First Responder Protection

EMS and law enforcement professionals are at high risk for being exposed to dangerous toxins from drugs and blood-borne pathogens in the front line of duty.

HALYARD* provides the critical PPE and helpful information to protect frontline workers.

Help EMS workers stay safe from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids

EMS and law enforcement need strong hand and face protection in the event they are entering and securing a scene where toxic drugs such as fentanyl are suspected to be present, as well as exposure to airborne pathogens and bodily fluids of those suffering illness or injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed a number of guidelines intended to prevent occupational exposure and protect first responders who may come in contact with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids. NIOSH identifies pre-hospital care employees and law enforcement as two of the key job categories facing this type of exposure.
Their first recommendation on the list?
Always wear nitrile gloves when illicit drugs may be present.
HALYARD* offers the right products in alignment with best practices. Learn more below!
Preventing Emergency Responders’ Exposures to Illicit Drugs

Preventing Emergency Responders’ Exposures to Illicit Drugs

Key recommendations from the CDC and NIOSH

HALYARD* Nitrile gloves meet the highest testing standards

A wide range of tests help determine the usability of exam gloves in different environments and procedures. Knowing about testing standards supports proper glove selection.

  • Water Leak test (ASTM D5151) fills gloves with water to detect holes that compromise protection. Aim for the lowest possible value: AQL of 1.0 or lower.1
  • Viral Penetration (ASTM F1671-97b) – be sure the gloves you choose have successfully passed this test.
  • Chemotherapy Drug testing clears gloves for this special use. The chemotherapy gloves you select should be tested per the latest standard (ASTM D6978-05) using a wide range of chemotherapy agents. Breakthrough times should be listed on the dispenser box.

HALYARD* products, like nitrile gloves, are developed to meet CDC and NIOSH guidelines, and often exceed critical testing standards.

Benefits and limitations of materials when selecting exam gloves for each situation

Natural Rubber LatexNitrileVinylPolychloroprene
Puncture resistance/durability
Comfort and tactile sensitivity✔✔✔✔
Resistance to chemo drugs and chemicals✔✔
Risk of Type 1 allergic reaction

What to look for in a protective glove for first responders

ASTM standards can help you determine if your glove has the properties you need for each application. The standards for nitrile exam glove characteristics are contained in ASTM D6319-10.2

  • Powder-free. Powdered exam gloves are banned by the FDA as of January 18, 20173 because they present a substantial risk to patients and healthcare workers. Make sure all exam gloves are powder-free.
  • Thickness (ASTM D3767). Choose glove thickness based on the level of risk. Thicker gloves are generally more protective but offer less comfort and tactile sensitivity.
  • Length. Choose longer gloves when the area of exposure is wider or unknown or there is a risk of channeling (fluids flowing down between the gown cuff and the glove).
  • Tensile Strength (ASTM D412). Aim for high tensile strength (the amount of force applied to a glove until it breaks, normalized for thickness). Also consider the force at break, which is not normalized for thickness. This gives you a better reading of glove durability.
  • Ultimate Elongation (ASTM D412). Look for a high level of stretch so gloves give rather than break when stressed or snagged during a procedure.

HALYARD* BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves exceed ASTM and NFPA standards for critical defects, tensile strength, and puncture resistance.

BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves.

BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves.

Tough. Tactile. Truly Multi-Purpose. Designed for superior protection and safety--whatever your task.

Halyard* PPE offers a high level of personal protection, with additional benefits such as breathability for comfort and tactile sensitivity that allows First Responders to feel what they’re doing.

HALYARD* BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves

The BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Glove with QUICK CHECK” Breach Detection Technology can alert you when there is a dangerous rip or tear in your glove. And it combines high strength with tactile sensitivity to allow you to feel what you are doing while protecting you from chemicals and blood borne pathogens.


  • Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) – Meets or Exceeds
  • ASTM D5151 Test Standards – Meets or Exceeds
  • ASTM D6319 Test Standards – Meets or Exceeds
  • Biocompatibility-ISO Standard for Primary Skin Irritation & Sensitivity – Meets or Exceeds
  • NFPA 1999-2013 Certified

  • Natural Rubber Latex-Free
  • Beaded Cuff
  • Textured Fingertips
  • Medium Weight
  • Ambidextrous

HALYARD* BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves

HALYARD* BLACK-FIRE* Nitrile Exam Gloves

Unique reversible design and breach detection technology help first responders be prepared in any situation.
Masks & Respirators

Masks & Respirators

FLUIDSHIELD SURGICAL N95 Respirators and Non-Respirator Masks (surgical and earloop) are designed to provide an effective facial fit as required for proper respiratory protection against airborne pathogens

FLUIDSHIELD* Surgical N95 Respirator Mask

All HALYARD* FLUIDSHIELD* N95 Respirators have been cleared by the FDA as a medical device—unlike many N95s or KN95s that have received a temporary Emergency Use Authorization. Unlike other suppliers, all HALYARD N95s are made in the Americas, giving you the confidence of a continued supply. HALYARD* FLUIDSHIELD* Level 3 Respirators deliver Level 3 splash and spray protection — the highest-recognized level of protection. Our duckbill breathing chamber is more than twice as large as the leading competitive surgical N95, and exceeds NIOSH standards for breathability.

  • Ported pouch style with polyurethane headbands
  • SO SOFT* Lining
  • Fog Resistance: N/A

Respirator Guidelines

  • ASTM Level of Protection: 3
  • RHP Fluid Protection: High
  • Splash Resistance: 160



Maximum coverage and protection for moderate to high exposure to fluids or chemicals


PURPLE NITRILE* Exam Gloves are frequently the glove of choice for healthcare workers who need outstanding barrier protection from bacteria, viruses and chemicals during procedures where risk of fluid exposure is moderate to high.


  • Have an AQL of 1.0 for critical defects. This means that PURPLE NITRILE* Exam Gloves are significantly less likely to have critical defects than exam gloves that just meet the ASTM 2.5 AQL requirement.
  • Meets or exceeds ASTM D6319 – Standard Specification for Nitrile Examination Glove for Medical Applications
  • Meets or exceeds biocompatible 10993 studies for systemic toxicity, irritation and sensitization endpoints
  • Passes Viral Penetration Testing – ASTM F1671 – 07 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System

  • Powder-free and natural rubber latex-free
  • Textured fingertips
  • Heavyweight
  • Ambidextrous
  • Sterile and non-sterile
  • Length: 9.5 in. and 12 in.
  • 12-inch version NFPA 1999-2013 Certified

Recommendations to keep your first responders safe

  • Follow standard safe operating procedures. First responders should assess the scene upon arrival for risks and determine whether illicit drugs such as fentanyl are present.
  • Ensure exceptional training takes place. Any first responder who may come in contact with fentanyl or its analogues as a result of their job must be thoroughly trained on how to conduct an on-site risk assessment.
  • Know your PPE. There are two factors that impact what PPE to choose – job category and the anticipated level of exposure. Provide staff with the correct PPE for their job.


EMS workers injured from

Exposure to a harmful substance or environment

Including exposure to bodily fluids4

3 Tips to Make First Responders Safer

3 Tips to Make First Responders Safer

Learn more about best practices as recommended by the CDC and NIOSH.

Protecting Emergency Responders from Fentanyl Exposure

First responders and law enforcement officials respond to emergency calls and arrive on scenes where they not only have to provide potentially life-saving care, but also assess the scene for the presence of toxic substances such as fentanyl. Making sure they receive the proper training and are outfitted with the appropriate equipment are critical to protecting those who bravely provide an invaluable service to our society.

Articles & Resources

Choosing the Right Exam Glove for the Task
Choosing the Right Face Mask: 3 Things to Know


Protection Engineered For Today’s Extreme EMS Challenges

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  1. The ASTM standard allows for an AQL of maximum 2.5 for exam gloves.
  2. The standards for exam gloves characteristics are contained in ASTM D3578-05 for natural rubber latex and D5250-06 for vinyl.
  4. — Audrey A. Reichard MPH, OTR, Suzanne M. Marsh MPA, Theresa R. Tonozzi MPH, Srinivas Konda MPH & Mirinda A. Gormley MSPH, NRP (2017): Occupational Injuries and Exposures among Emergency Medical Services Workers, Prehospital Emergency Care