The new Police Protection Pack from BCB International of Cardiff is intended primarily for blue light services personnel at risk from COVID-19 / Coronavirus, writes Bob Morrison.
BCB alerted us to the existence of this handy belt kit a couple of weeks ago, when we broke the story that their West Wales FireDragon fuel plant was now producing hand sanitisers, and they promised us that once they fulfilled some urgent orders for these personal protection packs they would get one in the post to us for review.
In line with current UK Government Advice, even though as a registered news-gatherer I have a valid reason to travel for work, I am doing my bit and only venturing outdoors once every 72-96 hours for essential purposes. My regular parcels courier, who is cheerily working long hours delivering to individuals and small businesses relying on the ‘white van man’ network, dropped off my package from Cardiff late Wednesday afternoon and after photographing it yesterday I slipped the pouch onto my belt for my first trip outdoors since Monday morning, for essential foodstuffs and business banking. As social distancing measures were in force on my High Street, which is just a short stroll away, and as the shop and bank staff I dealt with were working behind screens, I did not need to make use of a face mask but I did don a pair of gloves before picking up a shopping basket and on leaving both premises I paused for a moment to use the hand sanitiser (after taking off the gloves outside the shop, of course).
Although designed specifically for frontline responders, and indeed I understand the kit has already been well received by two UK Police Forces, this compact nylon belt pouch is suitable for any personnel who who put themselves at risk on a regular basis. As well as a 50ml dispenser bottle of BCB’s own make Dr Brown’s Hand Sanitiser, which fits in its own fast access external side pouch, the pack contains*: two 3-ply Face Masks; six disposable gloves; six sterile wipes; a COVID-19 instruction sheet; and a BCB First Aid Guide. The contents, which should be regularly topped up from bulk stocks, easily fit inside the double-zipped, water-resistant nylon pouch, measuring170x155 x51mm and weighing under 200g when full, which in addition to the external sanitiser pocket also has an internal pocket with a clear face for quick inspection.
* Update: BCB tell us, in response to specific police force requests and based on user feedback, pack contents are being increased to 10 gloves, 6 masks and 10 sterile wipes.
For those who have not read our previous article on Dr. Brown’s Hand Sanitiser, this thick gel developed from the FireDragon fuel manufacturing process as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic contains more that 80% fast-evaporating alcohol and kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria. It has been evaluated by independent test laboratories to ensure it meets the maker’s claims in respect of Coronavirus and it passed these tests with flying colours.
It is perhaps worth pointing out that my sample pouch is one of the early examples with an elasticated top to the outer sanitiser pouch, but the very latest version (the one in the images with the BCB shield on the front face) now has a quick release retention cord instead to make removal and one-handed replacement much easier.
Note: To meet current demand BCB’s Cardiff Head Office is operating twelve hours a day, and the West Wales production facility is operational round the clock, so until bulk orders are fulfilled and some spare capacity is generated these Protection Packs will not generally be available for individual purchase therefore please don’t swamp their switchboard and keep the lines open for first responders and critical care staff as they get us through this crisis.
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[images © Bob Morrison or BCB International]