Updated: Safety information for new hoods

The safety information provided last week for the new flash hoods has been updated.  The only change is point 3 which now correctly requests the consideration of NOT rolling the hoods over the collar.

These particulate blocking hoods are constructed with a dual layer, creating a considerable higher level of protection from our current in service flash hoods.  It is important that firefighters adhere to the following safety information provided by some of our members who have used/trialled the hoods prior to the national trial roll-out.  We have asked FENZ to also put out this safety information.

  • Metabolic heat build-up is a serious consideration when wearing these for extended periods of time.
  • The change in hood is not a reason to change your safe systems of work or safe fire firefighting practices and procedures. With the higher level of protection from a dual layer construction, heat soakage can take a considerable amount of time longer to penetrate through.  With these hoods firefighters may have the ability to push further into fire environments or conditions that may be deteriorating.  Always be aware of the fire conditions.  Be aware if you have recently trained firefighters on your crew that might not have the same experience or ability to read fire conditions and behaviour.
  • Consideration needs to be given to firefighters to NOT rolling this hood over their collars. With heavier material this can stretch the elasticity of the hood effecting the seal it provides to the wearer when donning it around their BA Mask” is correct.
  • All career firefighters should be issued with the new hoods and only use the new hoods.  Officers and crews should be aware if firefighters are deploying with crews using other flash hoods and the differences each wearer may experience when working in the same fire environment.

We have had reports that some regional career stations are yet to receive the new hoods.  We have asked for a timeline of the rollout to all career stations.

The NZPFU is getting great feedback from our members who have been issued with the long-awaited new LION RedZone Particulate - Blocking Hoods.  Firefighters appreciate the noticeable reduction in the in the soot and particulates left on the skin after a structure fire. This is an important step in the mitigation of absorbing carcinogens and toxins.

The old hoods had been in circulation and had not been reviewed or changed in over a decade.

In 2019 the NZPFU pushed for the procurement of new hoods for professional career firefighters that meet the required standard for structural firefighting and also mitigates the rate of absorption of smoke and particulates.  We also requested that new hoods be provided to trainers at the National Training Centre due to the rate of live fire exercises they are subjected to.  The trainers were increasingly concerned and anxious about their continued absorption of smoke and particulates which could be mitigated through appropriately designed flash hoods.  We had sought the informal trial by trainers of two hoods but FENZ elected to provide only the Lion Redzone Particulate Blocking Hood for an informal end-user trial at NTC which is certified as meeting the relevant NZPA standard. 

In order to have our members across the country afforded better protection the NZPFU agreed to the distribution of the Lion Redzone Particulate Blocking Hood as PPE for professional career firefighters on the proviso that robust testing and trialling of that hood and other hoods available be undertaken within the 12-18 months with a view to determining the most appropriate hood the meets required standard and affords the necessary protections (including particulate absorption) for general distribution to structural firefighters.

We will keep members informed of that national trial process, and how members can record their end-user experiences.

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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