Twelve firefighters from around the country tested the next generation Level 2s at Rotorua at the end of November. 

Our National Uniform and PPE Advisor, David Campbell, says the new garments look similar to the existing L2s but are manufactured using up-to-date technology. 

“The outer fabric is PBI Max which is lighter than the current PBI Gold but offers superior thermal stability and flame protection, increased strength, reduced fabric stiffness and more flexibility. The garments have a new style moisture barrier and a new internal lining designed to slide easily over skin or undergarments. 

“The garments are also designed and constructed for easier movement, particularly around the arms and shoulders. Two of the ensembles trialled include vapour barriers at the waist and leg cuffs to reduce carcinogen exposure.” 

David says the triallists put the gear through a series of scenarios designed to identify any restriction to movement, design flaws, heat build-up, retention and transfer issues experienced during normal firefighting duties and live fire training evolutions. Here is what some of them had to say. 

‘The range of mobility now with the Trousers and Coat are amazing’. 

‘Way lighter than our current L2’. 

‘Thumb loop is a great addition to the L2 Coat’. 

‘The vapour skirt while you get hot faster – the smell of fresh clothes after a live fire wearing was unreal’.

 ‘The new knee pad design was very good giving a true bend line compared to our old pads resulting in an easier crease in the knee’. 

‘More loop holes – yes!!’. 

‘Bigger pocket for the radios was way better and once they fix the length of it – will be perfect’. 

‘The gear was comfortable and the amount of extra movement the trial gear provided is a huge improvement’. 

The next steps are wider field trials which will run for six months before a final decision is made on which suit to go with. Here are some photos of the trials. 




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