3 Scientific Tests Prove Globe Boots with Arctic Grip Pro Soles Improve Your Safety

Are you prepared for cold weather calls? What you put on your feet really makes a difference where your safety is concerned. While no footwear can eliminate all slips and falls, Arctic Grip Pro soles on Globe’s athletic construction boots take firefighter footwear to the highest level of performance and safety available.

Arctic Grip Pro is state-of-the-art sole technology specifically engineered by Vibram to perform on wet ice. A combination of the highest performing rubber outsole compound and an advanced filler system, Arctic Grip Pro soles provide unparalleled traction on wet ice.

In collaboration with Vibram, we undertook three scientific tests to prove that our Globe boots with the new soles can help to reduce slips and falls in cold and wet conditions.

Incline Ramp Test: Wet

Independent testing was conducted by scientists and engineers of the iDAPT Research team at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) of Toronto. TRI has a unique set of testing facilities whereby they can mechanically pitch, up to 20 degrees, an entire room that has been conditioned to form ice. In this environment, the test protocol requires the tester to repeatedly ascend and descend the icy surface to the maximum angle achievable. TRI tested Globe footwear outfitted with Vibram Arctic Grip Pro and other styles and brands of cold weather footwear.

Conclusion: The data reflected an eight times increase in the combined incline and decline angle achieved with footwear outfitted with Arctic Grip Pro.

Load Cell Test

Vibram conducted a load cell test, which was developed to test Arctic Grip Pro in real life situations. Ice is formed on a surface where a tester can strap into a harness attached to a load cell, then read the force output in kilograms. Three orientations are used: side, front, and back. Two firefighter boots were tested, one Globe with a Vibram Arctic Grip Pro sole and a non-Globe firefighter boot.

Conclusion: Test showed that the Globe boot with Vibram Arctic Grip Pro sole exceeds the coefficient of friction of 0.30 on wet ice, which is the ASTM recommended threshold to reduce the risk of slipping.

Cold Hardness Change Test

Vibram also conducted a cold hardness change test to measure changes to the boots’ compounds at -23 Celsius (-9.4 Fahrenheit) and -40 Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit) at 30, 60, and 90 minutes. Two firefighter boots were tested, one Globe with a Vibram Arctic Grip Pro sole and a non-Globe firefighter boot. Higher numbers mean a harder sole; lower numbers are more flexible.

Conclusion: The cold hardness change test results showed a large jump in hardness for the non-Globe boot in both -23 Celsius (-9.4 Fahrenheit) and -40 Celsius (-40 Fahrenheit) temperatures. The test showed smaller hardness changes for the Globe boots with the Arctic Grip Pro soles, which proves they are more flexible and stay more flexible in colder weather. That translates to less physiological strain and less likelihood of trips and falls on the fireground.

At Globe, we are committed to developing solutions that lessen the many health and safety risks faced by firefighters every day, including those that may result in long-term health consequences. Globe boots are engineered to deliver improved safety through science.

Globe Discusses PPE on iWomen Talk Radio Show

Globe was invited to participate in a talk radio show hosted by the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services to discuss the importance of personal protective equipment. Pat Freeman, Globe Technical Services Manager, and Stephanie McQuade, Globe Marketing Services Manager, addressed the construction and materials for turnout gear, proper care and cleaning, and the importance of being fitted correctly for PPE.

Other guests included Linsey Griffin, Assistant Professor Wearable Product Design, Human Dimensioning Lab at the College of Design, University of Minnesota and Susan Sokolowski, Director & Associate Professor, Sports Product Design, at University of Oregon Portland. They spoke about their women’s PPE research project with a group of 12 universities in the United States.

Listen to the talk radio show on FireEngineering.com

An interactive non-profit network, International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Service (iWomen) provides education, support and advocacy for fire service women. For more information, visit www.i-women.org.

Three More Recipients Announced in the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway

Globe by MSA, in partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), is giving away 52 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to 13 volunteer fire departments in need through the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway program. Now in its seventh year, the program works to enhance the safety and capabilities of small-town fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Recipients are being announced monthly throughout the year.

The latest recipients are the Ben Lomond (CA) Fire Protection District, the New Victoria (NS, Canada) Fire Department, and the Huntington Volunteer Fire Company (Phillipsburg, NJ).

Ben Lomond (CA) Fire Protection District

The Ben Lomond Fire Protection District (BLFD)is an all-volunteer fire department with one paid chief. BLFD volunteers respond to an average of 500 calls per year involving structure fires, wildland fires, vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, public services, and more. All 35 responders are currently using turnout gear that is nearly 15 years old and not compliant with recommended safety standards. Due to obligations such as station repairs, apparatus replacement, and the need for new self-contained breathing apparatuses, securing new turnouts has been put on hold.

