Firefighters in the ACT will be provided with the latest in protective outerwear clothing under a $2.3 million government budget allocation.
The clothing will consist of an outer tunic and over pants, in addition to the funding for new flamepoof, structural helmets previously announced in the Budget.
The clothing must meet the highest standards of durability and thermal resistance, yet maintain a degree of flexibility without being too heavy to wear. The material has to resist heat, moisture, smoke, micro-particles and blood-borne pathogens.
United Firefighters Union ACT secretary Greg McConville applauded the government's funding decision and said there would be a great deal of care and attention given by ACT Fire and Rescue to finding the best possible equipment.
"There's a lot of instructional research done in this area that we can call on from across the US, where they fight fires across a range of environmental conditions" he said.
"Canberra is freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer so the environment in which our firefighters work is probably one of the most challenging in Australia and we have to have the equipment which can cope with that."
Compatibility between the outerwear and the new helmets will be important to provide full protection. This equipment also has to be compatible with other systems, such as breathing apparatus.
Firefighters will test the rival products using a standard sets of task under controlled conditions.