Below is a brief description of the personal protective clothing warn by a firefighter in a structural environment or attending other call outs.
Structural protective clothing is designed to provide the required outer protective layer against hazards that include cuts, abrasions within an enclosed environment, such as a structural fire.
These design features ensure protection against hazards and include:
- being available in both one piece (overalls) or two piece (heavy weight wool coat and overtrousers),
- loose fit to allow for maximum comfort, mobility and durability,
- provision of additional protection to the lower head/face, neck, nose and ears from a special collar design,
- overtrousers made from flame retardant (PROBAN) treated cotton,
- and high visibility colour overtrousers with reflective material around the legs
The structural helmet is somewhat heavier than the rural helmet to ensure protection to the wearer whilst fighting a structural fire, including reasonable airflow around the head.
It provides protection from a range of hazards including:
- impact from falling objects,
- flying ash and embers,
- environmental conditions (radiant heat, water, steam),
- penetration by sharp objects
Eye injuries are a common problem each year, and therefore appropriate eye wear must be worn.
Goggles are designed to provide the necessary protection:
- by providing a tight seal around the eyes,
- to minimise irritation to the eyes caused by smoke and fine particles,
- from serious injury caused through the impact of large particles,
- and aid visibility.
Goggles supplied by CFA comply with Australian Standards AS1337 Eye Protection for Industrial Applications.
Boots used in the structural environment and for general call outs can differ from those used in a rural situation. A structural boot should provide the following protection:
- sturdy ankle and foot support,
- heat resistant sole,
- flame retardant upper,
- moisture resistant,
- excellent grip,
- safety toe cap (preferred),
- and non elastic sided (preferred)
Rubber boots may be used in the structural environment.
Gloves are designed to provide a number of benefits including:
- protection against flame,
- protection against cuts,
- improved grip but with minimal loss of dexterity.
For rural firefighting a 'riggers' glove, with an extended cuff, is used. This glove is made from leather and provides a good level of protection.