The use of specialist personal protective equipment (PPE) when dealing with animals may be beneficial as:
- Regular firefighting PPE may not provide the protection required if an animal tries to defend itself
- Additional protection may be required, due to the working environment or the nature of the animal’s entrapment
- Zoonoses or biohazards may contaminate clothing or PPE, which could then be transferred
Specialist PPE should allow for decontamination at the incident ground, or containment of the specialist PPE for later decontamination or disposal.
Specialist PPE for incidents involving animals includes:
- Bite and scratch resistant gloves
- Animal incident helmets
- Body, face and eye protection
- Additional outer clothing, such as overalls, environmental protection suits or dry suits
- Riot shields
Personnel should be aware that some PPE may cause distress in animals, for example if it is smoke-contaminated.