Similar to many volunteer fire departments facing purchasing decisions, Arbutus Vol. Fire Department in Arbutus, MD, began a trial process in an effort to compare multiple offerings of extrication gloves. With an entire Specialized Rescue Team to outfit, it was important that the SRT leader was confident in the quality of gloves.
According to the final report, the evaluation took many things into account, including durability, safety and protection, affordability, and comfort, and dexterity.
Important features of a rescue glove:
- Durability: Gloves must last through unpredictable and challenging conditions without needing replacement.
- Performance: Gloves must provide the necessary resistance against possible on-scene injuries.
- Affordability: The cost of the glove must not inhibit the department’s ability to provide them to each necessary member.
- Comfort and dexterity: Gloves must not inhibit members from performing necessary rescue tasks.
Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department put many different glove models on the hands of its rescue specialists. Each of these gloves was subjected to similar harsh circumstances, ranging from vehicle extrication to inclement weather.
Per the report, “one manufacturer stood out from the rest: HexArmor®.” Here's why.
Extended glove life
During the trial, the factor most greatly considered was glove durability. The longevity of a safety glove is often the highest determinant of quality, especially so in the field of technical rescue, where challenging conditions will be taxing on the materials and construction of a glove.
“None of the seams failed,” states the report. “We got them wet and they kept protecting our hands. The other two manufacturers’ gloves seem to fall apart when the gloves are wet.”
Cut and puncture protection
A high priority for an SRT leader is the safety of the team, so when it comes to selecting a glove, hand safety is carefully considered. HexArmor® EXT Rescue® gloves are manufactured with SuperFabric® brand materials, giving each glove ANSI/ISEA cut level A8 and puncture level 4 on the palm and fingers.
“These gloves took a beating and just kept on protecting – no cuts, no scrapes, no abrasion marks,” Arbutus VFD reports.
Arbutus VFD found that “the best HexArmor® gloves that we received to evaluate (which were also the most expensive in the HexArmor® lineup), are not the overall most expensive gloves that we tested – they are, in fact, one of the cheapest. This makes the gloves very affordable when purchasing in large quantities.”
The EXT Rescue® 4011, the highest-priced of the EXT Series, was determined “very affordable” in comparison to competitive offerings.
Not only is the initial price of the glove more affordable, but the longevity of the glove provides Arbutus VFD with a product that will outlast more expensive extrication gloves.
Comfort and dexterity
The Arbutus SRT leader wanted to be certain in this evaluation that the gloves assigned to the rescue team members would allow them the dexterity to accomplish the tasks that need to be performed in a rescue situation.
Additionally, the gloves must be comfortable enough that the team members are not opposed to wearing them, and would be able to work in them for long periods of time.
The report states that those evaluating the gloves “reported that the gloves are very comfortable and that they could pick up coins that were dropped onto concrete.”
Upon the completion of the evaluation, Arbutus VFD decided to outfit the SRT members with the EXT Rescue® 4011, which they decided was “the best product on the market,” and “the best for our department.”
EXT Rescue® 4011
Equipped with the most protective impact-resistance system in the industry and a durable high-grip palm, the EXT Rescue® 4011 outworks every other protective glove available and outlasts the roughest and toughest operations.
- SuperFabric® brand material palm provides ANSI/ISEA level A8 and CE level 5 cut resistance (interior layer)
- Durable TP-X® palm reinforcement provides abrasion resistance and oil-resistant grip
- Full Impact Exoskeleton™ with high-performance IR-X® smash guards
- PVC print on fingers for enhanced grip
- Breathable Neoprene cuff with Velcro® closure