History of Respiratory Protection in the Fire Service

Issue 7 and Volume 116.

History of Respiratory Protection in the Fire Service This article is adapted from one of a series of lectures by the author, given at the Preconference Institute on Respiratory Protection, sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Toronto, September 1962. Additional articles on the subject are planned for the future. Mr. Kloos is supervising chemist (general), Respirator Section, Branch of Health Research, Bureau of Mines, U. S. Department of the Interior, Pittsburgh. The Editors YEARS AGO many fire departments required their men to grow full beards. This was not done to create a distinctive appearance but for the sole purpose of providing respiratory protection. Before entering a fire they would soak their whiskers with water, fold them between their teeth, and bite down as they breathed through their mouths. Although the whiskers filtered out very little smoke, this was the extent of available protection at the time. The history…

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