Release date: 13 January 2020
Firefighters in West Sussex are wearing brand new kit.
The new firefighting kit for the county’s 500 uniformed fire service staff stays with the service’s traditional gold-coloured fire tunics and leggings, but the latest kit comes with a number of added improvements.
It now also includes a new lightweight and highly visible rescue jacket to wear at the scene of road traffic collisions and other non-fire incidents.
The new jacket is a significant benefit in terms of improving the visibility of firefighters.
Other benefits include:
- Lightweight Rescue gloves for use at non-fire incidents, with reinforced grip and touch sensitive fingertips
- A new helmet, designed to protect from heavy impacts and temperatures of more than 300°C
- A new fire hood made up of three breathable layers to help avoid firefighters overheating.
The new kit reflects the evolving role of the firefighter and was procured after listening to feedback from frontline staff. As well as offering enhanced protection, it is also lighter in weight.
The uniform will be standard across the region following a national collaborative procurement process.
Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “Having high-performing fire kit is just as important as having good fire engines, breathing apparatus and rescue equipment.
“This latest generation of fire kit, or personal protective equipment as we call it, improves the safety and comfort of our firefighters at emergencies.
“I am really pleased to see this investment into our frontline staff to ensure they have the best fire kit to deal with whatever the day may throw at them.”
The new contract, with Bristol Uniforms, will cost just over £350,000 a year. The contract is a fully managed, ‘total care’ arrangement, meaning that it includes cleaning, maintenance and repair over the life of the contract.
The investment comes ahead of the arrival of a number of new fire engines ordered by the service, which are expected into operation from March 2020, representing a further investment in the service of £1.6million.