A joint research study conducted by Utah Valley University Emergency Services Department and the Fire Smoke Coalition seeks to answer the question of what harmful effects the residue left behind on personal protective equipment used by firefighters after fighting fires might have. This study may impact proper care and replacement procedures for turnout gear and station wear, as well as the ongoing training performed by the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy to recruits and future NFPA standards. Regardless of the findings, damaged personal protective equipment should always be replaced, and PPE should regularly be inspected for signs of damage and properly laundered in a manner pursuant to their care instructions.
Archive for Uniforms
OPEC’s latest report has projected that demand for OPEC crude oil will be decreasing from 29.9 million to 29.6 million barrels per day, approximately 2.6 percent less than they are currently producing. This projection is based on two major factors: the increases in United States and Canadian production due to new manufacturing and supply methods, which while not necessarily resulting in direct competition to OPEC markets will still reduce reliance on their products; and a soft global economy forcing competitive markets.
To preserve their oil prices at $100 a barrel or greater, OPEC is considering reducing their supply output of 30 million barrels per day by half a million barrels per day in order to keep supply lower than demand. This may work out to the benefit of the United States energy industry, at least locally, as uniformed workers take their places on oil rigs and platforms around the country to maintain supplies with lower transportation costs, and power plants running on newer and cleaner technologies continue to gain ground.
In 1996, the U.S. Navy ended a requirement for all sailors to wear flame-resistant military uniforms at sea, with the exception of engine room personnel, firefighters, and flight-related personnel. However, a decision announced in May is phasing back in flame-resistant uniforms for every sailor at sea after testing revealed that the camouflage work uniforms most sailors wear at sea are extremely flammable. These nylon-cotton blend uniforms burn and melt until completely consumed, causing severe risk of life threatening injury if being worn at the time. Rear Admiral John Kirby, who reviewed the report, suggested in a later blog posting that the Navy didn’t realize until now just how flammable their uniforms were. In sharp contrast, Army and Marine combat uniforms are designed to be self-extinguishing and are made of a blend that includes flame-resistant rayon. The dramatic results, he continued in a post to explain the change to Navy personnel, have convinced the Navy that flame resistant clothing should be worn by all sailors at sea.
Law enforcement officers are beginning to feel the heat in warmer climates as summer approaches, and that means a changeover from the traditional poly-wool-blend uniforms to poly-cotton police uniforms in order to beat rising temperatures and maintain speed and efficiency while confronting suspects. Anchortex Uniform recommends that law enforcement uniform buyers evaluate their department’s needs in advance before the temperature increase strikes and plan ahead for the needs of our public defenders.
A Government Accountability Office report released today reveals that while the economy may be forcing many government positions to tighten their budgets, military uniforms are one area where spending has been constant.
The report sheds light on a number of interesting details involving service uniform development over the past ten years, such as the Army Combat Uniform in current use. According to the report, the Army spent over $4 billion between 2003 and 2010 developing the new camouflage uniform, only to change the pattern in 2010 after a 2009 Army study found that the ACU pattern “offered less effective concealment than patterns chosen by the Marine Corps and some foreign military services, such as Syria and China” to troops serving in Afghanistan.
In addition to the new Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern in use, the Army has been studying color variations – desert, woodland, and traditional – for future uniform options. Officials have estimated that it may cost up to $4 billion over five years to replace current uniforms and related protective gear if these changes go into effect.
The Battle Dress Uniform and Desert Combat Uniform were formerly used by all service personnel for camouflage, but since 2002, each service has introduced its own camouflage service uniform to distinguish itself from other services — which, as noted by Air Force Central Command during operations in Afghanistan in 2010, creates a risk of soldiers being distinguishable to enemy forces when engaging in joint operations. Currently, different camouflage pattern uniforms exist for the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force, despite the fact that they are often purposed for the same territory.
With cost-cutting measures being introduced at all levels of government, from cities laying off their entire police force to presidential nominees threatening to terminate support for cultural programs if elected, it’s a wonder that our military service uniforms seem to be developed more around spending money for service distinction than around making a singular combat-efficient uniform.
