Structural Glove
+ Durable:
+ Abrasion and
+ Pliable:
+ Good grip strength; and
+ Dries quickly.
- Could be more
Dragon Fire by
Fireman's Shield
8243 Hampton Bluff Terrace
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Tel: 800 / 975-7059
E-mail: sales@firemansglove. com
Web: www.dragonfire

The Alpha-X gloves
feature a special top-
grain Italian cowhide
leather that undergoes a
special tanning process
So the gloves exhibit
remarkable durability.
pliability and softness.

The Alpha Glove

Dragon Fire's ALPHA-X Structural Firefighting Gloves combine protection & function
By Greg Jakubowski
like my hands. I use them to hug my kids, pick up an ice-cold glass of my favorite pint and even type product reviews. We use
our hands for so many things that we often take them for granted and fail to properly protect them.
  It's easy to find gloves that are cut-resistant or water-proof or resistant to specific chemicals or bloodborne pathogens. It's far
more difficult to find a glove that protects against all these hazards at the same time. And the real challenge: finding a glove that
protects against all these hazards while being comfortable to wear and offering good dexterity and functionality.
  The folks at Dragon Fire Gloves by Fireman's Shield are attempting to solve this conundrum with their ALPHA-X Structural
Firefighting Gloves. My department received three pairs to test.
  When I first saw these gloves at a fire show, the Dragon Fire folks let me try to cut into the gloves with a knife and, sure enough,
the outer shell proved to be cut-resistant. Dragon Fire says they utilize a special top-grain Italian cowhide leather that undergoes a
special tanning process so the gloves exhibit remarkable durability, abrasion-resistance, pliability, long-lasting water repellency,
superior soft-ness and unparalleled grip strength. After using the gloves for a month, we have to agree with all their claims (except
long-lasting, as we haven't had them long enough to confirm this). We were particularly impressed with the dexterity and grip
strength offered by this glove.  Dragon Fire also indicates that the outer shell material doesn't absorb water as much as other gloves
and, therefore, dries quickly. We soaked the glove in water and definitely concurred with their assertion. along with the fact that even
when the glove has been soaked in water, it maintains good grip strength. Further, once the glove dries, it doesn't become stiff or
  The outer shell is finished with a double-Kevlar-stitched top layer strategically wrapped over the palm and knuckle zone for
increased abrasion-resistance and grip strength; the fingertips also feature an extra layer of outer-shell material. This is part of the
trick to making gloves that provide good protection and functionality: Put the protection where it's needed most.
  The gloves thermal liner is made of a Kovenex material, which is a blend of high-performance fibers that offer true flame-resistance
and unsurpassed levels of heat blocking. The liner by itself has a thermal protective performance (TPP)
of 15. The NFPA standard for average TPP for an entire glove is 35, and the entire Dragon Fire glove
has an average TPP of 45.
  Dragon Fire indicates that its thermal urethane vapor barrier is task-designed for the fire service. It
doesn't have “memory” characteristics, meaning that when bending and stretching, it can offer an
advanced range of motion with good resiliency, returning to a static state. We cut apart a pair of
gloves to test and confirm this. The vapor barrier is welded, and the manufacturer indicates that it meets
NFPA standards for liquid, chemical and blood-borne pathogen penetration.
  The urethane barrier has a melting point above NFPA requirements and has good tensile strength.
Again, we found that even when the glove was soaked, no water infiltrated into the inner liner. The
vapor barrier is manufactured to size, and the inner liners are designed to ensure no liner pulls out. Our
testing confirmed that the inner liner seemed to be solidly in place.
  Like any pair of gloves, if you don't have a coat with wristlets with thumbholes (my personal
preference), you'll need to get the gloves with the built-in wristlets. Wearing the gloves for hours during training, my hands did feel
quite warm (in summer-like conditions), which seemed to be contrary to the claim of breathability.
  Overall, all three of us liked this glove --- a lot. We will be replacing our existing gloves with them. The Dragon Fire ALPHA-X
Structural Firefighting Gloves cost $73 per pair and are available in 2XS through 3XL.
  Greg Jakubowski is a fire protection engineer and certified safety professional with 30 years of fire-service
experience. He is a Pennsylvania State Fire Instructor, serves as the chief with the Lingohocken Fire Company in
Bucks County, Pa., and is a member of the IAFC. Greg is also a principal in Fire Planning Associates, a company
dedicated to helping fire departments, municipalities and businesses with pre-emergency training.