Schmitz Mittz Safety Gloves; PPE designed by a Firefighter for First Responders & people who work in tough on your hands industries like oil & gas rigs that require specific and superior hand protection. State of the art materials offer protection against Cut, Slash, Puncture, Heat, Flame, Impact, Crush, Invert Mud, Water, Bio-toxin & Chemical hazards.
A 20 year veteran on the Calgary Fire Department, Randy Schmitz now specializes in Vehicle Extrication, he trains first responders' in Vehicle Extrication, judges competitions around the globe and writes for Firefighting In Canada - Extrication Tips ! Randy knows first-hand the wide variety of hazards first responders’ face at every rescue scene and the ineffective PPE that makes it so dangerous for their hands. It was this PPE that motivated Randy to create;
"Hard Hats for Your Hands!"
EN 388 and 420 Certified
History of the Innovation
by Randy Schmitz
Being involved in the fire service back in the early 90's I took a keen interest in the tools used to removed patients from entrapment during a motor vehicle collision. I first took courses that would improved my skill set related to the craft and as such I was I was bitten by the bug of extrication. This led me to spend countless hours practicing and honing my skills in the art and as a result my PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) took quite a beating from all the training and actual on scene work I performed especially my hands. This caused me concern as it seemed I was always bandaging myself up or in the ER getting stitches in one part of my hand or another.
Another area of concern for me was the style of handle on the hydraulic tools we use. If the person operating the tool is not watching very closely or his attention is diverted momentarily, your hand may become pinched in between metal objects such as the side of the vehicle and the tool itself as it finds the path of least resistance. There are numerous cases where rescuers have been injured if they were not paying attention during this phase of the extrication process. The hydraulic spreaders and cutters have an operating pressure of 10,500 pounds per square inch, your body parts will not stop this tool from moving where it wants to go while the operating handle is engaged.
So in November of 2005 and after many years of frustration of not being able to find the proper balance of protection, I set out to fix the problem. I tried as many safety gloves on the market as I could find and nothing satisfied me to the degree that I felt was needed to perform the work safely, had great comfort while still having dexterity and durability. Also none of the safety gloves offered a means of protecting my knuckles from getting banged up. Then in September of 2008 I had just finished judging an extrication competition in Vancouver island and was on a plane flying home where I found myself sitting next to a man that owned a mobile butcher truck. We got to talking and due to our relative industries that dealt with handling sharp objects ended up on the topic of hand protection. He was describing to me a thin glove that he used to cut meat that kept his hands free from cuts but still allowed him to perform tasks that required lots of dexterity. Instantly a light went on in my head and I said to myself; "this thin liner type glove would be great to have inside an actual rescue glove!!"
The next day I started searching the internet for cut resistant liners and found a few that I could just insert into a regular glove and test it out. I tried a few glove companies to see if they would be willing to make this glove for me with the criteria for protection that I had laid out and all of them said "It's too expensive or it will be time consuming to build" These were popular glove companies and very well-known. A friend of mine suggested a person whom she met (name withheld by request) that had access to cut resistant style liners; we were introduced and started working together. He found a manufacturer that was willing to build the gloves, I submitted my ideas and criteria for a good overall protective safety glove and prototypes were made.
I tested the prototypes over many months during my extrication training sessions with various fire departments and made multiple suggestions, changes and revisions to come up with a glove that fit the need to my satisfaction. I added knuckle impact protection from the motorcycle industry and thus the Schmitz Mittz was born!
I posted the innovation on my Facebook page which then got the attention of the media, this lead to a few interviews and newspaper photos such as the City of Calgary blog site - Global Calgary, which can be referenced. In January 20 of 2011 Global TC ran the footage and a few oil companies got wind of this new product. They called me up and asked me if I could build them a glove that would offer the same protection but have chemical resistance to invert mud as it is really tough on safety gloves and breaks them down very quickly. I agreed to do it so in February of 2011 I started a company and maned it "Schmitz Mittz" whom a friend of mine coined the gloves awhile back.
I went to work on developing a glove for the oil industry. Again with months of trial and error, design changes and few pit falls we fad the oil and gas protective glove. We shipped out the glove to the oil companies that showed interest in our product. They beat the heck out of the prototypes to give us the feedback to make the required improvements, adjustments and tweaks here and there. We now have the glove to where we need it to be.
The success of the gloves both Oil & Gas and Rescue are just starting to become a reality for us, Oil magazines have done articles on the new product, companies and fire departments are doing evaluations on the product with great reviews and recommendations of purchase. The company has two employees that travel to China where the gloves are manufactured to ensure quality control. Although we have just recently seen an increase in sales and potential purchases, we have interest in markets from Australia, United Kingdom, Chile, North America; a company from Mexico will be handling the South American distribution for SM. We are expecting the 2013 year to be very successful for us with tremendous growth, a new website, marketing information and more media coverage is about to take place.
With the support of family, friends, firefighters etc. we have helped spread the word about our product. Funding for the project has come from personal loans to the company; The Royal Bank Institution has provided the necessary funding for start-up costs such as logo trade marking, patent filing, advertising etc. Industrial design patents have been issued for Canada and just last week through our legal agent we applied for our design patent in China where the gloves are manufactured.
Today Schmitz Mittz proudly offers 4 safety glove styles with CE EN 388 Certification and 3 of those styles carry the 420 waterproof certification as well. Schmitz Mittz has an on-line store for individual purchases and multiple distributors supplying a variety of industries around the globe.