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Bristol becomes new PPE supplier for Avon Fire & Rescue Service

Published on 10 September 2012
New protective clothing has been made and distributed around Avon to its 29 site including administrative and training locations
Bristol to supply 1700 sets of fire coats and trousers, as well as helmets, gloves and boots

Following a strategic decision by the Fire & Rescue Authority in late 2010 to adopt the ICP procurement facility, Avon FRS began the move to Bristol as its new PPE supplier for its 800 firefighters. This is now being completed through the deployment of a purchase managed service (PMS) head-to-toe ICP contract involving the supply of 1700 sets of fire coats and trousers along with helmets, gloves and boots.

Avon FRS had previously taken delivery of ICP station wear in 2011, following its decision to commit its future procurement through the ICP, and the move to replace its PPE was planned into its normal replacement programme. The new protective clothing has been made and has been distributed around Avon to its 29 sites including administrative and training locations.

The switch to the ICP firefighter kit, in PBI Gold Ripstop outer fabric, will mark a significant visual change in the fire crews’ presence on the streets of Bristol, Bath and surrounding areas as it replaces a blue ensemble which the public had come to recognise. The high performance characteristics of the PPE result from its three layer construction which incorporates a moisture and thermal barrier using a GORE-TEX® fabric with AIRLOCK® Spacer Technology which also gives protection against blood borne pathogens.

A launch of the new protective clothing, to introduce it to the public and familiarise them with the new kit, took place at the end of August with deployment from the beginning of September.

Commenting on the introduction of the ICP PPE, Avon’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Jon Day, said, “The only change that members of the public will notice will be the colour of the uniform, however the improvements for our crews are more significant. The new kit has been tested robustly to ensure it meets the demands of our work. Despite being lightweight it is extremely durable and will ensure our firefighters are well protected during their work at emergencies.”

 “As our existing contract for firefighting kit was coming to an end we took the decision to move to the new uniform and take advantage of the benefits associated with the purchasing power of a national project.”

Roger Startin, Bristol’s Joint Managing Director, added, “Bristol Uniforms is especially pleased that Avon has chosen a local supplier and that we will be supplying them again with their new head-to-toe firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE). The completion of this procurement programme, encompassing the range of ICP clothing including station wear, head-to-toe PPE and managed services brings to fruition another major step in consolidating Bristol’s ICP plans. With the deployment of Avon’s firefighter clothing, this brings the total number of firefighters in England now using ICP PPE to around 7,500, or 1 in 6 of all firefighters.”

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