Bristol’s Titan PBI® structural firefighting gloves in July 2020.

Please use the links provided to access more information on Bristol’s XFlex and Titan PBI® structural firefighting gloves.

For regular updates follow the Pac Fire Facebook page by selecting the “Like” button. Alternatively, you can subscribe to Newsflash, the Pac Fire monthly newsletter here.

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Better protection for vulnerable areas

Bristol NanoFlex Nomex Flash Hood
Bristol NanoFlex Nomex Flash Hood
Bristol NanoFlex Nomex Flash Hood (medium fit) THL 469 (W/m²)

Multiple studies into firefighter health and well-being suggest that the flash hood is the most penetrable piece of protective clothing worn by the firefighter. A particularly troubling finding considering the face and neck have been identified as areas of significant dermal exposure to particulate matter and potential carcinogens.

Particulate matter consists of microscopic solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in the air. The smaller the particles, the deeper they can penetrate into the dermis.

So how do you protect against a threat you can’t see?

Identifying the risk of harmful particulates and the vulnerability of the face and neck have spurred the design and creation of next generation fabric composites that include NanoFlex technology. DuPont™ NanoFlex brings superior breathability and improved thermal protection performance to the mix, while creating a barrier that has been found to be 99.8% successful at filtering harmful particulates. Composites that include NanoFlex technology remained soft resulting in less noise being generated from head movement allowing for greater situational awareness.

Bristol NanoFlex PBI Flash Hood
Bristol NanoFlex PBI Flash Hood (large fit) THL 438 (W/m²)
From these new composites, Bristol’s DuPont™ NanoFlex hoods were born. DuPont™ NanoFlex Flash Hoods are the smartest fire hoods on the market. They provide optimum comfort and protection and assist in mitigating heat stress. Hoods that include NanoFlex technology have been found to filter out up to four times the amount of harmful particulates found on the fire ground when compared to a regular fire hood.

Bristol Uniforms offers a Nomex® /DuPont™ NanoFlex (THL 469 (W/m²)) blend as well as a PBI® / DuPont™ NanoFlex (THL 438 (W/m2²)) option for greater flashover protection. Each hood has a seperate head with sewn on back and front bib. The back of the head ends at the nape of the neck for an improved fit and increased comfort. The 100% red Nomex® thread clearly indicates the outside of the hood for faster donning. The Bristol NanoFlex hood range is available in medium and large for a crown sizes exceeding 57cm.

NanoFlex Nomex®
More Information | Data Sheet

NanoFlex PBI®
More Information | DataSheet

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Protect against harmful particulates with Bristol NanoFlex

Bristol Uniforms NanoFlex Flash Hoods

Bristol Uniforms NanoFlex Flash Hoods With a growing focus on firefighter health – Pac Fire Australia is pleased to announce the arrival of the Bristol Particulate Blocking Flash Hoods in Nomex® and PBI®.

Recent studies into firefighter health and well-being suggest that the flash hood is the most penetrable piece of protective clothing worn by the firefighter, a particularly troubling finding considering the face and neck have been identified as areas of significant dermal exposure to potential carcinogens.

NanoFlex Flash Hoods are the smartest fire hoods on the market. They provide optimum comfort and protection while mitigating heat stress and filtering harmful particulates found on the fire ground.

Bristol Uniforms revolutionary Nano Flex flash hood has been proven to be 99.8% successful at filtering harmful particulates while remaining lightweight, soft and breathable, while minimal sound is produced through head movement resulting in greater situational awareness for the firefighter.

NanoFlex hoods are available from Pac Fire now in both Nomex® and with additional flashover protection in PBI®.

NanoFlex Nomex®
Buy Online | Data Sheet

NanoFlex PBI®
Buy Online | DataSheet

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A revolution in Structural Firefighting Gloves

Bristol's Titan PBI Structural Firefighting Glove is available now from Pac Fire

Pac Fire Australia’s exclusive partner, Bristol Uniforms have developed a game changer in hand protection. The Titan PBI® Structural firefighting gloves represent the gold standard in structural firefighting protection within Australia and New Zealand.

Pioneering the way forward, the Titan PBI® glove are the first fabric structural firefighting glove to be certified to AS/NZS 2161.6:2014.

Years of research and rigorous testing have resulted in a structural glove that balances paramount protection with optimal dexterity.

Titan PBI® (1260) protects the back of the hand while the palm is constructed of a double-face Kevlar® knit with a carbon-granite-silicone coating for superior grip. The insert is a Gore® Crosstech® moisture barrier which provides sound breathability and optimum protection against blood borne pathogens. The Kevlar® thermal liner insulates while wicking sweat away from the skin to prevent glove slip. The Titan PBI® glove also has a good size protective Nomex® cuff.

Developed with the wearer in mind, the Bristol glove offers a unique, anatomical fit and broad sizing range. These gloves are tough! The Titan PBI® gloves boast an exceptional lifespan due to their resilience when undergoing regular cleans.

The Bristol Titan PBI® Structural Firefighting Gloves are available from Pac Fire Australia.
>> View online
>> Download the data sheet