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SEL Number: 01SW-01-SUIT
Title: Suit, Dry, Surface Water Operations Protective, NFPA 1952

Last Updated: 1/25/2015 2:36:56 PM

Previous SEL Number: 01SW-01-SUIT

Description: A suit that provides exposure protection for water operations (certified as compliant with NFPA 1952).
(Replaces Item 01WA-04-GARM).

ImportantFeatures: The dry suit is worn with an ensemble that includes footwear, gloves, helmet, personal flotation device, and optional swimming fins. The ensemble is designed to insulate against cold water, protect against physical hazards, limit exposure to chemical and biological contaminants, and provide flotation and visibility of first responders during surface water operations. The recommended garment is a one-piece dry suit that is easily donned, limits water penetration, and is breathable for comfort in shore-based operations. Materials used are required to demonstrate resistance to physical hazards, and barrier effectiveness against chemical and biological contaminants. Placement of high visibility materials on the garment is also recommended. A personal relief zipper on the dry suit also is recommended to facilitate long duration operations without having to disrobe during operations. The dry suit zippers should be rated to approximately 3 meters of depth.

Operating Considerations: Surface water operations are defined as "Technical rescue activities requiring water functional capabilities involving surface water, swift water, tidal water, surf, and ice that do not require underwater respiratory equipment."

The principal danger during swift water rescues is drowning. This means that all persons involved in swift water rescue operations should wear an approved personal floatation device. Other protective clothing and equipment must mitigate drowning exposure hazards. For example, garments should not have loose straps or openings that can create entanglement hazards with floating debris. Regular helmets cannot be worn since they can fill with water and restrict movement. In addition, flood water temperatures can be quite low (near freezing). Exposure to cold water for extended periods of time results in reduced hand and foot function as the body's circulatory system limits blood flow to the extremities. Overexposure to these conditions can result in hypothermia. Lastly, flood water can carry chemical and sewage contamination capable of causing acute or chronic health effects.

Training Requirements: Core Training: NFPA 1670 , NFPA 1006.
Initial Training: Extensive (> 2 days)
Sustainment Training: Extensive (> 2 days)

Mandatory Standards:

Applicable Standards and References:

  • Law Enforcement: Dive Team
  • Law Enforcement: Maritime
  • Law Enforcement: Preventive Rad/Nuc Detection