RALEIGH, N.C. — In modern times, a firefighter's job is becoming more dangerous and protecting them is more important than ever. It is not enough for their suits to be fire resistant anymore. Nowadays, they need to be terror-proof, as well.
Turnout gear traditionally protects firefighters from fire. Cutting-edge suits developed by North Carolina State University's College of Textiles incorporates new materials that will protect firefighters against biological and chemical agents, like sarin, mustard gas and anthrax.
"This will be a new generation. This will be a new type of firefighter suit," said Dr. Roger Barker, head of the Textile Protection and Comfort Center at N.C. State's College of Textiles
The first-of-its-kind suit was developed with an $830,000 Homeland Security grant awarded in December.
"The protection is actually built into the new materials that are going into the suit," Barker said.
The new suit has all the functional features of a traditional suit, but with added protection. A thermal liner is the main component in heat protection that was developed at N.C. State.
"They're going to be on the front lines of first response," Barker said.
N.C. State presents its prototype to the Raleigh Fire Department on Thursday.
The turnout suits could eventually be used nationwide.