UK Fire & Rescue Services: 5 Years of Success for Collaborative PPE Framework

The National Collaborative PPE Framework is celebrating five years of success in delivering high-quality PPE to Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) across the UK. Launched in June 2017 to streamline the PPE procurement process, the scheme has since delivered protective clothing to around two thirds of FRSs across the country, equating to more than 30,000 firefighters.

Created with a view to sharing best practise and delivering efficiencies, the National Framework is managed by the National Fire Chiefs Council’s National Procurement Hub’s Lead Authority for PPE and Clothing Category at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, with PPE supplied by MSA Bristol – a global leader in the design and manufacture of PPE for firefighters. The PPE range includes Full Structural Ensemble, a Layered Jacket, Rescue Jacket and USAR Ensemble, with selected styles combining innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibres from leading suppliers such as WL Gore, PBI Performance Products and Hainsworth.

By taking part in the scheme, FRSs have access to high quality PPE with the reassurance that it has been independently evaluated and tested. Whilst purchase-only contracts are available, the majority have opted for managed services contracts, whereby kit is regularly cleaned, inspected, decontaminated and repaired at one of MSA Bristol’s three in-house UK Service Centres.

Fire and Rescue Services that have most recently signed up to the scheme include North Yorkshire FRS, Leicestershire FRS and Oxfordshire FRS.

Sarah Walsh, Framework Manager, comments:

“The National Collaborative PPE Framework has proved a huge success, resulting in time and cost efficiencies for Fire Services around the country, whilst providing robust and comfortable PPE protection for firefighters on the ground, as well as longer-term health protection through the regular professional servicing of these garments.

“From the outset, the Framework’s Strategic Board Team has worked closely with MSA Bristol to ensure the provision of a top-quality service from sign-up, to delivery, to ongoing after-care, ensuring continuity of service despite the disruptions and challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme is an excellent example of successful partnership, collaboration and service delivery. Both ourselves and MSA Bristol are always looking to innovations, as well as to the sector’s requirements, to ensure that any technical refreshes are looked into further for the benefits to end users. It is even more relevant now than it was in the beginning of the Framework, when more research is published on subjects like contaminants, we look at how we can incorporate the recommendations made into the Framework.”

Philip Tasker, UK and Ireland Sales Director at MSA Bristol, comments:

“Over the past five years, the Collaborative Framework has succeeded in significantly improving and simplifying the procurement process for UK FRSs, making it easier and more affordable for fire services to access the best quality PPE as well as essential managed services.

“MSA Bristol has been privileged to work alongside Kent FRS to deliver these services, and we’re looking forward to continuing this relationship in the years to come.”

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member