Firefighting gloves in general
The firefighter's glove must be an all-rounder in the everyday life of the rescue service and fulfill the most diverse requirements. First and foremost, it has to protect the firefighter's most important tool, the hand. However, a firefighter's glove must not only protect against heat or flames, it must also offer good cut protection for technical assistance and a high degree of sensitivity. Combining all this in one glove is not an easy thing to do, and only the best can do it. In addition to ESKA, premium manufacturers include Seiz and Penkert.
High-tech fibers make the big difference
The well-known Kevlar® fiber is used to a large extent for protection against flames and heat. It has already proven itself a million times over and offers rock-solid all-round protection. Kevlar® is an aramid fiber from DuPont and, in addition to its low weight, offers high tensile strength, high abrasion resistance, perfect dimensional stability and low elongation at break. Better, though not cheaper, is PBI®. This material was invented by NASA for the Apollo program and offers maximum protection against heat and flame. The PBI® fiber is organic and with its maximum flame and chemical resistance is the maximum protection that can be used for a firefighter glove. In addition to its protective properties against flames, the PBI® fabric also has extreme durability and outstanding comfort. To provide the best possible protection for the knuckles, the Austrian manufacturer provides a hard shell for the firefighter glove. This is built into the firefighter glove, consists of a special flame-resistant mixed granules with carbon. It convinces with a low weight and high strength.
The structure of the firefighter gloves
The best firefighter glove from Austria consists of course only of the best aforementioned fibers and material combinations. Due to its perfect composition, it is not only suitable for the fire department or the THW, it can also be used by the rescue service for technical assistance. The properties of the SIGA PBI set the standard against which, for example, manufacturers such as Seiz or Penkert measure themselves. Starting with the outer skin, which consists of PBI® Gold and PBI® Matrix, other high-quality fibers are used. The palm area also differs greatly from the outer hand, as maximum protection must be ensured here at various levels during use. The fingertips have been covered with a sensitive material so that, for example, the buttons of a thermal imaging camera can be pressed. The firefighters' gloves have been reinforced with a carbon protective shell on the knuckles and backhand, with an impact and shock absorber underneath. The palm has been reinforced with a high grip material at appropriate points, providing the firefighter with sufficient grip properties even when the gloves are wet or oil-smeared. The inner lining is made of a high quality Kevlar® fiber, which has a certain amount of silver threads. These prevent odor and are antibacterial. The Gore-Tex® membrane in between also makes the firefighting gloves permanently waterproof and breathable and ensures a balanced climate inside. In addition, these gloves are also available with a Gore CROSSTECH® membrane. This provides permanent protection against body fluids, viruses and blood. In addition, firefighter gloves with a CROSSTECH® insert can be washed disinfectant.
Firefighting gloves from different face materials
While previously described the firefighter glove made of a purely textile fabric, these gloves for firefighters and rescue services are of course also available in leather. While some use a specially treated elk leather, others go back to cowhide or goatskin. You can find out which upper material is used by Seiz and Penkert on the corresponding pages of the producers. The Austrian premium manufacturer of firefighting gloves uses a special Fireblock leather, which is water-repellent and oil-repellent, as well as acid-resistant and does not shrink even when exposed to maximum heat. The clear disadvantage of leather gloves in fire service is the water stored in the upper leather. This turns into water vapor when it comes into contact with heat and can cause the interior of the firefighting gloves to heat up unpleasantly. This can not happen so easily with a waterproof glove made of textile, because the surfaces of the outer and inner hand are often made of a waterproof plastic coating.
THL gloves for fire department and rescue service
Technical assistance is also an ever-growing field of work for fire departments and the THW. Here, it is not flame resistance that is important, but maximum cut protection and the best possible sensitivity and freedom of movement. These properties are offered by specially designed gloves such as the THL glove FLASH. The Rescut Fire fabric used, with performance level 4, offers almost maximum cut protection with the best possible feel and grip on smooth surfaces. This can come into play, for example, in a car accident where the accident victim has to be freed from the car using rescue shears and spreaders. There are many sharp edges and points, broken glass and probably also blood. For this reason, some models again feature the Gore CROSSTECH® insert, which provides the firefighter with the best possible protection against these dangers. The FLASH is also available in a more upscale version with an impact protection shell made of carbon and a shock absorber underneath. The palm is waterproof and oil-resistant.