El Niño: Preparing For A Long Wet Season

Weather

From The Weather Channel

The 2015-2016 El Niño is forecast to become one of the strongest on record, bringing much needed rain and snow pack to the lower half of the United States, coast-to-coast. How can something so good become something we’re worried about? Well, maybe the old adage, “everything in moderation”, applies here. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to get a whole lot of “moderation” in these storms and the projected strength of the systems could negatively impact areas that have experienced major fires over the past year as well as areas naturally prone to flooding. Lakes and rivers could experience an unprecedented rise in water levels – causing flash flooding and swifter than normal water run-off.

2015_WaterRescue_CatalogIn anticipation of very wet Winter and Spring seasons and the potential hazards associated with them, L.N. Curtis & sons has produced a Water Rescue Equipment Catalog focused on top brands and equipment for emergency responders. Additional brands and tools are available—just give us a call.

Introducing G-XTREME® 3.0

globe UPDATE logoCompletely retailored from collar to cuff to provide even less restriction, the new G-XTREME® 3.0 is the latest evolution of Globe’s original breakthrough design.

 

g-xtreme-3.0-jacket

The Jacket has a retailored fit in the chest and sleeves for unrestricted mobility for even the most athletic firefighter. The lower collar, deeper neck opening, and hanging throat tab never get in your way. Globe’s AXTION® Back and AXTION® Sleeve let you make all the right moves.

 

 

G-Xtreme-3.0-PantsThe Pants are retailored in the seat and thigh for unrestricted mobility, lower rise, and a trimmer fit. The AXTION® Seat and AXTION® Knee work together to let you bend, crawl, and climb freely. And like the original, the G-XTREME 3.0 comes in shapes to fit your body better. Call your L.N. Curtis & sons representative today to see and review the benefits of the G-XTREME® 3.0.

 

 

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Globe CLASSIX® METRO™

globe UPDATE logoGlobeMetroThe new Globe CLASSIX® METRO™ turnout gear combines the traditional metro look and style with the athletic fit, feel, and finish that you love. The Globe CLASSIX® METRO™ is ideal for departments that are looking for a roomy, non-restrictive fit, extended back panel, and low-rise pant.

 

 

 

The Globe CLASSIX® METRO™ comes standard with:

  • METRO EXTENDED BACK with lower trim band.
  • DROP SHOULDER DESIGN moves seam beyond the shoulder for improved reach and reduced coat ride up.
  • LINER ACCESS OPENING for easy access between the layers.
  • DOUBLE-STITCHED SEAMS with 8–10 stitches per inch for longer service life.
  • FREE HANGING THROAT TAB stays out of your way when not deployed.
  • YOCCO™ DRAG RESCUE DEVICE is easy to deploy when you need it, and out of the way when you don’t.
  • TRIMTRAX® THREAD PROTECTION with patented cording lasts far longer than conventional stitching.

The Globe CLASSIX® METRO™ is available in your choice of outer shells, moisture barriers, thermal barriers, reinforcements, reflective trim, and lettering. The Globe CLASSIX® METRO™ is available in both men’s and women’s sizing, and is UL Certified to NFPA 1971 (Structure Firefighting).

Shelby Glove is Flex-Tuff!

ShelbyFlexTuffThe fire service is always looking for new and better preforming PPE. Shelby has answered the call:  the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS with Hybridshield for Extreme Fire Protection.

Shelby’s use of HybridShield® technology is combined with a Kevlar® Simplex® knit, a legacy fire resistant fabric. HybridShield® – Thermal Arrays are applied directly to the Kevlar® knit providing an innovative fire blocking interlayer that relays extreme fire protection to underlying materials.

The Flex-Tuff HS provides enhanced elasticity that improves hand flex and finger articulation delivering better user dexterity and comfort. This provides for extraordinary improvements in firefighting performance with minimal weight, negligible water absorption and improved impact protection.

 

 

Some key features of the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS glove:

  •  Proudly made in the U.S.A.
  • 3D liner and barrier system uses the next generation Crosstech Film Technology.
  • Thermal Protection Zones provide a second lightweight thermal protection system that relays 50% more protection than other barrier/thermal liner layups of equal or greater thickness.
  • Tapered trigger finger/index finger results in superior index finger dexterity.
  • Glove G-Block wrist blocking system prevents gloves from creeping during fire operations.

