Over the years, many fire departments have changed from strictly focusing on fire suppression and protection operation to handling multiple hazards and emergency services organizations. For many departments, providing technical rescue services like vehicle extrication, water rescue, and high-angle rescue, are now a part of their regular operations. As more fire departments become engaged in technical rescue, firefighters have found a gap in their protection equipment and dexterity of extrication gloves. Traditionally, there have been two different kinds of protective gloves for rescuers- including those that are compliant with the NFPA 1971, which offer good protection, and leather work gloves.
Firefighters have since adapted to wear new gloves that fix the problems they’ve had with previous types of gloves. From auto repair gloves to disposable gloves to utility work gloves, there are different ways they can protect themselves.
Regardless of the glove type, firefighters and fire operations should have certain elements that improve their effectiveness. Here is a better look.
What Should a Firefighter Look for in an Extrication Glove?
Today’s glove market offers extrication gloves in many different styles, colors, and prices. Each comes with a number of benefits outside of just protecting a firefighter’s hands and wrists. To find the best kind of glove, a fire department should look for these added benefits:
- Ease of putting on and taking off while maintaining desired grip and dexterity.
- Range of glove sizes that ensure the best individual fit.
- The grip and dexterity for operating specialized extrication and rescue equipment, even when wet or hot.
- Cuff length and closure to prevent debris from getting into the glove.
- Waterproof and breathable to protect a firefighter against microorganisms such as HIV, staph, and TB.
- Protection from bodily fluid exposure, including blood or urine, thus meeting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standard around bloodborne pathogens.
- Liquid protection from materials usually expected at emergency scenes (i.e. gasoline and diesel fuel).
- Cut resistant palm, side panels, and finger panels to protect against cuts, abrasions, burns, and punctures.
For now, manufacturers are looking at ways to utilize stronger and lighter fabrics to help with dexterity and protection. Moving forward firefighters can expect to see Kevlar-type gloves that will aim to provide the most safety and free movement to help better execute their services.
About Provident Fire Plus
At Provident Fire Plus, we offer custom tailored packages to best protect firefighters and volunteer firefighters. We understand the risks that emergency response teams are subjected to on a daily basis, and have worked to serve these dedicated professionals for over 87 years. For more information about our products and policies, we invite you to contact our experts today at (855) 201-8880.