Equipment - Personal Protective Equipment
There are various levels of PPE worn by members of the Aldgate CFS depending on training and scenario. All equipment used meets or exceeds the requirements set by the SACFS.
PPE is supplied by the Brigade to members when they join, and remains the property of the Brigade.
As technology has progresses, the different standards of PPE have changed. The latest standard, now quite dated, is Level 1 (being Rural) and Level 2 (being Structural, Rural with a Nomex liner in the jacket). With the introduction of PBI garments to the CFS, the old Level 1/2 is mostly forgotten, and the categories simplified to "Rural" or "Structural", although the "Level" may still be referred to.
This primary form of PPE permits a firefighter to attend a grass/scrub/bushfire. It is designed for use in moderate radiant heat for long periods, is light weight and ventilates well.
- Light-weight Kevlar bushfire helmets, typically Pacific BR1, fitted with a visor and neck protector. Provide protection from heat and falling objects and ventilate well.
- Two-piece yellow flame-retardant Proban treated cotton. Trousers (with trendy red bracers) and Turnout Coat both have reflective yellow striping and are quick to don.
- Aldgate CFS uses leather gloves with a large elastic cuff and a reflective stripe.
- Structural level boots are supplied to all members, typically leather Blundstone boots with a replaceable zip panel and high-temperature soles.
- Recommended Additions
- It is recommended that firefighters also carry:
- Goggles (see Equipment Officer)
- "P2" Dust mask (P2 rating for protection against mechanically and thermally generated particles) (see Equipment Officer)
- Short length of cord
- A notebook and pen
Used by CABA accredited members in conjunction with BA, Structural PPE is designed for use in extreme radiant heat for short periods. It is heavy and does not ventilate well, and so is not appropriate for grassfires.
- A Structural helmet, typically the Pacific F3DK/2 is made from thick impact resistant fibreglass with Kevlar reinforcing and an impact rated polycarbonate visor, and neck protector, and is able to resist high heat loading.
- Flash Hood
- Made from flame-resistant PBI fibres , and durable, conforming Rayon fibres, the flash hood is worn under the bracers and over the BA facemask. Provides protection to the head and neck of the firefighter.
- Made from PBI and high-strength aramid fibres, provides excellent flame resistance - retains fibre integrity and suppleness up to 540°C, and melts at 760°C - and protection against radiant heat - reflects 435°C at 0.45MPa.
- Made from thick leather with elastic cuffs and a reflective stripe, providing protection against flames and heat.
Worn by RCR trained members at MVA incidents, minimum requirement for RCR PPE is Rural PPE with a few upgrades. It is preferable to wear Structural PPE base if available. Spare safety glasses, dust masks and gloves are stored in a case in the main-right compartment of Aldgate 12 Locker 2.
- Safety Glasses
- Must be worn to protect the firefighter's eyes from flying objects, high-pressure hydraulic oil, and so on.
- Dust Mask
- When using the Reciprocating Saw, a "P2" rated dust mask must be worn.
- For hygiene, surgical nitrile gloves are worn under special RCR Gloves, which are made with strong Kevlar beads for safe handling of glass.
Stored in the Appliance Bay (next to the BA Wash Trough), the Brigade has about a dozen sets of Wet-Weather Gear - waterproof, high-visibility overcoats and pants for use when wet.