London’s firefighters and their furry colleagues begin wearing new, gold coloured fire tunics and leggings as modernised personal protective equipment (PPE) is rolled out across the Brigade. It’s the biggest kit update for eight years.
The new PPE includes: helmet, tunic, leggings, protective hood, boots (leather and rubber), gloves (two types) and is lighter and more durable.
As well as a distinctive gold colour, which shows up dirt and damage more easily than the old navy coloured kit, there are some new additions which reflect the changing role of the modern firefighter. These include:
• Rescue Gloves – lightweight gloves that allow more dexterity for use on non-fire related incidents like road traffic collisions.
• Helmet torches – these will be in addition to the chest torches firefighters wear to increase visibility.
• Sherlock and Simba, the two fire investigation dogs will have the same paw protection boots for when they scamper across fire grounds, and their gold tunics will match firefighters but will only be worn when doing fire prevention work in schools, fire station open days and other community events.
Deputy Commissioner Tom George at London Fire Brigade said: “Modern firefighting is so much more than rushing into burning buildings.
We needed a kit that could support and protect crews in a range of incidents whether fighting fires, freeing people trapped in crashed cars or complex rescues from collapsed buildings.
“Tunics and leggings are individually tailored for each firefighter’s build and physique so they allow crews to easily get to work whilst keeping them as safe as possible. As you would expect, the PPE underwent rigorous testing by firefighters in real fire conditions and other rescue scenarios.
“One obvious change is the new gold colour which means it’s easier to spot if any of the material is damaged. It’s important the public know what our staff look like when they see crews out and about.
“We’ve come a long way since the days of woollen tunics and plastic yellow leggings and the iconic thin plastic yellow leggings. This new kit is the gold standard.”
All 4,800 of London’s firefighters and officers, and our two fire investigation dogs are now wearing their new kit which switched over on October 31st.
The final design was part of a collaborative procurement process between fire and rescue services from across the UK.
As well as helping to reduce costs and avoid duplicating work, the joint project allowed the Brigade to pool knowledge and technical expertise, to make the uniform the very best in firefighting protective clothing.