The innovation and advanced design of the Flex-Tuff HS increases safety while providing firefighters with a secure, comfortable and responsive fit in an NFPA 1971 certified glove. If you are looking for quality, comfort and safety, then look no further than the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS firefighting glove.

The Exposure Factor by Ken Willette

Author, Ken Willette, division manager for Public Fire Protection at NFPA.  First printed in the NFPA Journal: First Responder

Firefighting, Hazardous Environments and NFPA Standards
I recently learned that, almost 40 years ago, hundreds of airport rescue firefighters may have been exposed to a toxic hazard as part of their training and response duties. Investigations had found that the aircraft used in this training had been part of a fleet that previously sprayed Agent Orange, a dioxin-based defoliant, during the Vietnam War, and that traces of the cancer-causing chemical remained in the airplanes.

The news was of interest to me, since I was one of those firefighters.

While our exposure was far less than that of the aircraft crews, we did frequent training and familiarizations in these planes, often with no personal protective equipment (PPE). We never decontaminated our PPE, and routinely washed our station uniforms at home with the family laundry. I thought of my fellow firefighters from this era of my career and how many of them have been lost to cancer.

I use the term “IDLH”—short for “immediately dangerous to life and health”—to describe the work environment firefighters operate in. The term conveys the potentially severe impact this environment could have on firefighters—cancer, respiratory afflictions, and other problems—if they do not protect themselves.

What they should protect themselves against varies depending upon whom you ask. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, for example, focuses on exposure to airborne contaminants that are “likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns against situations that pose “an immediate threat to life, would cause irreversible adverse health effects, or would impair an individual’s ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.” In short, an IDLH area is a bad place to be.

For over 40 years, NFPA has sought to protect firefighters against the IDLH atmosphere, producing a library of PPE standards that provide protection from airborne contaminants as well as atmospheres of low oxygen, toxic gases, and high temperatures. NFPA 1971, Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1981, Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, form the backbone of this protection by stating design, testing, and certification criteria. The recommendations have evolved to improve levels of protection, exemplified by embracing advanced textiles for PPE and improved materials for SCBA facepieces.

To ensure the PPE worn by firefighters achieves the intended protection, NFPA supports development of NFPA 1851, Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1852, Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). These documents list routine inspection criteria, as well as when PPE requires a simple cleaning, decontamination, or removal from service. Equal responsibility is placed on the user and the agency that supplied the PPE, because they each bear a high level of risk if the equipment fails.

PPE is an important part of a firefighter’s protection against exposure to carcinogens, but it needs to be maintained and cleaned, as recommended by NFPA 1851. SCBA should be worn during overhaul as well as active firefighting. As my own experience illustrates, you never know what you’re exposed to.

Think Performance, Think Safety, Think Bullard!

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Are you looking for a lightweight, low profile, high performance structural helmet? Are you concerned for the safety of your firefighters? Are you looking to cut weight, but want to maintain a high level of protection? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, look no further than the Bullard LTX Helmet.

Bullard LTX Helmet

Bullard LTX Helmet

The LTX Helmet has been re-engineered as a result of 20-years of Bullard engineered polymers technology and expertise. The LTX Helmet features a streamlined design, low center of gravity and increased headroom for more comfort, making the Bullard LTX helmet the most comfortable low profile helmet on the market. The Bullard LTX Helmet includes key safety features, such as an M-PACT Shell with SmartRidge design which provides thermal and impact protection while offering more headroom for a comfortable fit.
The Bullard LTX Helmet is equipped with the U-Fit System, which allows for 12 points of adjustment that allows you to adjust the ride and balance of your helmet. It’s like having a custom-fitted helmet, designed just for you. Available in Black, Red, White, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and Lime-Yellow. So when you think lightweight, performance, and safety…..Think Bullard!

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Product Features:

  • M-PACT Shell with SmartRidge design
  • High-heat thermoplastic outer shell
  • Comfortable Sure-Lock® ratchet headband
  • Balanced 4-point nylon crown straps and crown pad
  • Nomex® chinstrap with quick-release buckle and postman’s slide fastener
  • Rip-stop Nomex® ear/neck protector
  • Leather ratchet cover
  • Removable fire-resistant, absorbent cotton brow pad
  • Quick-Attach faceshield or goggle system
  • 12 comfort settings
  • Scotchlite® reflective markings
  • Certified to NFPA 1971-2013 standard

Globe SUPRALITE Boot: NFPA 1971 and NFPA 1992 Compliant!

