Kent Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled its new and improved protective kit which will be worn by over 30,000 firefighters across the country.
KFRS took the lead role in a collaborative project involving fire services throughout the UK to source a modern personal protective equipment (PPE) kit that is suitable for all crews. The joint partnership involved 11 other fires services, with the new uniform now accessible to 24 authorities and more are expected to join.
Chris Colgan, KFRS Assistant Director for Operational Response and senior lead for the national initiative, said: “This is has been an extensive and thorough project, which KFRS has been proud to steer.
“The end result is a high performance PPE set that will enhance the safety and efficiency of our firefighters that is also cost effective, with crews across the country wearing the same uniform.”
The revamped set, which is due to be rolled out nationwide from 9 January, was specifically selected for its suitability for the various roles and activities faced by today’s firefighters.
To ensure all firefighters benefit from a good fit, all of the garments are available in a wide range of sizes for both men and women.
Key features of the new clothing include lightweight fabric with improved mobility and additional thermal protection, plus a comfortable helmet which can withstand temperatures of more than 300 degrees. There are also plans for extra lightweight Urban Search and Rescue coat and trousers that are designed for maximum mobility in confined spaces.
During the two-year consultation, each item was tested by 23 volunteer firefighters while carrying out typical activities, such as basic operations, road traffic crashes, ladder climbing and tackling full-scale fires.
The finalised set was agreed by a specially selected technical team of fire service representatives and union officials, led by KFRS.
At the end of the process, Bristol Uniforms was selected as the preferred supplier for the top-to-toe PPE, which fire rescue services across the country can order based on their operational needs.