Tag Archives: British Army

SSAIB praises registered firm PLP Fire Protection for playing vital role at NHS Nightingale Hospital

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been full of praise for one of its registered firms, namely PLP Fire Protection, which has been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital has been established to treat up to 4,000 Coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform ExCeL (which was due to host IFSEC International and FIREX International next month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule) into a working hospital in just nine days.

BAFE SP203-registered PLP Fire Protection has worked diligently with 160-plus other contractors – as well as 200 British Army engineers – to complete the astonishing transformation.

Company director Rob Beeching has revealed just how hard the work has been for him and the various members of his team, whom he has nothing but praise for in what had been a tough week for them all. Replying to an email from Fire Industry Association CEO Ian Moore, Beeching stated: “Quite honestly, this week has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to make sure the initial 500-bed section was installed and signed off. The effort from my team and the sub-contractors has been incredible. I’m so proud of them all.”

Beeching added: “We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough, both physically and mentally. I have been arriving back home at midnight most days this week. Then I just feel like breaking down. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

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Intensive care scenario

With the initial 500 beds in place, the NHS Nightingale Hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to make sure the space is sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Beeching insisted that he would not force his committed team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus.

On that note, Beeching observed: “We were told by a representative from the World Health Organisation that, once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe. I wasn’t going to force any of my guys to carry on working if they didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangements but, when I asked for a show of hands in terms of who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands. They’re all in this until the end and feel they cannot leave the site until the job is completed.”

In conclusion, Beeching said: “Even our suppliers have been personally delivering the equipment that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been amazing.”

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael informed Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital and I have to commend the company for its dedicated effort during this difficult time.”

Carmichael continued: “On behalf of everyone here at the SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way and as they continue to assist with the creation of more beds at the facility. I hope they all remain safe while completing this vital work.”

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Rosehill Security targets Middle East and North Africa with Westminster International Ltd strategic partnership

Rosehill Security, the manufacturer of perimeter security solutions, has announced an agreement with Westminster International Ltd to distribute its range of hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers and perimeter security products across the Middle East and North African region.

Westminster International Ltd has added Rosehill Security’s range of perimeter security solutions to its product portfolio, focused especially on Rosehill’s Impakt and Rapid Defender to help protect crowded public spaces and entertainment, sporting and political venues in light of the growing threat of vehicle borne attacks worldwide.

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For its part, Westminster International Ltd is a broadly based British security and defence organisation that operates worldwide in 50 countries through an international network of agents and regional offices providing solutions to almost any fire, safety, security and defence requirement. Its extensive range covers all forms of anti-terrorism, risk reduction, defence and homeland security that includes facilities and utilities security products, police equipment and access control.

Chairman Sir Tony Baldry said: “For 20 years, everyone at Westminster International Ltd has been passionate about offering the best solutions to solve the world’s security issues, so Rosehill Security’s perimeter security products are an excellent addition to our product range. Above all else, if it means that we can protect more people from Vehicle-as-a-Weapon attacks on a larger scale across the Middle East and Northern Africa region, then this agreement will prove to be invaluable.”

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Dalton Marshall of Rosehill Security

Rapid and Impakt Defenders: the fine detail

Manufactured from 100% recycled rubber and bonded with polyurethane for strength, Rosehill Security’s robust Rapid and Impakt Defenders require no foundations and can be installed almost anywhere, removed and re-used as required.

Made up of units weighing 49 kg each, the Rapid Defender temporary vehicle security barrier has been specifically designed to be manually installed in minutes to protect people at events from Vehicle-as-a-Weapon attacks. Requiring no special tools or lifting equipment, a four-man team can manually install a 15 m barrier in under five minutes.

The much larger, IWA 14-rated Impakt Defender has been designed for temporary, semi-permanent and permanent applications, providing the flexibility to protect both entrance areas and site perimeters against hostile vehicle attack. Each 430 kg solid rubber unit is connected by steel securing cables or rods to create a barrier capable of stopping heavy vehicles travelling at 48 kph.

Engineered using the same manufacturing process, Rosehill Security’s interlocking, T-shape Ballistic Blocks are used to construct temporary or permanent sangars and customised, heavy-duty perimeter structures, providing ballistic protection to BS EN 1522/23. These structures can be combined with the Rapid and Impakt Defenders to create an holistic solution as part of a wider HVM strategy.

