Emergency First Responder Respirator Thermal Characteristics - Workshop Proceedings

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Emergency First Responder Respriator Thermal Characteristics" (PDF, 4 MB)
Author: Amy Mensch and Nelson Bryner, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Date of issue: June 2011


An issue of escalating interest being considered by the NFPA technical committees responsible for emergency responder personal protective equipment (PPE) involves the integrity of face pieces used with fire fighter self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Of specific interest is the performance of these face pieces to thermal insult, and if they are providing acceptable protection consistent with the performance expectations of the full PPE ensemble.

To address these concerns a one and one half day workshop was held in July 2010 to identify performance needs and establish research priorities to address the thermal characteristics of respiratory protective equipment used by emergency first responders. This document contains the proceedings of the workshop. As a result, the primary concerns and research priorities were identified as the characterization of the fire fighter environment, performance of current and new technology, development of representative and realistic testing, and improvements to fire fighter training on the limitations of protective equipment.

This workshop was jointly hosted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health - National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NIOSH-NPPTL). Documentation of the workshop and authorship of the proceedings has been handled with appreciation by NIST.

The content, opinions and conclusions contained in these proceedings are solely those of the authors.