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Tactical Apparel Press Release

July 17, 2008

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Blauer® Announces The First Breathable NFPA 1994, Class 3 Certified MIRT Ensemble


Boston, Massachusetts, July 16, 2008 – Blauer® Manufacturing Company, Inc., announces that its WZ9430 Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) suit is the law enforcement industry’s first breathable ensemble to be certified to NFPA 1994 [2007 Edition], Class 3 Standard. Made with a breathable, lightweight GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric, the WZ9430 MIRT suit minimizes heat stress while providing protection against specified toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and chemical warfare agents (CWAs). The unmatched breathability of the Gore fabric allows the first responder to remain involved in a mission for longer periods of time without compromising protection. 

Unlike traditional CBRN suits, the Blauer® WZ9430 MIRT Suit is ideal for extended tactical operations where speed, comfort, and durability are crucial, specifically those operations where hazardous chemical and biological agents are anticipated or identified but at levels not immediately dangerous to life and health (below IDLH). Worn with the proper APR gas mask and components, the WZ9430 protects against lower levels of vapor and liquid hazards that may be encountered outside the “hot zone.” The low-profile ensemble allows first responders to operate discretely in civilian populations, while maintaining a ready posture for terrorist incidents. By donning the hidden hood, approved APR gas mask, and gloves, first responders can go from discrete to deployed in a matter of minutes.

According to Stephen Blauer, Senior Vice President of Blauer® Manufacturing, “The technology behind GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric is key to our success in developing the WZ9430 MIRT suit. We worked very closely with Gore to ensure that we made the best use of their extensive expertise in membrane applications, specifically in the fire, EMS, medical, and chemical industries.” Gore’s fabric is both liquid-proof and air-impermeable, which protects the first responder against liquid, aerosol, and vapor TICs and CWAs. The fabric’s liquid-proof protection means that the first responder can wear the suit during wet decontamination without being exposed to water and toxic agents as they are washed off the suit. At the same time, the fabric allows moisture vapor from perspiration to escape from the garment, thereby reducing potential heat stress and increasing on-scene sustainability. This fabric is constructed with a unique, intrinsically stable, non-carbon-based laminate that does not adsorb chemicals and degrade over time, which translates to a longer service life so that the suits can be used multiple times.

When discussing Gore’s commitment to quality, Joe Staudenmayer, product specialist at Gore adds, “To ensure that our product would stand up to the working conditions of a law enforcement agency, we performed an extensive field test with three different agencies: a major metropolitan homeland security team, a state police unit, and a civil support team. These teams wore suits constructed with GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric for 100 hours over a period of four to six months during which the suits were laundered six times. At the end of the field test, we found that the suits still provided a very high level of protection, and the first responders were pleased with the increased comfort that allowed them to remain engaged in their mission longer. In addition, they liked the durability, and low-profile nature of the suit.”

For more information about purchasing the Blauer® WZ9430 MIRT Suit, call 800.225.6715 or visit www.blauer.com. For more information about GORE® CHEMPAK® Fabrics, call 800.431.GORE or visit GoreChempak.com.

Blauer® Manufacturing Company, Inc. — For three generations and more than 75 years, Blauer® Manufacturing has produced the highest quality and most protective garments available for public safety professionals. Since its beginning, Blauer® has combined the best fabric technologies with consistent attention to detail to provide the protection, comfort, durability, and appearance that safety professionals desire and deserve. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Blauer® is committed to developing new products to improve the safety and comfort of its customers. 

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. — With approximately $2.5 billion in sales and more than 8,000 employees worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates specializes in fluoropolymer innovations that improve the quality of life. Gore has applied its world-renowned expertise to thousands of high-performance solutions in pharmaceutical, consumer, industrial, electronic, medical, and surgical markets. Specifically in the protective fabrics arena, Gore has been a pioneer in developing high-performance barrier products for use in firefighting, EMS, technical rescue, law enforcement, military, and domestic preparedness applications. The company operates more than 45 facilities worldwide with headquarters in Newark, Delaware, USA.

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