Predicting the Impact of a Design Change From Modern to Modified Modern Firefighting Uniforms on Burn Injuries Using Manikin Fire Tests

    Published: Jan 2000

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    The major difference between traditional and modern uniforms is that modern uniforms include both protective over-coat and over-pant while traditional uniforms include only the over-coat. Modern uniforms are also manufactured using improved thermal protective textiles. Unfortunately, due to the modern uniform's increased thermal insulation, the long sleeve shirt and long pants worn underneath now rapidly become sweat drenched and restrictive to motion with a resulting decrease in comfort and work capacity. In response, Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has considered a design modification that substitutes a short sleeve T-shirt and short pants under the protective garments. Our aim was to predict, prior to field testing, the impact of this modified modern uniform on burn injuries. Using the PyroMan Thermal Protective Clothing Analysis System, a thermally instrumented manikin that allows for assessment of burn injuries under realistic “wear and fit” conditions during a flash fire exposure, we compared burn injury scores (location and severity) while wearing FDNY modern and modified modern uniforms. No significant differences were found between uniforms. This provides reasonable assurance that field testing can proceed without undue safety concerns.


    Firefighting uniforms, thermal protective performance, instrumented manikin

    Author Information:

    Prezant, DJ
    Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Bureau of Health Services Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

    Barker, RL
    Professorresearch technician, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

    Bender, M
    Professorresearch technician, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

    Kelly, KJ
    Chief Medical Officer, Bureau of Health Services,

    Committee/Subcommittee: F23.80

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14448S

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