MSA Bristol opens new PPE service centre in Scotland

Representatives from MSA and SFRS at the opening of the new Scottish service centre From L to R: Alan Smith, PPE Officer, SFRS; Jason Traynor, General Manager, Global Fire Service Products – MSA; Anton De Klerk, Service Centre Manager (Scotland) – MSA; Edward Shepherd, Service Operations Director – MSA; Samantha D’Uva, Senior Manager, Product PR & Corporate Social Media – MSA; Nigel Evens, Business Director First Responder & Milipol, EMEA – MSA; Roddy Mackinnon, Scottish Equipment Manager – SFRS; Iwan Jones, Senior Sales Manager – MSA; Philip Tasker, UK & Ireland Sales Director – MSA; and Iain Morris, Acting Director of Asset Management – SFRS.

MSA Bristol, a leading supplier of PPE to fire and rescue services around the globe, has opened a new service centre in Livingston, Scotland. The centre provides professional cleaning, decontamination, inspection and repair of kit for fire and rescue services (FRS).

Currently, MSA Bristol is the only fire fighting PPE manufacturer offering in-house managed services in the UK, via its two existing service centres, in Bristol and London. The company has seen demand for its managed services grow, as fire and rescue services across the UK are increasingly prioritising regular professional cleaning in order to protect firefighters from health risks associated with smoke contamination. The new Scottish service centre has been created in response to a major new managed services contract signed with Scottish FRS last year.

Scottish FRS is the UK’s largest fire and rescue service, with 6660 firefighters operating out of 365 stations, and is the first to make use of the new Scottish service centre. After being worn at an operational incident, PPE including fire tunics, trousers, hoods and gloves, are collected by MSA Bristol from key fire and rescue service hubs throughout Scotland. These garments are then thoroughly cleaned and de-contaminated, inspected for signs of damage or wear, and repaired if necessary, before being returned to Scottish FRS – all within seven days.

The service centre features top-of-the-range commercial 33kg Electrolux washers and driers, which are digitally-controlled and draw from a pre-heated water supply system to reduce cycle times and electricity usage. Thanks to this swift and efficient new technology, the centre has the capacity to handle up to 900 garments per week, with the service history of each and every item tracked via a unique bar code.

The Scottish service centre is being run by Manager Anton De Klerk and his team of 10 new employees. He said, “Since opening, we have gradually implemented new systems and are at the point that we’ve really found our rhythm. We now have full responsibility for the Scottish FRS contract and the processes are running smoothly. We have regular reviews to iron out any issues, and we’re delighted to be hitting our targets and meeting client expectations.”

Roddy Mackinnon, Equipment Manager at Scottish Fire and Rescue, said, “Regular cleaning, decontamination and repair of PPE is essential for providing firefighters with suitable protection. We have been using MSA Bristol’s managed services since March 2021 and are delighted that these services are now being delivered within Scotland. The team have worked closely with us throughout the transition to ensure that the high levels of service and quick turnaround times are maintained.”

Edward Shepherd, Service Operations Director, MSA Bristol, said, “In recent years, MSA Bristol has seen a significant increase in take up of Managed Services packages in the UK, partly due to convenience and competitive pricing, but also partly due to health concerns. Our new service centre in Livingston will enable us to handle more items of PPE to meet this demand, and by providing this service locally and reducing mileage, it is also a more environmentally responsible way to operate.”