I am very pleased to announce that we have recently decided to work exclusively with NIGHTGEAR here in the UK.
We have long looked for a leading and respected online shop… able to take weight of our shoulders in terms of dealing with the many individual inquiries we receive on a daily basis.
PPSS Certified High Performance Covert Stab Resistant Vests
Our customer feedback was loud and clear “we want an online shop we can visit, select our favourite PPSS bullet resistant vest, stab resistant vest or cut resistant garment, pay by credit card and benefit from a quick delivery”.
We at PPSS Headquarter are clearly specialised in offering all of our homeland security customers around the world the most genuine, professional and precise advise in regards to what body armour is the most suitable based on their operational duties, risks and threats… however… I also understand that some professional know exactlly what they want and prefer the convinience of a straight forward online transaction.
NIGHTGEAR’s online shop is without question the best I have personally seen… and having met their Managing Director at several occasions I also know how proud and dedicated these guys are. I strongly believe we just got ‘angaged’ with the best tactical gear online shop in this country and I very much hope our UK based customers will appreciate the decisions we have now made.
To view NIGHTGEAR’s online shop please click here:
Please feel free to comment on this blog. It would be a genuine pleasure to hear from you!
If you prefer to speak with me or my team about our high performance body armour and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call PPSS Group +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email email@example.com or visit www.ppss-group.com
Personal Security Detail : JULIA GILLARD (Date: 26th January 2012)
Before going into technical specifications and other rather important aspects of concealable bullet resistant 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.
If this is something you are part of… please ensure you are looking after yourself just as well !
Your own security and personal safety
Your surely exceptional ability to collect and analyse all available relevant information, and turn it into real intelligence 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 put effective ‘safety nets’ 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 the gear you have invested in, prior to your assignment.
A high performance concealable bullet resistant vest must be part of this gear, and my comments here will hopefully provide you with information, which will allow 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 that beside your weapon… your concealable bullet resistant 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!
Ballistic Protection Standards
PPSS High Performance Concealable Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1
Concealable bullet resistant vests are always designed as soft body armour. Very rarely do they feature front and rear pockets for additional hard trauma plates… that’s something you will find in overtly worn body armour, primarily in use in conflict or hostile environments e.g. war zones or politically unrest countries.
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 Israel’s rather famous Uzi sub-machine gun (still one of my favourite weapons of all time).
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 simple. I strongly suggest you go with the highest possible protection level for ‘soft’ concealable bullet resistant vests, which is the NIJ IIIA ballistic protection level. 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)
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) bullets rom 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 another level and offer body armour with additional protection from Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm, which is of great benefits to Personal Protection Specialists 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 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).
A tested and certified high performance body armour will not be cheap… 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 UK based PPSS Group can be viewed here:
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 stress, fatigue and subsequently to potentially fatal human errors. Innocent members of the public could get severely injured or loose their lives if a Personal Protection Specialist suffers from fatigue due to the excessive high weight of his body armour, and subsequently makes the wrong decision, within what will most likely be an ‘extremely stressful situation’ to start with.
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, Honeywell’s Gold Flex® and Gold Shield®, as well as DuPont’s Kevlar® XP are leading to a noticeable reduction and stress, fatigue and any other negative side effect.
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 2.5kg 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 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 Personal Protection Specialists.
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!
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 when they can easily crush you in one hand. However, 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 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 the Bodyguard of Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the above video 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!
Please note a good modern bullet resistant 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 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 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 Protection Specialist 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 Resistant Vests), or moisture-wicking technical fabrics, such asCoolmax® are now being used as base layer for high performance bullet proof vests, making them ideal for those Personal Protection Specialists operating in hot and humid environments. I urge you to find out if your potential future body armour is offering this level of ‘luxury’.
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 resistant vests have been trialed by, tested by and supplied to diplomatic protection units, special forces personnel, law enforcement officers and prison transport teams in countries around the world.
One of our best attributes is our confidentiality… we know there are some of our closest allies, associates and colleagues out there wearing our high performance bullet resistant vests… trusting our equipment. 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 bullet resistant vests and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ppss-group.com
All bullet and stab resistant vests designed and developed by UK based PPSS Group offer protection from this all too realistic threat of today's society!
Hypodermic needles pose a serious and realistic threat to domestic front line professionals, such as private security, police and prison officers, as well as enforcement officers operating within Local Government’s Trading Standards, Licensing, Environmental Health and Housing.
Facing someone carrying a firearm or any type of edged weapon can be classed as facing a ‘real problem’, but many of us will know someone who has been shot or stabbed but who also has survived such assault… I strongly believe on a domestic level there is a realistic chance of surviving such assault due to type of ammo or edged weapon used… or lack of ‘skill’ by the assaulting person.
However, being attacked by someone waving a hypodermic needles at you and sticking it at anywhere into your body can potentially mean coming in contact with blood-born pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C and this can potentially mean receiving the ‘death penalty’. In my personal and professional opinion this issue represents a much higher and more realistic threat, especially in terms of DOMESTIC front-line professionals e.g. Police, Prison Service, Civil Enforcement and Private Security Services.