“[This donation of] Globe gear would provide a fresh set of turnouts for our top responding volunteers,” said BLFD Engineer Dan Arndt. “This would not only help ensure our firefighters’ safety, it would also reward our responders for their commitment to the community.”

New Victoria (NS, Canada) Fire Department

The New Victoria Fire Department is located on the mouth of Sydney Harbour in the most northeastern part of Nova Scotia. The department responds to an average of 120 calls per year, serving approximately 5,000 residents over 100 square miles. Department personnel train hard to ensure they are ready to respond. However, about half of its 22 volunteers must wear gear that is more than 10 years old and not up to recommended standards.

“Our members are dedicated and take much pride in our department,” said Deputy Chief Andrew Petrie. “Receiving this gear will be a great morale boost for our members.Thank you to Globe, DuPont, and the NVFC for this opportunity to help make our responders safe.”

Huntington Volunteer Fire Company (Phillipsburg, NJ)

The Huntington Volunteer Fire Company has 27 volunteers who protect 3,800 residents in Phillipsburg, NJ.The company averages 180 calls each year that include fire, accident, traffic control, EMS assistance, and other public services. Its members are very proactive in the community and provide fire and life safety education annually to the local school during Fire Prevention Week in October and host a monthly breakfast to help raise capital for their expenses.Six new firefighters have joined the crew over the last two years, bringing their volunteer responder count to 27. All are equipped with turnouts, but 15 sets are more than 10 years old, forcing the crew to use gear on the front line that doesn’t meet recommended safety standards.

“Responder safety is paramount,” said Chief Leo Pursell. “Any new gear would go a long way in ensuring both new recruits and our veterans feel protected.”

Additional Globe Gear Giveaway awards will be made monthly throughout 2018. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook page, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for additional information and announcements regarding the Globe Gear Giveaway.

First Recipients Announced for the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway

Since 2012, Globe by MSA, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have partnered to provide 403 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to fire departments in need – a value of over $920,000. An additional 13 departments will each receive four sets of gear in 2018.

“MSA and Globe’s mission is to see to it that men and women live and work in safety and health, and that speaks to the heart of exactly why we’re proud to support the NVFC,” said Globe chief operating officer Tom Vetras. “Firefighters deserve nothing less than the very best personal protective equipment. Our Globe Gear Giveaway program – in partnership with DuPont – is just one of the ways we’re happy to support the many NVFC initiatives that help improve volunteer firefighters’ overall health, wellness, and safety.”

“Having standards-compliant, well-fitting gear is a critical component to keeping firefighters safe, healthy, and ready to respond,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “We appreciate the efforts and generosity of Globe, MSA, and DuPont to help departments keep our boots on the ground safe and protected through this invaluable program.”

The first two recipients of the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Hindman (KY) Volunteer Fire Department and Cedar Fort (UT) Volunteer Fire Department.

Hindman (KY) Volunteer Fire Department

The Hindman Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) protects 2,000 residents in Hindman, KY, located in the eastern part of the state. The department is currently celebrating 50 years of dedicated service to its community. While funding for the department has decreased over the years due to a waning coal industry from which they formerly received support, their call volume has not. Despite budget constraints, the department strives to provide the best possible service. In 2017, the HVFD increased its Insurance Service Office rating from seven to four, which is the best rating it has had since the department’s inception. In addition to emergency response, members provide fire prevention education to roughly 500 children in the community each year.

To ensure the safety of its responders, each firefighter is required to complete the KY Fire Commission 150-hour certification. However, only 15 of the HVFD’s 24 volunteers have gear, and only five of those are less than 10 years old, meaning the rest don’t meet recommended safety standards and can’t be used during live fire training in the state. Often gear must be borrowed from one member to another to be able to perform the training, leaving responders on duty without compliant gear.

“We are a great fire department with a young and dedicated membership,” said HVFD Chief James Preston Hays. “We have always tried to do the best we could with limited resources. Receiving this gear will be a great benefit to protect our firefighters and further improve as a department.”

Cedar Fort (UT) Volunteer Fire Department

The Cedar Fort Volunteer Fire Department is dedicated to serving and protecting the second largest response area in Utah County, which encompasses 214 square miles. 200 of those miles are open area where there are no paved roads and access is difficult; small blazes can quickly become a serious issue. The department is also responsible for Five Mile Pass, which is a popular recreation area designated for off-road and open-use. It is not uncommon to see thousands of people visiting the area on any given day. Cedar Fort firefighters are required to certify at Firefighter I and II and hazmat operations so they are ready to respond.

