10 Key Facts To Consider When Buying Bullet Resistant Vests

10 important facst about bullet resistant vests - robert kaiser 2

  1. Bullet ‘proof’ doesn’t exist!

Your body armour will not protect you from all ballistic threats. It is a fabric based garment, not a magical indestructible barrier. Yes, body armour can be an outstanding fabric garment, but no body armour is ‘bulletproof’ but only ‘bullet resistant’ and we are very keen to make this clear every time we engage with customers. Every body armour can be defeated by a round, subject to the weight, its velocity, speed or calibre, or the angle the shot is being fired.

  1. Your bullet resistant vests should stop the rounds fired by your own firearm!

Different government and security agencies wear different body armour and choose different protection levels. It’s hard for you or your agency to anticipate what handgun and round represents the most realistic threat, but there’s one threat you can anticipate: Your own sidearm.

A shocking number of law enforcement and security professionals are shot with their own weapons after their gun has been grabbed or accidentally discharged, or they got hit by a round fired by their own colleagues during a ‘chaotic’ fire exchange, so your body armour should be able to defeat the rounds used by yourself and the other officers in your agency.

  1. Unless your body armour is certified to a stab resistance standard your body armour is not likely to protect you from a knife attack!

Stab resistant vests are a totally different type of body armour than bullet resistant vests.  Every bullet resistant vest will offer some level of stab protection, but in many cases to a very minimal level.  On the other side, no stab resistant vest will offer any ballistic protection!

From the manufacturing point there is a massive difference between both threats and the technology used to protect from either threat is a different too.

If there is an identifiable and realistic operational ballistic and edged weapon threat than I do suggest to issue ‘Dual Purpose Vests’ or ‘Multi-Threat Vests’.  They are of course available, but they are thicker, heavier and in most cases more expensive.

  1. Throw away your body armour after you have been shot!

The following is of equal importance to both bullet resistant vests and stab resistant vests… when being hit throw the body armour away.

We can compare it to a motorbike helmet.  When you have an accident you really should get rid of your helmet, regardless if you can see a visible crack or not.  There might be a structural damage to the helmet, invisible to the human eye. The level of protection is now ‘unknown.

In regards to body armour this is just the same.  Only because a ‘bullet’ didn’t penetrate the body armour, the body armour might have had to work to the very best of its ability to stop that round and the internal damage the round has done to the protective layers might prevent it from offering the same level of protection in the future… do not take such risk if avoidable!

  1. Never wash your ballistic panels/inserts!

The best way to clean your ballistic panels is with a damp sponge and maybe some gentle soap. Don’t throw them in the washing machine, don’t use bleach, don’t put them in the dryer and don’t iron them.

  1. Kevlar® is really not the only ballistic material!

The first viable bullet resistant material was Kevlar® made by DuPont, in fact for a long time people called bullet resistant vests, ‘Kevlar Vests’.  Well, today Kevlar® might still be a reasonably popular bullet resistant material, but there are really several other high performance ballistic materials on the market, and many body armour manufacturers even use ‘systems’ that incorporate more than one single material in the same vest.

Currently, the most popular ballistic materials for body  armour are Kevlar®, Twaron®, Goldflex®, Spectra Shield® and of course Dyneema®.  Some of these belong to the family of aramid fibres and some to the family of polyethylene fibres… each offering unique advantages.

  1. There’s only one right way!

Ballistic panels are designed to fit into your carrier in a very specific way. For example getting it wrong after the washing of the outer cover and re-inserting the ballistic panel incorrectly can lead to the loss of life!

The strike face of the ballistic panel is designed to slow the bullet and disperse the bullet’s energy whereby the back of the panel is responsible to minimise the level of blunt force trauma.

  1. Treat your body armour with care

Ballistic panels are made of many layers of bullet resistant materials. If they get bent out of shape, they simply cannot be ironed or straightened out again that easily. Also if you smash a sweaty vest into the bottom of your locker, it will dry in that shape.

If at all possible lay your body armour flat down in a dry environment e.g. office. A second option is to hang it up on a simple coat hanger, but don’t just throw it in the corner where people stamp on it etc. Remember your level of care can have an impact on the performance it will offer when you need it the most.

  1. What does it feel like to get shot in your body armour?

First of all there are numerous cases of officers who have been shot in their body armour, all of which will end up with a nasty-looking bruise caused by blunt force trauma. But it is unlikely that it will even incapacitate you. Many officers shot in their armour have been able to shot back at their attacker, and in many cases they have been able to neutralise the threat.

So what does it feel like to get shot by a 9mm or .44Mag round?  Many would think it will feel like being hit by a hammer.  Well, that’s not true at all. It rather is an extremely sharp and stingy and very pointed pain, which will most likely wind you for a couple of seconds. Due to the kinetic energy and deformation of the ‘bullet’ within a fraction of a second the heat will also potentially leave a small burn mark on your skin at the pint of impact.

If you have suffered from such assault you must seek immediate medical help and get checked out in case of any internal bleeding suffered due to rupture of any organs.

  1. What is the latest international standard for body armour?

Many countries e.g. Germany and the UK have their own ‘body armour standard’. The one that is more or less accepted around the world is the ‘Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour NIJ Standard 0101.06’.

NIJ Standard 0101.06 establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armour intended to protect against gunfire. This minimum performance standard is a revision of NIJ Standard 0101.04. It is a technical document that specifies the minimum performance requirements that equipment must meet to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice agencies around the world.

The highest possible level of ballistic protection possible for soft body armour is Level IIIA. Higher levels of protection from rifle ammo is only possible with aid of additional ballistic plates.

Any questions or concerns in reference to body armour… or any support we can offer… please make contact with me and my team: info@ppss-group.com or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Stay safe

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests, bullet resistant vests, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Highlights Of A Truly Informative Police Body Armor Survey

Police officers watch a SWAT team member put on body armour

According to a statement by the American National Institute of Justice, more than 3,000 police officers’ lives have been saved by body armor since the mid seventies when they began testing and developing body armour and performance standards for ballistic and stab resistance. Please view here.

Taking above into consideration, will you agree with me when I say that the cost of body armour just doesn’t seem that high anymore?

In 2009 the American Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) released the very valuable and informative findings of its National Body Armour Survey.

The responses received from nearly 80% of the 990 randomly selected law enforcement agencies throughout the United States provide a detailed insight into their practices, policies, and standards regarding body armour for their officers.

A rather interesting find was that 59% of agencies required their officers to wear bullet resistant armour or stab resistant armour, but only 45% had a written policy in place enforcing this requirement.  This is certainly not an ideal result.  We are all human beings, hence we don’t want to carry additional weight, feel less nimble and sweat more than necessary during a hot summer’s day, so some officers are of course bound to end up not wearing the armour.  Having said this… ultra-light high performance bullet resistant armour, especially developed for hot and humid environments have recently been made available.

