Exploration of Firefighter Bunker Gear Part 2: Assessing the Needs of the Female Firefighter

Lynn M. Boorady, Jessica Barker, Shu-Hwa Lin, Young-A Lee, Eunjoo Cho, Susan P. Ashdown

Abstract


Female firefighters are a minority in their workplace yet also need the same protective equipment as their male counterparts. This research focused on the problems with their bunker gear that female firefighters themselves have identified. Focus groups were held in around the country and the comments made by female firefighters were analyzed. Data were organized by identifying the most common problems areas. Five gear factors (i.e. garment design features, sizing, fit, mobility, and fabrication) are discussed within two main constructs; function and comfort. Suggestions on improving bunker gear for female firefighters include altering the fit and sizing, as well as changing the location of pockets and enhancing the functionality of the suspenders.

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