All the fire brigades in the Brabant-Zuidoost safety region – which also includes the city of Eindhoven – will now have the same firefighting uniform. Careful attention was given in the tender to functionalities such as ergonomics, comfort, personal protection and sustainability, in order to reach a single protective solution. The uniform from Sioen, based on TenCate Millenia™ fabric, was judged to be the best.
Firefighters encounter a variety of risks. One of these is heat exhaustion, resulting from the build-up of heat in the suit while they are tackling a fire. Karin Klein Hesselink, end-use market manager at TenCate Protective Fabrics explains: ‘Regulation of heat in the suit is extremely important. The body must not become overheated and the clothing must properly wick away body heat and perspiration. Our TenCate Millenia™ system proved to be the best solution. This system is light in weight, strong, wear-resistant and it regulates moisture and heat extremely well. The patented 3D structure in the thermal layers ensures effective distribution of heat and it releases the heat more rapidly.’
In line with occupational hygiene, the uniforms will be regularly laundered. Thanks to the unique composition of the outer fabric, the material will remain durable, even after multiple launderings. It is, however, not possible to dye the material. As a result, the firefighting suit has, by definition, a light colour, which means, as an additional advantage, that dirt and soot are more easily visible. It is thus easier to determine when the suit is due for laundering.
With its new uniforms, the Brabant-Zuidoost safety region has now joined the ranks of international fire brigades that have opted for more comfortable firefighting clothing, based on the advanced protective materials from TenCate. In the Netherlands these include the brigades of the Amsterdam-Amstelland, Twente, IJsselland, Noord-Oost Gelderland and Zaanstreek-Waterland safety regions.