Posted by mrothmeyer | Fire and Rescue, PPE, Performance, Safety
Thursday, February 11th, 2010 7:02 am

Increase your firefighting staying power — go leather (boots).

Still have rubber boots on your feet? Then you’re working harder, draining your SCBA faster and have more trouble with balance and obstacles than a firefighter with leather boots. So says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The University of Delaware agrees. Both conducted studies on the safety and health implications of firefighter boots and found that rubber boots — which weigh about 3 pounds more than leather boots and cost half as much — definitely affect on-the-job performance.

Leather Firefighter Boot

Yes, leather costs more. But consider these costs: 80,100 occupational injuries, a quarter of which were caused by overexertion and falls. And, according to the studies, leather boots fit better and tend to have a wider heel that provides you with extra stability and traction.

Look for leather boots that have:

  • Ankle support systems
  • Pierce protection
  • Fabrics that resist liquids (such blood, chemicals, water and bodily fluids), cuts and flames
  • Breathable fabrics that wick away sweat
  • Slip resistant soles
  • Thermal insulation
  • Durable toe covers
  • Wide heels for improved balance and traction

On any call — every second matters. You need to perform — physically and mentally — at your peak. Heavier boots mean your muscles work harder, use more energy, have a higher heart rate, fatigue faster, and have a more limited range of motion. And the more energy you use, the harder it can be to concentrate. Impaired physical and mental abilities not only endanger you, but those you serve with and those you’re sworn to protect.

What's your preference — leather boots or rubber boots?

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One Response to “Increase your firefighting staying power — go leather (boots).”

  1. Philippine Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigades needs more studies, reports about the use of Leather boots by Usa, Canada & European Firefighters. Thank You.