There are many recorded incidents of HIV positive prisoners and civilians/criminals using a hypodermic needle as weapon, but the one which jumps into my mind right away is the one which occurred on 4th October 2012 when UK Police Officer Gemma Newman was stabbed with a hypodermic needles in her arm, by Police shoplifter Grzegorz Pajak who was claiming that he was indeed ‘HIV Positive’. She has since considered leaving front line policing due to ‘deep psychological distress’ a court heard.
I guess that the arresting officers would be pretty interested if their standard issued body armor guards them from such weapon.
PPSS Bullet Resistant Vest Model CV1 - offering outstanding protection form hypodermic needles... tested against VPAM KDIW 2004 standard.
Despite the opinion of many other experts, there are needle resistance standards out there, which might not be designed to test body armour against, but nevertheless can give professionals a very clear indication what level of needle protection a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) offers.
ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) has recently developed a new international standard, the ASTM F2878. This is a ‘Test Method for Protective Clothing Material Resistance to Hypodermic Needle Puncture’.
This test-method evaluates puncture resistance of protective clothing materials which may include: plastics or elastomeric films, coated fabrics, flexible materials, laminates, leathers or textile materials.
Please note that of course no single standard can replicate the conditions in which a needle puncture takes place, but testing to such standard must be seen as a good thing and will certainly eliminate some concerns a potential body armour wearer might have.
The EN 388:2003 (Protective gloves against mechanical risks) is another available test This is a test developed to verify the needle puncture resistance of gloves and has not been designed to test body armour, but again… it will indicate someone in need of needle protection that a specific product or material has been tested against a recognised standard and that it has passed such test.
PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests also offer unmatched protection from hypodermic needles as well as blunt force trauma.
If I personally would have to wear any type of body armour in order to protect myself from certain threats inclusive needles, then I would prefer to know that an independent professional expert had a look at it and states that it is as good as the manufacturer claims it is.
Even if none of the above tests have especially been designed to test body armour… it is simply better than no test at all. For me it would certainly be ‘reassuring’.
Every single body armour manufactured by PPSS Group is offering unrivalled protection from hypodermic needles and similar threats. Test reports are available upon request.
If you wish to discuss any concerns you or your colleagues might have please contact me or my team and call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email email@example.com or visit www.ppss-group.com
Frontline Housing Officers charged with solving bitter neighbourhood disputes and delivering 'bad news' are at risk of being assaulted. In my professional opinion it is without question that stab resistant vests can effectively help improve their personal safety.
Housing enforcement officers have always been at potential risk of verbal abuse and physical violence from members of the public.
Frontline housing officers carry out a range of highly sensitive work, such as collecting rent arrears and dealing with anti-social behaviour and sometimes very ‘intense’ neighbour disputes. They often have to deliver unwelcome messages, perhaps turning down a housing application, or a request for a repair which is the resident’s responsibility. I strongly believe that concealable or overtly worn stab resistant vests can help protect these professionals when being attacked by those expressing their anger via physical action.
However, recent reports also show the number of pre-eviction notices soaring by 26% across UK social housing. In fact, one in every 105 households in England is at risk from repossession or eviction, new statistics have revealed.
Housing charity Shelter’s research found ‘hotspots’ around the country where the chance of family losing its home is even higher. In Nottingham and Luton, one in 60 homes are at risk, whilst in Salford one in 61 is threatened. In both Newcastle upon Tyne and Wolverhampton one in 63 homes is at risk.
But the area where the threat of eviction or repossession is highest is the London borough of Newham, where as many as one in every 35 homes is at risk.
Shelter’s helpline is currently taking over 470 calls a day, offering support and advice to homeless families and those fighting to stay in their homes. With housing costs soaring and welfare cuts continuing to take their toll, the charity is bracing itself for a record number of calls this Christmas.
But who is dealing with most of the tenants who are either genuinely unable to honour their financial commitment of paying the due rent and also those tenants who simply cannot be bothered to pay the rent and those who simply feel they should not pay anything at all…. society in general or indeed the government owes them one?
Who will the bearer of bad news, verbally engage with some potentially disrespectful, intoxicated and truly hostile tenants, and who will at the end have to take the necessary physical action of evicting the tenant?
In simple terms it will most likely be the Housing Enforcement Officer.
The question we need to ask ourselves is what can and should be done to create the highest possible chance of these housing officers coming home at the end of their shift… unharmed?
PPSS Stab Resistant Vests have become a real necessity within Housing Associations and are worn by frontline housing staff in several countries around the world.
In a survey of 200 social landlords carried out by the Chartered Institute of Housing’s journal Inside Housing, a shocking total of 8,898 assaults on front-line housing staff were reported between January 2009 and April 2012, but please let us not overlook those assaults that remain unreported for whatever reasons.