This new innovation in structure fire boot technology takes Globe’s commitment to making athletic gear for firefighters to the next level.  Working off of the already successful Globe SUPREME composite-based structure boot platform, Globe has created a lighter weight, high performance structural boot matched by no other.

The combination of the cushioned and contoured sole, the flexible athletic footwear construction which features the world’s first use of DragonHide™ (a Globe exclusive that is so tough that we use it to reinforce turnout gear) and the internal fit system cause this boot to fit like a pair of sneakers. The SUPRALITE boot features a specially designed and formulated, more aggressive outsole.  This provides the protection, support, and slip resistance you can depend on.  The boot is NFPA 1971 (Structural Fire Fighting) and NFPA 1992 (Liquid Splash) compliant.

You will immediately feel the superior comfort, function and fit of the Globe SUPRALITE Structure Boot the moment you try it on. What are you waiting for?

Product Safety Alert – Seam Tape Separation

PRODUCT SAFETY ALERT  November 14, 2013
Important Message from GORE Protective Fabrics

To All Customers:

Please make note of an important product safety alert regarding seam tape separation in turnout gear.  W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (“Gore”) has observed isolated incidents of seam tape separation in stored firefighter turnout gear utilizing both GORE-SEAM® tape and non-Gore seam tape when the gear has been stored in its original packaging for three or more years before being issued and worn.

Gore has provided further details and instructions on their website located here.  In addition, they have provided a toll free number for questions, 1-800-455-4681.

NFPA 1851: 2014 Edition Released!

TIPS FROM THE TOP!  from Paul Curtis

The NFPA has recently published (August 15, 2013) the 2014 edition of 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.

The new standard supersedes all previous editions and there are a few changes in the newest edition of the standard that are important for the fire service and Independent Service Providers (ISP) to incorporate into their procedures.

NFPA 1851

Standardon Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting:  2014edition

  • The 2014 revision on this standard, which is the second revision, was issued on July 15, 2013 with an effective date of August 15, 2013. What follows is a list of new or revised requirements effective with this edition.
  • Probably the most significant change in this document involves independent service providers. The 2008 revision of the standard contained both verified and non-verified ISPs. The 2014 edition does not recognize any but verified ISPs; in other words, in order to claim to be an ISP in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 1851, the service provider must be verified by a third party certification organization.

STANDARDS PROCESS

  • NFPA standards writing has undergone a change in an attempt to make the document more user friendly during the development stages and encourage additional public input from the start. Rather than Proposals, the Technical Committee (TC) will review INPUT and from this public input come up with First Draft, which is published in place of a Report on Proposals (ROP). The advantage here is that the entire draft document with all proposed changes can be viewed as a whole, rather than a series of proposals and committee actions.
  • The public can see this first draft and submit Public Comments proposing further changes, which the TC either accepts or rejects. This results in a Second Draft for public review; this Second Draft Report replaces the Report on Comments (ROC) and is published on NFPA Standards Development Site, together with appropriate links to all Comments, Committee Actions and Committee Statements. Once again, this is an entire draft document.
  • At this point the only thing that will hold up a standard is if someone wants to contest the publication of the document. This would be in the form of a NITMAM (Notion of Intent to Make a Motion) and this allows the dissenter to address the entire NFPA membership at the annual meeting, when the document is presented. There are only three motions that can be made:
  1. Motion to Accept a Comment. This motion seeks to add proposed text into the standard.
  2. Motion to Reject a second Revision.  This motion seeks to delete proposed text from the second draft.
  3. Motion to Return an entire NFPA standard. This motion seeks to send an entire new or revised standard back to Technical Committee for further consideration.

 CHAPTER 3

  • Chapter 3 is the definitions chapter in all NFPA documents. In 1851, the definition for standard is new; there was no definition in previous editions.
  • The NFPA definition for organization as it applies to this standard is further broken down into subcategories, including Manufacturer Trained Organization and Verified Organization and each of these subcategories has different designations throughout the standard.

CHAPTER 4: PROGRAM

  • Where the organization is a verified organization or uses a verified ISP, approval from the manufacturer is not required. This was added to ensure that a manufacturer could not withhold approval from a fire department that had chosen a specific ISP who they wanted to use for advanced inspection, advanced cleaning and/or repairs.
  • This revision to 1851 says that training does not have to be by the exact manufacturer but can be by ANY element manufacturer of the same element type, or by a verified ISP. This was added to ensure that a manufacturer could not hold an organization hostage by refusing to train their personnel unless they continued to buy a specific brand. There is an annex item that explains it may still be very beneficial for an organization to consult with their own manufacturer, even though it is not a requirement.
  • The 2008 revision included a statement that when manufacturer’s instructions regarding care or maintenance differed from a specific requirement in the standard, the manufacturer’s instructions shall take precedence. The 2014 edition added a caveat: Manufacturers shall not be permitted to override the requirements of the standard for third-party verification.

