Australia’s leading portable fire pump specialist, Australian Pump Industries has added an innovative new product to their range of firefighting solutions.

The new Aussie Cool Vest contains a series of cooling elements that gently cool the body when worn under normal firefighting clothing, providing comfort to maintain efficiency, extend endurance and even save lives during firefighting operations.

Aussie Pump product manager Hamish Lorenz explains that the product was originally designed for mechanical engineers operating in tight spaces in the mining and construction industries. Cleaning inside a pug mill, where the operator has to actually be in the drum, the Cool Vest helps increase the comfort level and efficiency by cooling the operator working in 60°C for up to 90 minutes. 

The period of operational use will decrease proportionally in more extreme conditions. On the other hand, four hours is easily attained at temperatures of 45°C in normal firefighting or industrial applications. 

Normally worn over a T-shirt, wrapped tight against the body, and under covering garments such as overalls, protective clothing or uniforms, the Cool Vest works on a unique but simple concept. The vest uses Temptech elements consisting of a non-toxic, non-flammable blend of salts sealed in an aluminium wrapper. The salt compound melts at 28°C. At the moment of transition from solid to liquid, 50 times more energy is absorbed compared to a rise of 1°C when the compound is already in liquid or solid condition. The Aussie Cool Vest is therefore able to absorb the excessive body heat.

The Aussie Temptech elements recharge or reform the salt crystals at normal room temperature (20°C) in about four hours. If the elements are placed in a freezer they recharge in less than 10 minutes. They can be repeatedly used and recharged, and are guaranteed by the manufacturer for 1,000 cycles.

Key features of the Aussie Cool Vest firefighting vests include fully adjustable design to fit all users; easy to put on with Velcro on the shoulders and sides; 16 Temptech elements to absorb heat; also available in fire-resistant Nomex material; can be washed in a warm water cycle with the elements removed; weighs only 1.6kg; and easily replaceable Temptech elements.