Discuss Advances in Firefighter PPE in Upcoming Twitter Chat

First responders face a wide array of risks and threats in a range of operating environments. They rely on their personal protective equipment (PPE)–garments, gloves, goggles, helmets, and more–to shield them from hazardous conditions during both day-to-day operations and major incidents.

On May 21 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will host a Twitter chat with First Responders Group (FRG) Program Manager William Deso, who will be on-hand to answer questions about S&T’s work developing the next generation of PPE: highly durable gear that is bulletproof, fire resistant, and able to withstand chemical and biohazard exposure. Deso will share examples of PPE technologies currently under development, including the Improved Firefighter Structure Glove, a new lightweight, slim-profile self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and Wildland Firefighter Advanced Personal Protection System.

The Improved Firefighter Structure Glove will equip structural firefighters with optimal don and doff capability, fire resistance, and wet/dry flexibility. The Wildland Firefighter Advanced Personal Protection System improves the garments worn by wildland firefighters by reducing heat stress–a major concern for these firefighters who must wear and carry a significant amount of personal protective gear to perform their duties.

FRG is working with the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center’s National Protection Center (Natick), the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the U.S. Fire Service, and others to develop a National Fire Protection Association-certified garment system that improves overall firefighting response for both wildland and structural firefighters.

S&T wants to hear from the responder community about how we can continue to provide increased protection from current and emerging threats in all areas of first response including firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. Submit your questions and comments to @DHSSciTech at any time before, during, or after the chat and be sure to use the #STTechTalk and #ResponderPPE hashtags.

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