PPE and Clothing Committee
The National Fire Chiefs Council PPE and Clothing Committee is a relatively new operational committee established to ensure fire and rescue services collaborate to agree the relevant risk assessments and specifications for all items of PPE, so that they can source modern, fit for purpose PPE and clothing to ensure the safety of wearers in all operational environments and the day-to-day functions of services.
The committee is chaired by Steve Topham, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Service Support Delivery. The committee works through a regional network of fire and rescue service representatives and national accredited work groups, such as the Fire Brigades Union, Fire Officers Association, AFSA and Women in the Fire Service. Each representative is responsible for bringing the thoughts and ideas from their region or work group.
The committee is divided into sub-committees (see useful documents below), which focus on particular areas of PPE and clothing, these being: risk assessments, structural, workwear, specialist, disposable, as well as a commercial sub-committee for direct links with the NFCC Procurement Hub. The links with the NFCC Procurement Hub ensure compliant routes to market, and effective market engagement, enabling fire and rescue services to access garments through numerous collaborative procurement frameworks, saving a significant amount of time and money in consolidating spend and complex/lengthy processes.
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NFCC PPE and Clothing Conference – 17th and 18th May 2023
The inaugural NFCC PPE and clothing conference, which took place recently has been hailed as a great success. Over 40 fire and rescue services attended the two day conference and were joined by a similar number of PPE suppliers for day 2. The event saw the sharing of problems and issues affecting firefighters PPE and information around the research which should look to address theses issues.
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The agenda for Day 1, included presentations from:
- Dr Anna Stec on the findings of her latest research into fire contaminants,
- Nicky Thurston on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity of PPE
- DSTL on the findings of phase 1 Future Firefighter research (presentation awaiting release)
- Brett Egan-Briers on the challenges for PPE
Day 2 agenda consisted of four presentations delivered by industry groups that included:
- Complexities of the supply chain
- Understanding Specifications
- Mitigating Issues within the Tender process
- Cleaning, Maintenance and End of Life
Presentations can be viewed here:
‘PFAS in firefighting’ Presentation
Chair of NFCC PPE/Clothing Committee
Steve joined Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in 1995 and his first posting was on Red Watch at Cromwell Road fire station in Grimsby.Full biography
Vice-Chair NFCC PPE/Clothing Committee
Brett Egan-Briers is a retired operational fire officer with 35 years’ fire service experience.Full biography