Friday, December 21, 2012
Fire chiefs are spending £130,000 after staff voted for a “new look” – which includes the same coloured tops and trousers.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue is rolling out the uniforms to around 900 people, including front-line firefighters.
The service was previously spending an average of £80,000 a year, but a new deal is expected to cost £65,000 a year for the next two years.
The old uniform included a polo shirt, navy blue jumper, black trousers and smart black shoes.
The new dresscode includes a navy blue shirt, red T-shirt, black trousers and smart black shoes.
Roy Harold, assistant chief fire officer for Norfolk, said: “Fabric costs have gone up substantially in the last few years and we risked price hikes of up to 30pc if we stayed in the open market.
“The integrated clothing project (ICP) contract gives us a higher degree of certainty over future costs and is designed specifically to save money for fire services.”
The service says the new uniform will last a minimum of 18 months and is only replaced on a “needs-must” basis.
Prices under the new contract, which is part of a national fire service arrangement, will increase in line with inflation.
The figure used is taken from the retail prices index, which records how costs of goods and services compare with the same month a year earlier.
There was a 3pc increase for October.
Pete Greaves, Norfolk Fire Brigades Union chairman, said: “I think the uniform is the last thing on our list of worries. There are no complaints. It looks smart, very functional and if it’s costing less then it’s good from our point of view.”
Nigel Dixon, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for community protection, said: “I am sure, like all change, the new look will take people a little time to get used to, but the combination has been chosen by our staff and I am sure we will soon all get used to it.”