Bristol Uniforms, a leading designer and manufacturer of protective clothing for the emergency services, has launched a brand new, state-of-the-art design for structural firefighting PPE. Named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, EOS builds on the success of Bristol’s XFlex and UK Collaborative Framework ranges, retaining the popular ergonomic sports styling and advanced protection from quality specialist fabrics. However, the new design and features offer an even higher level of protection to help combat the new and emerging risks faced by modern-day firefighters across the world.
Designed to combat carcinogens
EOS has specific design features to avoid the build-up of toxic smoke particles in vulnerable areas. Reflective tape is attached to garments using heat, which results in a smoother finish. The front of the jacket and sleeves have a simpler, smoother finish, free from pockets or unnecessary features where particles can gather. Instead, pockets for gloves and accessories have been carefully positioned for ease of use and to reduce particle accumulation. Storm pockets are situated at the lower back of the jacket, an area which typically receives less smoke exposure. Additional larger pockets have been integrated into the inside of the jacket.
The new range also comes with particle-blocking Gore-Tex wrist cuffs, optional particle-blocking skirt around the torso, and optional particle-blocking wind cuffs around the ankles, for superior particulate protection. These barriers prevent dangerous smoke particles from infiltrating protective clothing, either under the jacket or via sleeves and trouser legs, and coming in contact with the skin. The optional skirt and wind cuffs are made with a special three-layer Gore-Tex fabric from W.L. Gore, which provides protection from smoke particles and is strong enough to withstand wear and tear. The skirt is connected to the inside of the jacket, creating a seal around the torso, whilst the wind cuffs are placed over the boots to create a seal around the ankles. The wrist cuffs come as standard on all EOS jackets, following the popular design already used in the XFlex range to prevent smoke-particle exposure between the glove and the sleeve.
To further reduce build-up of particles, the outer layer has no piping and a reduced number of seams. The jacket zip and neck areas, often vulnerable to contamination, are protected by a smooth double-flap front.
Bristol Uniforms understands how important it is that firefighters can move easily and comfortably in their protective clothing. The role of a firefighter is strenuous and physically active, involving crawling, running, climbing and carrying heavy equipment. PPE must be ergonomic, working with the firefighter for optimal performance.
The new EOS design is lightweight and ultra-flexible, enabling a superior range of motion and manoeuvrability. This is partly due to the introduction of a distinctive, supple reflective taping called HEX-TT. The precise cube-pattern of the new taping features tiny gaps, resulting in an outer layer that is significantly more supple and flexible, tear and catch resistant, and less likely to degrade after frequent washing. In the event that the taping is damaged, the orientation-neutral design means it is also easier to repair.
The superior ergonomics are also enhanced by concave seaming at the back of the jacket, and back pleats, which enable greater ease of movement.
It is of course crucial that firefighting PPE is hard-wearing and robust, and able to withstand the effects of carrying out a physically demanding role in challenging environments. As a manufacturer with decades of experience providing in-house PPE cleaning and repairing services in the UK, Bristol is well placed to identify common areas of weakness that may need more regular repair and has paid particular attention to these areas in the new design. For example, the internal elbow and knee padding systems not only provide superior protection but have been specifically designed to resist damage in these common wear-and-tear areas.
Now that the regular cleaning of kit is recommended to reduce the risks associated with smoke exposure, fire services across the world are washing their kit more frequently than ever before, and will continue to see washing frequency increase in future. It is essential that PPE can withstand this additional cleaning and remain fit for purpose. In response, Bristol Uniforms has ensured that the new EOS design is particularly hard-wearing and even longer lasting, and crucially able to withstand frequent washing and tumble drying.
EOS is compatible with a wide range of accessories and equipment including integrated safety harnesses and drag rescue devices.
Customers also have the option to add bespoke radio pockets and loops to the front of the garment to accommodate specific equipment.
Colours and fabrics
Bright, modern and stylish, EOS is available in a wide range of colours to suit any national or regional preferences. Colour combinations include:
- PBI Gold
- PBI Gold and Black
- Navy and Lime
- Navy and Red
- Navy and Yellow
A select combination of specialist fabrics gives optimum performance whilst being light in weight to minimize heat stress. Customers can choose from a selection of outer fabrics manufactured from PBI or Nomex fibres, for example the Hainsworth TITAN range, which offers excellent protection against heat and flame. EOS also comes with a choice of high-quality inner moisture barrier and liner systems from W.L. Gore, which protect against particles and pathogens and draw sweat away from the skin, keeping the body cool and dry.
Versatile and suitable for all international markets, EOS has been designed to meet the requirements of both the CEN and NFPA standards EN469 Level 2 and NFPA 1971:2018. It is also designed to meet requirements of Australian standard, AS 4967: 2019.
EOS comes in 28 different sizes for both male and female firefighters.
For more information visit www.bristoluniforms.com