SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1988

Fire Fighter Turnout Clothing: Physiological and Subjective Evaluation


This study collected physical, physiological, and subjective data for different turnout clothing and equipment systems commonly used by fire fighters in the United States. A 3 by 2 by 2 randomized block design was used to determine the effect of (1) garment design; (2) type of moisture barrier; and (3) use or nonuse of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) on the (1) resistance to dry and evaporative heat transfer provided by the clothing systems measured with a heated manikin, (2) the physiological responses of subjects (that is, rectal temperature, heat rate, weight loss, added energy expenditure, and unevaporated sweat) while performing exercise and wearing the clothing systems, and (3) the subjective responses of subjects after exercise (that is, thermal sensation and wearer acceptability of the clothing systems). Results indicated that the best type of clothing system for structural fire fighting would be either the traditional long turnout coat or the tailed coat worn over waist length pants, constructed with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) moisture barrier, and worn without a SCBA.

Author Information

Huck, J
Textiles, and Interior Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
McCullough, EA
Textiles, and Interior Design, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 439–451
DOI: 10.1520/STP26311S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5058-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1167-7