Here is just a very small ‘chunk’ of this great article:
“The research also reveals the number of assaults that occurred between January 2009 and the end of March this year. There were 8,898 verbal and physical assaults reported by housing staff of the 223 organisations that responded to our requests – roughly eight a day across the UK.
Around 1,350 of those assaults against housing staff were physical attacks – more than one a day – with the remainder involving verbal abuse. Perhaps most worryingly, the number recorded has been rising year-on-year. In 2011, landlords reported 2,480 verbal assaults, which was a 13 per cent increase on the number logged in 2010. There was an even larger jump in the number of physical attacks recorded: 483 physical assaults were reported in 2011 – a 35 per cent rise on the previous year.”
64% of survey respondents who do not report all assaults say incidents are ‘just part of the job’
84% of survey respondents have been verbally assaulted
38% of survey respondents who have been assaulted did not report all incidents to their employer
51% of survey respondents believe their employer is not always doing enough to protect them from assault
8% of survey respondents have had a weapon used against them
1% of survey respondents have been sexually assaulted
The following are just two news snips highlighting serious safety problems to housing officers around the world:
There are a number of reasons a widely reported increase of assaults on frontline housing staff. Firstly, there is increased pressure on residents as a result of the global financial crisis and the difficult financial situation many are in. This causes stress, which, some people express via verbally and physically aggressive action towards anyone who they perceive as being unhelpful or ‘not understanding enough’.
Housing Managers, led by the Health & Safety Managers, will conduct internal surveys, revaluate risk assessments, potentially make lone worker security devices available and stress the importance of really good training in conflict management and conflict resolution.
I personally feel very strongly that all of the above is truly essential, especially efficient and effective training delivered by someone who REALLY knows what he/she is going on about is just crucial.
However, we also need to understand that a lack of adequate safety measures can put an individual at unnecessary risk, and cause unacceptable injury or harm. Stab Resistant vests have therefore regrettably become a real necessity within Housing Associations and are worn by frontline housing staff in several countries.
PPSS Stab Resistant Vests (Body Armour) offer the highest level of protection from edged weapon, hypodermic needles and blunt force trauma. Weighing just 2.5kg and being just 5mm thin this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) has recently become an essential tool to combat workplace violence related injuries and even death.
PPSS Stab Resistant Vests are available as COVERT, OVERT or HI VIZ OVERT model!
Please view our following video:
Yes, I do agree… the risk of being shot or stabbed is not as high as some news writers might want to make us believe. However, the risk of someone ‘overreacting’ to you or your colleagues because YOU are just in the process of disconnecting the water, gas or electricity supply, the risk of someone taking aggressive physical action against you because YOU are trying to collect money/rent that person is not able or willing to hand over, or the risk of some ‘overreacting’ and willing to harm you simply because you are not willing or unable to solve their long lasting dispute with their much hated neighbour is a very REAL risk!
PPSS High Visibility Stab Resistant Vests
When such situation arises and when such person is calling you all the ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ words in the world and is throwing the first punch… a body armour can make a real difference.
A body armour will allow you to focus entirely on two objectives… your escape or your defence of your head… because it will be your body armour that will take care of your vital organs, your heart, your lungs and your kidney… and everything else hidden within your rib cage.
“The TUC’s False Economy campaign made Freedom of Information requests to all of Britain’s councils; 114 responded. Data revealed 50,000 tenants had fallen into arrears since 1 April 2013 when the housing benefit changes came in.”
It is without question that Council’s Housing Rent Arrear Officers will have their work cut out dealing with these tenants, with some indeed being polite, respectful and reasonable… however some being hostile, intoxicated and abusive.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in general is not about ELIMINATING the risk of workplace violence related injuries or even death… instead it is all about REDUCING THE RISK of workplace violence related injuries and death within an environment where a clear risk has been identified.
Bearing this in mind we all will agree that prison and correctional officers all over the world operate within an environment where several realistic and clear risks or threats have been identified. The risk of a prison or correctional officer of being slashed and suffering from immediate rapid blood loss is real and has been well documented over the recent years.
It is a well-known fact that one of my now closest friends survived one of the most brutal assaults on prison officers in the UK in 2010, following the slashing of his Axillary Artery, which led to irreparable physical injuries and permanent psychological distress!
This image is highlighting Craig's injury following the attack of a prison officer using a broken ketchup bottle in 2010.
My team and I have spent countless hours communicating with 100+ frontline professionals within prison and correctional institutions in countries around the world to identify exactly what type of protective equipment or clothing these professionals demand or require.
The Top 6 ‘Conditions’:
Offer maximum cut protection to areas harboring key arteries
As I said right at the beginning… I strongly believe that Slash Resistant PPSS ‘Homeland Security’ Base Layers are the answers to the prayers of many officers who sometimes fear for their lives or are anxious every day they go to work.
