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UK Emergency Services to gain Remploy CBRN Equipment

Remploy Frontline : 21 October, 2009  (Application Story)
Remploy Frontline is to supply the UK Home Office with Swift Responder 3 CBRN suits for use by emergency services personnel in the country
The Home Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain has selected Remploy Frontline to fulfil its "Quick Don" award tender with its Swift Responder 3 (or "SR3") suit. The overall deal is worth £14.75 million. Remploy Frontline won the contract in open tender against other major international brands. Remploy Frontline is one of the world's foremost developers of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) personal protection products and mainstream corporate clothing and garments for various public services. It proudly has achieved globally recognised standards for quality and excellence with its workforce that is more than 75 per cent disabled. This is timely as Remploy Frontline, under the direction of John Armstrong, earned the Home Office's Annual Supplier Value Award, which recognises only seven suppliers (in different categories) for providing exceptional value to the Home Office as a partner.

This landmark contract underscores the UK industry's role in developing technical fabrics and protection equipment technology. The Remploy Swift Responder suit uses the latest material innovations from UK-based W. L. Gore & Associates (UK) Ltd. The Swift Responder suit developed by Remploy Frontline uses Gore's most advanced fabric technologies in delivering a CBRN protection solution to the UK's police forces trained to handle CBRN emergencies. Senior developers at Remploy Frontline underscore that the SR3, like its CR1 predecessor, has universal applications in a myriad of extreme environmental conditions and emergencies.

John Armstrong, Director of Defence and Emergency Services, for Remploy Enterprise Businesses, said of the award: "Remploy has been able to succeed in areas where others have not through its unique 'concept company' approach to meeting the personal protection needs of the public sector (police and armed services) and garment requirements of private companies.

"Remploy has a highly skilled workforce that is able to manufacture almost anything, from recycling computers to transforming personnel protection with the most advanced technical fabrics. Remploy works with industry partners successfully to meet the exact needs of customers in the public safety and defence arenas. The Quick Don tender is an example of the world-class solutions that can be developed when some of the best minds in British industry and innovation come together for a common goal. Moreover, the Quick Don contract means that we can and keep more of Britain's disabled workers in employment."

Robbie Dawson, Account Manager from Gore said: "Gore fabric technologies are known and trusted the world over. Brands such as Gore-Tex, Windstopper and Gore Chempak are relied upon by military and emergency services around the globe to deliver unbeatable performance and comfort in the harshest environments. We are extremely proud of the product we have developed with Remploy Frontline, working in partnership to develop a clothing solution that end-users can depend upon in the field of duty.

Janet Timmis, Remploy Frontline's Head of Product Development, said: "The cooperation between Remploy and Government has been mission critical in cracking what seemed to be an unattainable boundary in the PPE arena. We breached a technology barrier with the SR3; a significantly lighter weight and ergonomic CBRN garment that can be donned in under five minutes whilst providing maximum protection."

Jim O'Hara, a public sector business specialist at Remploy Frontline who worked directly on the tender, said: "Remploy's flexible business model provides a bespoke solution for government without the high costs associated with having to re-tool to meet specific requirements for any garment or textile solution service personnel need. Be it uniforms, all-weather coveralls or CBRN garments, Remploy can develop a solution made from the most innovative technical fabrics available with extraordinary benefits. Quick Don demonstrates how Remploy succeeds as a concept company in fulfilling unique public sector customer needs in a tender situation and open competition."

The £14.75 million contract award is made more poignant as recent figures show the PPE market is worth approximately £10 billion worldwide. The European Commission (EC) singled it out as one of six unique markets potentially offering significant growth for innovative products and services. The EC has pledged to support the PPE market through regulation and standardisation, improved public procurement processes and other measures. It was also highlighted as a priority in Industrial Safety as well as the Strategic Research Agenda of the European Technology Platforms for Textiles and Clothing. First Responders' PPE was identified as a major area of interest for the European Security Research and Innovation Forum as well as the new European Action Plan for CBRN emergencies in civilian populations.

Remploy Frontline's John Armstrong and Gore's Robbie Dawson both concurred that the UK Home Office is just one of several governments allied in the war on terror that feel the Swift Responder, with GORE Chempak fabric, is ideal for their specific uses in preparation, response and management of CBRN incidents.
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