The JFIRE ensemble aims to enable fire fighters to respond to emergencies in a contaminated area, mitigate and survive. The protection against chemical, biological and other potential contaminates is currently provided by an integrated (JSLIST) suit.
Prospective suppliers of the modified JFIRE ensemble were set an objective of reducing the profile of the current JSLIST suit by 50%, its weight by 20% but at the same time increasing its breathability, flexibility and mobility by up to 50%.
Following requests made in June 2009, the US Air Force received ten proposals from specialist textile and personal protection equipment providers from which the final three were selected.
“JFIRE is one of a growing number of defence programs where our unique patented technology has been put forward to address complex technical challenges” said Steve Ribich, Managing Director of Alexium International Group Limited. “This program is important not only for US Air Force Emergency Services but also for military and civilian fire fighters globally who face the potential hazards of dealing with fires in a contaminated environment. Hopefully, technology introduced through this program will result in lighter, more practical JFIRE suits, reducing heat stress and improving the effectiveness and safety of the fire fighter.”
Further evaluation will now take place at North Carolina State University followed by heat stress tests using fire fighters as test subjects, as well as additional detailed technical testing before a final candidate is selected for evaluation under field conditions. Over the next few weeks, Alexium will be providing additional quantities of treated materials to the US Air Force for testing.