In order to comply with all of the above conditions we had to entirely focus on the protection of the arteries. We came to the conclusion that any stabbing injury could only be prevented by stab resistant armour and the issuing of such equipment was something that was perceived by almost everyone we discussed this matter with as too confrontational, aggressive and authoritative.
Our directive was clear… it had to be undetectable, concealable and breathable and comfortable enough to be worn for 12 hours nonstop.
Slash Resistant PPSS ‘Homeland Security’ Base Layers have been developed with only one objective in mind… and that is the effective protection of all key arteries from a cut or slash… but because it had to be 100% concealable and the desired garment could only cover the areas that was covered in the first instance by an officer’s short sleeve shirt and trousers.
Taking the above ‘surface area’ into consideration, in our professional opinion there are three key arteries that require the highest level of cut protection:
The cutting through of any of these three arteries would lead to rapid loss and the risk of bleeding to death within a short time frame would be real.
PPSS Slash Resistant ‘Homeland Security’ Base Layers feature a high level of cut and slash protection to the carotid artery (within your throat) + axillary artery (under your arm pit) using our high performance cut resistant fabric Cut-Tex® PRO, preventing rapid blood loss. In order to ensure the protection remains 100% concealable when the officer’s shirt’s top button are undone, the Cut-Tex PRO cut resistant fabric is sandwiched into two layers of Coolmax… making it invisible to another person.
We strongly believe that a more effective garments in terms of weight/performance/cost effective ratio is not available or possible with today’s manufacturing capabilities and technologies.
We believe these slash resistant base layers we have now designed following 100+ hours of extensive research it is the ultimate type of personal protective garment… leading to a massive reduction of workplace violence related injuries and future loss of lives within the prison and correctional institutions.
Please have a look at this:
PPSS Slash Resistant ‘Homeland Security’ Base Layers also offer a very low level of stab resistance from broken bottles or very wide blades around the stomach area… it will certainly help to slow down the blade. This garment can be made available without this particular ‘patch’ making this garment even more cost effective and lightweight… or indeed.. certain areas can be lined with TWO layers of Cut-Tex PRO significantly increasing the protection levels. This would however be subject to minimum ordervolumes.
We see the wearing of this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) very similar to us wearing a seat belt in our car. We don’t use a seat belt today because we know for sure we have an accident today. Neither do we use a seat belt because we are scared or paranoid, worrying that we might have a crash today. No, not at all! The reason why we wear a seat belt is that we do understand that we have a much higher chance of survival in case someone is drunk, plays on his mobile phone or is otherwise distracted and crashes into our car, despite our own great driving skills we might even be able to claim.
The seatbelt is ‘unlikely’ to save our lives if the other person hits us front on with a speed of 10,000 miles an hour. However, it will ensure we survive the vast majority of all potential accidents… it is about REDUCING THE RISK!
Seconds before fired at by a Glock 19 testing our high performance covert bullet resistant vest model CV1
Everyone who knows me just a little but is fully aware of my passion for a) the personal protection of frontline professionals and b) my company’s products. So much in fact that two years ago I decided to highlight the outstanding performance of our protective equipment by allowing another highly trained ‘unnamed’ professional to fire a live round at me.
We have designed and developed, and now supply the world’s best body armour to personal protection specialists, homeland security professionals and emergency services, and PPSS Group is fast becoming internationally recognized as a leading manufacturer and expert in this field.
In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of our ultra light, lightweight and concealable PPSS Bullet Resistant Vest Model CV1, the following Youtube video features me… strapping on our body armour and being shot, at a range of only nine feet, by a live round fired from a Glock 19 pistol… not to be ‘cool’ or ‘tough’ but to provide physical evidence of the fact that someone can get shot from close range but still be in a physical condition so he can either re-engage or get to safety.
Just 6.5mm thick and weighing only 1.65 kg, this bullet proof vest is the very latest in PPSS’s personal protection products. It wraps easily around the chest and is pulled tight with velcro straps and has specifically been designed for Personal Protection Specialist, Secret Service, Under Cover Law Enforcement and Sky/Flight Marshals.
Of course I was in considerable pain, but nevertheless., this video shows that our bullet resistant vests certainly do save lives… the fact is at the end of it all no round was ricocheting in my rib cage… and I was able to continue talking to camera.
PPSS’s ultimate goal is to become a world leader and the most respected company in the industry… and no one in my firm is having reasons to doubt this.
PPSS Anti Spit Masks | Effectively helping protect prison officers, law enforcement officers and paramedics from infectious diseases.
Today we have launched our PPSS Anti-Spit Masks, another great product that will effectively help us protect prison/correctional officers, police/law enforcement officers and paramedics, from Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases.
Unions representing the interest of the above professionals in countries around the world have for some time raised serious concerns about the increasing number of spitting incidents, as it has well known serious potential health risks. It is not just the officer that is affected but also their family, as tests and treatment for suspected contagious disease can last for several months.
