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Police union raises concerns about fire rating of officers uniforms

Monday, April 21, 2014

Victoria's police union has raised concerns about the safety of new police uniforms as a result of January's Middle Park explosion that left three officers badly injured.

Police had been responding to reports that a man was threatening self-harm when the explosion occurred inside a flat.

The union's secretary Ron Iddles has asked police about the fire rating of officers' uniforms.

"We are concerned about the fire retardant features of the new police uniforms, particularly given that police officers can often find themselves in vulnerable situations involving fires," he said.

Mr Iddles says the force must ensure officers are provided with the best materials on offer to deal with emergencies.

The Police Association has asked Victoria Police to respond to these questions:
Whether or not the new police uniform has been 'fire rated' and to what exact rating
Exactly what are the materials in the new uniform - including patrol pants, shirt, jersey and covering material of IOEV.

Victoria Police has been rolling out the new uniforms since 2012. Chief Commissioner Ken Lay says the change will improve the professional presentation of police.
"These situations can exist in bushfires in country Victoria, house fires which are often discovered by our members who are the first on the scene dealing with a potentially dangerous situation," he said.

"Also situations that involve explosions, as was the case in the Middle Park incident."

Victoria Police has issued a statement saying it has reassured officers the new uniforms have been tested for fire resistance.

"Prior to being rolled out the new uniform was thoroughly tested, with specifications in line with regulations and the required Occupational Health and Safety standards," police command said in a statement.

"Victoria Police also consulted with the Police Association throughout the process."

Courtesy ABC News


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