Local communities will soon be seeing all Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) firefighters in new gold firefighting clothing rather than the traditional dark blue, as the Service upgrades on the Central PPE and Clothing Contract with Bristol Uniforms.
Prior to combination, Dorset firefighters were kitted out in PBI Gold and Wiltshire firefighters in Nomex (Navy). Now the lifecycle of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across both counties is coming to an end, all firefighters are being upgraded to PBI Titan 1260.
Both of the current kits use fabrics which perform similarly, with the Nomex having great colour fastness, and the gold having robust abrasive qualities. The new kit is the most technically advanced available, and utilises the benefits of both existing kits, with improved abrasion and structure retention. It is designed with X-Flex 3D technology, meaning tunics and leggings are ergonomically designed for the best fit and comfort available. It is lightweight, yet still offers a high level of protection for firefighters.
Chairman of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Spencer Flower, said: “After an exhaustive selection process, which included trials by operational firefighters, we have chosen Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufactured by Bristol Uniforms, who are our existing supplier. This PPE came first in national trials recently so we are assured that it offers the best in terms of safety protection for our operational crews, while offering the best value for money.”
Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell, added: “The PPE provides excellent protection without imposing high levels of physiological stress on our firefighters. Therefore it ensures that they can operate safely and effectively at emergency incidents. We are absolutely committed to safer communities and, of course, safer firefighters. We now have the opportunity to standardise operational PPE across the Service. This means there will no longer be any difference in what the public see between firefighters in Wiltshire and Dorset. We are one team and this is the final step in integrating our PPE.”
The new clothing contract will cost £1.6m as part of the Service’s Capital Programme, and will be in place by the end of summer 2019.