Fire-Dex Blog

How to Reduce Heat Stress

By its very nature, firefighting is a stressful occupation. Firefighters regularly exert themselves in dangerous and unpredictable environments. Merely getting ready to respond to a fire starts a flow of endorphins and begins putting stress on the cardiovascular system. Combine that with the extra weight of traditional turnout gear and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths and injuries is sudden cardiac failure.

Research from the American Heart Association shows that exposure to extreme heat and physical exertion during firefighting may trigger the formation of blood clots and impair blood vessel function, two predecessors for heart attacks. Blood clotting is an exaggerated normal physiological response to both extreme heat and physical exertion.

Staying hydrated and allowing time to properly cool down can help in preventing cardiac events—and so can wearing the right firefighting gear.

We develop turnout gear with elements that minimize firefighter stress and fatigue. FXR Turnout Gear has an ergonomic design to enhance the wearer’s ability to move freely and is available with our exclusive outer shell, TECGEN71, which offers the lightest weight composite systems available. 

TECGEN71 was designed to lessen heat stress by reducing weight and flexibility without sacrificing thermal protection or durability. It’s 20% lighter, 45% thinner and 70% more flexible than typical combinations, while boasting 50% higher total heat loss.

 

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