When it comes to fighting fires, especially wildland ones, there is a lot that can go wrong. Even though firefighters go through an extensive amount of training in order to make themselves well prepared for anything, there will be times when mistakes and accidents occur. That’s when they need to rely on their protective gear to save them from a severe injury.
There are many parts to a wildland firefighter’s uniform, but one of the most important aspects of it is their gloves. These protect firefighters from many dangers by using a wide variety of materials. In this blog post, we’ll go into more detail on how these wildland fire gloves can protect you while you’re out there fighting off the flames. That way, you can understand why this defensive apparel is so vital.
Problems Gloves Protect Against
There are many hand injuries that a wildland firefighter might have to deal with while on the job. Most gloves are made to protect against all these issues. However, before we can get into how they do that, we need to cover which injuries are the most likely to happen.
Obviously, the most common type of harm that a firefighter can go through is severe burns. Wildland flames can be pretty unpredictable at times, which means that a firefighter could become engulfed in flames in an instant. If they are wearing the right gear, this won’t be too much of an issue, but failing to wear gloves will lead to severe burns on your hands, as well as your wrists and lower arms. Wildland firefighter gloves can stop burns in these areas from ever occurring.
Cuts and Scratches
Sharp branches and jagged terrain are common hazards in a forest no matter who you are, but when you’re a firefighter who’s focused on the encroaching flames, these dangers will be harder to notice. Whether you fall and use your hands to catch yourself or need to push through some thick underbrush, you won’t have to worry about any cuts or scratches with the right set of gloves. Deep cuts, in particular, are crucial to avoid since they will take you out of the fight for a while.
Even though most gloves will fully protect you from unnecessary cuts, there’s no guarantee that they’ll stop you from breaking any fingers or other bones in your hands. Fortunately, some gloves are reinforced in a way that can make these breaks less likely. Whether it’s from a nasty fall or a broken tree, it’s quite easy for a finger to either bend the wrong way or become crushed under something heavy, so having a way to protect against that is a necessity.
While this injury isn’t instant like the others, the possibility of forming rough calluses over time will eventually become a reality if you don’t have a quality pair of gloves. Moving branches out of the way and tightly gripping the fire hose will take its toll on your hands. While most won’t be a problem, they can be unsightly, and in some cases, quite painful, so it’s best to avoid them at all costs.
Lower Arm Injuries
Even though the primary goal of wearing gloves is to protect your hands, they can shield you against any hazards that could make their way up your sleeves. We already mentioned how this could happen with the flames themselves, but ashes and embers are the more common dangers that can get up there. Both of these either fly or float through the air and can easily slip up the arms of your jacket, burning you in the process. Gloves can either stretch under your sleeve or cover the outside of it to stop this from happening.
How These Gloves Protect You
Even though not every pair of gloves will safeguard you from all the potential hazards mentioned above, at the very least, they’ll protect you from the most common threats. If you’re interested in how these wildland fire gloves actually protect you from these dangers while you’re busy fighting fires, here are the aspects that make that possible.
The most important aspect of any set of firefighter gloves is their fire resistance. Materials such as Kevlar, Nomex, and Modacrylic are the most common due to their strength and durability, but chemically-treated cotton also gets used often.
Regardless of the types of fabrics a company uses for its gloves, they need to ensure that their finished products meet NFPA requirements. Safeguarding against severe burns is the most crucial aspect of any piece of firefighting apparel, so manufacturers can’t skip this feature.
Besides blocking out heat and flames, a firefighter’s gloves must also stop sharp objects. Using thick, strong materials will stop these hazards from having any chance of piercing the skin. Plus, it will limit any possible exposure to the intense flames that the firefighters will be up against.
Of course, these fire-resistant and thick materials don’t mean much if the user can’t use their equipment properly. That’s why firefighter gloves always have a grippy layer for the inside of the hands. Not only will this make the handling of gear easier than if the user wasn’t using gloves at all, but it will also make calluses much less likely since firefighters won’t have to grip onto items as tightly.
Finally, almost all firefighter gloves have outstretched openings that extend far past the user’s wrists. Whether this extra bit of materials goes over or under the sleeves of your jacket, they will be able to effectively stop foreign objects from going up your arms and injuring you. Plus, this helps ensure that your gloves won’t be too short on your wrist since everyone’s hand sizes vary.
Regardless of the type of hand protection you need for yourself, The Supply Cashe has you covered. We have a wide variety of wildland fire gloves for you to choose from, as well as some glove-related accessories, so be sure to take the time to see what we have to offer. We’re sure you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for!