All Posts By


F.I.E.R.O. 2019

Firefighters from all across the country converged on Raleigh, North Carolina this week to attend presentations given by F.I.E.R.O. (the Fire Industry Educational Resource Organization.) The biennial conference boasted a record attendance rate and offered informational sessions on a wide range of subjects of interest to firefighters everywhere. TenCate Protective Fabrics, along with other industry leaders, were on hand to help sponsor the event. F.I.E.R.O. operates as a not-for-profit organization that seeks to further the continuing education of firefighters on subjects that have a direct bearing on their safety, health and well being. Topics from PPE (personal protective equipment) to heat stress and related physiological effects, as well as firefighting tactics were covered in great detail.

TenCate Protective Fabrics is a long-time sponsor of F.I.E.R.O. and will continue to support the efforts of the organization in the future. Firefighters need to be kept abreast of what’s happening in the fire service and to be made aware of new training, policies and technologies that will effect the way they do their jobs. TenCate is proud to partner with F.I.E.R.O. as well as other industry thought leaders and influencers, to ensure that their good work and service will be available for years to come. The safety and well being of firefighters is a paramount concern for TenCate Protective Fabrics and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure that firefighters have the tools and knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy.

For more information on F.I.E.R.O. check out

See the Gear that Saves Lives

DURING FDIC 2019, TenCate Protective Fabrics Will Show TurnOut Gear That Has Seen Multiple Exposures

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Concern over higher rates of occupation cancer among firefighters prompts additional efforts in decontamination and cleaning of turnout gear to reduce particulate accumulation. But will turnout gear stand up to more washing and drying along with the hard work firefighters do.

TenCate Protective Fabrics wanted to find out and now firefighters at FDIC International 2019 will be able to see for themselves.

The Georgia Fire Academy in Forsyth, GA, took three sets of turnouts featuring outer shells and thermal liners from TenCate Protective Fabrics. Each went through grueling fire evolutions and multiple extraction cleaning.

TenCate sent sets of its three outer shell offerings, paired with a variety of thermal liners and moisture barriers, for a wear test at the academy.

“The instructors — and a few students — at the Georgia Fire Academy liked the comfort of the gear and the protection offered, “ said Bart McCool, End User Marketing Manager for TenCate. “Most didn’t want to give up the gear, but we needed it for further evaluation.”

The three that will be on display at booth #2109 in Hall D at the Indianapolis Convention Center, including these sets:

* *Kombat™ Flex*, an outer shell powered by PBI® fiber, which saw *500* fire evolutions and *51* wash/dry cycles.
* *Agility®*, an outer shell featuring DuPont™ Kevlar®, which experienced *379* fire evolutions and *50* wash/dry cycles.
* *Pioneer*™**, an outer shell featuring a DuPont™ Nomex® blend, which went through *140* fire entries and 35 wash/dry cycles.

“Firefighters at FDIC be seeing plenty brand-new, sparkling-clean gear, “ McCool said. “We wanted to show them what it looks and feels like after it’s been around the block a few times. It makes it easier to see what they can expect from the gear.”

Be sure to stop by the TenCate Fire Station booth #2109 at FDIC to see for yourself how TenCate outer shells and thermal liners hold up.

TenCate Fabrics Announces New C.E.O.

Union City, GA – TenCate Protective Fabrics is pleased to announce that Mr. Keith Suddaby has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.

A native Canadian, Mr. Suddaby has spent his entire thirty-five plus year career in the apparel industry. He began with Levi Strauss & Co., in a sales capacity. During his near 20 years with the iconic jeanswear maker, he took on increasingly senior leadership roles both in Canada and the U.S., culminating with his appointment as the National Director of Sales & Retail Marketing for the Dockers® brand, based out of San Francisco, CA.

In 1999, he returned to Canada as the EVP for Dickies Canada Co., the Canadian affiliate of workwear global leader, Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co. In 2001, he moved into the role of President, Dickies Canada, where he led the division for the next three years. In 2004, he was appointed President, Workrite Uniform Co., Williamson-Dickies’ FR affiliate, located in Southern California. In both president’s roles, Keith also served on the Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co.’s Global Leadership Team.

During his 14-year tenure as its president, Workrite achieved record revenues and profitability, positioning itself as a leader in the global FR space. It was also during this time that Mr. Suddaby was first introduced to Tencate Protective Fabrics, a long and trusted supply chain partner to Workrite.

In his new role, Keith will be relocating to the Atlanta area. Said Suddaby of his latest challenge, “It’s clear to me that TenCate Protective Fabrics has a very successful history and, with a strong team of people, portfolio of brands and a worldwide presence, an equally bright future. I very much look forward to working with the organization building on that success through the balance of this year and beyond”.

TenCate Protective Fabrics Welcomes New Vice President of Strategy & Innovation

Atlanta, GA – TenCate Protective Fabrics is pleased to announce that Michael Laton has returned, this time as Vice President of Strategy & Innovation.

Mr. Laton previously served as a Senior Product Development Engineer where he spent seven years (2000 to 2007) developing solutions for the Fire and Industrial protective apparel markets. Mr. Laton continued to advance his knowledge in textiles and protective apparel with Sperian Protection in Strategic Market Development. He then worked a Senior Product Marketing Manager for the First Responder business area of Honeywell Safety Products. Most recently, Mr. Laton served as Director of Business Development for Trelleborg Engineered Coated Fabrics, where he oversaw research and development as well as sales and marketing for polyurethane coated and laminated materials.

