The J-FIRE Program, an Air Force and Army version of the Army Firefighters Integrated Suit-Combat (FIS-C) Program, has developed an ensemble which will protect Military Firefighters IAW National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and provide Chemical/Biological (CB) protection during firefighting operations in a CB environment. The ensemble includes a CB protective overgarment and gloves, to be worn under aluminized proximity firefighting outergarments, and a switchable filtered/supplied air mask.
State-of-the art fire fighting clothing does not provide adequate CB protection for firefighters. Previously, the only way to provide CB protection to firefighters engaged in fire fighting operations in a CB environment was to wear the standard chemical protective overgarment under standard firefighting apparel/equipment. This quickly creates severe and debilitating heat stress which was magnified and compounded by the nature and environment of firefighting duties. In addition, the combined bulk and weight of chemical protective and firefighter apparel/equipment severely limited dexterity, movement and endurance. Mission accomplishment was severely degraded and jeopardized by CB/Firefighter protective limitations.
- Provide 12 hours of continuous CB agent protection when challenged with the standard 10 g/m2 of liquid chemical agent.
- Useable by firefighters engaged in both structural and crash fire fighting/rescue operations.
- Will allow the firefighter to use, in as near a normal manner as possible, mission essential tools and equipment in a CB environment.
- Provide resistance to water and all standard fire fighting chemicals used within DoD, such as foam, CO2, aircraft petroleum, oils and lubricants.
- Capable of being donned in 8 minutes or less from its storage boxes and kits.
A MOA and a joint TEMP were prepared to establish a Joint Firefighter's Response Ensemble (J-FIRE) program between the Army and the AF. Joint Developmental Testing and Initial Operational Test and Evaluation were carried out with Army and Air Force firefighters wearing a JSLIST overgarment with firefighting gear, and using a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with chemical kit. The U.S. Army system was Type Classified in March 1997, and will be fielded to all Army firefighters.