Effective perimeter security

Dalton Marshall, sales manager at Rosehill Security, said: “Since our launch, we’ve worked tirelessly to design and manufacture an innovative and effective range of HVM and perimeter security solutions to meet the evolving needs of our clients worldwide. The speed and ease with which our products can be deployed makes them an ideal addition to Westminster International Ltd’s offering, so we’are delighted to partner with them and provide their clients access to our proven product range.”

Westminster International Ltd is part of the Westminster Group that includes Longmoor Security, whose operators have served with the British Army’s Royal Military Police, UK Special Forces and the police service and have protected high-profile international personalities as well as organisations including the BBC.

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Institute of Risk Management pledges commitment to Armed Forces community by signing Armed Forces Covenant

Senior members of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) recently gathered at a co-signing ceremony for the Armed Force’s Covenant at Horseguards Parade in London. The signing was between the IRM and the Greater London Reserve Force’s and Cadet’s Association (GLRFCA).

Guests included IRM Board members. There were also representatives present from the Kent Army Cadet Force including Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dean OBE, Deputy Commandant Major Richard Phillips and Regimental Sergeant Major Pete Barnes. SO1 Lieutenant Colonel David Utting (head of engagement for the British Army) was also present and gave a brief message on partnering with defence.

The signing between the IRM and GLRFCA signifies an ongoing commitment to service leavers and personnel as laid out in the pledge.

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Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM (left), chairman of the IRM, and SO1 Lieutenant Colonel David Utting (head of engagement for the British Army)

Socrates Coudounaris CFIRM, chairman of the IRM, said: “It was a great privilege to be here today to co-sign the Armed Forces Covenant. It’s vitally important that the Armed Forces and businesses are mutually engaged. This signifies a wider pledge by the IRM to increase the risk management profession’s visibility to ex-military personnel. We provide accessible and relevant training and qualifications that will help ex-Armed Forces personnel in making the transition to the business world.”

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Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dean OBE and Captain Vicky Robinson (country PR for the Kent Army Cadet Force and head of marketing and communications at the IRM)

Coudounaris added: “Many of the skills learned by services personnel naturally cross over into the world of risk management and we’re keen to ensure these skills are recognised and that we can help support individuals’ lifelong learning and career transition where possible.”

Drew Jeacock, head of engagement for the GLRFCA, stated: “The Government is committed to supporting the Armed Forces community by working with a range of partners who’ve signed the Armed Forces Covenant. It’s a national responsibility involving Government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public. Demonstrating commitment to the Armed Forces family is a significant gesture and I hope that the IRM will embrace the intent and values that we hold close to our core. We value the IRM’s support.”

*The IRM supports Captain Victoria Robinson, the organisation’s head of marketing and communications, who’s also the county PR officer for the Kent Army Cadet Force, with leave for annual camp and other cadet-related activities

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Alex Younger appointed as next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service

With the agreement of Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has announced that Alex Younger is appointed as successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. Younger will take up the appointment in November.

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), often known as MI6, collects Britain’s foreign intelligence. The Service is based at Vauxhall Cross in London and provides Her Majesty’s Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

Philip Hammond stated: “I’m pleased to announce that Alex Younger has been appointed as the next Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. The work of MI6 is world class and its operation vital to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. Alex brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role, including his work in Afghanistan and helping keep the country safe during the London 2012 Olympics.”

Hammond added: “I’d also like to thank Sir John Sawers for his strong leadership and personal commitment to a modernising agenda. I wish him well for the future.”

Alex Younger: the next Chief of MI6

Alex Younger: the next Chief of MI6

Commenting on his appointment, Alex Younger said: “I’m delighted and honoured to become Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and lead one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Our dedicated staff work tirelessly against an array of threats that this country faces. They do so in close partnership with both MI5 and GCHQ with whom I’m looking forward to co-operating very closely.”

Younger also commented: “I would like to pay tribute to John Sawers for his lifetime’s dedication to the country and particularly to his time as Chief of MI6. He brought us into a new era, and I’m determined to build on this and bring my ideas for a modern Service to life.”

In response, Sir John Sawers said: “I’m delighted that my colleague and friend is taking over from me. He has played a vital part alongside me in modernising the SIS and ensuring that the Service is in the best possible shape to play its part in defending the country’s security and our values.”

Alex Younger: the Curriculum Vitae

Alex Younger is a career SIS officer and has been in the Service since 1991.

For the last two years he has been overseeing the Service’s intelligence operations worldwide. Younger has held overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior SIS officer in Afghanistan.

He has filled a variety of operational roles in London, including leading the Service’s work on counter-terrorism in the three years running up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Before joining the Service, Younger – an economics graduate – served as an officer in the British Army.

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