Safe in operation

New Rosenbauer protective suits for 13 fire departments in the Upper Franconian district town of Kronach

The city of Kronach purchased 480 protective suit kits and handed them over in a festive ceremony in October to the commanders of the 13 fire departments working in the city area. This provided all active crews with new clothing, which leaves them better protected than ever before. Two types of protective suits were purchased: 320 sets of THL suits for the firefighters who work outside of buildings during operations and handle all rescue activities, and 160 sets of FIRE FLEX suits, which are worn by the SCBA crews during inside fire attacks. Both suits are state-of-the-art and feature high protective properties as well as maximum wearing comfort.

Optimal heat protection

Just like astronauts' space suits, Rosenbauer protective suits are made of highly heat- and flame-resistant high-tech materials: Nomex® Tough (THL) or Nomex® NXT (FIRE FLEX) for the outer fabric, melamine resin fiber and aramid blended fabric for the multilayer thermal safety lining, as well as silicon-carbon-coated jacket and pants cuffs and reinforcements. The special fibers in the fabric effectively protect against flames and heat radiation. The suits comply with level 1 (THL) and the highest level 2 (FIRE FLEX), respectively, of EN 469 regarding heat transfer Xf (flame exposure) and Xr (heat radiation). The FIRE FLEX even passes the so-called Thermo-Man test, in which a dummy dressed with this suit and equipped with 122 heat sensors must withstand full flame impingement up to 1,832 °F (1,000 °C) for at least four seconds.

Waterproof and breathable

As far as waterproofing and water vapor permeation resistance are concerned, the suits meet the highest protection levels Y2 and Z2, respectively, according to EN 469. This is primarily ensured by a special waterproof protection layer between the outer fabric and the thermal safety lining, which consists of a PU membrane in the THL suit and a high-performance PTFE membrane in the FIRE FLEX, as used in functional outdoor clothing. However, the water resistance of even the highest quality outdoor jackets is around 30,000 mm, whereas the FIRE FLEX reaches 100,000 mm. The RET value, which provides information about the breathability and thus the ability to transport moisture from the body to the outside, is also much better for the FIRE FLEX than required for the highest performance class according to the standard. In addition, both suits have robust moisture blockers on the jacket and pants cuffs to prevent the penetration of moisture.

Comfortable to wear

The thermal safety lining of the suits made of aramid blended fabric not only serves as a second protective barrier, but also ensures excellent wearing comfort. It feels soft on the skin, is breathable, elastic, and wrinkle-resistant. The casual, modern cut of the suits provides the wearer with great freedom of movement and agility. Ergonomically pre-shaped reinforcements around the elbows and knees, pleats on the back of the THL jacket and a special shoulder-arm design on the FIRE FLEX ensure good mobility for every activity, including overhead work.

The FIRE FLEX jackets also feature a padding made of cellular rubber strips on the shoulders, where the straps of the SCBA units are located. They are also equipped with an integrated rescue system (IRS Aramid harness according to EN 1498 class A and EN 358 with triple-lock HMS carabiner according to EN 362).

Easy to see

Another important aspect for the fire departments of Kronach was the color of their new protective suits, as Stefan Wicklein, head of the city's main department and in charge of procurement, confirms: "We decided to use sand-colored suits, because it makes the emergency crews easier to recognize". He is also very pleased that all fire departments working in the city area could be equipped with new suits: "Although the large investment required a Europe-wide tender, our fire departments now show a uniform appearance at the operation sites and visibly demonstrate the solidarity and unity of our fire departments."

The order was handled by Rosenbauer's distribution partner Ludwig Feuerschutz GmbH.