I am extremely confident that our new Anti-Spit Masks can make the difference between staying safe or suffering from a potentially long lasting and severe illness. When confronted by a hostile or intoxicated member of the public, a combatant, prisoner or disturbed hospital patient, the risk of being spat on is realistic and protection from such threat is sensible.
PPSS Anti-Spit Masks are compact, easy to deploy, safe, disposable and individually packed devices, already used by agencies and organisations around the world. This type of device is to be slipped over the head of a combatant, prisoner or seriously intoxicated or aggressive member of the public following his arrest.
Please view our video demonstration:
Police in New Zealand have reported difficulties in restraining drunk and drugged people and preventing them from hurting themselves, according to NZ police magazine Ten-One. A two-year safety review of 8000 cases found nearly 10 per cent of offenders had spat at officers, who had limited tools to deal with it.
I am of course fully aware that the use of anti-spit masks has been questioned by some people (e.g. human right campaigners) in the past, raising concerns in terms of the risk of suffocation, especially when such anti-spit mask is forced over the head of someone suffering from breathing difficulties.
Human rights activist also raised their voices claiming it could send wrong signals or even raising concerns of the ‘look’. Some human activists with rather strong opinions even compare the use of anti-spit masks with the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, questioning if such device should be used on someone because he or she is just very drunk.
Well, please allow me to make this one very clear here… my firm and my widely reported and genuine passion is not about the personal appearance of someone who is hostile, physically aggressive, completely out of control and clearly willing to harm someone who protect and serve the community.
The mission statement of my firm PPSS Group is simple and clear: “Protecting Frontline Professionals From Human Threats”.
“Human Threats” = firearms/handguns, knives, broken glass/bottles, hypodermic needles, human bites and in context of our latest product… someone spitting saliva or potentially infected blood right into your face!
The launch and the future use of PPSS Anti-Spit Masks will be controversial, but no one can fault my firm for our genuine desire to want to reduce operational risks, workplace violence related injuries and even death.
When I discussed my plans to launch this product around the world, Bill Geraghty, my friend and President of our North American Operation simply said:
“Hundreds of detention centers, correctional institutions and police stations in the U.S. are already successfully using such equipment, they have seen the sense in such device ages ago, and more and more countries will follow suit.”
I could not agree with him any more even if I wanted!
I have no doubt about it, this latest addition to our PPSS product range will once again highlight that everything my firm designs, develops and manufactures is a) right and b) good!
Paramedics around the world are expressing serious concerns about their safety. Making user friendly body armour available will without question improve their personal safety.
End of last week the Editor of one of the sector leading publications asked me to write a 1,500 words article on body armour and the personal safety of paramedics.
To get the process started I decided to call Jonathan Fox, a good friend of mine, ex-spokesman of the Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel and a Paramedic with more than 30 years of operational front-line experience in London.
I explained to him that I was writing this article, and asked for his personal and professional opinion on body armour and he responded as follows:
“You can never eliminate the risk of assault on staff. The risk of injury can, however be minimised significantly by the provision of body armour for front-line ambulance personnel. Good radio communication, computerised flagging systems relating to previous violent incidents by specific individuals, national physical assault reporting systems and conflict resolution training are measures commonly used in the work place. These measures are however undermined by the absence of body armour provision, which provides effective personal protection completing the package of measures necessary for a safer working environment should the worst case scenario occur.”
I do, of course, full heartedly agree with his comment. However I do not agree with this comment because I own UK based PPSS Group, a firm specialised in the design, development and manufacturing of high performance body armour and subsequently financially benefit from the sales of such, but for three other reasons:
A) I do very much indeed understand real operational risks, threats and duties, and I have certainly seen my fair share of professionals getting severely injured or not returning home at all from ‘a day at work’.
B) I genuinely care about the personal safety and protection of those who care, serve and protect.
C) I believe in the right of frontline professionals to be equipped appropriately.
In December 2011 I have reported in this very same publication that the, at that time called NHS Security Management Service (SMS) confirmed 1,262 physical assaults against ambulance staff in England during 2009/10. Today I can offer you the latest figures; NHS Protect has over the past few days announced that 1,630 physical assaults have been committed on ambulance staff in 2011/12 which is without question a significant increase.
PPSS Hi Viz Stab Resistant Vests offer unrivaled protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles, as well as an unique unlimited shelf life (in comparison to any other body armour)
We must accept the simple matter of fact that front-line ambulance professionals who deal with potentially intoxicated and hostile members of the public are working within a higher risk environment, especially when operating a night times, when the risk of alcohol or drug related violence increases, hence they are more likely to overreact to anything a paramedic says or does.
Dealing with highly emotional individuals who might feel you are not arriving at their premises within their expected time frame, or you are not doing your absolutely utmost to assist their family member can also put you in the firing line. This might be absolutely out of your hands, and even you kind personality, your warmth, your willingness, your in-depth understanding of the subject matter and any on-hand alarm, training and policy will not make a difference if this human being overreacts and commits a physical assaults he or she may well regret the following day for the rest of his or her life. This is reality!