There is also the risk of police officer deciding not to wear body armor due to what they incorrectly might perceive will be a low risk activity or operation, unable to anticipate unforeseen circumstances, which would certainly require such equipment.

Police officers wearing bullet resistant armour arresting and escorting a wanted fugitive

41.4% of law enforcement agencies in the US use body armour rated at NIJ Level II and 35.0% use NIJ Level IIIA, which means most agencies use body armour which protect officers against at least 9mm rounds and .40 calibre bullets, as well as .44Mag and .45Mag, but not against rifle fire or armour-piercing bullets.  I believe this to be perfectly right, as any body armour offering a higher level of ballistic protection would result in being heavy, cumbersome and restrictive.

For those of you who don’t mind some more technical information… a NIJ Level IIIA tested and certified concealable bullet proof vest will guarantee you protection against 9 mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) rounds from close range, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets, with nominal masses of 15.6 g (240 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s). It also provides protection against all handgun threats a body armour tested and certified to NIJ Level IIA and II will offer.

However, I must suggest a higher level of ballistic protection (NIJ Level III or IV) for those operators dealing with counter terrorism and similar high risk operations.

PPSS High Performance Concealable Bullet Resistant Armour (Model CV1)

Police agencies were also asked to rate the importance of factors considered when purchasing body armour.  The most important factors that police officers consider are whether the body armour will protect against rounds from the weapon of the officer, the safety level of the armour, and compliance with NIJ 0101.04 or NIJ 0101.06 standards. Other key factors are comfort and weight, and officers’ ability to move easily while wearing the armour.  I am pleased to see that safety and comfort exceed all other factors.

87.9% of all surveyed agencies specified that officers are individually measured by their body armour manufacturer in order to establish the perfect fit. 74.0% had been taken measurements by internal agency representatives.  The correct fitting of armour is crucial given that officers shot in the torso area can have bullets enter under their armor or through the side panels. Fitting therefore has the potential to be a largely overlooked factor in whether officers involved in shootings are injured or even killed while wearing body armor.

One particular result I was rather shocked by was the fact that the 78.4% of police agencies surveyed do not have a database or automated record system for a body armor replacement schedule.  Almost 23% of agencies have no policy at all concerning replacement of body armor, completely ignoring the shelf life of any body armor, which is subject to the type of storage, personal care, exposure to UV light and moisture and many other influencing factors.  A standard policy to replace all body armour after five years has now been put in place within many police forces around the world, and I very much welcome this move.

Coming to the end of my blog… let me make it clear… bullet resistant armour can effectively help protect our law enforcement and police officers.  If you have a couple of more minutes, please read the following brief articles highlighting some real life stories:

There is no doubt, providing body armour to all law enforcement officers would provide enough benefit to justify the cost, according to a ground-breaking research project carried out by RAND Corporation study, conducted in 2010.

Analysing police officer shootings over a four-year period, the study found that wearing body armour more than tripled the likelihood that an officer would survive a shooting to the torso and estimated that providing such equipment to all officers would save at least eight lives annually!

Have you any questions in reference to bullet resistant armour or stab resistant armour?

If so, please call my team at PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Take good care of yourself.

Posted in ballistic vests, Body Armour, bullet proof vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PotentWear Defense Technology – Our New Licensed Distributor in China

PotentWear logo (8)Following almost a year of great in-depth business discussions and a ‘get to know each other’ phase, and following a truly superb meeting in Beijing in October 2015 we are now ‘over the moon’ to announce that PotentWear is our new licensed distribution partner in China:  www.potentwear.cn

Please note the website is still in the process of being updated… but I am most certain it will become a really superb representation of what my firm PPSS Group is all about.

PotentWear is located in Shenzhen, the first special economic zone with the Reform and Opening-up policy in China, and is only across a strip of water from Hong Kong.

PotentWear is a newly set up firm owned by widely respected businessman Bourne ZHAO (a true gentleman who shares my love for Shun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and other Chinese War Philosophers), specifically set up to promote and distribute our high performance slash resistant clothing and stab resistant vests in all civil, military, police, medical and public security fields.

As a developing country, China is in a period with serious keen-edged social conflicts, and there are frequent occurrences of personal injury cases, causing serious harm to many innocent people such as police officers, paramedics, teachers and nurses. Most of the injury cases are caused by knives, as firearms are very strictly controlled in China.

The bullet resistant vest technology is comparatively developed, however there is no effective slash resistant clothing or high performance cut resistant fabrics, such as Cut-Tex® PRO production technology yet. In the face of huge market needs, the founder of the company proactively searched for technology support all over the world and finally found Cut-Tex® PRO.

PotentWear will endeavour to stimulate the population of slash resistant clothing and philosophy in China with the superb technology support from PPSS Group, and both parties expect a bright future of PPSS Group brand and products in China.

My personal experience with both CEO Bourne ZHAO and his kind colleague Jenny XIA is in simple terms ‘fantastic’.  Having enjoyed some of the greatest food China has to offer whilst visiting Beijing  and meeting Jenny XIA on 14th October 2015 and having experienced their truly exceptional hospitality was an unforgettable personal and professional experience.

Meeting Jenny Xia and her PA on 14th October 2014 at beijing New World Hotel.

Meeting Jenny Xia and her PA on 14th October 2014 at beijing New World Hotel.

Meeting room display of our very first meeting at beijing's New World Hotel.

Meeting room display of our very first meeting at beijing’s New World Hotel.

The ease and level of communication and the friendly and respectful conduct is making this professional relationship ‘enjoyable’ and I am very much looking forward to the future.

All contact details for PotentWear are also available on our website:  click here

Be safe

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, Distributors, Slash Resistant Clothing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The World’s First Slash Resistant Combat Shirt

PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC ShirtToday, PPSS Group has officially launched “The World’s First Cut & Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt”, offering a truly outstanding level of cut protection to all key arteries remaining ‘unguarded’ even whilst wearing the most modern type of bullet resistant vests or stab resistant vests.

UBAC (Under Body Armour Combat) shirts are usually being manufactured using a range of specialist materials, including lightweight, moisture wicking and breathable fabric. UBAC shirts are usually worn alongside the very latest in body armour systems, assault clothing and webbing, providing an outstanding combination of protection, comfort and durability. UBAC shirts can feature several benefits e.g. adjustable cuffs, velcro straps, zipper necks, padded arms and more.