All 32 of the department’s firefighters have turnout gear; however, the gear was donated by a neighboring department and all sets are over 10 years old and no longer compliant with national safety standards. With a limited budget, the department has been unable to afford the new gear its responders so desperately need. Receiving new sets of turnouts from the Globe Gear Giveaway program will improve the safety of Cedar Fort responders and allow the department to be more effective when protecting its community and visitors.

Additional Globe Gear Giveaway awards will be made monthly throughout 2018. Stay tuned to the NVFC web site, Dispatch newsletter, and Facebook page, as well as the Globe Facebook page, for additional information and announcements regarding the Globe Gear Giveaway.

Free Online Course | Firefighter Cancer: Prevention and Health

Studies have shown that firefighters have an increased risk of certain cancers the longer they spend working in the fire service.

In order to help mitigate this, firefighters and fire officers must take steps to protect themselves and others by wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE) in the proper way and at the right times.

In this course, we will explore the common cancer-causing agents firefighters may face on the job as well as the importance of wearing proper PPE and using decontamination techniques to help reduce exposure to toxic substances and increase firefighter health and quality of life.

This FireRescue1 Academy course is sponsored by Globe. FireRescue1 Academy is the industry’s most comprehensive yet user-friendly online video training system. Log in today and get started.

Evaluating turnout gear cleaning options

At the upcoming Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the fire service can expect a variety of new product and service claims as it does each year. Continuing emphasis on contamination control will drive vendors to promote specific equipment, supplies and processes, all with the guarantee for reducing firefighter exposure to potential carcinogens and other hazardous substances.
The large majority of these items or approaches will be well-meaning, but as is often noted, a certain amount of zeal will be present to entice departments and individual firefighters to consider new ways that they can reduce their risks.

We expect a large number of claims at this year’s FDIC to revolve around contamination control and exposure reduction in the form of cleaning products and services. A great deal of research has recently emerged in this area. Findings from this research have been coupled with several different new approaches for cleaning turnout clothing and related items both on the fireground and at station.

Because of the heightened focus on firefighter cancer and similar debilitating diseases from exposure to hazardous substances, we urge caution and due diligence in reviewing and considering the different options available for turnout cleaning.

CLEANING FIREFIGHTER GEAR

With the trend towards more frequent cleaning of turnout clothing, many departments are investigating or adding new in-house capabilities that allow their organizations to conduct regular cleaning. This is a significant investment, because the implementation of these capabilities is relatively resource-intensive, requiring appropriate washing machines, the space for siting these machines and sometimes assigned personnel who can properly undertake the requisite cleaning processes.

From an equipment standpoint, the key item is the washer/extractor. While some organizations may have attempted to make do with standard washing machines, top-loading machines are no longer acceptable. Even the newer front-loading household machines simply do not provide the appropriate characteristics for cleaning turnout clothing, particularly when high-efficiency/low water utilization is now the practice with this type of equipment.

Instead, washer/extractors from a recognized company should be considered with particular features, including:

The fire service is best served by those companies that have taken the time to understand the specific needs for cleaning turnout clothing and thus offer machines and programs that are tailored for fire service applications.

Identifying the correct machine is only part of the process towards selecting cleaning equipment. The department must have a sufficient space for placing the machine and the utilities to accommodate its operation. Very specifically, appropriate levels of hot and cold water capacity must be provided to the machine.

As extractors spin out large quantities of water from the machine, the drainage system in place must be able to handle  water flow rates. Though most jurisdictions do not require special handling of wastewater, is important to check with local regulations to ensure that contaminated wastewater can be put into the sewer system at that location. Therefore, the ability to put a washer/extractor into a location takes a significant amount of planning and departments must consider all these details before making a purchase.

TURNOUT GEAR CLEANING AGENTS

Turnout clothing cleaning requires specific detergents to ensure removal of contaminants and ordinary fireground soils, which can be quite varied in their composition. While it is possible to use standard industrial or consumer-based wash chemicals, care should be taken in their selection.
Many industrial wash chemicals are predicated on high alkalinity and subsequent pH adjustment by acidic sour solutions. Yet, NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting requires that the pH indicated on the cleaning agent Safety Data Sheet be no higher than 10.5 and no lower than 6.0.

Many industrial wash chemicals cannot meet these limits. On the other hand, consumer products may not be optimized for effectively cleaning turnout clothing materials. Instead, it is better to choose wash chemicals that have been formulated specifically for turnout clothing cleaning. These chemicals should have demonstrated effectiveness in cleaning turnout gear without causing any deterioration of turnout clothing performance. Viable suppliers should be able to provide this information at the request of the fire department.

