At the 2015 Interschutz trade show WL Gore & Associates unveiled a revolutionary new technology for fire turnout gear, the GORE® PARALLON™ System, which has been specifically engineered for thermal hazards such as heat transfer, scalding and heat stress that commonly occur when turnout gear gets wet.
The GORE® PARALLON™ System allows for the manufacture of fire fighting protective clothing that not only offers reliable protection against heat and flames but also consistently facilitates the body’s ability to dissipate heat. Firefighters benefit from dependable thermal protection as well as enhanced wearer comfort.
Having been the first fire service in Europe to be equipped with turnout gear with the GORE® PARALLON™ System, the Karlsfeld volunteer fire service has since gained invaluable first-hand experience. “The new gear is light and comfortable to wear, even during periods of physically strenuous activity. During fire fighting operations and in wet conditions it provides effective protection at the same time as it can pass sweat and water vapour to the outside,” said Michael Peschke, Karlsfeld volunteer fire service.
Back in 2015 when the Karlsfeld fire service made the decision to purchase new fire turnout gear, the fellows first tried out several different options. In the end, the decision in favour of S-GARD® Schutzkleidung Hubert Schmitz GmbH with the GORE® PARALLON™ System was unanimous. Michael Peschke said, “We wanted a garment that would meet all the requirements of a modern firefighter protective garment. Heat transfer and heat stress are amongst the many challenges that we face on the fireground. We decided to go for the best solution on the market.”
Karlsfeld has a population of 20,000 and is situated to the north-west of Munich. The volunteer fire service comprises some 75 active firefighters. They attend around 200 incidents a year. These are predominantly structural fire fighting, rescue and security operations.
The GORE® PARALLON™ System combines a highly breathable thermal insulation layer with a GORE-TEX® or CROSSTECH® moisture barrier. The combination of two membranes with a thermal insulation layer in between prevents moisture from penetrating from the outside. At the same time, sweat and water vapour are transported from the skin of the wearer out through the layers of the garment to the outside. The system is extremely breathable. It offers enhanced wearer comfort and maximum ease of movement – particularly since the weight of the structural fire fighting garments does not dramatically increase in wet conditions. The wearer is significantly better protected against the risk of heat stress and scalding resulting from exposure to hot steam or from wet layers of clothing being compressed.