Our slash resistant UBAC shirt is different and offers truly exceptional cut protection around the entire arm area, side of torso, neck and throat area, protecting the following four key arteries from laceration, subsequent rapid blood loss… and potential subsequent death:

  1. The radial artery can be found in our wrists, which often is subject to cuts during self-defence, knife fights or whilst protecting our face (such wounds are defined as ‘defensive wounds’ and could become part of the evidence gathering when claiming ‘self-defence). It is also the most commonly cut artery during any ‘forced entry operation’.
  2. The brachial artery is located alongside your bicep. This is also a likely artery to be cut during a knife attack and defence.
  3. The carotid artery is maybe the best known artery and is located in your throat.  It is certainly the artery most featured in many typical Hollywood action blockbuster.  A cut through of the carotid artery would most likely result in death.
  4. The axillary artery is located under your arm pits, beginning at the lateral border of the first rib. Anyone sliding an edged weapon under your arm pits and pulling on that weapon is most likely going to injure or cut this artery. This would lead to rapid blood loss and potentially in death. To stop the bleeding in such case is exceptionally difficult and often impossible.

Cut Tex PRO cut resistant fabric - protective areas - high res

Please view our technical product specification sheet for further details:  click here

We have also produced a very simple and brief video highlighting its performance:

This newly designed cut and slash resistant UBAC shirt made by PPSS Group also feature two upper arm pockets (for small notepad and pens) with Velcro for rank patches, blood patches, insignia or other attachments, as well as thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place.

Here are three close-up images highlighting the exceptional manufacturing quality.

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - neck close up

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - thumb loop close up

100115 - PPSS Slash Resistant UBAC Shirt - pocket close up

This new slash resistant UBAC shirt will without any question help save the lives of many law enforcement, prison and private security officers all over the world… and that’s precisely what drives us… it is exactly what we are passionate about… it is the very essence of what PPSS Group as a company stands for.

Our mission statement is very precise: “Protecting Frontline Professionals from Human Threats”, and our newly designed slash resistant UBAC shirt will do exactly that!

If you are a homeland security professional wearing a body armour… you have either established a certain risk or you are at least aware of a certain risk.  I don’t believe this risk is limited to the torso only… I am sure the key arteries you can find in your arms and throat are exposed to just the same risk.

Recent attacks on Israeli police officers and military personnel have highlighted a real need for this new garment design, and injuries as per the following images, received during a force entry operation in a different country (not Israel), also highlight the risk of accidental injuries:

A typical cut injury, which could have been prevented if this person would be issued with the world's first slash resistant UBAC shirt.

A typical cut injury, which could have been prevented if this person would be issued with the world’s first slash resistant UBAC shirt.

The following statement following a forced entry operation on the 25th April 2013, was made by Williamson Police in West Virginia, USA, but is not related to above image: “Only one officer sustained injuries when authorities conducted a forced entry into a home. The officer accidentally cut himself while entering the home.”

I have access to countless of images featuring injuries sustained during an edged weapon attack, most of which are too graphic to highlight in my article, but the following gives us an indication what can happen when protected inadequately.

even when wearing a top quality body armour... this injury would have not been prevented because the neck/throat area will remain unprotected and exposed.  Our latest slash resistant UBAC shirt would successfully prevent such injury and reduce the risk of rapid blood loss and even death.

even when wearing a top quality body armour… this injury would have not been prevented because the neck/throat area will remain unprotected and exposed. Our latest slash resistant UBAC shirt would successfully prevent such injury and reduce the risk of rapid blood loss and even death.

We all need to accept that injuries sustained from a bladed attack (or due to an operational accident) can cause long term damage as well as just the physical injury. Slash and cut injuries can often lead to long lasting emotional scars, ongoing distress or in very serious cases even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This may lead to an extended period of loss of work or employment putting an extra financial strain on the victim as well as the required physical recovery time from the medical procedures.

Please also read my article: “Slash Resistant Clothing for Homeland Security Professionals” (click here) offering additional information, different product images, news snips and very graphic photographs of cut/slash injuries.

All of our slash resistant garments… including our new UBAC shirt offer the following levels of protection:

  • ISO 13997:1999 Blade Cut Resistance Level 5 – the highest possible
  • ASTM F-1790-05 Blade Cut Resistance Level 4
  • EN 388:2003 Blade Cut Resistance level 5 – the highest possible
  • EN 388:2003 Tear Resistance Level 4 – the highest possible
  • EN 388:2003 Abrasion Resistance Level 4 – the highest possible

Please note we are also more than happy to offer our Cut-Tex® PRO cut and slash resistant fabric to the manufacturer of your current uniforms or tactical gear or coveralls. This would enable them to incorporate this high performance material into your current uniform, especially vulnerable areas that really require such level of protection.  This would effectively help protect your colleagues from potentially horrendous cut injuries.

If you have any questions in regards to our slash resistant UBAC shirt, any other of cut/slash resistant garment models or our high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, then please feel free to comment on my article or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com

As always… stay safe!

Robert

Posted in Cut Resistant Clothing, Slash Resistant Clothing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stab Resistant Vests Critical For Hospital Security Professionals

Glasgow Hospital SecurityHospital Security Professionals are in urgent need for additional protection from hostile members of the public… that’s my strong genuine and professional opinion!

Maybe the ever so thorough media coverage of violent incidents within hospital environments have raised awareness of security risks and threats, and the potential need for stab resistant vests for those professionals who protect these facilities and everyone within.

Maybe it is the horrible acts of violence and aggression against physicians, nurses and security professionals by patients, their family members and friends that recently has caught our attention.

Whatever the case, the security of hospitals and the welfare of the people within is being assessed with greater concern and in more detail than ever before. Violence in hospitals is on the increase… and this is a fact established after reviewing information, statistics and data widely available.

Please have a look yourself and view the following very recent new snips, which all form part of my argument that hospital security professionals should be issued with stab resistant vests… and not to be used when and if needed… but to be issued as compulsory PPE.

I am not sure how many of you were able to watch the TV program on C5 on Thursday (26 November 2015) here in the UK, titled: “Violent hospital patients brawling at Queen Elizabeth Hospital” but it was truly astonishing to witness the type of assaults and abuse these guys have to face more or less every time they go to work.

But let me assure you the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is not an ‘one off’ case… a unique place of violence.  Aggression and abuse towards hospital staff is a regular occurrence in all hospitals here in the UK and worldwide. It is not Birmingham and it is not UK specific!

Additional NEWS from around the World:

A major survey in 2011 did clearly highlight the increase of violence within hospital environments in the U.S. and highlighted three very clear facts and figures:

  • 23 percent of hospitals reported an overall increase in attacks and assaults
  • 34 percent reported a rise in patient and family violence against emergency department staff
  • 29 percent reported an increase in patient and family violence against other staff

Despite the tough financial situation many hospitals are in, nearly half of the hospitals questioned in this survey said their security department’s budget increased due to the realistic risks and threats their staff are facing.

What can be done to combat this level of violence? The most common systems being implemented by hospitals are electronic access control, digital video surveillance,  body worn video solutions and the latest devices from the world of lone worker safety/management technology.

However, effective and regular conflict management and conflict resolution training, as well as better ‘zero violence policies’, communication and reporting procedures have also become a major part in every hospitals security team.