This was specifically added to clarify that manufacturers cannot “waive” the requirement for an ISP or organization to be third party verified.

 

New table added to show responsibilities for Garment Inspection, Cleaning & Repair

MFG V ISP V ORG MT ORG USER
Routine inspection (6.2)

X

Advanced inspection (6.3)

X

X

X

X

Complete liner inspection (6.4)

X

X

X

X

Routine cleaning (7.2)

X

Advanced cleaning and decontamination (7.3)

X

X

X

X

Basic repair (8.2, 8.3)

X

X

X

X

Advanced repair (8.2, 8.4)

X

X

X

Training provider

X

X

MFG: Element manufacturer. V ISP: Verified ISP. V ORG: Verified organization. MT ORG: Manufacturer- trained organization. USER: End User

 

 CHAPTER 5 :  SELECTION

  • A new category was added to the list of hazards that can be encountered by fire fighters for the purpose of risk assessment:  Specific physical areas of operation. This new requirement includes an annex item that provides an example for consideration: consider whether the hazard likely to be encountered includes the possibility of fire fighters being struck by vehicular traffic. The annex goes on to explain that the high-visibility materials required on fire fighter PPE effectively enhance visual conspicuity during the variety of fire ground operations and that the continuous use of high- visibility garments is one component of a strategy to mitigate risks from struck-by hazards, which are known to cause serious fire fighter injuries and fatalities on an annual basis. Additional high- visibility requirements for fire fighters on or near roadways are regulated by the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD, 2009 version).  It is the responsibility of the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to specify appropriate high-visibility apparel from the available garment options, if any, and based on a risk assessment, to establish policies for use in accordance with prevailing regulations (the MUTCD) and in compliance with applicable standards (e.g., NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, ANSI/ISEA 107, ANSI/ISEA 207).

CHAPTER 6 :  INSPECTION

  • The term upon issue has been added to the routine inspection required to be done by each member of the fire department, so that the requirement now says “after each wearing” and “upon issue” to address the fact that some gear is re-issued. This requirement is applicable to all ensemble elements including interface components.
  • A new addition to the proximity routine inspection is to check for delamination of the outer shell.
    • This edition of the standard removed the word steel in conjunction with items to inspect for in footwear toes or midsoles for boots, since we now have high performance composite layers that no longer rely upon steel.
    • 2014 edition clarified that a manufacturer could do advanced inspection; although this had been the practice, this was intended to ensure there was no question as to who could do what.
    • Although being done in practice and fairly well understood, the 2014 edition spells out that a complete liner inspection is allowed to take the place of the light evaluation and the cup testing.
      • A verified organization does not need any written verification of training in order to perform complete liner inspection.
      • Inspecting for label integrity and legibility was formerly only in garments but was added to every element covered by NFPA 1971 (i.e. coats, pants, helmets, hoods, gloves, and footwear).

CHAPTER 7:  CLEANING

  • In the 2008 edition, there was no provision for an ISP to be verified for cleaning, so any outside cleaner could be used if they followed the cleaning dictates of 1851. With 2014, outside cleaning can only be done by a verified ISP.
  • Under the 2014 edition, the only outside cleaning that can be done is by a Verified ISP and they must still demonstrate to the organizations satisfaction that procedures do not compromise performance.
  • Formerly the advanced cleaning was done by either a verified ISP or the organization’s trained personnel. This did not change but the requirement is more clearly spelled out to include that the garment manufacturer can perform advanced cleaning without being verified.
  • The standard now allows a verified ISP and the organization to decide the necessary level of training, without consulting the manufacturer.
  • In the 2014 revision, verified organizations can decide the level of training they feel is necessary to perform advanced cleaning without the need for any written verification.

