What do firefighters have in common with NASA astronauts, Formula 1 drivers and special forces soldiers? They all operate in extreme situations and are protected by PBI high-performance fabrics, along with many others who work in hazardous industries.
Renowned for their unique combination of flame resistance, durability and comfort, PBI fabrics are the first line of defence for professionals working in challenging and dangerous situations.
PBI has created a unique legacy of protection in the last 40 years that is recognised around the world, making the company a global force in personal protection. They have been at the forefront of innovation, creating fabrics that are designed to protect across a wide and varied range of firefighting operational risks.
The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS) is the latest to choose PBI Max as the outer shell fabric in their new firefighting suits. The SAMF’s tender priority was to provide the best protection for their firefighters in structural fires by specifying garments made with the highest-performing fabrics with regard to safety and durability. PBI Max met the requirements of the tender process and has been selected as the preferred outer shell for the new SAMFS structural firefighting suits.
PBI Max is lightweight but achieves incredibly high tensile strength and flame protection combined with superior comfort and freedom of movement. It is one of a wide range of lightweight, comfortable, high-performance fabrics that PBI has developed by working closely with only the highest-quality supply chain partners. Each PBI fabric has different properties and applications, but every one of them exceeds the required performance standards for heat and flame protection in outer fabrics.
PBI fabrics do not become brittle. Shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures. This protects the integrity of the internal layers of firefighting garments, slowing down the transfer of radiant heat and allowing firefighters more time to escape in a flashover.
One of the biggest challenges to firefighter safety is the risk posed by heat stress. It can cause many problems, from muscle fatigue and reduced cognitive function to cardiovascular strain and cardiac arrest. Research has shown that more firefighters die in the line of duty from cardiac arrest than any other cause. One of the paradoxes of firefighter protection is that structural firefighting garments designed to protect the wearer from heat and flame can potentially contribute to the rise in core body temperature that triggers heat stress. That’s why it is so important that the outer shell, which has a primary role of protecting from heat and flame, is designed to mitigate the risk of heat stress.
All PBI fabrics are designed to offer maximum thermal protection from the outside, while at the same time delivering high levels of breathability and comfort to reduce the risk of heat stress.
Ian Callaghan, PBI’s Director of International Sales and Marketing, said: ‘We are delighted that South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service has chosen PBI as the outer fabric for their new structural firefighting suits.
‘Everyone at PBI continuously strives to create products that will meet the specialist needs of firefighters and give them the peace of mind that their gear will keep them safe in the most extreme operational situations.
‘Whether in the intensity of structural firefighting or the rigours of wildland, technical rescue and industrial environments, PBI fabrics are the first line of defence for the wearer and must consistently deliver high standards of performance, without fail. All of us at PBI are aware of our responsibility to understand every aspect of our customers’ need so that we can continue to keep them safe in their work.’
Firefighters who wear PBI can respond to call-outs with the confidence and peace of mind that their PPE has been tested and proven to deliver the highest levels of protection for the job at hand.
For more information, go to www.pbiproducts.com