Many experts attribute the perceived increase in violence in hospitals to heightened stress faced by patients, family members and staff as increasing numbers of unemployed, uninsured and drug-using people seek care they can’t access elsewhere.  A major additional risk/threat comes from mentally ill patients and service users, as well as from those severely struggling with our language or expressing extremely different religious or cultural views.  These are factors which are out of the hands of a hospital employee or security officer.  Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how nice, caring and peaceful a hospital security professional within such facility is… the matter of fact is that the best camera and device in the world can’t reach out and stop a bad guy from hitting or stabbing you.  The best policy and the best training will neither stop a potential intoxicated or mentally ill person from overreacting and expressing his feelings with some sort of act of violence.

Given the potential for violence, hospital security professional increasingly are preparing for the worst.  Many hospitals have now rightly decided to review their risk assessments and concluded their security teams must be issued with overt stab resistant vests and or high visibility stab resistant vests in order to reduce workplace violent related injuries and improve the personal safety of their frontline staff.

ppss-high-visibility-stab-resistant-vests-6-638

ppss-overt-stab-resistant-vests-2-638

Stab resistant vests are a safety net… they are not making you invincible and neither are they a free pass for acting like James Bond or Rambo.  Nevertheless they are a safety net, just like a seat belt in your car.  You may never need it, but one day… and absolutely regardless of your driving skill and level of awareness and skill… it only takes another idiot to play on his phone, loose concentration, fall asleep, be drunk or something down these lines and crash into your car.  That’s the moment when you will be most grateful that you have been given this seat belt.

I personally know that stab resistant vests have saved many security professional’s lives in the past, we have plenty of reports and personal emails providing us with physical evidence… it really cannot be argued with.

PPSS Stab Resistant Vests are ultra-light and thin, and offer UK Home Office certified stab protection + unmatched protection from blunt force trauma (e.g. from kicks, punches or blows) + outstanding protection from hypodermic needles, a very realistic threat in today’s society.

Please view our rather interesting video product demonstration:

Please also read a kind ‘testimonial’ of Central Manchester Hospital: click here

For further information please contact PPSS Group on +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com

Posted in Body Armour, Stab Resistant Vests, Stab Vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gong Wei, PPSS Licensed Distributor in China

I have just returned from an eight day business trip to Beijing, meeting several key government officials, high ranked police and military personnel as well as existing licensed distributors and future business partners.

Of course I had some clear expectations, and some have been exceeded and some have not been met.

My plan was also to meet our licensed distribution partners, especially Jason Yang, CEO of our Taiwan based partner Gong Wei.

Having already successfully introduced our very own high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, as well as our range of PPSS Slash Resistant Clothing, they continue to excel and keep producing these quirky short but quite cool demo videos highlighting the exceptional performance of our above products.

Sometimes it is the simplicity of a video, which can highlight a product’s real performance, and with a little bit of imagination the viewer is able to tell what injuries would have incurred if a human being would suffer from such type of ‘attack’.

Here are two simultaneously playing videos, produced by Gong Wei, highlighting once again the fantastic level of protection Cut-Tex® PRO is offering:

I think it is understandable that it was only a question of time until the media got to hear about this new type of ‘protective clothing’ and expresses some level of interest.

This is exactly what happened shortly after our collaboration commenced in 2014.  One of the news channel decided to feature our PPSS Slash Resistant Clothing after Gong Wei kindly introduced our products via a press release they had sent around the country:

The following marketing images also show the kind of professional marketing approach we expect from our international licensed distributors.  If a firm comes to the conclusion there is a real business case in representing our company, brand and products, then we believe we have to right to expect a high level of performance, dedication, attention and passion for what we do.

PPSS Group | Gong Wei 1

PPSS Group | Gong Wei 2

PPSS Group | Gong Wei 3

In case you have any questions, either in regards to our high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO or our licensed distribution network in China… please contacts us by email info@ppss-group.com or call +44 (0) 845 5193 953

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Explaining the NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour

Explaining NIJ 0101.06 - 1As CEO of PPSS Group I am dealing with body armour almost every single day of the week. My job is to advise government and homeland security agencies in countries around the world in the latest body armour technology and argue my case why I strongly believe a certain type of body armour is the most appropriate one based on the operational risks, threats and duties of their frontline staff.

One thing has always been a ‘thorn in my eyes’ though. It is my genuine believe that the vast majority of bullet proof vests are of poor, or even exceptional poor quality (please insert any word you fancy replacing ‘exceptional poor’). The performance of most bullet proof vests might be of an acceptable level on the day of testing/certification, but when worn in hot and humid environments by an officer who is actively involved in serious physical confrontations, for several hours a day, several days a week/month/year, that ballistic protection level might well have been reduced by a high percentage due to the use of poor raw materials and craftsmanship and ‘cutting corners’ during the design and manufacturing process.

So, how do we know one body armour is ‘really good’ and that it will do the job even after having been subjected to all types of severe stress for many months and even years?

The ‘guarantee’ now comes in form of the compliance to a very specific ballistic resistance standard.

To ensure that body armour continue to be effective in protecting soldiers, homeland security officers and personal protection specialists, the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) established a body armour standard and testing program back in 1972, and it has been updated five times since then to reflect the design and manufacturing developments of body armour and test methods.

There is no question about it this standard is without any doubt the single most important ballistic resistance standards in the world. The latest is also the most stringent and most important version of it. I am talking here about the ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour’.

So, what has changed?  Why was it time for the body armour test protocol to change?  Why is it relevant to you and anyone charged with the safety of frontline professionals and those responsible for the purchase of body armour?

Let me start with a simple statement… the NIJ 0101.06 standard means added safety, which has always been the key objective for PPSS Group.

500113 - CV1 - PPSS Covert Bullet Resistant Vests - black - left - high resThe NIJ 0101.06 standard is the most comprehensive, stringent and rigorous body armour compliance standard that exists today.

A NIJ 0101.06 tested and certified body armour ultimately means increased protection for you. It means ‘reassurance’ and ‘piece of mind’ knowing that you are wearing a body armour based on the very latest design and manufacturing capabilities and technologies.

In the official ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’, John Morgan, Deputy Director for Science and Technology, National Institute of Justice stated:

“The NIJ Standard–0101.06, ‘Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’ is a minimum performance standard developed in collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It is produced as part of the Standards and Testing Program of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. This standard is a technical document that specifies the minimum performance requirements that equipment must meet to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice agencies and the methods that shall be used to test this performance. This standard is used by the NIJ Voluntary Compliance Testing Program (CTP) to determine which body armor models meet the minimum performance requirements for inclusion on the NIJ Compliant Products List. Users are strongly encouraged to have this testing conducted…”

This extremely stringent new ballistic resistance standard increases safety in three ways:

  • By increased performance against today’s emerging threats
  • By improved reliability
  • By superior durability for body armour… ensuring they will cope with the stress they may endure by being worn 10 hours a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, over several years.

