Battling wildlfires is a demanding job, so much so that wildland firefighters have to undergo extensive training and physical conditioning to perform their job well. And to ensure efficiency, firefighters are also equipped with the necessary gear to ensure safety while facing risky, and possibly, life-threatening infernal situations.
And if these professionals are going to put their lives on the line, then their protective gear should be designed to withstand hot climates and extreme temperatures. More importantly, the correct fit of the PPEs should also be carefully evaluated in the overall risk assessment to ensure maneuverability of the wearer during wildland fire events.
But why should fit be an important consideration in choosing a wildland fire gear? Get to know more about this as we tackle this subject in today’s post.
The Physiology Of Bodily Performance
Firefighting, especially in wildland settings requires a lot of movement. And every time you’re taking a step forward, ducking, bending, or crawling, then you’re essentially moving your body around. Now most of us don’t know this but our skin has to stretch 5 inches more as we bend. That’s why our knees are wrinkled and 8 inches of skin is also stretched at the buttocks area to accommodate this kind of movement. And this same process applies as you bend your arms forward as the skin on the backside of your shoulders is stretched to allow the extended length.
So based on these facts we’ve mentioned here, you need to wear a type of wildland fire gear that doesn’t restrict you from making these movements as you perform your duty on the field. Of course, you can wear an oversized and baggy turnout gear to address this need, but the bulk and the weight can get in your way. Or you can also wear a kind of PPE that is made from stretchy fabric, but unfortunately the technology that can allow 3 layers of fabric isn’t available yet.
The best solution is to have a wildland fire gear that is tailored fit to your body size with additional length on specific areas to accommodate functional movement. This is recommended so you can do away with the unnecessary weight and have increased mobility so you’ll be able to perform effectively during wildland firefighting situations.
Determining The Proper Dimensions To Fit
When talking about firefighter PPEs, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all”. And this applies to both men and women firefighters. So make sure to wear a wildland PPE that is custom-made according to your body’s specific dimensions.
One thing to keep in mind is that turnout gears are worn over your pants. So the waist size should be at least 2 inches larger to ensure a comfortable fit. Likewise, the measurement of the ‘front rise’ or the distance of the PPE pants from the crotch to the top should also be considered since some people prefer to have it below the actual waist while others like it closer to their hips. Just make sure you leave enough space (and excess fabric) so you won’t be hindered when you need to bend or squat.
Overall, go for a relaxed fit that ensures maximum mobility and comfort.
Next thing to check is the fit of the jacket. Take note that the circumference around the chest and the bottom hem is the same while some PPEs are tapered (less material on the waist and hips). So which type of fit is ideal for you?
First, the length of the sleeve should have an additional length that pushes back right to your wrist bone without impeding movement and without dropping the cuffs too low that it will already expose parts of your arms to extreme heat. More importantly, the contour of the armhole must be in shape with your arms.
Then, you also have to consider the size of the chest. If you have an athletic build, the fit of the jacket must be too tight. Overall, the chest size must not be too snug or too loose to allow you to move freely without restraint while firefighting in the wildlands.
Overall, having the right fit in your wildland fire gear is essential to ensure maximum mobility without compromising the protective features of your suit because you are exposed to harsh fumes and hellish temperatures at work.
And if you’re not sure how to go about determining the right fit, we recommend you to try sample PPEs so you’ll be able to get the right dimensions according to your body type. Knowing the right fit using a reference PPE is the best way of determining the right fit since it will already show the areas to be adjusted.
Just try it on, try to move around, and do the things you are expected to do when responding to a wildland fire incident.
If you’re looking for quality stationwear, you can visit Crewboss’ online store today.