They say that clothes maketh the man - and that applies to emergency service workers, too. So, bearing in mind all the advances that have been made in terms of technical equipment, it's important that the development of protective clothing isn’t overlooked. That's why Cologne Fire Department teamed up with colleagues from the nearby city of Duisburg to draw up specifications for their new standard protective clothing from the specialist provider Geilenkothen. As a result of their efforts, the new collection, which is due to be launched by the company in May 2019, has been perfected in several different areas.

Marc Oberliessen, who is in charge of clothing at Cologne Fire Department’s engineering unit, believes the newly developed combo of functional pants and jacket is a quantum leap forward. Breathable functional fabrics, such as the renowned Gore-Tex membrane, ensure that emergency workers and the contents of their pockets stay dry whatever the weather. A lot of thought went into the choice of color, too. "Red pants in particular just simply don’t stand out enough in daytime traffic, especially since the reflectors only shine when illuminated," says Oberliessen. After opting for yellow as the new signal color, the issue remained that yellow fabrics tend to be more transparent than their red counterparts. "That's why there's a double layer of fabric with welded waterproof seams at the seat and other places." The waistband is now much higher and made from stretchy material so that no areas become exposed when bending over," Oberliessen explains. Given that emergency response workers often kneel down next to a patient, the pants have also been kitted out with kneepads and an overlap on the upper thigh that gives the wearer greater freedom of movement without the risk of chafing. What's more, the new combination of soft-shell jacket and outer jacket – which together still weigh 240 grams less than their one-piece predecessor - allow rescue workers to adapt their clothing to all weather conditions. But if you're a big fan of buttons then you best brace yourself – they've all been replaced with velcro fasteners.

Geilenkothen - Fabrik für Schutzkleidung GmbH (54568 Gerolstein, Germany)