EMS providers aren’t wallflowers. After all, it doesn’t pay to be invisible when lives are on the line. So whether it’s working in the elements or a crowd, standing out is important.
Preparing for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis this year, Indianapolis Fire Department Chief of Safety Robin Nicoson was looking for a garment that best met the department’s needs for visibility in the sea of people flocking to the city for the week of football festivities. He found it in the Response Parka from Gerber Outerwear.
“It was excellent,” Nicoson says. “We had crowds of up to 300,000 people that we managed on Friday and Saturday and for the Super Bowl, and from the command and control point we could clearly see our people through the cameras and different things that we had. We could manage our resources better and the visibility really picked up for us.”
Nicoson said the public was also able to readily identify EMS providers from the fire department. The outer shell fabric of the parka features a high-visibility fluorescent material in a two-tone design—lime/yellow with midnight navy accents. Stenciled with the Maltese cross on the front and “IFD” on the back, Nicoson says it was easy for the crowds to spot EMS providers in an emergency.
And the jacket’s versatility was especially beneficial in the unseasonably warm weather the city experienced during Super Bowl week.
“The garment itself, there is a zip out—it was unbelievably warm for us that time of year—so it’s a parka-coat and the inside liner is able to be zipped out,” Nicoson says. “Having that versatility, especially after it got warm on us, was a definite plus. I’d recommend it just for the easy way it allows you to work. We responded to over 1,200 incidents that week, so it was used for everything you can imagine.”