TenCate Study Sessions - Emergency Services Show 2014

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Russell Shephard

My presentation will be of interest to users of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to those who are responsible for the procurement of firefighters’ PPE, the manufacturers of PPE (including the supply chain of key assembly components such as outer-shell fabrics, moisture and thermal barriers and high-visibility tape for PPC), and those responsible for the testing and certification of these products.

I will provide an up-to-date overview of the work of ISO TC94 SC14 and will explain some key aspects of NFPA1971. I will highlight some elements of the recently published EN469 and the way structural PPC is currently manufactured in the UK and Europe, offering alternative approaches for best practice.

I will focus one part of the presentation on the use of high-visibility trim and/or garments in conjunction with structural PPC, and provide alternative solutions based on reliable international literature, testing and current standards.

Bearing in mind those responsible for fire service tender processes and those who tender for fire service PPE contracts, I will focus on what we have learnt from past experience. For example, we will look at how to take control of the process to ensure that the PPE required by firefighters is actually the PPE they receive, and that it is fit for purpose. 


For 34 years Russell worked for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Fire Service and the ACT Emergency Services Agency. During this time he worked with the development and revision of Australian and International Standards for Firefighters and Emergency Services Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

From 1983 to 2001 Russell held the positions of Branch President, Branch Secretary and National President of the United Firefighters Union representing some 11,000 members with a special focus on improving the health and safety of firefighters.

In 2005 Russell was appointed to the position of Manager Standards for the Australasian Fire And Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC), responsible for the co-ordination of some 60 Australian and International Standard’s representatives. While Russell personally represents on a number of these committees he is also the leader to the Australian delegation on a number of International Standards Committees.

Russell has an extensive knowledge of the Fire and Emergency Services industry, in particular the testing, compliance and certification of PPE. In addition he assists with the development of specifications and associated tender documents for a range of PPE used by fire and emergency service personnel.

On the 26th of January 2008, Russell was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) by the Governor General on behalf of the Queen, for distinguished service to the fire industry in the area of health and safety.

In January 2014 Russell was appointed as the Chairman of ISO/TC 94/SC 14 Firefighter's Protective Equipment Committee.

Russell represents the Fire and Emergency Services Industry and Standards Australia on the following Australian and International committees; 

Australian Standards:

  • SF049 Firefighter Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment (Chairman)
SF4 Occupational Protective Clothing
SF3 Occupational Protective Footwear

  • SF6 Eye Protection
SF4-3 High Visibility Clothing

  • Standards Australia Council member representing AFAC. 


  • ISO TC94/SC14 Firefighter’s PPE including WG1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. (Chairman SC/14)
    • Russell stood down from the Chair of WG1 and 3 to focus on his role as the new SC/14 Chairman.
ISO TC94/SC13 Protective Clothing and Equipment

  • ISO/TC94/SC3 Foot Protection

  • CEN/TC 161 WG1 and 2 Firefighters Footwear

  • Current leader to the Australian delegation on behalf of Standards Australia at ISO

  • NFPA Correlating Committee member for PPE for Fire and Emergency Services

Andrew Brown

In 2009, while working as the Operations Support Officer in HQ, I was briefed by the then Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Paul Raymond, on the proposed future firefighting equipment of the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), including PPE. Developing the state of our firefighting equipment would be one of my tasks for the next two years.

Beginning in 1993 with the work of  Chief Fire Officer Ian Kerr, the SFRS has been instrumental in driving change through the Service. For example, SFRS was one of the first to adopt PBI Gold for its firefighters, Gallet helmets and Composite Breathing Apparatus Cylinders, and more.

In 1993-94, I was in charge of inspecting and evaluating American lightweight fire kit for 18 months. It was very good, but it was also expensive! So when I was given the task of replacing the PPE replacement programme, I knew that somewhere the technology existed for lightweight Personal Protective Equipment.

We initially looked worldwide for technical advances or operational options. Then we narrowed our search closer to home, looking in Europe, and the Nordic countries. This offered some solutions and a definite direction.

In the end, buying PPE is like choosing a VW car: your choice spans from a reasonable Skoda at the bottom end to a lightweight Audi at the top of the range. All of the materials come from the same place, they are all produced and prepared to a set quality standard, and the manufacturing takes place in shared facilities. As a customer, you only have to choose which model and type you want – and how much you wish to spend. The choice is yours! 


  • Born 31 03 1953
  • Standard Schooling
  • Technical College
  • Qualified as an Engineer
  • Worked in Industry from 1970 to 1982
  • Joined Oxfordshire Fire Service 1982 to 1993
  • Transferred to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service 1993 to 2010
  • PPE Project Manager for SFRS 2010 to 2014.

Ronald Heus

My presentation will focus on the importance of physiology and ergonomics in the development of Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) for future generations of firefighters.

Firefighters’ activities vary from structural firefighting to wildland firefighting, and from hazmat and technical rescues to operations on water. Many of their tasks are heavy and performed in physically demanding environments.

To protect firefighters from the most severe environmental hazards, PPC has been continuously improved over the past decades. However, as a consequence of these developments, the effect of the protective clothing on the people wearing it has changed enormously.

Supporting physiological studies and new standards can help fire brigades to select the right protective equipment for their particular needs.


Ronald Heus is a creative, innovative research scientist in the field of ergonomics of PPE and working conditions. His power is helping (public) organizations in the safety and security domain to enhance their performance by implementation of innovations and valorisation of knowledge. Within the TNO-organization Ronald realized a new way in thinking of applied research in the field of end-users in public safety by combining traditional science and technology in daily practice. Now he uses the lessons of that process to position IFV in the world of firefighters of tomorrow.

His experiences are:
Exercise and thermal physiologist, PPE ergonomist. Program management of strategic knowledge development for the operational work of first responders. Primary goal to contribute to more effective and safer operations in case of accidents and crises. He is working on the first responder of the future. Research and innovation in ergonomics of protective clothing and equipment, exercise and thermal physiology and human (physical) performance. 

1987 - 2009       Scientist and program manager at TNO
2008 - 2011       Co-owner of iXeR.nl (innovation experts for emergency responders)
2009 - 2011       Program manager at Netherlands Office for Fire Fighters Examinations (Nbbe)
2011 - now        Senior scientist / project manager at Netherlands Institute for Safety (IFV)

  • Member of CEN/TC162/WG2
  • Chairman of the PG Physiological impact of fire fighters’ protective clothing
  • Former member of scientific board for procurement of fire fighters’ ppe in Belgium
  • Former member of the scientific board of the ESPC
  • Initiator of the Fieldlab@BOCAS