Turnout Gear 101 Provides Firefighters with Three Layers of Safety
Modern turnout gear has been adapted over the last 50 years from thick, single layer fabrics (wool, cotton, leather, or rubber) to a highly engineered three component (layer) system with distinct performance and functional characteristics for each component. The three components combined actually enhance the thermal protection due to the pockets of air between the layers.
Outer Shell: The first layer of defense. Provides strength, tear and abrasion resistance. It is the first step in heat and flame protection.
Moisture Barrier: Keeps moisture and dangerous liquids from getting in but allows water vapor to pass out, keeping firefighters drier and more comfortable.
Thermal Barrier: The last layer of defense. Made with spun lace or needle punched batting for thermal protection quilted to a soft face cloth that resides next to the skin. Provides comfort and smoothness with ease of movement while keeping the heat away from the skin.