Bristol launches new Wildland Firefighting PPE

Bristol Uniforms has launched a new range of Wildland Firefighting PPE, available for wildland firefighters across the globe. The new designs for both male and female firefighters have been developed in response to an increase in demand for higher performance protective fabrics, lighter weight solutions and improved ergonomics and fit in wildfire protection.

Wildland firefighters require PPE that reflects the unique conditions faced in fighting fires on open ground, which are often highly unpredictable in nature and particularly susceptible to prevailing weather conditions, such as changes in wind direction.

Based on Bristol’s cutting-edge XFlex style, the new range has been specifically designed to offer maximum protection against fire while increasing comfort and ergonomics, and reducing the risk of heat-stress. The outer fabric of the garments is particularly lightweight and inherently flame retardant, available in either Eco Dry Shield fabric from Hainsworth, or Karvin from Estambril International.

According to Paul Gibson, Bristol’s International Sales Manager, the new designs mark a significant move away from historical selection criteria for wildfire PPE, which was previously based on cost and simplicity. He says, “In many areas of the world, particularly across Australia and Asia, wildland fire fighting teams are largely made up of part-time volunteers scattered across the length and breadth of a country and only called upon in the event of an emergency. As such, low cost, one-size-fits-all designs proved popular in the past, frequently featuring heavy fabrics coated with flame protection, which would be washed out over time.

“However, today’s fire services have a much greater understanding and acknowledgement of the dangers of heat stress, and are aware that to operate safely and effectively, all firefighters require garments that are lighter in weight, are well fitting, and offer a high level of protection. By using fabric with inherently flame retardant properties that cannot be washed out, our new range also offers increased longevity, which leads to significant cost-savings over time.”