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In Partnership with Durham & Darlington Fire & Rescue Service

November 6, 2015

Exclusive rights for fire service to sell extinguisher in ground-­‐breaking agreement

A fire and rescue service has given the first composite fire extinguisher on the market its greatest “stamp of faith” – by signing exclusive rights to sell it.

Vital Fire Solutions Ltd, the trading arm of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, is so impressed with the performance and cost savings offered by the P50 it has signed a ground breaking agreement with manufacturer Britannia Fire to be its exclusive distributor across five counties in the North East.

Money generated by the sales of the award winning UK manufactured extinguisher, made from the same material as bulletproof vests, will be injected back into the fire service to offset cuts.

Vital Fire Solutions Ltd, the trading arm of County Durham and Darlington, is the first fire and rescue service to sell the recyclable extinguisher that saves companies and organisations tens of thousands in annual service contracts. Invented and developed by Britannia Fire owner Roger Carr at his Norfolk factory, the Kevlar wrapped extinguisher requires a simple annual maintenance inspection.

The agreement to sell the P50 across Durham and Darlington, Tyne and Wear, Cleveland and Northumberland is the first commercial operation of the service’s new trading arm, Vital Fire Solutions (VFS) Ltd – a sister company to its Community Interest Company.

In return, Norfolk based Britannia Fire will work closely with Durham to promote the service’s extensive portfolio of business and industrial safety training courses and its new multi-million pound state of the art training facility in Bowburn near Durham.

Britannia Fire General Manager Andy Spence said signing the agreement with Deputy Chief Fire Officer Colin Bage at the service’s Durham headquarters was a “massive endorsement of the P50” after a year of discussions.

“This is phenomenal for Britannia Fire and the endorsement we have worked towards. No fire service enters into an agreement like this lightly.

“For a fire service to recognise the value of the P50 as an efficient fire fighter and the cost savings it offers customers by eliminating the need for costly annual service contracts demonstrates the worth of the P50 in the market.”

“We are replacing metal extinguishers with the P50 across the UK and internationally via our growing list of distributors -­‐ in supermarkets, university campuses, the banking sector, police force buildings and other organisations.

“Our export market is across Europe and the Middle East, with discussions with potential distributors on other continents.

“Our factory is running at capacity now with new distributors in the UK and across the world joining every day.”

Tony Grufferty, Business Development Manager for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Interest Company, said: “For a fire service to do this is a stamp of faith in the product.”

“The P50 is endorsed by the service as an innovative product that we believe can help businesses, organisations and individuals protect their premises and keep people safe.”

“By trading through our new limited company we can use money made to offset further cuts to our budget that we expect to face. This will help us to protect front line services and keep the communities we serve safe.

“We look forward to working with Britannia in the supply of the P50 as well as the promotion of our training portfolio and facilities available at our new, state of the art Centre in Durham.”

The service also has access to distribute everything else that Britannia Fire produces and will team up with the company for national and international events, trade fairs and its events designed to promote the P50 and Durham’s training portfolio, such as Westminster receptions.

The P50 was launched in 2010 after years of development by Britannia Fire owner Roger Carr, who has 50 years’ experience in the fire extinguisher industry. The P50 is the world’s first corrosion resistant fire extinguisher.

Smaller 4kg and 2kgs are due to be launched later this year for the domestic and car markets.

The P50 won the health and safety performance award from APEA (Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration) and was runner up in the innovation category.

Britannia Fire will be in a position to offer and provide a full portfolio of training and qualifications to current and potential customers; including health and safety, business and industrial fire safety, emergency hazard response, specialist firefighting, fire behavior and rescue techniques and as approved Institute of Leadership and Management Centre, nationally and internationally accredited qualifications in leadership and management.

“We have never had access to this training before, or the fantastic brand new facilities which are available at the Service training centre, so to be able to offer extra to our customers enhances our offer,” said Andy Spence.

Facilities at the 4.5-­‐acre training centre include:

  • Hot fire behaviour training rigs
  • Breathing apparatus search and rescue facilities, replicating real life fire- fighting conditions
  • A 70m x 90m roadway with roundabout and junctions to create realistic road traffic collision scenarios
  • A domestic property for house fires and search and rescue
  • A working at height structure with pitched roofs, a simulated crane cab and multi-function rope working framework
  • A dedicated High Volume Pump training facility
  • Animal rescue trenches.
  • Fire investigation scenarios
  • Immersive incident command suite

Britannia Fire Presentation 2 compressed

Photo caption:

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) seals its agreement with Britannia Fire to be exclusive distributor of the revolutionary P50 extinguisher across the North East. From left to right: Andy Spence, Britannia Fire General Manager; Colin Bage, CDDFRS Deputy Chief Fire Officer; Tony Grufferty, Business Development Manager, and Barry Bartholomew of Britannia Fire.

Produced and distributed by TMS Media.

Rachel Moore – rachel@tmsmedia.co.uk, 01493 662929