However in the UK most Ambulance Trusts are still opposed to issuing any type of body armour e.g. stab resistant vests. Apparently some sorts of research projects conducted by NHS Ambulance Trusts have concluded that body armour could be perceived as too confrontational, aggressive of authoritative. I think this is ludicrous!
Why has no one approached us as a respected body armour manufacturer, asking us to design and develop outer covers that look like high visibility vests, making no real visual difference to the design of current jackets worn by paramedics up and down the country?
How is it possible that according to the latest NHS Protect‘ Violence Against NHS Staff 2011/12 figures, the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (501 physical assaults in 2011/12) are issued with stab resistant vests, but the North West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (274 physical assault) or the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trusts (206 physical assaults) are not issuing stab resistant vests to front-line paramedics? Are we trying to say that paramedics in London are at risk, but paramedics in Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham are not? I know personally enough about operational risks in these cities to that paramedics in other cities also require appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) because of the risk of ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
I am not saying that a paramedic is likely to get shot or stabbed to death. Of course not! The real operational risk and threat is not the risk of being stabbed or shot!
PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests
In the UK we have one primary risk which all Ambulance Trusts seem to overlook, and that is the risk of blunt force trauma injuries. It is a matter of fact that an incident involving a punch, kick or blow is a much more likely than the risk of being faced by someone waving a firearm or edged weapon at you. Not many aggressors leave home with the intention to shoot or stab a paramedic at some point during the day or evening. Most confrontations faced by ambulance professionals escalate from one second to another, there are no warning signs, there are no computers able to tell you don’t go there and there are no signs on the door saying ‘here lives a dangerous or very angry or frustrated human being’.
A paramedic might attend the scene of an incident and some minutes later be confronted by a hostile member of the patient’s family or one of his drunk friends who express his anger. For any of the previously highlighted or other reasons they might make you responsible for the suffering of a loved one, however, it is much more likely they will express their distress with a punch, hard push or impulsive kick. They might grab something nearby, anything like a glass, stick, remote control or vase to hit you on your back whilst kneeling down doing your utmost to assist the injured person.
Ask yourself, how many paramedics do YOU know that have been shot or stabbed? More than a handful? Now ask yourself another question, how many of your colleagues have been punched, kicked or got hit my some sort of object?
Can such type of assault lead to serious injuries? YES
Is the risk or probability of such incident limited to London and are we saying these incidents are unlikely to happen in other cities in this country? NO
One paramedic, who wishes to remain unnamed, sent me a message today:
“I am a 52 paramedic, based around 300 miles outside London, with over 22 years’ service. After being attacked to such an extent that I feared for my life last year I asked my service to supply me with body armour. I was told that was not service policy. I then offered to buy my own and wear it covertly. I was told this was against dress code. It appears that life is cheap in the ambulance service. Staff safety is of little consequence in comparison to overall cost.”
Let us look at another country… the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine’s recent survey, which concluded that most paramedics are victims of violence in the workplace. The results are that two-thirds of paramedics reported being victims of at least one form of violence while at work during the past 12 months.
Verbal abuse was reported by 67. 4%, perpetrated by patients (62. 9%), patient family or friends (36. 4%), colleagues (20. 8%), and bystanders (5. 8%). Intimidation was reported by 41. 5%, perpetrated by patients (37. 8%), patient family or friends (27. 0%), colleagues (45. 3%), and bystanders (3. 4%). Physical abuse was reported by 26. 1%, perpetrated by patients (92. 3%), patient family or friends (11. 1%), colleagues (3. 8%), and bystanders (2. 3%). Sexual harassment was reported by 13. 6%, perpetrated by patients (64. 7%), patient family or friends (18. 4%), colleagues (41. 2%), and bystanders (8. 8%). Sexual assault was reported by 2. 7%, perpetrated by patients (88. 9%), patient family or friends (7. 4%), colleagues (14. 8%), and bystanders (2. 7%).
I strongly suggest we all review the current help and support we offer our font-line ambulance professionals and the urgent need for UK Home Office certified stab resistant vests. The key must be that any body armour issued must offer the highest possible level of blunt force trauma protection. I suggest to view our very real video demonstration in which I personally test the performance of our PPSS UK Home Office certified stab resistant vests… and please note… PPSS Stab Resistant Vests (as featured in the following video) offer an UNLIMITED SHELFLIFE, compare to all other Kevlar based body armour that really should be replaced after 4-5 years. This offers an outstanding saving in the long run!
However, we have just very recently attended a meeting in which we discovered 10 1/2 years old Kevlar based body armour still being worn.
The following video is without question physical evidence that PPSS Stab Resistant Vests indeed offer an outstanding safety net for those moments when everything we know and have learned has failed.
I can only invite all key decision makers to sit down with us. Let us discuss in a very relaxed but focussed manner how we can help you effectively protect your colleagues. One day we will look at a casualty. One day one paramedic will not return home. We don’t know when it will happen, but there is no question about it, it will happen. The question I invite you to answer then is: “Have you really done your very best to reduce the risk of this incident?” Right now the answer to this question is a simple NO!
