Back in 1985 when manager Len Ashurst (right) and Speeding’s director Joe Hammal were pictured with a new flag which was made just a few hundred yards from Sunderland AFC’s old ground Roker Park at the Monkwearmouth factory of sail and flag makers, Speeding’s. Sunderland AFC had got to the Football League Cup Final and Speeding’s won the contract to manufacture the official club flag for use on the day.
How Speedings is helping emergency services during this time?
When Coronavirus hit the UK we decided to help the national emergency by making gowns for the NHS. This was a major part of the PPE required urgently, and we were keen to help wherever we could. This left us with only skeleton staff on our Emergency Service work, but they all understood and approved of our choice. As time has gone on however we have brought in more staff and are now able to get back to producing the goods required by the emergency Services, as well as the NHS gowns. We are beginning to catch up and are looking to provide our normal service going forward, as well continue to make the gowns to help the NHS.
What is Speedings doing to protect staff & customers during this time?
We are not currently letting anyone who doesn’t work in the factory on site, for the staff and customer protection. We have screened off with clear PVC all the sewing machines and issued extra guidance and PPE to all employees.
Changes to working hours or availability?
We are staggering start, breaks and finish times as per Government guidance. We are however back up to full speed and actually have about 10 more employees than before lockdown.
Changes to manufacturing/delivery times?
Due to a big part of our production now dedicated to making NHS gowns our ordinary goods are taking longer than normal, about 6 to 8 weeks.
Speedings Ltd were asked by several Fire Services to produce a product which would stop the danger caused by airbags deploying in vehicles after the incident happened i.e. when rescuers are trying to aid the casualty.
We decided that the material needed to be strong, but also have elasticity. We therefore decided that a knitted construction would best suit the requirements.
The material we eventually chose offered lots of advantages which were mainly:
- Used in the production of Police riot gear and fencing suits
- Extremely high resistance to bursting
- High protection against sharp objects
- Good elasticity to allow stretching
To complement the excellent quality material we also sourced:
- Kevlar thread, which offers maximum strength stitching
- Superior quality 25mm cam buckles giving excellent grip
- 25mm top-quality webbing for repeated use
- Welded square Dees giving the final strength to the cover
Together with representatives from Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade, Speedings designed its own version of an Airbag restraint. The attention to detail demanded at Speedings is obvious in the stitching, which has been designed for maximum strength to allow reuse of the Airbag Protection System (if used in anger return to Speedings Limited for an expert evaluation).
During trials the key findings were:
- It took an average of 12.5 seconds to fit the Airbag Protection System
- The fabric expanded on explosion, but the webbing did not, containing the airbag easily
- Each Airbag Protection System used withstood several explosions and were still useable
The system either comes in its own hook and loop bag, or if purchased along with the RTA Sharp End Protectors we will attach a pocket inside the valise lid reducing the overall space required.
Speedings Limited has recently won a tender to supply over 300 Incident Command Surcoat sets to Clare County Fire & Rescue against stiff competition.
Established in 1827 and one of the oldest manufacturing companies in the City of Sunderland, Speedings Limited supplies high quality, often bespoke equipment to over 90% of the UK fire services. Specialising in PPE and innovative product design has recently seen them succeed in securing a tender for Clare County Fire & Rescue. The tender originated via Clare County Council who was the contracting authority on behalf of the Department of the Environment Heritage and the local Irish Government.
The Incident Commander Surcoat sets include a reversible Incident Commander/Sector Commander Surcoat, a Safety Officer Surcoat, a Command Support Surcoat and an Operations Commander Surcoat. The sets come in an easy to carry PVC bag which includes 3 extra badges: water officer, decontamination officer, and foam officer.
This innovative total solution was created to accommodate the varied types of incidents that fire fighters now have to attend, where often the extent and exact circumstances surrounding the incident might be unknown until arrival at the scene. The set instantly allows the fire officer to be identified at almost any fire incident, in addition to offering long term cost effectiveness due to the multi-utility of the set.
Each Surcoat is kitted out with Reflexite’s retro-reflective material, ensuring maximum visibility as well as conforming to the required European standards. Rob Hammal, Director at Speedings comments “We worked alongside Reflexite on this project and our decision to use their retro-reflective material guarantees the very best and brightest in performance and identification, maintaining the extremely high standard of quality and safety of the sets. When tendering, we wanted to provide the highest quality PPE solution as possible, with ease of use being an important factor.” The sets are CE approved (EN471 and EN531) for fire resistance and can be made for any fire service.
Company profile Reflexite:
It took more than the invention of micro-prismatic retro-reflective technology to make Reflexite a global market leader. Sustained development over the years and a performance driven mission to provide solutions for high visibility under any conditions. This is how Reflexite became the industry reference.
Other brands have attempted – in vain – to reproduce Reflexite’s technology. But other companies simply cannot match Reflexite’s devotion to its customers and to the quality of its technology. The company’s vision of success sets a standard with its long term commitment to saving lives.
Reflexite is especially dedicated to protecting those people who risk their lives every day – driving ambulances, controlling road traffic, ensuring user safety in all areas of activity from the maritime industry to the leisure industry, because their safety depends on their visibility. That’s the bright idea Reflexite stays focused on. Rain or shine, day and night.
Reflexite UK Limited
Tel: +44 1865 396 959
Reflexite ® is a registered trademark of Reflexite Corporation, Avon CT, USA.
A recent addition to our product range is the Bariatric Rescue Kit, developed alongside Gary Wilson. Due to the increasing demand for the Fire Service to assist the Ambulance Service in transporting Bariatric patients, the need for equipment to aid in this procedure soon became apparent.
The Bariatric Rescue Kit is intended for use on casualties of all sizes from the large to the very heavy and large (Bariatric) casualty, that require rescue from unusual positions or areas of restricted space, where there is no alternative to manual handling.
The kit is a professional and methodical solution to dealing with this type of incident and puts in place a Safe System of Work that reduces the risk of physical injury to personnel. The Bariatric Rescue Kit is designed to allow as many personnel as the situation dictates, to share the weight of the casualty or where possible only enough weight to allow the casualty to be slid to safety.
The Bariatric Rescue Kit comprises of two rescue slings, one small rescue sheet, one large rescue sheet and a heavy duty storage bag. The kit is manufactured from top quality canvas in its natural uncoloured state, heavy duty PVC and 40mm webbing straps, with a safe working load in excess of 1000 kg. All the materials used in its construction have a safe fire rating which allow for the kit to be used in fire rescue situation.
A collection of stock footage has been uploaded onto youtube showing the RTC Airbag tests on a VW Golf, a Ford Fiesta and an Escort.
More information available: http://www.youtube.com/user/speedingsltd