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Firefighter Gear: Then and Now

The protective clothing worn by firefighters is called turnout gear. Firefighters originally wore uniforms consisting of thick wool pants and red shirts.

Wool was chosen because it was able to shield the firemen against both heat and cold, plus it is mildly resistant to water and flames. They also wore rubber slickers over their wool uniforms.

After World War II, the National Fire Protection Association imposed equipment standards and mandated that firefighters have a uniform with several layers—-one that was flame-resistant, another moisture-resistant and another that provided thermal insulation. As technology improved, so did the materials used for these layers.

Sources: Shutterstock, FireLink Photo Upload, iStock

Then & Now: Respiratory