There are a number of supplemental cleaning agents that are making their way into the fire service. Some of these cleaning agents are repositioned products that were originally touted for decontamination of military clothing against WMD agents. While it is quite possible that these agents can work as intended, it is much more important to ask for specific research or studies that adequately document the use of these types of products on turnout clothing.

The larger concern for any cleaning agent is its ability to remove persistent contaminants often trapped in the set and lodged in the materials themselves. As many fireground contaminants are relatively complex chemicals representing a range of different compounds, the ability of a single cleaning agent to neutralize or react with fire service contaminants is a fairly broad claim.

Thus, the fire service should approach these products with the same degree of scrutiny as they do for any purchase of a product intended to provide seemingly high-end benefits. As with general detergents and cleaning agents, look for evidence that the product will not irreversibly affect turnout clothing performance.

FIREFIGHTER GEAR CLEANING SERVICES

One of the options available to the fire service for cleaning of turnout clothing is the use of independent service providers (ISPs) that inspect, clean and repair firefighter turnout clothing. Many of these organizations are independently verified by third-party certification organizations. Currently, both Intertek Testing Services (ITS) and Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) verify ISPs with the listings of qualified organizations can be found at:

Verified ISPs are reviewed for meeting the requirements of NFPA 1851. This verification process involves an assessment of the ISP procedures and some verification testing related to repair capabilities. Until the next edition of NFPA 1851 is accepted, there is no verification of cleaning procedures for contaminant removal. However, verified ISPs still must demonstrate adherence to the current requirements of NFPA 1851 for cleaning turnout clothing. The use of a verified ISP means that there is least some oversight for their procedures, which are periodically monitored and reviewed.

Not all ISPs will handle all types of clothing contamination. Most ISPs will generally clean fireground contaminated clothing and many also will handle clothing that is exposed to blood or body fluids that are potentially contaminated with blood borne pathogens.

Beyond that, it will depend on the capabilities of the ISP as to whether cleaning is provided for specialized hazardous materials exposures, or certain types of contaminants, such as asbestos or bed bugs. Whenever dealing with an ISP, is important to ask multiple questions about their capabilities and to ascertain whether they have experience in providing services for special cleaning circumstances.

UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS OF NFPA 1851

In considering your cleaning options, be sure to fully investigate any equipment, products or services that you intend to use and ensure they are consistent with the requirements of NFPA 1851.
Be wary of any vendor that indicates they are approved by NFPA, as NFPA does not approve anything. ISPs that meet the respective requirements of NFPA 1851 can be verified by either ITS or UL and can provide proof of that verification. There are no NFPA 1851-approved equipment items, detergents, cleaning agents or processes. Instead, these items can conform to NFPA 1851, but there is no approval authority.

In many cases, you should be able to ask for references – other fire departments or organizations – that have purchased from these vendors. Checking with others is one good way for gaining an understanding of how well the cleaning works and if there any specific problems.

There is considerably more detail in defining the appropriate turnout clothing cleaning option that is right for your organization, but taking the right time to understand existing requirements, knowing your specific needs and questioning claims goes to the right approach for finding the correct solution.

Deadline 6/1: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win Globe Gear
Tanglewood Volunteer Fire Department in Texas, a winner in the 2017 Globe Gear Giveaway Program

The application deadline for the 2018 Globe Gear Giveaway is June 1, 2018. Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up for the seventh year to provide state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need. 13 departments will each receive four sets of new gear, for a total of 52 sets.

To be eligible to apply for the Globe Gear Giveaway, departments must meet the following criteria:

Proper turnout gear is vital to the safety of firefighters; however, budget restrictions often leave many volunteer departments struggling to outfit their crew with personal protective clothing that meets recommended national safety standards. Since 2012, Globe and DuPont have provided 402 sets to a total of 82 departments in need.

Learn more and apply for Globe gear at www.nvfc.org/globe-gear-giveaway. Winners will be announced monthly between July and December.

Takeaways from the AFG Turndown Letters | Free Grant Assistance Available

By Jerry Brant, Senior Grant Consultant and Grant Writer, FireGrantsHelp

Here’s what we know and can tell you about the AFG turndown letters.

1. THE AFG TURNDOWN LETTERS WERE GENERATED BY ACTIVITY

Each letter should have a heading that notes a specific activity (e.g., Equipment). This means that the item or items you applied for under this specific activity did not make it to peer review. If you applied for several categories of Equipment (e.g., TIC, hose and radios), then all those items were turned down.

