Chemical suits tested in Essex

STATE-of-the-art suits designed for use in the fallout of chemical, biological and nuclear incidents have been put through their paces in Essex. The trials took place at Ministry of Defence (MoD) Police headquarters in Wethersfield, near Braintree.

STATE-of-the-art suits designed for use in the fallout of chemical, biological and nuclear incidents have been put through their paces in Essex.

The trials took place at Ministry of Defence (MoD) Police headquarters in Wethersfield, near Braintree.

The suits and respirators tested can be used in chemical, biological and radiological nuclear (CBRN) incidents, whether terror related or industrial.

The equipment is described as the first “visible evidence” of CBRN defence within the MoD Police.


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A spokesman said: “In their role of protecting defence assets, our officers work within a unique environment as far as the CBRN threat is concerned.

“Whereas other agencies can act in response to CBRN incidents, our officers may be in a situation where the incident is unfolding around them.”

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The suits were tested in various conditions including a session at the firearms training wing with an occupational physician was on hand to monitor events.

To keep costs to a minimum and avoid problems with manufacturers and technical evaluation centres, only equipment already evaluated successfully by other agencies was tested.

Four possible options were considered - each with its own characteristics - and the trial focused mainly on compatibility with other existing equipment, especially firearms.

The different environments officers work in also had to be considered by the trials team, which had to take into account both the industrial CBRN threat, and that posed by the terrorist.

It is anticipated the trials will continue later this year and will look at a respirator which the police hope will be a “world beater” in its operational effectiveness and safety.

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