Cool Under Fire
Photograph by Cary Wolinsky
Braving intense flame and heat, Ken Flickinger and Scott Krushak of the Phoenix Fire Department demonstrate the protection afforded by their special suits, called "turnouts." These three-layered coats and pants shield firemen from 1,800°F (980°C) flashovers, scalding liquids, and even blood-borne diseaseyet vent enough body heat to prevent exhaustion. "High-tech fabrics...have given us the ability to go into fires and rescue people," says Tim Durby, a veteran firefighter and the Protective Clothing Coordinator for the Phoenix Fire Department. Before, firemen "would just spray a hose through the window."