If you have any further in reference to this subject or any other type of high performance body armour, please visit www.ppss-group.com email my firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 845 5193 953
The security industry is bigger than what it has ever been in South Africa. There are nearly 9,000 companies and 400,000 registered active private security guards. According to Wikipedia and other sources that’s more than the police and army combined.
I think the growth in the industry is definitely attributed to facts like weak policing or maybe ineffective policing, and it created the opportunity for more and more private individuals to move into the market.
However, in recent years, South Africa has stepped up efforts to tackle crime, one of the country’s worst social ills. Security officers working in the Assets in Transit industry now have to do extra specialization courses approved by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) such as Cash in Transit, Armed Response, National Key Points, Fire Arm Competency Course, and recently the PSIRA has become much stricter about the registration of Security Personnel.
Nevertheless, from April 2011 to March 2012 there were 15,609 murders in South Africa, as well as 64,514 sexual offenses and 101,203 cases of aggravated robbery.
The fear of such crimes is urging more and more residents to seek for help from sometimes heavily armed security professionals, who subsequently have a pretty difficult job to do. I have only been once to South Africa (Sandton) many years ago, and what I have seen gave me a rough indication what life will be like as a security guard or armed response officer.
I am sure the news of a security guard being shot, stabbed or killed in any other way won’t come as a major surprise to a South African resident when it happens, but to us in the UK, Western Europe, North America or Australasia it is still something that shocks us every time such incident occurs.
The following news snips are highlighting just four recent fatal incidents:
The right personal protective equipment (PPE) can without question help to reduce the risk of injury or death, but not many owners of security firms in South Africa are willing to pay for high performance bullet resistant vests, but rather chose to buy the low cost (cheap) and poor quality body armour which are shipped in the thousands from China and other countries where ‘human rights’ or ‘quality’ or ‘reliability’ are still ‘swearwords’… or something that is not of their agenda!
However many ex Soldiers, Special Forces (SF), Private Military Contractors (PMC) and other security and protection experts are based and have settled down in South Africa, and these professionals who look after some high profile corporate, political or cultural leaders are much more perceptive when it comes to wearing what I would class as the very best bullet resistant vest out there. These professionals do understand that you simply will ‘get monkeys if you pay peanuts’.
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… we need to think at least twice! We 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).
Real security/protection experts also understand that the best is just good enough for them. Wearing a body armour at 40 degrees Celsius heat for 12+ hours can be a real physical and mental challenge… hence the comfort, thickness and weight criteria is on top of their priority list when looking for a new equipment.
PPSS High Performance Covert Bullet Proof Vest Model CV1
“To date, we have deployed the vests in both close protection and paramedic roles. We found the vests to be very low profile and this aspect allows for a greater level of diplomacy, as one is not perceived to be “wearing body armor”. Another excellent quality of the vest is the management of heat utilizing “Outlast” space technology, as you can imagine this is of utmost importance in South Africa. We strongly recommend this product line in our academy and have no hesitation in recommending it to any professional in need of low profile, yet highly effective, covert body protection.”
I hope by now you will have all seen the video we created just short of two years ago?
This video clearly highlights that a high performance bullet resistant vests that weighs less than 1.8kg and is 7mm thin, can a) stop a 9mm parabellum and b) allow the wearer to continue operating/communicating a very few seconds after the shot was fired… from as little as 3 yards/meter distance!
The shot is fired after 5:05 minutes:
After you have watched the above video you might say that I have been in a bit of pain after the round hit me, and you are certainly right… BUT… my response would be “at least there was no round ricocheting in my rip cage”. Our intention during the entire R&D process was not to create something to prevent pain or injury… but rather something of exceptional quality and performance that reduces the risk of death during operational duties.
Certified to NIJ Level IIIA (NIJ Std 0101.04) our PPSS Bullet Resistant Vests also offer additional and significant protection from Tokarev Ball 7.62 x 25mm and Makarov 9 x 18mm, upon special request from our Eastern European clients and friends.
Temperature regulating Outlast® space technology is making our bullet resistant vests the ideal choice in extremely hot, something South Africa is very well known for.
Just a few month ago we had to read once again about the harsh reality of this so ‘little discussed’ profession.
“A corrections officer from Nanticoke was killed by an inmate at a federal prison in Wayne County last night, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Eric Williams, 34, was killed by an inmate who used a homemade weapon at the U.S. Penitentiary,Canaan, a federal prison for male inmates. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m”.
In the UK alone the news are just keep coming in (Daily Mail 16th October 2013):
U-turn by ministers who had ruled out idea of vests being worn routinely
Urgent review looking at giving frontline staff stab-proof ‘covert clothing’
Prisons minister Jeremy Wright insists violence taken ‘seriously’
Number of knife attacks on staff and inmates has doubled in a decade
We must understand better, and remind ourselves that we cannot change the aggressive behaviour of some prisoners. There is simply no doubt that a prisoner consuming drugs, illegal substances or self made alcohol can become hostile and violent within a split of a second, regardless of the prison or correctional officers excellent communication skill and calm personality.
