FDIC 2023 Recap from the Milliken Fire Service Team

With over 34,000 fire industry professionals in attendance, the 2023 FDIC International event weekend was one for the books. Between celebrating industry titans, debuting innovations designed to keep firefighters safer and healthier, and getting feedback from stations around the United States about their PPE, the Milliken Textiles Fire Service team had an action-packed trip.

New Products Shined Bright at the Booth

Making its debut at FDIC, our Horizon fabric is used in the outer shell of bunker gear. The big win with Horizon? The black stays black, even after 50 washes and/or 120 hours of UV exposure. Bob Keys, End-User Engagement Consultant for Milliken Textiles, said, “FDIC attendees are looking at brand new gear at our booth space, but if you go out to a station here in Indianapolis, you’ll see various shades of black on uniforms. The colour fading can get so intense, you’ll have firefighters who don’t even look like they’re from the same station.”

With that in mind, the Milliken development team created an outer shell for firefighter uniforms that maintains its actual colour for multiple years so stations can continue to look uniform year after year. Developed with NFPA tear strength requirements in mind, Horizon maintains its strength and durability better than other outer shells on the market.

Equinox, a three-layer thermal liner with superior wicking and moisture management, which debuted last year, continued to turn heads. Designed to get sweat off the skin fast, Equinox gains 10 points in TPP after five washes (compared to 4-5 points gains from other liners). Milliken currently has activewear trials of Equinox with five metro fire departments.

Celebrations and Collaborations All Week

It wouldn’t be FDIC if there weren’t celebrations. Asked about the attendance at the show, Keys said, “There was a huge buzz about what’s new at FDIC because we’ve had to stay away for so long. Now all of a sudden, we’re post-COVID and the community is bustling. I was at a memorial for Bobby Halton, who was the face of this event for so many years. Passionate speaker, a loved, really loved leader who impacted the fire service culture for a long time. And they did a fantastic job. I was glad to be at his memorial service.”

In addition, our friends at Fire Department Coffee brought the caffeine (and good times!) at our Friday morning coffee happy hour and meet-and-greet. We loved hearing the positive feedback from firefighters on the educational videos we’ve recently released with Firefighter Fenton and his crew.

More Fire News from the Show

We also had the chance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our friends at Fire-Dex with a booth space at their commemorative event for customers, suppliers, and special guests.

Last but certainly not least, the Fire Department Coffee x Rosenbauer Disaster Response Fire Truck debuted at FDIC. Milliken is proud to support the truck’s efforts in 2023 and beyond by supplying the team with a washer and dryer that community members impacted by natural disasters can use to clean their clothes.

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