NORTH Wales Fire and Rescue Service has partnered with a new supplier of firefighter protection equipment.

In a deal involving the three Welsh fire services, Ballyclare as the new supplier of structural firefighting personal protection equipment (PPE) to their firefighters. The Xenon model PPE, which is manufactured by the Stockport supplier, was chosen after an extensive All Wales procurement exercise by North, Mid and West, and South Wales Fire and Rescue Services.

It includes high performance ‘free movement’ fire kit using GORE designer material to reduce bulk and weight while delivering breathable, waterproof and high thermal protection. Ballyclare supplies more than 27,000 firefighters in the UK, including the Royal Warrant for the Windsor Castle Fire Service.

The deal follows a year of consultation with firefighters and will be rolled out to firefighters in summer next year.

A joint statement by the chief fire officers for the three fire services, said they hope Wales can become “world leaders in emergency response and community safety”.

“It is of the utmost importance that we provide our firefighters with the very highest standards of protection and we are delighted that this new PPE meets these criteria,” it said.

“The Ballyclare Xenon PPE has been tested rigorously by our firefighters, alongside PPE from competing manufacturers and this PPE scored the highest marks with our firefighters and within the wider stringent requirements of the All Wales procurement process.”

The statement added: “Pivotal to this project has been the successful collaboration of all three fire and rescue services in Wales and the willing involvement of our firefighters in this important process. We commend them on their contribution which has been undertaken with great professionalism and pride.

“The procurement of this state-of-the-art PPE is yet another step towards fire and rescue Services in Wales realising their vision of becoming world leaders in emergency response and community safety.”