The Evolution of PPE Since 9/11

Rapid Fire

Sep 13 2021 • 56 mins

Learn about the changing culture within the fire service that has led to a better understanding of health and safety needs for firefighters through advancements in PPE in the years since 9/11.


  • Conceptualization of today's particulate blocking hoods
  • Expectations of gear inspections and cleaning
  • Inefficiencies in past PPE technology
  • Ergonomic design of modern turnout gear
  • Introduction of alternative PPE


Jim Reidy was a Lieutenant on Ladder 46 for the San Antonio Texas Fire Department (SAFD) where he was a firefighter for 33 years. He was also an Assistant Safety Officer and was the SAFD Quartermaster in 2018. He was involved in PPE for 30 of his 33 years and served as Co- Chairman of the SAFD/Local 624 Firefighting PPE Committee, as a member of the SAFD Occupational Cancer Committee, Tool and Equipment Committee, and Apparatus Committee.

Jim is a member of the NFPA 1971-1851 Committee representing the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters. He currently serves as Helmet Task Group Chair for the next edition of NFPA 1971. He serves on the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Firefighter Advisory Committee as a member and past Chairman and is a Firefighter Cancer Support Network Rep in South Texas.

He also speaks at a variety of venues and events on Firefighter PPE Risk Assessment, Use, and Selection along with Firefighter Cancer Prevention and is known as a vocal advocate for firefighter health and safety.


Battalion Chief Keys
completed a total of 31 years of service, beginning as a firefighter for a high volume station in the Bronx. As a Captain and Lieutenant, he served various municipalities including Midtown Manhattan, until settling into East New York Brooklyn, where he became Battalion Chief. Within his new role he took charge of Research and Development where he learned how new innovations are tested and introduced to the fire service.

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