Working over 20 years for the Calgary Fire Department, Randy Schmitz, a well-known extrication expert, has been in constant search of professional gloves that can truly meet the needs of firefighters, who are working on the scene of an extrication. And these gloves could also be used to keep safe the hands of the military, police, roughnecks, wrecker drivers, etc.
“There are lots of sharp objects at an extrication scene such as glass and metal—we have to navigate these materials to gain access to our patients. A major consideration during extrication is protection, especially that of your hands. Another consideration with an extrication glove is that they need to be conducive to delicate tasks such as changing a saw blade or bracing a victim,” elaborated Schmitz in the Calgary City News Blog.
Schmitz wanted to create heat-resistant, slash-resistant, and crush-protecting gloves, something that would protect the hands of rescue workers from shards of glass and jagged metal. Having that idea in mind, he’s been in constant research of the topic, talking to people from different industries, collecting information, and finally, he approached Whitemore and Hobbs, a Calgary company producing rescue equipment. Their three-year partnership resulted in the truly awesome product currently known as “Schmitz Mitts.”
The gloves have carbon-fiber knuckles with a liner made from a substance called Hipora, a waterproof and breathable membrane that gives bloodborne pathogen protection. There are also two separate slash- and flame-resistant layers, providing chemical and pathogen protection.
According to the Global News, the mitts have gained worldwide attention—sanitation companies, glass cutters and handlers, and policing agencies have started using “Schmitz Mitts.” The Columbian military has also put out a tender for 25,000 pairs.
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