Norfolk has chosen to opt for the new navy and red colour combination, which was introduced nationally last year, and will be worn by around 900 staff including firefighters, when not on operations, office staff and management.
As the adoption of ICP procured firefighter clothing continues to grow, Norfolk chose to introduce the new colour combination after consulting widely with its staff on their preferences. Procuring through the ICP has allowed the purchase of the new station wear within existing budget limits, which may not have been possible otherwise. The overall cost of ownership has been further reduced by having access to Bristol’s Wardrobe Management Service which includes an on-line ordering system offering substantial savings in administration overheads.
Roy Harold, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Norfolk, said: "Our existing uniforms were provided through a contract which expired several years ago. This time round our new work wear uniform has been replaced through the National Fire Service Integrated Clothing Project (ICP), is designed specifically to complement our firefighting kit and is part of the same procurement”. He added, "We've tested the costs of this integrated programme against alternative suppliers and this is the only available contract with prices limited to the Retail Prices Index. Fabric costs have gone up substantially in the last few years and we risked price hikes of up to 30 percent if we stayed in the open market. The ICP contract gives us a higher degree of certainty over future costs and is designed specifically to save money for fire services."
Nigel Dixon, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: "I am sure that, like all change, the new look will take people a little time to get used to but the combination has been chosen by our staff and I am sure we will soon all get used to it. Signing the contract protects us from likely high price rises on the open market and therefore protects the public purse, which is obviously a crucial part of all current thinking."
Norfolk's volunteer Community Safety Advisors and other staff who work directly with the public will all be wearing variants of the uniform provided through the same contract and it is hoped this will help the public recognise fire service personnel more readily.
Philip Tasker, Bristol’s National Sales Manager, commented, “A growing number of ICP users are continuing to expand their usage profiles. Last year’s inclusion of a navy and red station wear option, alongside the original grey and red, has encouraged a number of existing and established ICP users to add station wear to their broader clothing portfolio. The wide range of clothing options, the flexibility of the procurement process and its overall cost effectiveness have all contributed to the programme’s continuing growth in popularity”.