Over 80% of PPE users opt for integrated managed services
Since Bristol introduced its in-house managed services programme for the fire & rescue services ten years ago, over 80% of PPE users have now adopted the use of these integrated maintenance facilities for the care and long term integrity of their firefighter protective clothing.
Since Bristol introduced its in-house garment maintenance programme for fire & rescue authorities in 2000, 82% of its PPE users now take advantage of these integrated, fully-featured managed services.
Much has changed in the design and composition of firefighter PPE over the last 10 years as new fabrics, composite design and manufacturing methods have combined to produce an all-round improved garment better tailored to meet the protective needs of the 21st century firefighter. Increased product specialisation over the last 5 years, to fit the tasks involved, has seen the introduction of new wildfire and urban search and rescue (USAR) garments which are being adopted by an increasing number of fire & rescue services and which also need careful and specialised cleaning and repair to ensure wearer safety and extended service life.
Humberside FRS recently became the latest county brigade to deploy its new PBI™ outershell structural firefighting kit and is using Bristol’s managed service provision to ensure the regular inspection and maintenance of its 900 sets of PPE. Humberside, in common with all Bristol’s users, benefit from a 7 day turnaround managed service which includes inspection, decontamination (if required), washing, repair, condition coding and tracking – all of which provides management with easy access to a full service history. This, in turn, ensures that all the information needed to project replacement timeframes is available to inform the annual budgeting process and support steps being taken to meet tighter budget constraints.
Humberside’s Chief Fire Officer, Frank Duffield, commented, “Bristol has been our supplier for a number of years during which time we have experienced a consistently high level of service in both the supply of PPE and managed service for our garments. Again, during the most recent tender process, Bristol was able to demonstrate the value of its technical capabilities and experience when it came to offering Humberside FRS the best overall package combining the performance requirements we need and the service levels essential to our round-the-clock operational preparedness”.
Philip Tasker, Bristol’s National Sales Manager, added, “During the tender period, we worked closely with the technical and procurement teams at Humberside to research and evaluate their specific performance requirements to arrive at exactly the right technical specification. The support which was provided throughout the evaluation process by our technical staff, helped to ensure that Humberside made their choice with all the necessary information at their disposal. Our managed service offering was a further contributory factor in our favour, as Humberside had been provided with rapid turnaround in collecting, washing and returning their kit during the East Yorkshire and Humberside flooding in the summer of 2007 which had allowed them to maintain a high level of response capability under severe pressure”.
8 February 2011