Australasian Wildland Firefighters attend a diverse range of incidents, in unique and challenging environments.
A better understanding of the varied and essential tasks Wildland Firefighters undertake has paved the way for the development of specialty PPE/C to support their roles and deliver improved, targeted protection.
The ideal combination of features make MSA Bristol’s Wildland Firefighting Gloves the perfect glove for bushfire as well as rescue and general purpose applications.
Made from cow split leather, MSA Bristol gloves boast excellent abrasion and puncture resistance. The gloves take protection to the next level with the inclusion of a moisture barrier and a Kevlar® / fibreglass lining. 90mm long, knitted Kevlar® cuffs provide an excellent interface with all common Wildland Fire and lightweight jackets.
MSA Bristol gloves also feature both a knuckle and pulse protector made from cow split leather.
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Correctly fitting PPE is an essential component in ensuring firefighters experience optimum protection, mobility and comfort. A challenging prospect when injury is involved. Pac Fire strives to deliver PPE that provides the best possible fit to Australasian firefighters. To achieve this, Pac Fire actively seeks out like minded partners, such as Jolly Scarpe who’s status as a leading firefighting footwear supplier and agile manufacturing processes allow them to produce “made to measure” solutions.
In 2020, Fire and Rescue NSW approached Pac Fire on behalf of Firefighter Dixon after exhausting all traditional footwear options following an injury resulting in the fusion of the right first metatarsal.
Pac Fire’s premium footwear suppliers, Jolly produced around 15 pairs of “made to measure” firefighting boots annually at the time of Fire and Rescue NSW enquiry. After learning of his story, Jolly signalled their eagerness to take on the challenge of providing a highly protective structural firefighting boot that met Firefighter Dixons unique needs and would ultimately see him return to active service.
Firefighter Dixon’s finished footwear is based on Jolly’s popular “Fire Guard” design, a zip front, structural firefighting boot already a popular option supplied to several of the UK’s Fire & Rescue Services.
Upon receiving his boots, Firefighter Dixon was cautiously optimistic when his custom made orthotics fitted perfectly. He commented that the boots were surprisingly comfortable straight out of the box – all be it a little stiff. Aside from the fit, the feature Firefighter Dixon appreciated most was the ankle protection system providing additional support that almost felt like the boots made ascending stairs easier. He also noted how stable his foot felt in the boot, especially considering it was gripping him from the calf and ankle.
Upon passing his assessment and gaining clearance to return to active firefighting duty, Firefighter Dixon told Pac Fire that there were no words to express his emotions. He went on to tell has that returning to active service after traveling such a long road “meant the world to him”.
Jeremy Dawkins, Northern European and Australasian Sales Agent for Jolly Scarpe was heavily involved in Firefighter Dixon’s footwear project, describing it as “very challenging, but ultimately, very rewarding”. Mr Dawkins went onto commend Firefighter Dixon’s commitment to returning to active service to protect the community. He also complemented Fire and Rescue NSW on taking the obligation to support a fully inclusive and diverse workforce extremely seriously. A commitment not seen in other parts of the world.
Jolly is currently producing another pair of “made to measure” footwear for Firefighter Dixon to ensure continuity of service well into the future.
Pac Fire would like to extend our thanks to Jolly for undertaking such an important project and congratulate Firefighter Dixon on returning to active service within Fire and Rescue NSW.
Pac Fire is pleased to introduce another advancement in structural firefighting outerwear from MSA Bristol.
EOS is the latest structural firefighting ensemble from leading manufacturer MSA Bristol. MSA Bristol EOS builds on the success of XFlex and the UK Collaborative Framework ranges, retaining the popular, ergonomic sports styling and advanced protection achieved from the combination of quality technical fabrics and advanced moisture management technology.
Why EOS? Named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, EOS is the culmination of years of research into emerging occupational risks facing modern day firefighters. EOS represents the dawn of a new era focusing on protection and cleaning efficiency.
AS 4967:2019, Australian certified, EOS offers the best possible fit with 28 male and 28 female sizes available as standard, as well as a made to measure service. The design better reflects the callouts firefighters are most often faced with – building protection around vulnerable areas while maintaining optimum flexibility and increasing the garments overall durability.
As with all MSA Bristol garments, the EOS design and fabric combination can be customised to specifically meet your service’s requirements. Pac Fire’s standard EOS design includes a PBI Max™ outershell fabric paired with the GORE® CROSSTECH AIRLOCK moisture barrier and a Glide Ice™ thermal liner. More details on this fabric combination and the standard garment features and design please download the data sheet.
