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An operational field assessment (OFA) of the Improved Structural Firefighting Glove was conducted on April 23, 2014, at the Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy in Glenview, Illinois. Six firefighters from Illinois, California, and Maryland participated. The OFA focused on glove dexterity; separate testing will address compliance with requirements for thermal protection.
The gloves were developed under the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. The requirements for the structural firefighting glove include improved dexterity and don and doff ability to reduce the risk of injury firefighters face when removing gloves to perform manual tasks. Prototype gloves were developed by NanoSonic Inc. and Shelby Specialty Gloves using a nanocomposite insulative array of fire-restrictive material combined with other materials in a 3-D design.