Whether they’re battling fires or responding to medical emergencies, firefighters are easily recognizable in their trusted turnouts, also known as bunker gear. The term, bunker gear, is derived from the fact that the pants and boots are traditionally kept by the firefighter’s bunk at the fire station to be readily available for use.
Turnout gear consists of a helmet, a jacket and pants made from Nomex, and a pair of leather boots. The jacket and pants have bright reflective material and are made of three separate layers of fire resistant fabric designed to insulate the wearer from extreme fire conditions.
In addition, firefighters carry a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) which allows them to breathe compressed air while fighting fires and a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) device which enables the firefighter to summon help by means of activating a loud piercing alarm to notify others in the area that the firefighter is in distress.
As the firefighter’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), this “uniform” weighs in at about 70 pounds and can become much heavier when drenched with water.
Firefighters certainly mix fashion and function on a daily basis.