A gender comparison of portuguese firefighters’ perceptions concerning personal protective equipment: Results from a pilot study

Anna S.P. Moraes, Miguel A.F. Carvalho, Rachel S. Boldt, Fernando B.N. Ferreira, Susan P. Ashdown, Linsey Griffin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Over the years, the nature of firefighting and the role of firefighters has evolved including a demographic change, with an increasing number of women in this profession. Recent studies have specifically addressed the particular needs of female firefighters. Ill-fitting turnout gear, protective gloves, and other personal protective equipment make female firefighters’ tasks not only uncomfortable but also more difficult and dangerous. A pilot study comprising both male and female firefighters from a fire brigade located in the North of Portugal was conducted. The goal was to investigate the fit of the Portuguese firefighters’ personal protective equipment, its level of adjustment to their anthropometrics and to identify areas that need improvement. This paper focuses on gender differences and presents the preliminary results regarding size selection and purchasing of protective clothing as well as the level of protection experienced among participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Ergonomics in Design - Proceedings of the AHFE 2020 Virtual Conference on Ergonomics in Design
EditorsFrancisco Rebelo, Marcelo Soares
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030510374
StatePublished - 2020
EventAHFE Virtual Conference on Ergonomics in Design, 2020 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2020Jul 20 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume1203 AISC
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365


ConferenceAHFE Virtual Conference on Ergonomics in Design, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the 2C2T-Centre for Textile Science and Technology of the University of Minho. This work is financed by FEDER funds through the Competitive Factors Operational Program (COMPETE) POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007136, by national funds through the FCT-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the project UID/CTM/000264, by Fundo de Apoio às Vítimas dos Incêndios de Pedrógão, and by ICC/Lavoro. We would also like to acknowledge the United States North Central Multistate Research Project titled NC-170 for assistance developing the questionnaire.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.


  • Female firefighters
  • Fit and Size
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Protection level


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