West Sussex firefighters receive new and improved kit

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has invested in new kit following feedback from its frontline staff.

New West Sussex Fire service kit
New West Sussex Fire service kit

The new kit, provided by Bristol Uniforms for the county’s 500 fire service staff, keeps the traditional gold colour and comes with a number of improvements.

The kit is lighter in weight, provides more enhanced protection and is said to reflect the evolving role of firefighters.

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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.

Fire service kit through the years

“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.”

Included in the kit is a new highly visible jacket, designed to be worn at the scene of road traffic collisions and other non-fire incidents.

Other items in the kit include: lightweight gloves, heavy-duty helmet to withstand temperatures of more than 300 degrees Celsius and a breathable fire hood.

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, which are expected into operation from March 2020.