The type pf weapon that can be found in correctional facilities.
At the end of the story an officer in such institution can be, and often is, the bearer of bad news e.g. informing the prisoner of any disciplinary, restriction of privileges, bad family news, cancellation of visits, or of the simple news that his/her cell will be searched… all of which can of course create all sorts of physical reactions… many of which a high performance stab resistant vest can offer protection from.
We also need to remind ourselves that prisoners have got plenty of time on hand to develop tools to carry out acts of that aggression. The ideas to create make shift weapons, e.g. sharpened table and bed frame legs, shanks made out of plastic, shanks made our of porcelain, sharpened wood or pieces of mirror, and the idea of melting razor blades into tooth brushes and turning pens and pencils into weapon have not been developed out of 5 minutes of simple boredom. These ideas have been developed following hours and hours of malicious thought processes, and even the very best prison or correctional officer can one day be on the receiving end of such ‘thought process’.
PPSS Covert Stab Resistant Vests, also offering unrivaled protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles.
A publication of the American Correctional Officer once claimed that 33.5% of all assaults in prisons and jails are committed by inmates against prison officers. Please view here.
According to official statistics obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reformshow that recorded assault incidents in prison in England and Wales have risen by 61 per cent between 2000 and 2009. Based on this statistic prison officers at Hindley Young Offenders Institution, the largest child prison in Europe, are particularly affected with assaults on staff up by an astonishing 967 per cent.
It is a simple fact that prison officers deal with some of society’s most dangerous, violent and unpredictable people on a daily basis and work in an extremely challenging environment… hence I suggest they have all the rights in the world to demand appropriate protection and the undivided attention and support from those charged with ensuring their welfare and personal safety.
I have asked myself this question many many times, is it not a really crazy fact that a police officer who deals with dangerous criminal individuals for only a very few minutes every day is by law required to wear stab resistant vests… but most prison/correctional officers charged with supervising the very same individuals, potentially for a number of years, are not being issued with any type of protective clothing at all?
Many of you might say that prisons should be humane environments and prisoners should be treated fairly, and I am reasonably happy to agree with this… however, the officers need to be able to command respect and they should be appropriately equipped when dealing with individuals who haven clearly proven to be aggressive, violent and disrespectful.
I personally think we must urge everyone involved to reconsider our priorities here…. we cannot prioritise the well being of prisoners above the safety and welfare of prison/correctional officers… but following the news from a number of countries I very much feel this is exactly what is happening here as well as in many other countries around the world.
I genuinely feel that we should look after those who protect and serve much more than we have done in the past. Yes, it is known to me that many government agencies face financial difficulties, and yes, it is not an easy task to get the balance right between issuing prison/correctional officers with blunt trauma stab resistant vests and also ensuring the prison officers continues to look approachable and none-confrontational.
PPSS Overt Stab Resistant Vests, also offering unrivaled protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles.
For a number of professional reasons I have been part of many security related discussions with prison and correctional institutions in several countries around the world and please be assured it is without any question I do 100% understand all concerns raised.
In many of these meetings the ‘non-confrontational design’ question has always been the center point of these sometimes very passionate discussions…. but I always seem to come back to the same point, explaining that design and manufacturing capabilities have evolved so much over the past years. Concealable, thin and lightweight blunt trauma stab vests, extremely well suited for prison officers, are now available.
However, I can also confirm that overtly worn stab resistant vests have now been supplied to a number of facilities incl ‘Supermax’ prisons in the United States… and overtly worn body armour seems to be the way forward.
Based on our professional frontline experience and extensive research we can clearly confirm that an assault resulting in blunt forced trauma injuries is a more likely event within prison or correctional facilities, than an attack involving edged weapons or hypodermic needles. This also means issuing bullet proof vests would be rather silly and overkill.
Please view the following video of PPSS Blunt Trauma Stab Resistant Vests:
Blunt trauma, blunt injury, non-penetrating trauma or blunt force trauma all refers to a type of physical trauma caused to a body part, either by impact, injury or physical attack via a kick, punch or blow using a blunt object. This is exactly the type of assaults our prison officer face around the world, and I strongly believe the prevention of such injuries has to be paramount.
It is without question, this type of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will reduce the risk of workplace violence related injuries… and should this fact not be at least be worth an open minded discussion?
Please comment on this blog if you wish to ask questions. I also would love to hear from you if you are prison officer or if you are representing a prison officers union or association, regardless if you are supporting or opposing body armour within your facility or line of work.
If you want to speak with me or my team about blunt force trauma or stab resistant vests and how they potentially can help you within your line of work… please call +44 (0) 845 5193 953 or email email@example.com or visit www.ppss-group.com