Firefighters at Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) are the first in Australia to be protected by new firefighting garments that include the revolutionary Gore-Tex Moisture Barrier with the Gore Crosstech product technology Gore Parallon System.
The Gore Parallon System was researched and developed over several years with input from many firefighters throughout the world. The unique technology reduces the risk of burn injuries and heat stress in both wet and dry conditions while protecting from exposure to particulates and blood pathogens. It incorporates a highly breathable liquid-proof Gore thermal barrier combined with a Crosstech moisture barrier. This combination ensures a consistent level of thermal protection and enhanced comfort for the wearer during structural firefighting activities and protects from blood pathogens, particulates and common chemicals.
The use of two membranes encapsulating a layer of thermal protection maintains breathability while wicking perspiration away from the skin out through the suit, simultaneously preventing liquid penetration from the outside.
The contract for new garments was awarded to Pac Fire, one of the Australia’s leading suppliers of personal protective clothing & equipment. The XFlex suits, which incorporate the Gore Parallon System, have been manufactured for FRNSW’s 7,000 firefighters by Pac Fire’s longstanding partner, Bristol Uniforms.
Gore Associate, Gordon Burns said: ‘It is a privilege to have been chosen to protect the firefighters of FRNSW, one of the largest urban fire services in the world. They can have total confidence that they are working with the best possible clothing technology that incorporates the most advanced protective fabric solutions available today. The Gore Parallon System extends the boundaries of firefighter protection to new levels, removing the compromise between comfort and protection.’
Jeremy Stubbs, Chief Superintendent, Operational Logistics at Fire and Rescue NSW, added: ‘The new structural fire gear was chosen after a comprehensive procurement and evaluation process to ensure that our firefighters have the best protection possible. Our main drivers were to achieve the optimum combination of protection, comfort and ergonomics.
‘The team looked at technical test results, composition and construction of the garments and multiple washing cycles along with robust wearer trials with our firefighters for shortlisted garments. The XFlex from Pac Fire was determined to be the preferred option by both firefighters and the tender evaluation committee.’
Gore technical fire fabrics are compliant with AS/NZS 4967 and the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, as well as EN469, NFPA 1951, 1999 and 1971. They maintain that level of lifetime performance thanks to outstanding resistance to wear and abrasion and the ability to consistently retain high breathability and waterproofness after exposure to extreme cold and heat. They protect against particulates, common chemicals, blood pathogens and are renowned for their consistently reliable thermal stability.
Gore fabrics undergo the most extensive and stringent testing regimes, which is just one of the reasons why they consistently outperform alternative products. The company’s test labs are comparable to those used in many of the independent institutes. In many cases, Gore has developed specific test methods where previously no standardized tests existed. This intense process ensures that the moisture barrier will maintain its integrity and performance levels throughout the lifetime of the garment, boot or glove.
From the start of the testing process, every aspect of the product’s real-world use is examined in detail to inform the design and engineering process. It’s important that protective clothing is functional and comfortable, so Gore textile engineers and designers will advise manufacturers on potential innovations, such as special closures or waterproof collar solutions.
Gore only partners with garment, footwear and glove suppliers who can guarantee a total quality approach throughout the manufacturing process, and companies that make Gore products must comply with Gore manufacturing standards. These standards require the manufacturer to adhere to specific quality levels for machinery used in the production processes. Gore specialists provide recommendations to production sites to ensure that manufacturing standards are implemented and met, at which point the manufacturing plant receives a Gore licence. Certification is audited and reviewed on an ongoing basis.
For more information, go to www.gore-workwear.co.uk