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How Firefighter's Lives Are Saved Everyday

Feb 11, 2008
Firefighters are amazing heroes that work hard and put themselves in danger on a daily basis in order to keep us safe. If it weren't for their heavy-duty protective clothing, they would not be able to do what they do. Many children are fascinated as they learn about the safety clothing these heroes wear almost every day to stay safe.

First on the list of firefighter protective clothing are "turnout" pants. These pants are what firefighters wear when there is an emergency. The reason these pants are called "turnouts" is because they are started inside out, and attached to the boots. When the alarm goes off in the firehouse, the firefighters can quickly hop into their boots, and simply pull the pants up, making them right side out. These pants are also composed of a special fire resistive material, such as nomex. The turnout pants have large cargo pockets to hold gloves and other firefighting tools. To keep these pants on (because they are made of thick fabrics, several layers deep), they use Velcro and snaps to situate the waist, and suspenders to keep them falling down due to the sheer weight of the pants.

The next thing on the list is the turnout boots. These boots are made of rubber, and they correspond with the turnout pants (though they are never inside out). These boots are reinforced with a steel toe, as well as a steel shank along the bottom to protect the bottoms of their feet from sharp objects such as glass or nails. Finally, to further aid the firefighters in getting into their gear quickly, the boots have rubber straps on the tops of the boots so they can pull them on quickly and easily.

Next on the list is the (you guessed it!) turnout coat. Like the turnout pants, the coat is composed of the same heavy-duty, thick fire resistant material. In addition to the fire resistant material, the turnout coat also has layers that are keep moisture and the extreme heat out (though its thickness provides warmth in the wintertime). Also like the pants, there are several pockets that are specially designed to hold tool and other equipment. There are also reflective stripes on both the pants and coat so the firefighters can be easily seen at night. Finally, the coat has a hood that protects the whole head, except for the face in the extreme heat.

The SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) facemask and the firefighter helmet protect the head. The SCBA mask protects the firefighters eyes from the extreme heat, and it also allows them to breath easily from an oxygen tank so they don't inhale the noxious fumes of smoke. The helmet is made of incredibly hard material, and it always has a facemask as well. A firefighter's helmet will protect his of her head from falling debris and singeing fire.

The final piece of firefighter protective clothing is gloves. These gloves are also made of extremely thick material that is resistant to heat. These gloves protect firefighters from hot or sharp objects when fighting a fire.

Without firefighters, many people would completely lose their homes and businesses to devastating fires each year. But because of the heroic efforts on the parts of firefighters, thousands of homes are saved. However, it is important to remember that firefighters would not be so effective if it weren't for their protective clothing that keeps them safe. We all look up to firefighters, and we salute them for their heroic efforts every day.
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