Next generation fire kits for Clare firefighters

Next generation fire kits for Clare firefighters


Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development; Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer; Cllr Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare; and Bernie McGonigle of Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited – Photo: Eamon Ward

Members of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service have been fitted with new sets of next generation fire kits.

The 166 Fire Action Matrix X-treme kits were acquired from Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited at a cost of €243,000 and represent the latest in a number of positive developments for the local Fire Service.

Earlier this year, construction works began on upgrading and extending Kilkee Fire Station as part of a €661,000 investment in modernising the facilities for Kilkee Fire Brigade. The Fire Service recently took delivery of high pressure lifting bags at a cost of €66,000 to enhance the response to road based incidents.  The Fire Service is also awaiting final approval to order a new Class B Fire Appliance costing €340,000 for expected delivery in 2019.

Speaking today, Mayor McNamara said: “The new protective clothing will continue to provide crews with the best protection they have ever had at incidents. The high quality specification underlines Clare County Fire and Rescue Service’s commitment to the safety of its frontline crews and will provide greater protection to firefighters on the incident ground.”

Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, commented, “Clare County Council is committed to ensuring that its Fire Service personnel are provided with Fire Kit that provides a high standard of protection to the wearer, while also ensuring that personnel can be easily visible, particularly at road-based incidents.”

“Following an extensive tender process, the choice of Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited’s Fire Action Matrix X-treme Fire Kit will provide the highest possible performance which exceeds the current requirements of the standards,” stated Chief Fire Officer, Adrian Kelly.

He continued, “As part of the procurement process for the new fire kits, Fire and Rescue Service personnel in Clare were involved in trialling the clothing for comfort and fit across a range of role-related scenarios.”

Mr. Kelly said that direct exposure to flame and radiant heat is among the greatest hazards that fire fighters face during turnouts.

“Thermal insulation is key to staving off this effect and providing those crucial seconds.  The innovative material structure and new high tech intermediate layer of the Fire Action Matrix X-treme delivers substantially greater protection and comfort than required in the European Standard EN 469.  Radiant heat is blocked almost entirely, even under prolonged exposure,” he added.