2. ONE TURNDOWN LETTER DOES NOT MEAN ALL YOUR ACTIVITIES WERE REJECTED

If you applied for more than one activity, receiving a rejection notice does not mean that all of your activities were turned down. If you applied for another activity and you did not get another turndown letter, than you can reasonably believe that the other activity made it to peer review. So, if you applied for SCBA and Equipment: radios, and you received a turndown for Equipment only, the radios were turned down at this point and the SCBA application went to peer review.

The good news?

FEMA anticipates that 2017 AFG awards should start being awarded this month. Awards will continue on a rolling basis until they are completed, which should be before mid-September.

If you need grant help for Turnout Gear or Personal Protective Equipment, Globe has partnered with FireGrantsHelp to provide your department free grant research and assistance. Submit a request here today to get started.

A version of this article originally appeared on FireGrantsHelp

Globe Invited to Present at iWomen Conference


Globe has been invited to present at the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Service (iWomen) Conference being held May 24-26, 2018 in Fairfax County, Virginia.

The iWomen Conference is hosted by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and includes a workshop titled “Where Research and Firefighting Experience Come Together to Develop the Future of Personal Protective Equipment.”

Between the years of 2010 and 2014, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimated that female firefighters experienced an average of 1,260 injuries on the fireground each year (NFPA, 2017). The concern is that some of these injuries can be attributed to poorly fitting and functioning turnout gear. Through this session, firefighters will gain more awareness of current turnout gear performance challenges and participate in a process to improve the safety and design of future turnout gear for women.

Pat Freeman, Globe Technical Services Manager, will present Globe’s research and design development of NFPA-certified turnout gear for female firefighters. Although NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, requires a female pattern in stated sizes, and manufacturers have been meeting these minimum requirements for years, many female firefighters are still getting gear that doesn’t fit well. Pat will discuss the many dimensions of fit, including the Globe exclusive dimension of shape. The key to proper fit is gear that comes in different shapes, not just sizes.

For more information about the iWomen Conference, visit www.i-women.org.

Are You a Tactical Athlete?


By Todd J. LeDuc, MS, CFO, FIFirE, Assistant Chief with Broward County (FL) Fire Rescue
You may have heard the term “tactical athlete” a lot recently. The term itself is not confined to the fire service and firefighters but other high-risk professions such as the military. The United States Marine Corp (U.S.M.C.) defines a “tactical athlete” as an individual who trains for combat readiness using a comprehensive athletic approach. Tactical athletes use all facets of strength, power, speed, and agility to improve their combat fitness level to their highest potential. The Marine Corps recognize that using speed and agility training will improve maneuverability of an individual in a combat situation such as maneuvering under fire. Additionally, focusing on power lifting exercises in a training regime improves total body power and increasing success in combat engagement. The U.S.M.C. has also added “High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT)” to enhance operational fitness levels and optimize combat readiness and resiliency for the essential tasks that Marines are expected or likely to need to be able to perform in combat.
Firefighting is a rigorous profession and the essential job functions that firefighters are called upon to conduct impacts nearly everybody system. Our actions on the fireground physiologically stress many responses that respond differently than from a homeostatic state. Below are some of the systems affected:

Firefighters essential job functions are measured in “MET” values or “Metabolic Equivalent of a Task.” This is the rate of oxygen consumption during a task as compared to resting, and can be used to compare levels of exertion across various types of activities. As a reference point for most, humans at rest consume one MET. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments, speaks to an aerobic capacity of 12 MET or below as a medical condition for a fighter. The reality of firefighting is that search and rescue activities under smoke conditions require 16 METS. As a comparison, professional football players operate in the oxygen consumption range of 15-16 METS, while it has been measured that professional soccer players operate 17-18 METS. So, yes, the reality is that you as a firefighter are expected, through performing essential job functions, to be on part with a professional athlete—or, more appropriately, a “tactical athlete.”
The Phoenix Rapid Intervention Team studies which were conducted that it took on average 21.8 minutes to locate, package, transfill, and extricate a downed firefighter from a commercial structure. Additionally, it took twelve firefighters to complete rescue. As such, firefighters performing both essential fireground tasks or placed in the role of rapid intervention team requires that we be prepared to function at the highest levels of human performance.
These realities require each of us and our departments to focus on human performance measures such as physical fitness much like the U.S.M.C. approach. Additionally, firefighters must focus on hydration, nutrition, and behavioral readiness. All these elements are essential to survival on the fireground. Take a moment reassess where you are at currently on the tactical athlete spectrum and where you need to improve for you and your crews’ survival.
Posted with permission from Fire Engineering