International Firefighter Clothing Conference in the UK attracts companies’ interests across the globe
Published on 10 August 2011
A recent conference held to discuss developments in the global market for firefighter personal protection attracted almost 40 delegates, from 23 countries, who gathered in Bristol at the biennial event arranged by Bristol Uniforms for its international network of distributors. Representation from Asia Pacific, Africa, Central and South America, the Gulf States and Europe ensured that the 3 day event reflected the broad interests of companies from across the world.
A major part of the conference was devoted to technical and new product development presentations supported by sessions looking at new and anticipated changes to European and international standards relating to structural and marine firefighting PPE.
The technical presentations included an in-depth review of recent developments in fabrics. Some 12 representatives from major suppliers to the PPE market including Dupont, W L Gore, Hainsworth, Heathcoat, PBI and 3M were on hand to brief delegates on new fabrics as well as recent improvements made to the various components used in two- and three-layer garments.
Delegates were also able to take part in sessions covering head-to-toe PPE compatibility. These examined compatibility testing and its increasing importance in new standards being introduced in Europe and soon to become effective internationally. An update on the ICP was provided by DCLG.
The highlight of the conference was the delegates’ opportunity to preview Bristol’s new structural firefighter PPE system which will be launched in the autumn, as well as details of new ranges of marine and USAR PPE, both due for launch over the coming months.
Roger Startin, Bristol’s joint MD, commented after the conference, “Once again at this year’s conference we were pleased that so many busy distributors were willing to give up their time and, in some cases, travel many thousands of miles to attend. As an innovative, product led company we regularly have new products to unveil at these conferences and our distributors welcome being the first to see them. Our experience has shown that this approach not only builds commitment, but encourages the widespread use of, and support for, our brand which is so important to us in international markets”.
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