In general, the standard wildland firefighter uniform requires a shirt, jacket, pants, boots, helmets, gloves, goggles, chainsaw chaps, and face shroud.
Furthermore, all wildland fire clothes that are certified for use by the USDA Forest Service must meet and exceed NFPA 1977 standards.
The Technical Committee on Fire Service Protective Clothing and Equipment began work on standards for wildland fire clothes in April 1989 in an effort to meet requests from the wildland fire services to establish a benchmark that would cover the protective clothing and equipment used by the industry.
From there, the team’s goal was to outline thermal protection standards for the wildland firefighter via flame-resistant clothing and equipment that would provide lifesaving protection and not bring about extraordinary heat stress loads.
The first edition of the new standard was completed by the subcommittee in 1992 and the first edition of NFPA 1977 Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting was issued with an initial effective date of August 20, 1993.
Today, the 1977 standard consists of many manufacturing and construction guidelines for various protective clothing and equipment options for the “normal exposure” during wildfires and emergency fire shelter guidelines for “severe exposure” situations.
Guidelines found within the NFPA1977 guideline include - but are not limited to - flame-resistant performance standards, testing methods, design requirements per article of gear, and even labeling requirements per item.
When it comes to the materials and fabrics used for items such as wildland brush shirts, wildland brush pants, the most common fabrics utilize a meta-aramid material developed in the early 1960s by Dupont known as Nomex.
Nomex is extremely common in the wildland fire industry because of its inherent heat and flame-resistant nature and its ability to create an actual barrier that insulates the user from the flames. Essential qualities that clothing material must-have for those working with fire.
Nomex is an extremely useful and interesting material, especially when considering all the professions that may deal with fire and high heat. Nomex is particularly useful for wildland pants and shirts because the fabric instantly swells and creates a charred surface when exposed to extremely high heat. This charred surface then insulates the firefighter from coming into direct contact with the heat source and can provide precious seconds for escape during a life or death situation.
From there, in a slightly less dramatic fashion. Nomex fibers are particularly useful in the threads used in the construction of wildland firefighter boots. Naturally, firefighters find themselves walking in and around beds of hot coals as they perform their duties. The use of Nomex fibers in their boots actually goes a very long way in holding the boot together and ensuring the integrity of the boot over time.
Dual-compliant wildland station pants are a bit unique and worth calling out on their own. On the surface, “dual compliant pants” appear to be navy blue station pants for the typical structural firefighter. In reality, they are typical wildland brush pants that are also designed specifically to meet the strict stationwear standards of NFPA 1975. Having a dual compliant status (1977 & 1975) allows structural firefighters to reduce their call times and deploy to the firelines quickly by removing the need to change into a completely new uniform. This means suburban fire crews can quickly and easily join the ranks alongside wildland firefighters when the fire migrates from the rural areas to the suburban areas.
Propper continues to meet the ever-evolving needs of firefighters and first responders today - just as we have done for over 50 years. All of our wildland firefighter uniform items are made with the level of care dedicated you'd expect from a 50 year veteran of the industry. Intuitive features, quality fabrics, and innovative design are built into every garment we make.
For more information on wildland clothing, give us a call today at 800-296-9690 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.