The New Zealand Fire Service attends over 70,000 emergency incidents every year. Only a quarter of these incidents are fire related.
They also help people who are trapped, such as in accidents on building sites and firefighters play a major role at the scene of motor vehicle accidents, attending something like 12,000 motor vehicle accidents a year.
Traditionally Fire Fighters have worn their Level 2 structural fire suits to all incidents, even non fire related ones. The New Zealand Fire Service asked YASL to design a new "non-structure" firefighting range of clothing that would firstly meet the rigorous wildfire safety standards and secondly meet the high visibility Transit safety standards.
This was no easy task as a suitable fabric that met both the requirements was not available.
YASL worked with a number of major international textile mills and was able to develop a new fabric that was capable of meeting the exacting standards.
Once the fabric was sourced YASL worked closely with operational firefighters to ensure the design of the garment met their requirements for comfort, performance and suitability for the working environment. YASL worked closely with the New Brighton Fire Station, firstly presenting the strategy behind the new range and then manufacturing sample garments which the firefighters were asked to wear for a period of 2 months.
Feedback from the trial was invaluable and led to a number of design changes which improved the performance and fit of the garments.
The process of involving the operational firefighters in the development of the garments meant YASL was able to develop a range of garments that not only met the rigorous safety standards but had an extremely high level of user acceptance.