“Less is often more,” this is a fitting description for the FIRE FIT 2 protective suit. The voluntary fire service system is incredibly popular, especially in the Central European firefighting world. One of the most important – among many – advantages of this system is the high level of manpower. Clearly, however, this is detrimental when it comes to procuring the latest firefighter protective clothing.
For the following reason: Every firefighter who could be or needs to be deployed in indoor operations requires appropriate protection. The number of missions undertaken is irrelevant, because as the saying goes “Your first fire can be your last fire.” This means that a specifically fitted protective suit of the corresponding protection level (protection level 2 according to EN469) is necessary for each and every person. However, given the number of crew members, this is often a major challenge for the budget of the fire departments, or the municipalities responsible for their funding.

 

But what does a high level of protection mean, and how can it be recognized?

In principle, the performance requirements for protective clothing for firefighters are regulated by standard EN469. Here is a brief explanation of the three main requirements:

Illustration of a label of protective clothing conforming to EN469

Illustration of a label of protective clothing conforming to EN469

  • Heat protection X:
    The heat transfer of a defined piece of the composite is tested against flame [Xf] and against heat radiation [Xr]. The determined HTI (Heat Transfer Index) values give us information about the time window until 2nd degree burns occur, or the time window from recognition of the danger due to pain on the skin to 2nd degree burns (HTI24-12). There are well-defined limits that must be met to reach performance level 2.
  • Water density Y:
    The requirement for water density is also dealt with by EN 469. However, this is not just about keeping the firefighter as dry as possible in bad weather, but primarily about maintaining thermal protection, because only dry protective clothing can provide full protection against heat transfer. Here, the water density is measured using a water column. Level 2 is only achieved if a corresponding moisture barrier (membrane) is installed, and the water column is well over 2 meters.
  • Breathability Z:
    The breathability can be determined by the water vapor permeation resistance, abbreviated as the RET value. This value is also an important criterion when it comes to wearing comfort. The higher the breathability, the higher the wearing comfort.Vollbeflammung Rosenbauer FIRE FIT 2
  • Thermo-Man® test:
    Although not within the scope of EN 469, this has become a well-established test for high-quality protective suits. By means of a doll equipped with 122 heat sensors, the extent of second and third degree burns is measured after a total of 8 seconds.

 

The result

The FIRE FIT 2 protective suit meets all the requirements of EN 469 with flying colors. Furthermore, the Thermo-Man® test shows a very good result, with no 3rd degree burns.

 

Conclusion

According to the minimum principle (achieving a given target with the least amount of resources), the FIRE FIT 2 offers the optimal solution for fire departments with a small budget. The specified goal, the fulfillment of the requirements of EN 469 in the highest protection level, is achieved, and that with a price difference in comparison to a ‘high end’ model, like the FIRE MAX 3, of approx. 25%.

Is your fire department also looking for protective clothing that conforms to the highest protection level, but also meets your budgetary requirements? Then Rosenbauer now offers the solution for you: FIRE FIT 2, probably the best protective suit in economy class.