VIKING Guardian – DuPont™ Nomex® partner develops suit innovation to protect firefighters

VIKING Guardian – DuPont™ Nomex® partner develops suit innovation to protect firefighters

DuPont™ Nomex® Partner VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has developed a ground-breaking suit concept incorporating DuPont™ Nomex®, with a detachable outer shell, to help reduce firefighters’ exposure to potentially harmful particles, resulting from combustion from a fire. In addition, this concept allows for easy cleaning. Contamination poses both a risk to the firefighter’s health and to the degradation and performance of protective garments.

Showcased as a winner of the DuPont™ Nomex® Garment Innovation Awards at Interschutz this year, VIKING Guardian is purpose-made to provide firefighters with an entirely new level of protection.

Incorporating DuPont™ Nomex®, the Hainsworth TITAN® outer shell can easily be removed by the firefighter after attending a fire, leaving the inner liner to be worn during debriefing and the return to base. Before getting into the fire engine, the outer shell is simply placed in a dissolvable washing bag. Contained in the bag, any residual particles on the garment surface are effectively cut off from close contact with firefighters and their physical environment during transport, washing, storage and other routine tasks.

VIKING Guardian – DuPont™ Nomex® partner develops suit innovation to protect firefighters

The VIKING Guardian is inspired by the multi-piece VIKING suits worn predominantly outside Europe. However, where those suits are primarily designed to avoid cross contamination during washing and ease of repair, the VIKING Guardian’s design objectives went much further.

Firefighter comfort received special attention, with features such as pre-bent knees and elbows, a removable hood, and superior, adjustable flexibility to handle many different work situations. The highly durable suit is reinforced with DuPont™ Kevlar® in arms, knees, in the pockets, and at the hem of the pants and the jacket. Attention to detail is evident throughout the design, making it easier, for example, to don communications equipment.

“Comfort is a key part of ensuring safety,” says Keld Valentin, “An uncomfortable suit may not be worn properly or even avoided where possible, reducing the wearer’s level of protection from heat and contamination.”

General durability was also important. A strategy behind the multi-piece design was the ability to extend the lifetime value of components. Making it possible to purchase a new lining or outer shell separately rather than discarding the entire suit if only part of it is damaged or worn.

One of just four companies recognised by the DuPont™ Nomex® Garment Innovation Awards, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is part of the DuPont™ Nomex® Partner Program developed as part of DuPont’s commitment to protection quality. It is a carefully-selected network of customer-oriented and progressive weavers and garment manufacturers whose fabrics and garments pass DuPont’s rigorous quality controls. Other winners of the awards include S-GARD, TEXPORT and Bristol Uniforms.

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