Bristol Uniforms has been awarded the contract to supply fire fighting PPE for a new Collaborative Procurement Framework, accessible to all local authority fire and rescue services (FRS) across the UK.
A dedicated project team led by Kent Fire and Rescue Service created the new framework. It follows the success of the South East and Eastern Region framework established in 2010, and comes in response to calls from government and the industry for FRSs to work together to share best practice and deliver efficiencies. The framework will provide access to high quality PPE ensembles, suitable for the varying roles and activities faced by the modern firefighter, while saving considerable time and resources by simplifying and streamlining the procurement process.
Bristol Uniforms has been selected as the preferred supplier following a rigorous tender process undertaken over a two-year period, which included technical assessments, cost negotiations and practical user trials. Twenty-eight volunteer evaluators with diverse physical profiles were selected from FRSs across the country to trial the full range of garments while undertaking a number of typical activities, from basic operations, road traffic accidents and ladder climbing, to tackling full-scale fires. They provided scores on markers such as design, compatibility, overall use and functionality.
PPE supplied by Bristol Uniforms within the framework will include full structural ensemble, a layered jacket, rescue jacket and USAR ensemble. The selected styles combine innovative and ergonomic designs with the use of high-performance fabrics and fibres, offering maximum comfort, manoeuvrability and protection. The framework contract also includes the supply of Managed Services for cleaning and maintenance, which will be delivered by Bristol Uniforms’ two dedicated in-house service centres in London and Bristol. FRSs can opt for either a Fully Managed Service or Purchase Only contract via the framework.
Roger Startin, Joint Managing Director at Bristol Uniforms, said, “We are delighted to have been selected as the supplier for this ground-breaking framework, which has the potential to significantly improve and simplify the procurement process for FRSs across the country. Our entire team is absolutely committed to providing the very best in firefighter PPE for our customers, and it is testament to this that our designs performed so well in such a rigorous and robust selection procedure.”
Ann Millington, CE of Kent Fire and Rescue Service, who is the CFOA Procurement Strategic Lead for the Fire Commercial Transformation Programme, said, “This project has been a great example of joint working, demonstrating how we can work together to provide high quality protective clothing and equipment for our firefighters and give the best value to taxpayers. We hope to see other fire and rescue services sign up and access the framework and I would encourage them to look at the potential benefits to their organisation. The framework will run for four years and it is also open to a wide range of public sector bodies including the NHS and police forces. We look forward to working with Bristol Uniforms.”
FRSs interested in signing up to the new contract should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org