These changes in testing and these new improved minimum performance requirements have been set for several reasons:

  • To improve performance, so that all officers receive sufficient protection
  • To provide adequate protection against realistic and likely ballistic threats
  • To provide assurance that the armour will provide protection through the entire life of its warranty… and not just on day of testing/certification.

The NIJ 0101.06 standard features several crucial, ‘right’ and ‘good’ changes to the previous globally dominating NIJ Standard 0101.04 (Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armour):

Higher Velocities

  • Increased test velocities for new armour testing of Types IIA, II and IIIA
  • Test velocities have been established for conditioned armour testing
  • Special-threat rounds to be tested at elevated velocities within the special test class

Protection Level IIIA Round Changes

  • Round changed from a 9mm FMJ RN to a .357FMJ FN

Shot Placement

  • The new NIJ Standard 0101.06 modifies “shot-to-edge” spacing. New spacing allows shots within 2 inches of the edge of the vest for the .357mm SIG FMJ FN and 9mm FMJ RN threats
  • While maintaining a 2-inch shot-to-shot spacing, the new NIJ Standard 0101.06 changes the pattern of the fourth, fifth and sixth shot to be within a maximum of a 3.94-inch circle

Size of Test Samples

  • Five standardized armour samples will now be accepted for testing to NIJ Standard-0101.06: smallest, small, medium, large and largest
  • Manufacturers must submit 2 different sizes for testing
  • The sizes selected determine the range of sizes that can be produced for that particular model:
  • One closely matching the smallest production size
  • One closely matching the largest production size

Immersion Testing

  • The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 requires test panels to be fully immersed vertically in a water bath at 70°F for 30 minutes. (Prior standards only required a water spray test for 6 minutes)

Environmental Conditioning (Tumbling) Test

  • Prior standards did not include environmental condition tests
  • The new standard requires panels to be tumbled for 72,000 cycles over a 10-day period at 149°F at 80% relative humidity prior to ballistic testing
  • The conditioned armor portion of the test protocol uses lower velocities, then the reference velocities used with the new armor portion of the test protocol

Number of Samples Required

  • The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires 28 complete test samples, including front and back panel. (Prior standards required 6 complete test samples)

Angle of Incidence

  • The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires that, for P-BFS testing, each test panel must be shot with one hit at 30° and another hit at 45° angles

For those of you who prefer to read/see this in form of a table the following will certainly answer some of your key questions:

NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour

In case you wish to develop a further, even more in depth understanding of the ‘NIJ Standard 0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor’ then please view the entire official document: click here

Please also read my following two blogs:

In case you have any questions or concerns… please comment on my blog or view our website www.ppss-group.com email info@ppss-group.com or call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953

As always… be safe!

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests, bullet resistant vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protecting Mental Health Care Professionals and Special Educational Needs Teachers

MentalHealth-sFollowing many of my blogs, most of you will be able to sense that I’m rather passionate when it comes to the protection of domestic frontline professionals.

For me ‘domestic frontline professionals’ are those guys that have chosen a profession to protect, serve and secure our countries and its citizens ‘internally’.  It’s a massive group of professionals representing a variety of sectors… e.g. police, border control, prison, immigration, private security, facility management, public transport… as well as mental health care professionals and similar sectors.

This blog is dedicated to those who don’t directly ‘secure’ our countries or citizens ‘internally’, but those who have chosen a truly amazing profession, understanding the reasonable levels of risk every day they go to work.  I am talking about mental health care and health care professionals, special educational needs teachers and others who deal with challenging behaviour.

Going back in time just a bit…  on 6th July 2011 a large group of employees gathered at the entrance of Metropolitan State Hospital, in Norwalk, California, to protest the unsafe working conditions at this California Department of Mental Health (DMH) hospital.

After psychiatric technician Donna Gross was killed by a patient in October the year before in the nearby Napa State Hospital, many mental health care professionals at the Metropolitan State Hospital reported that many of the same safety problems that contributed to the death of Donna Gross are also present at their hospital.

In a harrowing video that surfaced a while back, a 68-year-old hospital patient attacks a group of nurses with a pipe pulled from his bed. They flee through a nearby door in a streak of rainbow scrubs, but the patient pursues and lands several more blows on one fallen nurse in the hallway.

This assault is far from an isolated incident. Health care workers are punched, kicked, scratched, bitten, spat on, threatened and harassed by patients or now called service users’ with surprising regularity. In a 2014 survey, almost 80 percent of nurses in the U.S. reported being attacked on the job within the past year. Health care workers experience the most nonfatal workplace violence related injuries compared to other professions by a wide margin, that’s according to widely available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here in the UK this is not much different.  Having personally met a number of highly experienced mental health care professionals at two of the only three high secure hospitals in England, I can confirm that numerous incidents of similar significance have been recorded here as well.

A study of 69 NHS trusts and private hospitals in England and Wales carried out a few years ago said that some 46% of nurses in mental health wards for working age patients said they had been assaulted.

To make this crystal clear here, I am fully aware that those committing the assaults are not always ‘bad people’. Having said that… clearly they could bad through and through, but in many cases they are not.

However, violent incidents within these sectors/fields although underreported, are a substantial problem and really deserve our attention. Aggression and violent action might arise from dementia, delirium, injury to the head and brain, tumour, substance and alcohol abuse and withdrawal, mental health conditions and learning disabilities. It may also result from other factors, such as bereavement, anxiety and fear or adverse reactions to medication and treatment.

So what can we do to protect those professionals, who without a doubt do an extraordinary job every day they come to work?

Violence prevention programs reduce the risk of assault by training workers to recognise frequent cues, such as drug use and threatening body language, and educating them about strategies to help defuse situations. Precise incident reporting is a crucial part of this type of intervention, as it helps hospitals identify specific hazards, such as poor lighting, understaffing, and inadequate safety training, and take steps to remedy them.

Well, there is no doubt that offering realistic and effective training such as conflict management, conflict resolution and physical intervention training must be priority and is of great importance, but what is about personal protective clothing or equipment?

Ultra-lightweight body armour have recently been developed in order to offer effective protection from punches, kicks and other types of blows using blunt objects.  Based on countless incident records, reports and statements this is without any question the most ‘likely’ type of assault mental health care professionals will suffer from when being assaulted.

A link to a unique type of body armour, designed and manufactured by PPSS Group, offering an exceptional high level of protection from such risk as well as from edged weapon can be found here:  click here

PPSS Body Armour  |  COVERT Stab Resistant Vest Model

PPSS Body Armour | COVERT Stab Resistant Vest Model

Clearly… if a firearm or edged weapon is being used in such attack the security service of that facility needs a bit of a talking to I guess.

