Design of Firefighter Uniforms
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This study investigated the comfort and effectiveness related to the design of firefighter uniforms. First we conducted a focus group meeting with 6 firefighters and the fire chief in Ithaca, NY. This provided us with information on the problems that firefighters have with their gear, including requests for: less bulky and lighter gear; fewer restrictions in the crotch of the pants; less restriction from the air tank; more comfortable suspenders; more dexterity in the gloves; and adjustable fit for weight loss and gain. We then identified 5 positions, including three active poses and two range of motion postures, that would help us isolate potential areas of improved fit.

Three firefighters were scanned in 6 poses (a standing pose, 3 active poses, and 2 range of movement poses) for 6 clothing conditions (station uniform and 5 turnout gear models). Preliminary work on the scans shows good potential for analysis of fit, using merged scans of the firefighter in station gear in each position, and scans of the same firefighter in the suits.

When the firefighter's suit scan is translucent, you can see the relationship of the body to the suit in three dimensions. (Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)
Firefighters' protective gear is both heavy and bulky. (Image: Cornell Body Scan Research Group)