South Wales FRS takes on lightweight wildfire garments

Published:  19 May, 2014

PBI’s specialist TriGuard protective fabric is a core element of the new wildland garment developed for South Wales Fire & Rescue Service.

Members of the South Wales wildfire team undertook an extensive program of research, development and wearer trials over several months to create an effective wildfire two-piece firefighting suit.

They worked closely with LHD UK (now Ballyclare Ltd) to create a lightweight suit made from PBI TriGuard, that combines high levels of heat protection with improved comfort.

The South Wales team wore the garment during specialist wildfire firefighting training in Catalonia last year, where it performed exceptionally well. It has continued to be worn by the team in response to a number of incidents in Wales.
PBI TriGuard is lightweight fabric that offers high levels of flame, heat and arc flash resistance and has a proven legacy of performance in the petrochemical, gas and electricity industries. The fabric remains supple after exposure to heat and flame and retains more than 85% of its tensile strength after 10 hours contact with hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, acetone or petrol. Because the PBI fibres are inherently flame resistant, the protection will not degrade and the fabric does not require special washing.

Peter Howard-Jones, Station Commander for South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, commented: ‘PBI TriGuard fabric protects the wildfire team from radiated heat and flame. It is lightweight so gives us much improved freedom of movement and flexibility with greater levels of comfort. All of the wildfire team agree that the suit provides a key part of their PPE. Since we first used it in Catalonia, the suit has proved itself in use at a number of operational incidents in South Wales.’

  • Operation Florian

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