Having said that… ‘improvised edged weapon’ e.g. broken DVD’s or light bulbs, as well as razor blades are found frequently in such environment. What a nightmare to control, search and find these nasty things.

However, as stated just second ago professionals working within mental secure health care facilities or schools specialised within severe learning disabilities, challenging behaviour, special needs or autism, are frequently subject to a type of assault that leads to blunt trauma injuries.

The second most ‘likely’ type of assault mental health care workers and teachers specialised in the above fields may face is the threat/risk of a human bite. I can talk about several stories involving human bites, including stories which include myself.

I remember that day pretty well… ending up in a hospital for blood tests… with my wife joining me at that hospital… being told by the doctor I will have a ‘result’ in 14 days.

These 14 days have been an interesting time. Interesting conversations between me and my wife took place. I knew I haven’t slept with another person… I knew I had not taken any illegal drugs via any hypodermic needles or in any other form… and still there was that risk of Hepatitis C and HIV (AIDS) etc that was in my head every single day.  That guy who bit me didn’t look as when he took immense care in his personal hygiene… so 14 days had to go by until I was given the all clear.

After having listened to so many other similar stories I gave the instructions to create a new brand within my firm called BitePRO, a brand of clothing and arm guards offering protection from human bites. To view a dedicated website please click on the following image:

We have utilised our very own high performance fabric Cut-Tex® PRO to create these garments to improve the personal safety of these professionals and protect them from potentially life threatening infections and viruses following a human bite.

I strongly believe that personal protective clothing is something that can effectively reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries. However, my emphasis would be of issuing personal protective clothing that is none-aggressive or none-confrontational looking.  We certainly want to enable those professionals to let their personality shine, use their diplomatic and interpersonal skills in order to defuse the risk of any potential escalation without giving away that protective clothing is being worn.  We certainly do not want them to look like ‘the aggressor’.

Personal protective clothing just needs to ‘be there’ in the background, on standby, ready to protect and perform when things go wrong.

If you want to speak with me or my team about body armour or BitePRO™ Clothing & Arm Guards and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com or visit directly www.biteresistantarmguards.com

Stay safe!

Posted in Bite Resistant Arm Guards, Bite Resistant Clothing, BitePRO | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key Responsibilities Of Air Marshals And The Type Of Body Armour Needed

Air Marshals undergoing intense training

Air Marshals undergoing intense training

In response to the truly shocking and unforgettable event that shocked the world on the 11th September 2001, airlines across the globe took a number of now necessary actions to protect the lives of their passengers.

Air marshals (also known as sky marshals or flight marshals) are undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings.

It has become their mission to detect, deter and defeat hostile individuals on board on an aircraft. They are highly trained in investigative techniques and criminal or terrorist behaviour recognition. To state the obvious… they are clearly pretty good at blending in with passengers.

Sig Sauer P250 Compact

Sig Sauer P250 Compact

The sidearm of choice of the Federal Air Marshal Service is the Sig Sauer P250 Compact, after previously using the P229. While the P229 is the company’s most widely-used pistol by law enforcement professionals nationwide, it is only available in three calibres and does not offer the customisation of the P250.

However, the decision to utilise the P250 might not have been as transparent as one would hope for at that time. The home of the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service was raided in 2013… following allegations that Federal Air Marshal supervisor D.P. was using his relationship with Sig Sauer to obtain discounted and free guns. Apparently he then provided them to high-up agency officials for their personal use.

Anyway… suggesting air marshals should wear concealable bullet proof vests does not necessary mean I also suggest there is a high risk of firearms being used within an aircraft environment.  However I certainly suggest there is some risk we need to accept, and this one includes the risk and threat of all sorts of types of improvised ballistic weapon, as well as improvised edged weapon or hypodermic needles, which can represent immediate danger to the cabin crew and passengers.

A brief video of the Israeli Air Marshal training can be viewed here:

So, who are these air marshals?  When did this all start?

The air marshals are not a new phenomenon and their job can certainly not be described as ‘cool’ or ‘overly exciting’. They have been on American planes for more than 50 years. The ‘sky marshal’ programme was set up in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy who was concerned about the growing threat of hijacking. The US Federal Aviation Administration began its official “Sky Marshal” program in 1968.

President Richard Nixon boosted the numbers of air marshals and in 1974 gave responsibility for the service to the Federal Aviation Authority.

The numbers were again increased by President Ronald Reagan after the hijacking of TWA flight 947 in June 1985. Lebanese terrorists seized the aircraft in Athens, demanding the release of Shia prisoners. The American public was horrified when American navy diver Robert Stetham was shot and his body dumped on the tarmac. I understand the U.S. Government is still offering a $5 million reward for information that will bring the killers to justice. Anyway… in the very same year 1985 the responsible authority to fight crime on board on aircrafts became known as the Federal Air Marshal Service.

In 1987 the service had 400 marshals working on planes, with a brief to disarm potential armed hijackers, but when terrorists started bombing aircraft rather than hijacking them, attention turned to security on the ground and the service went into near-terminal decline.

Clay Biles, a former Navy SEAL who spent five years as a federal air marshal and is the author of a book about Federal Air Marshals (FAMS) called ‘Unsecure Skies’ says the job of an air marshal is nothing more than watching the cockpit door. “It’s based on the 9/11 mentality of a terrorist hijack team assaulting the cockpit to assume control and fly the aircraft into a designated target as a weapon of mass destruction.”

Would an air marshal get involved in any seriously heated argument? No, they wouldn’t and Clay Biles will agree with that.

On 1st November 2013, when Officer Gerardo Hernandez was shot by a lone gunman at Los Angeles International Airport and lay bleeding on the ground for more than half an hour and later died, Biles says that a team of air marshals was less than 100 yards from the shooter yet failed to respond or engage the threat.

Biles claims their inaction was mostly due to a mentality and unwritten policy that exists at the FAMS’ by upper management that tells air marshals not to get involved.

The Canadian Air Carrier Protection/Protective Program (CACPP) began just 13 years ago on exactly the 17th September 2002, when an agreement was signed between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with Transport Canada and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. This program is been taken care of by specially and highly trained undercover, armed officers, known as Aircraft Protective Officers.  They operate on selected domestic and international flights only.  Although these professionals are classed as ‘peace officer’ within Canadian territories, they are acting under the Tokyo Convention as a legal basis for getting involved in an incident outside of Canadian airspace.

By law, these officers do not require a permit for importing or exporting their duty firearms (using very unique ammunition) or for justifying their use of their concealable bullet proof vests when crossing the border.

The Commonwealth instituted an Air Security Officer (ASO) Program under the Australian Federal Police in 2001. This particular programme provides a discreet anti-hijacking capability for Australian civil aviation by providing armed security personnel on board of their aircrafts. This involves both random and intelligence-led placement of armed ASOs on flights operated by Australian registered planes, which includes domestic and international flights into and out of Australia.