CHAPTER 8:  REPAIRS

  • In the 2008 edition, basic repairs could be performed by any ISP; with the 2014 edition in order to qualify as an ISP under requirements of 1851, any ISP must be verified even for basic repairs.
    • Training provided by AN element manufacturer, not THE manufacturer. This is to allow for training to be by only one manufacturer, not all. However, it may still be advantageous to the organization to consult with their own manufacturer.
    • The big change, once again, is that there is no such thing as a non-verified ISP; in order to be an ISP in accordance with 1851, you must be verified.
    • Repairs of minor tears, char marks, ember burns, and abraded areas limited to where area can be covered by 160 cm² (25 in²) patch. The 2008 standard said repair area could not exceed 32cm² (5 in²).
    • A new requirement for moisture barrier repair was added: Where moisture barrier tears, holes, or abrasions are being repaired, a single width of seam tape shall be used and is required to extend at least 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) in all directions beyond the edge of the repaired damage. Where the area to be repaired measures more than 12.5 mm (1/2 in.) in diameter in any direction, or is a tear greater than 75 mm (3 in.) in length, a patch consisting of the same moisture barrier fabric shall be used for repair.
  • The 2014 edition requires that restitching of more than 1 continuous inch of a Major A or Major B seam shall require consulting the garment element manufacturer and shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the garment element manufacturer’s methods. This is the same requirement found in the 2008 edition, but that edition also included an alternative to consulting the manufacturer and that was or shall be performed by the manufacturer or by a verified ISP.
  • Another new requirement for moisture barrier repairs is that in addition to consulting the garment manufacturer, with regards to moisture barrier seams, the repair must also be done in a manner consistent with barrier manufacturer’s methods.

CHAPTER 9:  STORAGE

There are no new or revised requirements in this chapter.

CHAPTER 10:  RETIREMENT

  • The only change in text was to add references to the mandatory ten year retirement sections referencing how retired gear should be disposed of.
    • There were no exceptions to any of the ensemble elements, so the 10 year retirement, with 5 years for aluminized outer shells, is still applicable to hoods, helmets, coats, pants, gloves, and footwear.
    • The biggest concern with the 10 year mandatory retirement seems to relate to helmets, and the 10 year requirement was debated all the way up to the annual NFPA meeting.  However, it was not changed.
    • In the 2008 edition of the standard, the Technical Committee inserted language into the Annex explaining that the actual service life of ensemble elements varies depending upon the amount of use and the care they receive.  In many cases, an element will need to be retired sooner than the five or ten years mandated by the standard and this information has now been included in the introductory part of the standard, under Original and Development of NFPA 1851.

CHAPTER 11:  VERIFICATION

  • The standard now contains requirements for cleaning and inspection of garments, and includes these requirements in the verification chapter.
  • The standard allows an ISP to be verified for cleaning and inspection only; however, any ISP seeking verification for garment repairs must also be verified for cleaning and inspection.
  • The certification organization cannot issue any new verifications to the 2008 edition of the standard after August 21, 2013 and organizations and ISPs must undergo verification to the 2014 edition within 6 months of the August 21, 2013 date. All previous verifications of ISPs cease to exist on that date.
  • Where the certification listing includes the moisture barrier repair category, the listing must also include the moisture barrier manufacturer and trade name designation.
    • For verification of the organization’s or ISP’s services, the certification organization must conduct both inspection and testing.
    • For verification of advanced cleaning services, the certification organization must evaluate the organization’s or ISP’s procedures.
    • For verification of advanced inspection services, the certification organization must evaluate the organization’s or ISP’s procedures.
    • The certification organization must be notified if the verified organization or ISP changes the designated person.

CHAPTER 12: TESTING

  • The only change to the testing section is to the Light Test and that change is under Results. The change is that to further investigate a suspected area [of the quilt batt] of shifting or migration, a complete liner inspection shall be performed. In the 2008 edition, an advanced inspection was done to further investigate a suspect area.

Compared to prior revisions, these revisions are minimal and are primarily driven by fire department members of the committee who seek to ensure firefighter member safety with the equipment and tools that they wear and use.

Be safe!

Bigger, Better, Safer

Okay, I’ve just got to say it….sometimes “bigger is better.” We’ll just get the cliché out of the way right up front! In this case E.D. Bullard Co., leading manufacturer of firefighter helmets, listened carefully to feedback they were receiving from firefighters. They really liked Bullard’s style of wildfire helmets, but for some the headroom just wasn’t enough (sounds like we’re buying a car, right?). So, we now have the FH911XL Wildfire Helmet: an extra-large, full-brim thermoplastic shell with ratchet suspension that offers 12.5% more volume for greater air flow. Read more….Bullard XL Wildfire Helmet
Yup, more headroom!