“It’s nice to have a familiar face that can tie the past and future of our company together,” said John Shadinger, President. “Michael is uniquely qualified to bring a renewed vision to the creation of innovative protective fabrics for firefighters, military and the industrial safety markets TenCate serves.”

Mr. Laton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Science degree in Polymer, Textile, and Fiber Engineering from Georgia Tech. His background in textiles and material development as well as his experience in the field of protective fabrics will make an invaluable member of the team at TenCate.

“Today’s global markets for protective materials are ever changing,” said Mr. Laton. “I believe we can achieve new landmarks in textiles that will reflect that change and allow for new growth and innovation.”

With a rich history in textiles since 1925, the 450 TenCate Associates in the United States proudly create and manufacture protective fabrics for firefighters, oil & gas workers, utility linemen, military and others. As the world’s largest manufacturer of inherently flame-resistant fabrics, products from TenCate reach all the corners of the globe. Learn more by visiting

FDIC 2018

The Fighter Not the Fire

Long known for its outer shell and thermal liners in turnout gear, TenCate Protective Fabrics launches a new initiative to promote firefighter safety and health beyond the flame-resistant textiles.

For almost 50 years, protecting the firefighter has been our goal. More than 400 American workers are dedicated to making the best flame-resistant textiles for turnoutswildlands, technical rescue, and stationwear.

This year, the company begins a new effort to expand beyond just the fabrics that firefighters wear.

The number one killer of line-of-duty deaths has not been fire; cardiac events and heat exhaustion both lead. Additionally, alarming occupational cancer rates among firefighters cut careers and retirements short.

TenCate Protective Fabrics will support exercise initiatives, healthy meals, proper decontamination procedures following fire events, and much more.

Stop by TenCate Protective Fabrics booth 2213 to learn more.

TenCate Protective Fabrics Joins with Firefighter Union for Cancer Summit

The IAFF Cancer Summit Kicks Off TenCate Broader Effort for Overall Safety and Health of Firefighters

ATLANTA — The growing concern of cancer among firefighters prompted TenCate Protective Fabrics to join with the International Association of Fire Fighters for a first-ever IAFF Cancer Summit.

Planned for February 1, the IAFF Cancer Summit will bring industry leaders, experts, researchers and hundreds of firefighters from around the United States to discuss and exchange information about this growing hazard.

“Cancer can be devastating for fire fighters, and we are just beginning to understand the scope of this problem,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “That’s why we’re bringing together the best and brightest minds on this subject. We must continue to learn all that we can to save more lives.”

As an industry leader in creating flame-resistant textiles worn by thousands and thousands of firefighters, TenCate Protective Fabrics joins to extend safety beyond the turnouts.

“Our concern for safety extends beyond outer shells and thermal liners,” said Bart McCool, End-User Marketing Manager for TenCate. “We want to be sure the brave men and women who wear gear are protected on the fire ground, and we want each to experience a long career and enjoyable retirement.”

With 2018, TenCate Protective Fabrics promotes health and safety well beyond textiles. This includes encouraging on-going fitness initiatives, post-fire decontamination, overall gear care, and self-care to promote health of firefighters and their family.

“We could think of no better organization than the IAFF to align our efforts,” McCool said. “The IAFF already provides leadership in many areas of firefighter safety.”

Globe by MSA, W. L. Gore & Associates and DuPont Protection Solutions are all joining with TenCate Protective Fabrics to support the IAFF Cancer Summit.

For almost 50 years, TenCate Protective Fabrics created, manufactured and supplied flame-resistant fabrics that goes into firefighter turnouts. That rich history prompted some of the most innovative textiles that keep firefighters safe well beyond the turnouts.

The “skin out” protection includes FR textiles used in base layers, stationwear, wildlands, tech rescue and more.

The IAFF Cancer Summit will follow the IAFF’s Vincent J. Bollon Affiliate Leadership Training Summit & Ernest A. “Buddy” Mass Human Relations Conference and will be held at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Separate registration is required for the IAFF Cancer Summit.) Learn more by visiting

For more information on TenCate, please visit


IAFF Cancer Summit to Tackle Leading Cause of Fire Fighter Deaths

Industry leaders, scientists convene as research accelerates, more states add protections for fire fighters with cancer

Thursday, February 1, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
1000 West Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Cancer is killing fire fighters. In the past decade, more fire fighters have died from cancer than any other fire scene hazard. Major news outlets, including NBC and CNN, have begun covering this hidden danger, and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is leading efforts to educate the public and policy makers about cancer in the fire service.

The issue is the focus of the IAFF Cancer Summit, a one-day conference bringing together occupational safety and health experts, top researchers, physicians and other subject matter experts to better understand and step up the fight against cancer.

(This dramatic story must be told. Journalists covering public safety and health issues are encouraged to attend. The event will be livestreamed at

The Cancer Summit features a range of topics, including the latest science linking cancer and firefighting, current research on fire fighter exposures to carcinogens, and prevention strategies, as well as updates on legislative efforts to protect fire fighters and their families.

“Cancer can be devastating for fire fighters, and we are just beginning to understand the scope of this problem,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “That’s why we’re bringing together the best and brightest minds on this subject. We must continue to learn all that we can to save more lives.”

The IAFF Cancer Summit is supported and sponsored by TenCate Protective Fabrics, W.L. Gore & Associates, Globe by MSA and DuPont Nomex.  Click here for more information in the Cancer Summit.