In Europe law makers have decided on crystal clear rules allowing the use of armed guards on EU flights under strict conditions in early 2008.  Although sky marshals within the EU do already operate and wear bullet proof vests, they will be able to carry weapons on flights only if all nations involved agree. These rules were backed by all 27 EU states.

However, under these fairly new regulations, if member states want to adopt more stringent measures than the basic agreed standards, they will have to be “relevant, objective, non-discriminatory and proportional to the risk”

PPSS Group’s Concealable Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1 is ideal for air marshals due to their low weight, low thickness and outstanding breathability.

Personally I feel that anyone with such great responsibilities should be equipped appropriately, and concealable bullet proof vests must be a part of such equipment. The ordinary passenger (including you and me) may well rely on their ability to operate effectively even when any type of shot within an aircraft has been fired or other weapons have been used.

Due to their huge responsibilities and operational risks these professionals require the thinnest, lightest, most comfortable and most concealable bullet proof vests out there.  New and truly outstanding NIJ IIIA+ concealable bullet proof vests have been developed with especially the operational requirements and personal safety of air marshals in mind.

PPSS Group have developed such covert bullet proof vests, with the aid of outstanding and groundbreaking high performance materials. Manufactured in the UK and utilising a ground-breaking European high performance ballistic material, Cordura® 180 and temperature regulating Outlast® space technology based base layer fabric are part of our latest development.  Our covert NIJ IIIA bullet resistant vest model CV1 also offer additional protection from Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm.  They have been designed to offer especially air marshals the exceptional protection and comfort they require. They are also undetectable when being checked by metal detectors.

Due to their ‘low profile’ and strict order to remain ‘undetected’, numbers of assaults on air marshals are low despite widely reported incidents, such as the Federal Air Marshal who was attacked on board a plane with a needle containing an unknown substance (click here) on 8th September 2014.

For further information please comment on my blog or view our website www.ppss-group.com email info@ppss-group.com or call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953

As always… be safe!

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Concealable Bullet Proof Vests

Understanding Covert Bullet Proof Vests

Understanding Covert Bullet Proof Vests

Before going into the technical specifications and other rather important aspects of concealable bullet proof vests there is one thing I must say right at the beginning of my blog:  To look after, or to be responsible for the personal security and safety of another human being and often members of their family is without question one of the very best and most rewarding professions one can be part of.

You are very privileged if this is your field… but please ensure you never neglect your very own personal safety whilst doing your job!

Your own security and personal safety

Your hopefully exceptional ability to collect and analyse all available and relevant information will make you be, or become one of the very best in your field… because you will be able not just to do an outstanding job in improving the personal security of your principal or dignitary, but also look after your own safety, as good intelligence will help you plan a few steps ahead and allow you to put effective ‘safety nets’ or contingency plans in place.

However, the matter of fact is that sometimes things don’t go to plan. That’s exactly when you really have to think and act quickly, make crucial decisions, and rely on your operational experience and training and the gear you have invested in, prior to your assignment.

A high performance concealable bullet proof vest must be part of this gear, and my comments here will hopefully provide you with sufficient information, allowing you to invest in the RIGHT and BEST POSSIBLE body armour for you, based on your most realistic operational duties, risks and threats.

Please be aware, as far as equipment is concerned, and beside your weapon…  your bullet proof vest will be the only piece of equipment that really can make all the difference between your life and death… between coming home safely or not at all. This should really answer the question “Do I really need a body armour?”

Ballistic Protection Standards

PPSS High Performance Concealable Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1

Concealable bullet proof vests are always designed as, and also called ‘soft body armour’.  Very rarely do they feature front and rear pockets for additional hard trauma plates… that’s something you will only find in overtly worn body armour, primarily in use in conflict or hostile  environments e.g. war zones, politically unrest countries as well as maritime security. Basically in environments where the realistic ballistic threat is greater than that of any handgun e.g. assault rifles, precision rifles, machine guns or modern personal defence weapon e.g. Belgium’s FN P90 or Germany’s Heckler & Koch MP7. Subject to their stated protection level, concealable bullet proof vests can offer excellent protection from even the most powerful handguns and ammunition. Tested and certified protection can be offered from .38 Special and 9mm Parabellum, to .44 Magnum and .45 Magnum rounds, as well as one of my personal favourite weapons, the Israel’s rather famous Uzi sub-machine gun… with a pretty reliable 32 round magazine.

Many countries around the world have their own ballistic protection standard. However, the best known and most respected one is known as National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard.  The NIJ standard is recognised and respected all over the world, in comparison to the British, German or other standards, which in most cases are more dominant or relevant within homeland security services in their own country or region.

Personally I wish there would be a single International Ballistic Protection Standard all body armour manufacturers have to comply with, allowing them to manufacture larger volume and offer them to government and homeland security agencies at a much better price… but I guess that’s a little too political for this blog. However, let me make it clear here… a single International Ballistic Protection Standard would make it MUCH easier for everyone to understand what exact protection level is the ‘right’ one for them.

Looking at this most recognised ballistic standard NIJ, what would be the best possible protection level you should be looking for?  Well, the answer is dead simple.  I strongly suggest you go with the highest possible protection level for ‘soft’ concealable bullet proof vests, which is the NIJ IIIA ballistic protection standard/level (NIJ Ballistic Resistance of Body Armour). I will get to weight and thickness issues in a few moments… but be assured they don’t need to be as thick and heavy anymore as they used to be.

Another high profile Personal Security Detail (PSD)… again featuring several specialists wearing without any doubt concealable high performance bullet proof vests.

A NIJ Level IIIA tested and certified concealable bullet proof vest will guarantee you officially certified protection against 9 mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) rounds from close range, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and .44 Magnum Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets, with nominal masses of 15.6 g (240 gr) at a reference velocity of 436 m/s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).

It also provides protection against all handgun threats a body armour tested and certified to NIJ Level IIA and II will offer.

Only a very few concealable bullet proof vests manufacturers have recently taken ‘safety’ even to a further advanced level and offer body armour with additional protection from Eastern European sidearms, such as Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm, which is of great benefits to Personal Security Details operating in Eastern European countries or the Russian Federation, or those facing realistic threats origination from this region.

Another thing I want to point out here is the risk of Far East manufactured body armour, especially those manufactured in China.  I fully understand the financial pressure many of us are currently under, but when it comes to the purchase of a potentially life saving piece of equipment… please think at least twice! We just have to accept that a Rolex is more expensive than a cheap watch,  a Rolls Royce is more expensive than a Skoda and a trip to Kaiteriteri Beach in New Zealand is more expensive than a trip to the local coast (unless you are lucky enough to live nearby e.g. Brad D my friend). If a foreign body armour firm is creating marketing statements using terminologies such as ‘cheap’, ‘affordable’ ‘cost effective’… my head says they are targeting a different sector/market to the one you are proudly being part of.

