Firefighter garment specialists VIKING and Hainsworth have partnered successfully to win a US firefighter contract.
VIKING garments incorporating TITAN 1220, a Hainsworth® Technology outershell, have been selected by firefighters in Albuquerque, the largest municipality in the state of New Mexico.
US dealer Unifire will be responsible for rolling out the kit to more than 800 firefighters in the city.
VIKING is the only manufacturer in the US to use TITAN 1220 which is a double cloth construction with DuPont™ Nomex® on the face to provide optimal thermal protection, abrasion resistance and colour fastness.
Grant Grinstead, VIKING’S Western US Sales Manager, said: “Winning the bid was the culmination of more than three years’ work. This included extensive trials with the training academy in Albuquerque and then a field trial on one of the fire service’s busiest engines.
“The climate in Albuquerque is extremely warm, reaching more than 100F in the summer, which meant that heat stress management and firefighter fatigue were big issues in the bid process.
“TITAN helps to minimise heat stress with its open breathable structure maximising flow of sweat vapour through the inner garment layers. Its patented double cloth construction allows for a lighter weight thermal barrier, reducing overall garment weight significantly, while providing excellent thermal performance.
“More than 70 per cent of firefighter calls in the US are non-fire related. Instead they involve car accidents or medical-related matters. This means the kit they wear has to contain a number of performance properties including flexibility to suit the different scenarios crews face.”
Grant, who combines his role with VIKING with a full-time job as a firefighter in Colorado, added: “The feedback we have had so far is that the firefighters love their new kit.
“We like working with Hainsworth. They have the same philosophy centred on providing the best possible products and service.”
Stuart Allen, Export Sales Executive for Hainsworth, said: “We are delighted to have been able to partner with VIKING to help them secure a prestigious contract with Albuquerque.
“There is an increasing awareness in the United States that there are alternatives to those fire purchasers would traditionally consider.
“Hainsworth spends a lot of time working with our partners listening to firefighters about their requirements and providing them with the knowledge about innovation in garment and fabric development and manufacture.
“Whenever we show US crews our gear, we get a great reaction. Firefighters in Albuquerque particularly liked the fact they could move to lighter weight, more flexible garments.”