While demand for protection, safety, functionality and materials are of the same high standard as before, something about the firefighter's suit is definitely changing!
“The market trends show us that the fire suit should now have a more slim fit and look smarter than before. With inspiration from other types of functional clothing such as sportswear or motorcycling apparel, suits should be adjustable to fit the body's movements. While rugged and masculine in attitude, firefighters are just as vain as everybody else and also want to ‘look sharp’ when they go to work”, says Dorthe Tørngren la Cour, who is responsible for fire suit development at VIKING.
These trends mean that VIKING PPE Engineering Fire now focus a lot more on design and creative solutions than even before. Dividing seams and smart details are gradually replacing the more boxy fire suits that used to be the norm.
Fighting fires and more…
“A good example of the innovative focus on smart and flexible clothing is the new VIKING Technical Rescue Suit - a so-called USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) suit catering to the fact that a firefighter's work involves so much more than extinguishing fires - for instance responding to emergencies such as road traffic accidents, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. It is also great for rescue operations at height or in collapsed buildings. Though not a fire suit, the TECH suit is approved in accordance with the standards for protection against heat and flames (EN 11612) and high-visibility clothing (EN 20471). The suit weighs significantly less than a fire suit and it will typically serve as a second suit for fire fighters and other emergency responders. We believe that it will shift the market a great deal”, says Dorthe Tørngren la Cour.
Dorthe in Brief:
Dorthe Tørngren la Cour joined VIKING PPE Fire in December 2012 as head of PPE Engineering Fire. The department has eight employees, who work with fire suit development and design and production support. Dorthe is a trained designer from the Danish Design School in Copenhagen and has a long experience as a design manager in the fashion industry.