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Welsh firefighters issued new PPE

28 February 2018

MID AND West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) has commenced the rollout of a new Multi-Function Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for its firefighters.

On 14 February, all firefighters stationed within the Swansea Command Area commenced operational response, wearing their new Multi-Function PPE uniforms. These will be worn by crews to all incidents, with the exception of property fires.

Station manager Sean Lloyd said, “We are delivering the roll out of the new Multi-Function PPE to each Command Area at a time. Swansea has become the second Command Area to receive the new equipment, following the roll out in Neath Port Talbot earlier in the year. Within the next 12 months, every firefighter in this Service will be equipped with the new kit to respond to incidents that are not property fires.”

Visually, the new red kit is strikingly different to the traditional firefighting PPE, which is gold in colour. While the crews in Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Commands will continue to wear the traditional, gold coloured, firefighting PPE when responding to property fires, the red Multi-function PPE will be worn by crews to such incidents as road traffic collisions, rope rescues and wildfires, to name only a few.

The kit allows firefighters to work in arduous conditions, while not being restricted by the thermal barriers associated with the current (gold) firefighting PPE. This will reduce fatigue and heat stress.”

MAWWFRS chief fire officer Chris Davies said “The role of a firefighter has evolved significantly over the past 20 years and, by providing our firefighters with this multi-function PPE, we recognise the ever-increasing demands on our crews.

“Our firefighters put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis, therefore Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is fully committed to providing them with the very best equipment, to protect them as they protect you.

“This investment will also save the fire and rescue service money as the wearing of the new Multi-Function PPE, for incidents that are not property fires, will prolong the operational life of our firefighting PPE kit. This is one small example of how we have improved our business processes to save money during this age of austerity.

“Since 2006, we have reduced our budget by 20%, a saving of £9million. Yet, despite the financial restraints faced by our communities, we will continue to strive in our goal to provide a world-class emergency response to our communities.”