Firefighters going for gold

Firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) will be adopting a new look fire kit.

From Thursday 30 August fire crews will be switching from the familiar blue firefighting kit, to gold coloured protective clothing. The change of uniform is being introduced as AF&RS’s contract with its current supplier reaches an end.

The replacement firefighting kit has been produced by Staple Hill based Bristol Uniforms. The firm will supply AF&RS as part of a national project to deliver standard specification kit for fire and rescue services across the country.

The new kit is made using modern, lightweight , durable fabrics that will protect crews from heat and moisture during their day-to-day work at incidents. The naturally gold coloured fabric has undergone extensive testing by Bristol Uniforms that demonstrated its effectiveness in improving the safety of firefighters exposed to heat and flame.

The switchover will happen on Thursday morning when firefighters in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will adopt the gold kit.

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.”

Bristol Uniform’s Joint Managing Director, Ian Mitchell, added, “Bristol Uniforms is especially pleased that Avon have chosen a local supplier and that we will be supplying them again with their new head-to-toe firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE).

“The contract includes the provision of managed services under which all the firefighter equipment will be maintained by Bristol. Avon began using their new station wear in 2010, supplied by Bristol as part of the national Integrated Clothing Project (ICP), and the deployment of the PBI Gold® fire coats and trousers, along with helmets, boots and gloves marks the completion of the selection of their PPE from Bristol’s ICP range”.