Firefighters in Northamptonshire will see the first the first major change to their kit in 15 years after the introduction of a new 'gold' overall.
Crew members will be saying goodbye to their old, dark blue kits, which first came into service in 2004, and will soon don lightweight gold PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
The service says the new kit is a lighter, modern design aimed at protecting firefighters from extreme heat and giving them better freedom of movement when carrying out rescue duties.
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “If you stop to think about all the different aspects of a firefighter’s job, which can include everything from dealing with a fire, to carrying out a rescue at a road traffic collision, the design of PPE is extremely important.
“I am confident this up-to-date new, lighter kit with its fresh, modern design by Bristol Uniforms, will positively impact firefighters’ wellbeing. If they can carry out their daily work feeling safer and more at ease in what they are wearing, that is a real change for the better.”
The PPE, which is already being worn by London Fire Brigade and Buckinghamshire Fire Service, includes an outer shell of fabric, a moisture barrier and thermal lining, designed to keep the heat of a fire from penetrating through the suit.
The lighter colour, with reflective strips, means that signs of dirt such as soot or other contamination can be spotted much more quickly.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has entered into a ‘fully managed service’ contract with Bristol Uniforms, who not only manufacture the kit but will also launder and maintain it as part of the deal.
Stephen Mold, the police, fire and crime commissioner, said: “Firefighters are expected, on a daily basis, to enter into often extremely dangerous situations and help people who can be frightened and vulnerable.
“These new garments mark a significant investment and will equip our firefighters with the next generation of comfortable and effective kit. This new kit meets the best professional standards and if it helps to keep them safer in the challenging situations they find themselves in, then the investment has to be money well spent.”