Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Evaluation of the Performance of Station Wear Worn under a NFPA 1971 Structural Fire Fighter Protective Ensemble"
Author: Meredith McQuerry, Ph.D., Reannan Riedy, Brooke Garringer, Florida State University
Date of issue: August 2018
There has not been robust validated research conducted on the effects of station wear while worn under a NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting protective ensemble (aka “bunker gear”) in a fire and heat environment. The fire service is generally unaware of the risk that is associated with the use of non-certified NFPA garments, including synthetic fabrics, while worn as station wear garments under bunker gear. The second leading cause of fire fighter injuries in the United States is exposure to heat and smoke. The scope of NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Clothing Elements specifies the requirements for the design, performance, testing, and certification of non-primary protective work apparel and the individual garments comprising work apparel. The standard also specifies the requirements for the thermal stability of textiles used in the construction of work apparel.
This project was comprised of the following tasks:
- Review the requirements of NFPA 1975 for thermal stability.
- Identify available reports, articles, or other documents related to the risks associated with garments while worn as station wear under bunker gear.
- Identify the gaps in the literature on the system’s level effect of non-thermally stable garments worn under bunker gear.
- Conduct a targeted information gathering of end-user (fire fighters) to understand the selection process of station wear.
- Design a test program to evaluate NFPA 1975 station wear with a NFPA 1971 compliant protective ensemble.
- Compile and submit a final written report based on the findings from all above tasks.