New personal protective equipment (PPE) is being provided via a nationally agreed contract, and is the result of three years of intensive development and trials with the supplier (Bristol Uniforms) and several other fire and rescue authorities. The new PPE provides firefighters with a lighter, closer fitting tunic and leggings, that will give firefighters greater movement and flexibility over the current PPE.
To combat the extreme heat we are experiencing, a new tunic will also be provided to all firefighters in Warwickshire. The new tunic is a distinctive orange coloured (high visibility) garment which will be used at road traffic collisions (RTCs) and at some fires in the open to improve the safety and welfare of our firefighters. New RTC gloves are also being provided in addition to the fire resistant leather glove, which gives our firefighters greater dexterity when operating our new, more powerful battery powered cutting equipment.
The new PPE features improvements based on feedback from Warwickshire firefighters. The new helmet, in particular, features some impressive changes over previous models, it’s lightweight and includes an integrated torch, allowing firefighters to operate effectively in situations with low light.
The introduction of the new kit for Warwickshire firefighters follows similar roll-outs at fire and rescue services across the region; including Hereford and Worcester Fire Service, with Warwickshire the latest to benefit.
Andy Thompson, Station Commander with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue’s Technical Team, said:
“The new RTC tunic will strengthen resilience for front-line crews when attending road traffic collisions and includes some significant improvements which will help keep our firefighters safe.
“All personnel have now been fitted out and have received their new kit. Crews will start using it to attend to incidents during August. The upgrade forms part of our ongoing commitment to enhance our equipment and ensures that our firefighters can operate with greater ease to protect the communities of Warwickshire.”
Talking about the new kit, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety, Cllr Andy Crump, said:
“I’m delighted to see that Warwickshire firefighters have access to this impressive new PPE and pleased to see our Technical Team doing a fantastic job ensuring our crews are ahead of the game when it comes to personal protective equipment. I am sure that Warwickshire residents will soon get used to the look of the new kit will become as iconic for Warwickshire as the current gold one.”