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10 May 2011, 05:00
Suffolk’s 700 fire fighters have been issued with the latest fire fighting uniforms to help them with their work.
The high specification clothing is designed to give the fire fighters the best possible protection when entering burning and dangerous buildings and dealing with other emergencies.
Suffolk fire fighters will now be dressed in gold-coloured protective clothing - replacing the previous dark blue uniforms.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is one of the first of 12 fire services from across the East and South of England to introduce the new uniforms.
County Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Andy Fry, the Suffolk’s Chief Fire Officer, were at the unveiling.
Councillor Spence said: "Today is significant for Suffolk’s fire fighters, the fire and rescue service and for our local communities. As employers, one of our most important priorities is the safety and protection of our dedicated staff. The county council is currently going through a challenging financial period – so it’s great to be able to invest in our fire fighters and help them do their jobs as safety and effectively as possible. The new uniforms will help build further confidence in our excellent fire and rescue service."
Andy Fry said: "Introduction of this gold clothing means a different look for our fire fighters but, more importantly, it means they will be better able to do their essential work safely and effectively - even when exposed to the most hostile fire fighting conditions. As the Chief Fire Officer, the safety of my colleagues, who risk their lives for all of us, is paramount - which is why they need, and deserve, the best protective equipment available. In Suffolk, they now have that. I’m particularly pleased at how closely we’ve worked with our staff and the unions in trialling and selecting the new clothing. It means that the decision on which clothing to buy has been made with the support of the people who will rely on it - our fire fighters."