Since the appointment of Pac Fire Australia (PFA) as Bristol's distributor for Australia in 2008, the impact on both the interest in British firefighter PPE, and the level of specification of British made products, has been substantial. Bristol's ability to adapt to Australian design requirements has been extremely important in winning new business. After forming a close working relationship early on, a number of high profile supply contracts for Bristol's products have been secured by PFA across the continent. Australia has its own standards for firefighter PPE, which it shares with New Zealand. This is AS/NZS 4967:2009 and is the standard to which all Bristol's PPE is manufactured for the Australian market.
Less than 18 months after the two companies started working as a team across Australia, PFA had won a major supply contract for Air Services Australia ARFF and was taking delivery of the first consignment of 1400 sets of PPE Ergotech Action2™ to equip firefighters at 21 of Australia's busiest airports at the start of a commercial relationship which has gone from strength to strength. The style comprises an outer fabric of PBI™ Gold combined with a Goretex Airlock® moisture barrier and Nomex™ Viscose inner liner.
PFA is a major Australian supplier of PPE with branches located in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. The company handles the distribution of major international brands which include Pacific Helmets, Goliath fire boots, ESKA fire gloves and Stanfield fire hoods. The tie-up with Bristol was the essential link in their supply chain, enabling them to offer an internationally recognised, class leading range of quality fire garments. PFA became a one stop shop with Bristol supplying an integrated range of head to toe quality PPE. Other products in their range include ISG thermal imaging cameras, OSW fire hoses and Iconos fittings.
Following their success with Air Services Australia, the Bristol and Pac Fire Australia collaboration has resulted in significant increases in the volume of business being won. Amongst recent successes has been a major contract for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This involves the supply of an initial quantity of 1200 sets of Bristol's Ergotech Action2™ fire coats and trousers for the Army, Air Force and Navy. Using an outershell and thermal liner from Australian manufacturer the Bruck Group, the outershell uses their Melba Fortress® 3G fabric. The Goretex Fireblocker® moisture barrier is then combined with a thermal liner of Melba Insul-tex ProPlus quilted to Dupont™ Sontara®
Other major contracts have been secured with Dominion Gold, Shell Refinery, BP Refinery, Boyne Smelters, BAE Systems, Rail Corp, Alcoa Australia and Amcor.
Commenting on the success of the first 4 years of the partnership, Keith Ward, PAC Fire Australia's managing director observed, "Our relationship with Bristol Uniforms has been a very positive move for both companies and it has established Bristol in the Australian market. PFA has always dealt with quality suppliers and Bristol is noted for exceptional quality and value for money. PFA has won many contracts and orders due to the quality of Bristol gear and their excellent designs and features. The technical support, standards certification and back up of their internal and international sales team is of immense importance for a market located so far from the UK".
Bristol's joint MD, Roger Startin, added, "Our relationship with PFA has become an increasingly rewarding one in which the complementary knowledge and experience of our two companies has proved to be a winning formula in a market clearly receptive to the entry of a leading international brand. There can be little doubt that Bristol's presence as a major supplier of firefighter PPE to around half the UK's airports, as well as many European international sites, together with our experience in kitting out military firefighters, through the UK's ICP for the MOD, and other nations' armies and navies has influenced our combined ability to win the confidence of some of Australia's leading public sector users and industrial multinationals. PFA's reputation across Australia has not only opened up new business opportunities for us but has been a key component in underpinning our growing success in the country".
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