DuPont™ Nomex® Protects Derbyshire Firefighters

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service chooses firefighting kit made of TITAN® fabric incorporating DuPont™ Nomex® fibres for each of its 826 firefighters.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has always prided itself on being a “progressive” service, so when the fire kit that its operational fire fighters had been using for years reached its 15th birthday, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Sean Frayne decided it was time for a change.

“Though the personal protective equipment (PPE) currently provided was sufficient and fit for purpose,” said Sean, “the creativity and innovation of suppliers in both design and technology have moved forward significantly since the kit was manufactured. We have an ambitious programme to achieve excellence and so wanted to take advantage of this.”

So DFRS chose to place an order for the provision of two sets made of TITAN® fabric with Nomex® fibres, collectively developed by DuPont and Nomex® Partners Bristol Uniforms and Hainsworth, for each of the Service’s 826 firefighters.

“We were very encouraged by the PPE ensembles on offer through the Integrated Clothing Project (ICP),” said Sean, “but our firefighters had a preference for the kit made of TITAN® fabric incorporating Nomex® fibre which was no longer available through the ICP process.”

It was the excellent performance of Nomex® in the ICP’s own trials that finally convinced the team to procure the product. “We have very high opinions of the ICP, and we acknowledge and commend the significant work that has been undertaken by them,” the Assistant Chief Fire Officer explained. “We believe however that we have an opportunity to maximise on the research and development undertaken through the project by procuring what we consider to be the best PPE for our employees – TITAN® with Nomex®.”

Looking the part with leading safety parameters

TITAN® with Nomex®, which is an eye-catching mix of red and grey (tying in with the ICP corporate identity), also looked the part, as Sean Frayne explained: “If you ask a member of the community to suggest a colour that most represents the fire service, they’re likely to say ‘red’. And if asked to describe how a firefighter looks, they will probably describe someone who is wearing PPE. TITAN® with Nomex® offering not only suited the Service’s modern, professional image and its ambitions to pursue excellence but it also fit these two criteria.”

Kam Basi, Area Manager, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, summed up: “DuPont safety record and safety ethos are second-to-none. Combined with TITAN® fabric and expert tailoring by Bristol Uniforms, the kit delivers good moisture protection as well as outstanding burn injury protection, which is vital to the safety of firefighters.”

He saw two of the new fire kits set alight in the Thermo-Man® facility. Both times the clothing system, which uses the TITAN® fabric, came out top for wearer protection, with zero burn injury predictions during the first test and 3% burn injury predictions (to the lower leg) during the second test.

TITAN® is a patented double cloth construction with DuPont™ Nomex® on the face to provide optimal thermal protection abrasion resistance and colour fastness, with DuPont™ Kevlar® protection on the back to provide strength the two layers working together to offer a fabric that provides exceptional comfort thermal protection and wear life. TITAN® is complemented by Hainsworth’s Repel+Fire finish, which meets the chemical protection and spray rating requirements of EN469:2005, even after repeated laundering.

“This is a bit of a success story for Derbyshire because we’re getting what we prefer,” said Sean Frayne. Rather like their neighbour, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, which recently chose the red and grey fire kit for its own workforce.

TITAN® is a registered trademark of A.W. Hainsworth & Sons Ltd.