Firefighters have a range of uniforms. Whether they’re at the station or on site of a fire, firefighters are required to wear specifics to maximize their safety.
Firefighters hold one of the most dangerous careers. Firefighting is an admirable career because of its commitment to public health and safety. To best protect first responders such as firefighters, improvements have been made to make PPE more effective. Fire departments require employees to attain ample must-have gear for a firefighter uniform. The uniform varies depending on if firefighters are pursuing an active fire or working at the station.
It’s vital that firefighters protect their heads while on the job. Sturdy, heat-resistant helmets are worn to prevent head injuries from hot materials and falling objects. Helmets display the fire station number on the side and are color-coded according to the position of those wearing them.
- Yellow: Rank-and-file firefighters
- Red or Orange: Captains
- White: Fire chiefs
Turnout pants and jackets are made with two-layer fabric. The fabric repels heat and moisture to help firefighters remain as comfortable as possible while working. Turnout clothing is often vibrant and reflective so that firefighters can stay highly visible at varying fire scenes.
Firefighter glovesare an essential piece of must-have gear for a firefighter uniform. Firefighters usually keep three different pairs of gloves on their person: rescue gloves, tactical gloves, and firefighting gloves. Each pair is utilized for different hazards on the job. Firefighting gloves, of course, are worn when handling hot materials or moving through burning structures. They extend past the wrist to protect greater amounts of skin.
Firefighters’ self-contained breathing apparatuses are necessary to filter encounters with debris and smoke. A hose gets connected from a mask to an oxygen tank that lasts up to 30 minutes. Firefighters carry the tanks on their backs when searching through dangerous sites.
Footwear on the job must be durable. Fire departments require firefighters to wear thick boots on-site and at the fire station. It’s common for a firefighter’s boots to have metal reinforcements for further foot protection.
At the Station
Firefighters are required to wear uniforms on standby at the fire station. Fire station wear is much less bulky and is only comprised of three parts. Typically composed of a navy button-up shirt, slacks, and boots, a station uniform looks like any standard formal uniform. However, station wear fabrics are fire retardant to ensure firefighters are safe in case of an emergency. They can be customized to reflect the fire station and city.