A tested and certified high performance body armour cannot and will not be cheap (and please be assured I am aware of the many ‘stories of failure’ of many many sub standard body armour)… but there is no doubt it can make a long operational day in the heat less demanding and is more likely to save your life than a body armour we have no real idea on HOW and WHERE it has been made.

A very informative video demonstration of one of the world’s most advanced high performance concealable bullet proof vests developed by my UK based firm PPSS Group can be viewed here:

This video features me being shot demonstrating the outstanding performance of our high performance covert bullet proof vest model CV1. Weapon: Glock 17.  Round: 9mm Parabellum.

Weight

Body armour technology, manufacturing capabilities and body armour design have evolved a lot over the past 10 years.  Body armour worn by the police and other enforcement agencies in most countries weigh in excess of 5kg or even 6kg and are often thicker than 20 or even 25mm.

Please let me assure you that this is totally unnecessary.  It is a well documented fact that such weight will lead to physical fatigue.  Physical fatigue will lead to stress. Stress can lead to human errors.  Human errors can lead to the death of innocent people.

Many body armour manufacturers are now capable of developing body armour less than half of the above weight, using high performance materials such as DSM’s Dyneema® SB71 or SB51, Honeywell’s Gold Flex® and Gold Shield® are leading to a noticeable reduction and stress, fatigue and any other negative side effect. However… I am personally not a fan of body armour utilsing Kevlar XP… but that’s my personal/professional opinion.

I strongly feel that in case you are looking for a concealable high performance bullet proof vest, your body armour should certainly not weigh any more than 2.2kg in today’s day in age.  Manufacturers have been competing hard in order to develop the lightest body armour in the world.  They have pushed each other to completely new levels, hence concealable bullet proof vests weighing less than 2.0kg  are now on the market, offering extraordinary ballistic protection.  We at PPSS Group have developed our CV1 High Performance Concealable Bullet Resistant Vests around the operational requirements of those professionals who are in need for simply the very best out there. Now looking at our 1.65 kg light and just 6.5mm thin high tech body armour… we KNOW it is the very best out there.

Blunt Forced Trauma

What is ‘blunt forced trauma’?

Blunt Forced Trauma is the non-penetrating injury resulting from the rapid deformation of armours covering the body. The deformation of the surface of a body armour in contact with the body wall arises from the impact of a bullet or other projectile on its front face. The deformation is part of the energy absorbing process that captures the projectile. In extreme circumstances, the blunt forced trauma may result in rupturing of internal organs, sever internal bleeding and death, even though the projectile has not penetrated the body armour. An escalation of the available energy of bullets and the desire of armour designers to minimise the weight and bulk of personal armour systems will increase the risk of blunt forced trauma. In more simple terms… blunt force trauma can be explained as follows:

  • Blunt trauma, blunt injury, non-penetrating trauma or blunt force trauma refers to physical trauma to a body part, either by impact, injury or physical attack. The latter is usually referred to as blunt force trauma.

In order to be concealable or covert a bullet resistant vest needs to be as thin as possible.  Now this is not as easy as we all would like it to be.  The reason behind is the extremely dangerous risk of blunt forced trauma injuries.  All modern materials being used to manufacture bullet proof vests make it literately impossible for a ‘bullet’ to penetrate.  The much higher risk is the risk of blunt trauma injuries.  The thinner the body armour, the more attention the manufacturer must pay to protect the wearer from such injury.  I am sure you don’t fancy to see your body armour stop the ‘bullet’… but die later on in hospital from internal bleeding or other internal injuries!

Concealability

The aspect of concealability (is this actually a proper word?) is of immense importance… for you personally anyway, but even more likely for your principal.  Of course, there are a number of high profile musicians, actors and other type of artists out there, who get a real kick out of being surrounded by ‘hundreds’ of massive guys who look as if they could move mountains… but are in fact too big to react quickly.

The type of principal/dignitary I had in my mind when writing this blog is the high profile business executive and political, religious or cultural leader, who are much more likely to want you to blend in and be more ‘unnoticeable’ to the public. You might even be required to adapt to their dress code, which can range from wearing just about anything starting from a suit and casual wear right up to golf clothing and other sort of training gear… so your concealable bullet proof vests really wants to be 100% CONCEALABLE!

The fact is threats may occur and an assault might take place even when your principal is relaxed, surrounded by friends and colleagues… things sometimes happen… and we do not see them coming:

If this Close Protection Team, which was responsible for the personal security of  Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the 23rd January 2012 was wearing a bullet proof vest on that day… we cannot see it… and neither can a potential assailant… and that’s exactly what you should be aiming for too.  My advice:  Do not draw unneeded attention to yourself! Please note a good modern bullet proof vest panel can be less than 10mm thin.  In fact, some concealable high performance bullet proof vests are as thin as 7mm and with the assistance and backing of specially designed trauma liner they still outperform existing body armour, which used to be heavy, bulky, thick and restrictive.

Comfort

Comfort is about how you feel when you wear your concealable bullet proof vest.  Weight, thickness and flexibility are three of the many aspects, which everyone should carefully consider before purchasing this type of protective equipment.

The wearability (also unsure if this word actually exist) especially in hot and humid environments is also an important aspect. Please let me assure you that wearing a bullet proof vest will always make you sweat. The question is just how much? In Middle Eastern countries, Australia, South America or Africa we have to accept the fact that temperatures can often exceed 40 degrees Celsius. For a Personal Security Details wearing a concealable bullet proof vest in such condition is a serious ‘burden’  and this professional must be able to get on with the tasks on hand without excessive body heat implications or severe risks of dehydration.

Temperature regulating fabrics, such as Outlast® space technology (as used for all PPSS Bullet Proof Vests), or moisture-wicking technical fabrics, such as Coolmax® are now being used as base layer for high performance bullet proof vests, making them ideal for those Personal Security Details operating in hot and humid environments. I urge you to find out if your potential future body armour is offering this level of ‘luxury’and comfort.

As the CEO of PPSS Group (and as someone who has worn covert body armour in some rather challenging environments and circumstances) I can say that our bullet proof vests have been trialled by, tested by and supplied to diplomatic protection units, special forces personnel, law enforcement officers and prison transport teams in countries around the world. We are not the largest body armour firm… but we strive to become the very very best on planet earth.  Its our passion… some may say our destiny!

One of our best attributes is that we 100% understand terminologies such as ‘classified’ and ‘confidential’… we know there are some of our closest allies, associates and colleagues out there wearing our high performance bullet resistant vests… trusting our equipment… and you know what?  They really can !!! Please feel free to comment on this blog.

It would be a pleasure to hear from you! If you want to speak with me or my team about concealable bullet proof vests and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email info@ppss-group.com or visit www.ppss-group.com Take good care of yourself!

Robert

Posted in Body Armour, bullet proof vests, bullet resistant vests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments