Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improved gloves enhance safety of first responders

Date:
May 16, 2014
Source:
Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate
Summary:
New Structure Glove addresses fit, form, and dexterity issues. Firefighters need gloves in the field that fit properly, enable dexterity, and aren’t bulky, while still meeting the heat and water resistance criteria. If structure gloves become soggy and uncomfortable, a firefighter may need to remove them in order to complete tasks. This exposes their hands to the dangerous conditions of a fire or other emergency environment. Designed using current technology and improved materials, the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove is lightweight, provides improved fit and form, and allows for more precise movements.

Designed using current technology and improved materials, the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove is lightweight, provides improved fit and form, and allows for more precise movements.
Credit: Image courtesy of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate

Firefighters wear protective gloves called "structure gloves" to keep their hands safe on the job. The protective equipment firefighters wear -- including structure gloves -- give them the confidence to focus on putting out fires and saving lives; however, the structure gloves currently used by firefighters are not designed for the precision movements our first responders must perform.

Related Articles


"Firefighters have been using bulky leather structure gloves for many years," said Greg Price, director of Responder Technologies, a division within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). "The new tools firefighters use in the field enhance their mission, but the gloves haven't updated with the technology."

While there are many different types of structure gloves available, none fully satisfy modern firefighters' needs. Today's compact tools often have small buttons that require nimble movements. Bulky gloves can make it difficult for firefighters to complete simple tasks without removing their gloves and compromising their safety.

Firefighters need gloves in the field that fit properly, enable dexterity, and aren't bulky, while still meeting the heat and water resistance criteria. If structure gloves become soggy and uncomfortable, a firefighter may need to remove them in order to complete tasks. This exposes their hands to the dangerous conditions of a fire or other emergency environment.

As advanced textile technology and materials continue to develop, the science behind firefighter structure gloves has adapted. Price and S&T's First Responder Technologies Division used these advancements to develop the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove -- a less bulky, updated glove merging the needs of firefighters with available technology and improved materials. Price is the Program Director for S&T's Rapid Technology Development group and currently oversees the development and testing of the new glove.

"The Improved Structure Firefighting Glove uses new materials that greatly enhance its performance," said Price.

Developed in partnership with NanoSonic™ and Shelby Specialty Gloves, the Improved Structure Firefighting Glove is a combination of traditional materials and NanoSonic's HybridShieldฎ insulated materials that are water-repellent as well as heat- and puncture-resistant. S&T asked Shelby Specialty Gloves, a structure glove manufacturer, to take the glove one step further. The resulting product is the first of its kind -- a lightweight, improved form and better-fitting structure glove.

The project underwent multiple stages of research and testing to ensure the selected materials were durable enough to handle field conditions. Several prototypes of the glove were produced to ensure the best possible finished product. In 2012, S&T shipped glove prototypes to multiple fire departments for testing. Each iteration featured improvements made based on comments from firefighters. The current version of the glove was assessed in 2013, and evaluated against five categories: ease of donning and doffing, proper fit, puncture resistance, dexterity, and thermal protection and heat dissipation.

The improved structure glove received glowing reviews. The enhanced fit allows firefighters to perform even the most delicate of tasks, such as inserting a key into a lock. Firefighters noted heat resistance, don and doff ability, and overall comfort and flexibility as key improvements in the improved structure glove.

"If we stay on our current schedule," Price said, "we hope to have the gloves NFPA-certified and available for commercial purchase by third quarter 2014."

The final round of testing is currently underway, and the glove is expected to meet current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate. "Improved gloves enhance safety of first responders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516202754.htm>.
Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate. (2014, May 16). Improved gloves enhance safety of first responders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516202754.htm
Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate. "Improved gloves enhance safety of first responders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516202754.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins