Learn About Firefighter Gear
Firefighter gear protects firefighters from the heat and smoke that they’ll face when going into a burning building.
The gear needs to be able to withstand extremely high temperatures while still allowing movement and speed. Without the proper firefighter gear, a firefighter would not be able to rush into fires to rescue people and animals without posing an equal or greater risk to themselves. Firefighting will always carry a level of risk, but firefighter gear helps to mitigate that risk for the safety of firefighters and the people that they’re able to help.
What Protective Gear Do Firefighters Wear?
The familiar suits that firefighters wear are referred to as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Other terms applied to PPE gear are “bunker gear” and “turnout gear.” A PPE uniform will include a hood, helmet, coat, pants, gloves, and boots. The suit will also have a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) face mask that provides firefighters a supply of oxygen when they enter burning buildings. The SCBA set includes a high-pressure tank, a pressure regulator, and the face mask or mouthpiece. These devices allow firefighters to breathe safely in immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) situations.
Protective clothing, such as the firefighter coat and overtrousers, must also be able to withstand extreme thermal temperatures. The outer layers are made from fire resistant, synthetic material that doesn’t lose its structural integrity after being exposed to high temperatures. PPE can weigh around 45-50 pounds but is still designed with flexibility and comfort in mind when it comes to movement. Firefighters will also wear wet weather and cold/extreme climate clothing to be prepared for any condition that they might face.
What Tools Do Firefighters Use?
Firefighter gear also includes the tools that firefighters will use when entering fire rescue situations. These tools include fire hoses, hydrants, fire axes, sledgehammers, and ladders. These items will be carried on the firetruck and sometimes on the person of the firefighter. Fire axes and sledgehammers help firefighters to break through walls or debris when trying to rescue people who have been trapped or when trying to get to the heart of a fire’s blaze.