Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Changes made to firefighter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service firefighters are going to look slightly different from today after being issued with new firefighting PPE.

From today, all Essex firefighters will be wearing their new and improved kit to help them carry out their roles while better protected and more comfortable.

The main change that you will see is a ‘Rescue Jacket’, a new addition to the Service’s PPE that firefighters will wear when attending road traffic collisions and field/grass fires. These new jackets are Class 3 High Visibility which means they meet the requirements for high visibility for working on roadways and are of a lightweight and ergonomic design.

The role of firefighters has become more diverse and the new rescue jackets are better suited to some of the incidents Essex County Fire and Rescue Service attends.

The key changes to Essex firefighter PPE are:

• A new separate rescue jacket to be used at incidents such as road traffic collisions and field/grass fires.

• A lighter, re-designed helmet and repositioned torch, making it more comfortable.

• More ergonomic structural firefighting jackets and trousers which are less prone to rips and tears.

• Additional waterproof lining within the boots, which also include handles to make it easier to pull them up.

• Two sets of gloves – structural and rescue.

The new PPE has been purchased through a National Collaborative PPE framework. ECFRS has been represented on this project from its inception at the end of 2014, being involved in the writing of the specifications and the evaluations over a six month period at the Fire Service College. The Framework is available to all Fire and Rescue Services across the country and the PPE is supplied by Bristol Uniforms.

Watch Manager Jayne Moore, Lead Officer for PPE in the Technical Services team who headed up the project, said: “It has been a great pleasure working with colleagues nationally to achieve a new improved set of firefighting PPE for our firefighters. “Innovation inevitably occurs during the course of each contract enabling us to improve the PPE we provide. By purchasing a National Framework, we have been able to do this and add additional items of PPE while making an annual cost saving of approximately 25%.”

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