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Next generation fire kits for Clare firefighters

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166 sets of next generation fire kits for firefighters have been presented to Clare County Fire and Rescue Service.

Earlier today (Friday), Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tom McNamara made the presentation of the Fire Action Matrix X-treme kits to the Clare County Fire and Rescue Service. They were acquired following an extensive tendering process from Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited at a cost of €243,000 and represent the latest in a number of positive developments for the local 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. It is also awaiting final approval to order a new Class B Fire Appliance costing €340,000 for expected delivery in 2019.

At the presentation, 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.”

Members of Kilrush Fire Brigade pictured in the newly acquired Fire Action Matrix X-treme kits outside Kilrush Fire Station with Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development; Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer; Councillor Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare; and Bernie McGonigle from Hunter Apparel Solutions Limited. Pic Eamon Ward.

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.”

Chief Fire Officer, Adrian Kelly revealed that fire and rescue personnel in the county trialled the “clothing for comfort and fit across a range of role-related scenarios”. He is confident they “will provide the highest possible performance which exceeds the current requirements of the standards.”

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”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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