MSA Bristol will be on show at AFAC21, International Convention Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney. Make your way to stand 200 to see EOS on display for the first time in Australasia – October 5-8, 2021.
Production is in full flight at Pacific Helmets (NZ) Ltd to deliver the BR9 wildland firefighting helmet to the largest fire service in the world – NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).
At least 40,000 members of NSW RFS are set to receive a new Pacific BR9 wildland firefighting helmet in a large scale rollout set to take place in the coming year.
Feedback from NSW RFS members indicated that helmets were a top priority after the 2020 bush fire fundraising appeal raised over $100 million. The funds have been allocated to essential equipment and important upgrades for the volunteer firefighters who provide fire and emergency services to approximately 95% of New South Wales.
The BR9, selected by NSW RFS as their service issued wildland firefighting helmet, is a popular lightweight head protection platform that supports a full range of accessories. The standard shell shape incorporates a narrow side brim and multiple crown ridges allow for extra strength and air flow.
Impact protection was a crucial performance criteria when evaluating helmets. The BR9 excelled, largely due to Pacific’s acclaimed DuPont™ Kevlar® & fibreglass reinforced composite shell. Kevlar®, a synthetic fibre renown for it’s strength, provides additional heat- resistance and has been used in the design and manufacture of Pacific Helmets branded helmets since their founding in 1982.
The multi-ridge design of the BR9 contributes to the helmets excellent impact resistance results, effectively dispersing blows over several points instead of being focused on a single area.
The NSW RFS BR9 also features a clear, clip-on face shield, which provides high speed particle impact protection for the face and eyes. A Mesh insert inside the helmets cradle, which spreads the weight of the helmet evenly over the head, improving comfort. 25mm earmuff brackets for the application of helmet mounted earmuffs and rear accessory straps to effectively retain single strap goggles.
Understanding the importance of delivering information efficiently, Pac Fire has established the NSW RFS Helmet Hub. A centralised online library that includes product information, specifications, downloads, training videos, FAQ, spare parts and accessories specifically for NSW RFS members. The Helmet Hub can be reached by scanning a specialised barcode, found inside the helmets shell and on much of the literature with the helmet, with a smart phone.
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Responder Wipes® are thick, durable and specifically formulated moistened wipes for use as a tool in on site decontamination procedures. They have been designed by Firefighters in the United States to meet the specific and unique needs of first responders globally.
Responder Wipes® are the only decontamination wipe sold in Australia which have the “Healthy Firefighters” mark and are endorsed by the scheme.
“Healthy Firefighters” is a program established in 2006 by Swedish unions, employers and agencies who recognise Firefighters face a significant risk from occupational diseases Since it’s inception, Healthy Firefighters the Skelleftea Model has been adopted by 17 European nations and is gaining considerable momentum in the United States and Australia. The program shows why, how and what can be done to safeguard our first responders. Products, like Responder Wipes, that bear the “Healthy Firefighters” mark, have been identified as essential tools in providing a better work environment and improved health for firefighters.
Infused with Micellar Water, the wipes effectively clean dirt, oil, soot and other hydrocarbons from the skin. Micelles not only remove toxins and contaminants but also return much needed hydration to the skin, lost while working in hot and demanding conditions.
Importantly, Responder Wipes® do not contain any Aloe vera or Parabens – common ingredients found in products used as an alternative, like baby wipes. These ingredients open the pores of the skin and push the contaminants further into the pores. Responder Wipes® are thicker and more durable than alternative products, they do not pill or tear when wiping down the contaminated areas.
Convenient packaging options reduce waste and makes Responder Wipes® perfect for use while still attending an incident. Choose between the Chief’s Carton of 16 individually wrapped, extra large 30 x 60cm wipes, the Captain’s Pack 16 individually wrapped, large 20 x 30cm wipes and the Lieutenant’s Pack consisting of 20 regular sized 20 x 20cm wipes in a resealable pouch.
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.
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.
Due to ongoing availability issues from the supplier, Pacific Helmets is changing the type of Nomex® used to make the neck protectors in select builds of structural firefighting helmet.
What does this mean for Pac Fire & our customers?
Previously Nomex® Neck Protectors were made from 260gsm plain weave fabric, effective immediately they will now be manufactured from a 200gsm Ripstop weave fabric.
The new 200gsm 100% Nomex® fabric has been tested by a third-party independent laboratory and has been found to have the excellent flame retardancy properties expected from Nomex® fabric. The Ripstop weave gives a grid pattern and enhanced tensile strength performance to the material not seen in the previous fabric.
What products are affected?
Select models of Pacific Helmets F10 MkV, F11 & F15 structural firefighting helmets.
Fire + 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.