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  3. Greater Manchester firefighters put new PPE through paces

Firefighters in the northwest of England have become the first to use new personal protective equipment (PPE).

The PPE has been especially designed for use on the roads, taking cues from the safety workwear used by many construction, engineering and heavy industry workers.

Fire crews in Atherton, Hindley and Wigan are among the first to use the new gear, after it was rolled out by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

Other GMFRS stations across the area will follow suit over the next few months, with the entire service planned to have the new workwear by the start of July.

As well as being engineered for the road, in order to provide greater visibility of fire crews attending traffic collisions, the final design of the equipment had a lot of influences from firefighters themselves.

The design also incorporates many of the most modern techniques for PPE.

Councillor David Acton, the sitting chairman of the service, commented:

“The new PPE is designed to be breathable and more ergonomically fitted.

“It can be repaired more easily and efficiently due to having replaceable panels and is therefore more cost-efficient.

The new clothing was part of the GMFRS’ Future Firefighting project.

It is understood that a number of other services all over the UK have taken an interest in the project, and are monitoring the use of the new gear. It is expected that other crews across the country will replace their gear with the new GMFRS kit in due course.

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