How strong is your last line of defence?

Published:  23 June, 2015

FOR YOUR DIARY PPE and Duty of Care Forum, 2nd of February 2016 (NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE, PREVIOUSLY 15 SEPTEMBER 2015), The Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham, UK

As the latest report from the US national Fallen Firefighters Foundation highlighted earlier this year, knowing a firefighter who has cancer has become one of the few universals in the fire service - a norm that cannot be acceptable.

A number of studies around the world focussing on occupational risks of fire fighters are highlighting that a lot more needs to be done to protect those who serve on the front line.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the last line of defence for firefighters, yet few Fire & Rescue Service personnel fully understand either how their protective clothing works or how it should be looked after so that it continues to protect its wearer.

In addition, the nature of the next generation of fire fighting protective clothing is expected to change due to the phasing out of the current chemical treatments used to prevent harmful liquids from penetrating garments.

The knock-on effects are highly likely to impact fire brigades in both how they manage their PPE to ensure that fire kit continues to protect firefighters as well how they manage their PPE budgets.

The PPE & Duty of Care Forum will provide a platform for the FRS to not only find out about the latest research on occupational hazards in the fire service but also gain an insight as to how the latest fabric technology fulfils its protective function - and how it should be looked after.

There is little time to lose. The delayed new European standard Protective clothing for firefighters (EN 469: 2014) is due to be published in September, setting performance requirements that current fabric technology is unable to match to the same levels as with the chemicals being phased out.

With no magic bullet solution on the horizon, in a worst-case scenario keeping firefighters safe could become a highly expensive option.

To find out more and register, click here:

  • Operation Florian

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