Fire crews battling moorland blazes in Lancashire and Manchester have received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from 3M.
The science-based technology company gave a total of 150 reusable respirators and 200 flame-retardant bump caps to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) on Wednesday (11 July).
The respirator models were the ultra-comfortable Reusable Half Masks 7500 Series by 3M with Particulate Filters 6038 by 3M.
The bumpcaps, which protect wearers’ heads against not only bumps but also ultraviolet rays from the sun, were the Flame Retardant HC23 bump protection caps by 3M. These were added to 3M’s extensive portfolio of innovative PPE solutions when the company acquired premium manufacturer Scott Safety in 2017.
Karis Higson, segment marketing executive for the 3M Personal Safety division, said: “The brave men and women of these two fire and rescue services are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect local residents in this difficult situation, as they do every day.
“At 3M, we are committed to providing first-class protection against a wide range of workplace hazards, including those faced by emergency services workers, so we wanted to help in any way possible.”
Following a weeks-long heatwave across the UK, up to 200 firefighters are currently tackling wildfires in northern England at any one time.
In Lancashire, crews have been tackling two major blazes. The first was the Haslingden A56 grass fire, which started on 5 July and reportedly may have been caused by a discarded cigarette. More than 40 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the fire.
The second was at Winter Hill, near Bolton, where an exclusion zone was created, covering three square miles from Pigeon Tower, Rivington, to Wilton Quarries, near Bolton.
Neil Taylor, service training manager at LFRS, said: “Since the moorland fires broke we have been overwhelmed by the generosity shown by businesses and public, who have gone above and beyond to donate items to us in order for us to focus our efforts solely on tackling the fire.
“The donation of masks from 3M has provided us with a reserve of resources should they be required by the many crews working on the moors and the additional feature of sun protection will be a further benefit for our crews. We would like to thank 3M for their generosity.”
Meanwhile, in Manchester, hundreds of firefighters have been tackling a huge moor fire that broke out near Stalybridge on 24 June and has since spread to nearby Saddleworth Moor. The fire, which is reportedly being treated as arson, covered an area of seven square miles at its peak.
A spokesperson for GMFRS said: “We have been overwhelmed by all the donations we have received over the past three weeks as our firefighters have fought to tackle two major moorland fires in extremely challenging conditions.
“These have been unprecedented circumstances for GMFRS and we are really grateful for all the support.”