As you may know, Arizona has had a law on the books since July 2010 known as SB1070, which aims to reduce the impact of nonsanctioned immigration by requiring law enforcement officers to obtain proof that those they encounter while enforcing other laws are in this country legally. Parts of the law signed by Republican governor Jan Brewer have been in effect since 2010, but largely ignored on a city-by-city level. Now, however, with ten days to go before the law finally goes into effect, the ‘Show Us Your Papers’ law is still coming under fire from civil rights activists, men and women in police uniforms, and even avid anti-immigration proponents.
From a civil rights perspective, the law is seen as a possible threat to the rights of legitimate US citizens, who may suffer harassment from law enforcement that will do little to actually improve the immigration problem. Law enforcement officers, meanwhile, point out that this essentially exposes them to the potential for lawsuits if racial profiling is used as a factor in determining who may or may not be an illegal immigrant, and to lawsuits for inadequately enforcing the law if they do not begin racially profiling everyone they encounter on the job.
Even outspoken anti-immigration advocate and self-proclaimed ‘America’s toughest sheriff’, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, concedes that since the new law does not grant local law enforcement agents the legal power to detain suspected immigrants or make immigration arrests, it will have little real impact on his jurisdiction; Arpaio is already under investigation relating to alleged civil rights abuses, racial profiling, and unlawful arrests against political opponents, and violent crime has increased 58 percent in Maricopa County, compared to Arizona’s overall decline in crime rate by 12%, between 2002 and 2009.
While it remains to be seen what actual effect SB1070 will have, it seems clear that those who wear law enforcement badges will have a rough road ahead, as will those who live in or pass through the state of Arizona – lawfully as well as unlawfully.
Among the many laws that went into effect last week, one law in particular is bound to make Washington State’s correctional officers happier – a law removing the requirement that corrections officers wear inmate-made uniforms instead of professionally manufactured uniforms bought on the open market. Previously, correctional officers were required to wear uniforms made under the state’s Corrections Industries program, which sews uniforms and builds furniture to cut costs for public agencies and non-profit groups.
According to the testimony of corrections officers, the uniforms thus produced were ill-fitting, and often suffered from problems such as weak trouser seams, women’s blouses with improperly spaced buttons, faulty zippers, and overly tight clothing. In addition, the poor-quality uniforms provided wore out easily under the rigors of prison duty, and failed to reflect the pride Washington corrections officers have in their job. The bill passed nearly unanimously, freeing the Washington corrections market to purchase its uniform supplies from sources other than the inmates they are responsible for keeping under lock and key.
Anchortex Corporation regularly sells high-quality BDU shirts and pants from Propper to corrections officers to meet their needs for lasting uniforms that stand up to the wear and tear of a prison environment, look professional, and can be worn over a stab vest or other protective equipment without problems.
This interests me both as a citizen and as a retailer, and I thought that it might interest you too: apparently, there’s a debate in Logansport, Indiana regarding administrative oversight of the stipend provided for officer uniforms and firefighter personal protective equipment. The current system pays a yearly stipend in compliance with IRS regulations on taxable fringe employee benefits; however, Indiana Code requires cities to provide active members of police and fire departments with the arms, equipment, clothing, and uniforms to adequately perform their duties, and to provide an annual allowance to servicemen to furnish and maintain said equipment after one year of service.
We at Anchortex Corporation always appreciate the opportunity to work both with the individual public safety officer and the department buyer to help them maintain their budget goals and keep themselves adequately protected. It has always struck me as peculiar that someone should be taxed for the uniforms and tools required and expected to do their job, though. Hopefully, Logansport’s fire and police departments are keeping their equipment well-maintained, regardless of what the city council decides.
(Information courtesy of the Pharos Tribune)
In the first survey taken since 1988, measuring sticks and high-tech body scans are being used to take measurements of over twelve thousand service personnel to develop size standards for uniforms and other equipment, as well as to determine how much to stock in each size. Men and women are to be measured separately in running shorts and tank tops brought by the measurement contractor to ensure consistency.
The new survey comes in the wake of realizations that more large-sized uniforms than expected were required for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and that new women’s sizes in combat uniforms, body armor, and other items are necessary for optimum performance.
The study will be used to generate new standards for uniform and equipment sizes, as well as to create avatars for computerized simulations, to figure out space requirements for vehicle cockpits and seats, and to ensure that ‘small’, ‘medium’, and ‘large’ are more consistently applicable across separate pieces of equipment.