We’ve developed, produced and delivered the first bulletproof vests for the Samu in the “Département du Var”, one of the largest ambulance centres in France. Samu is the central control function of the emergency medical services of France, a mix of organisations under public health control including first response vehicles or ambulances with or without a physician-led car and "mobile intensive care units". Samu is the abbreviation of “Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente” or Urgent Medical Aid Service.
Our bullet proof vests are now a standard issue garment in the outfit of the caregiver in a range of very particular situations. According to the Samu (Var) the decision to dress the ambulance staff with body armour is the result of several years of consideration. It was taken in the context of growing violence that first aid caregivers are facing. These days, agents are dealing with a lot of factors that can bring their own safety in danger. Because of that, organizations are looking for extra protection for their teams. Samu (Var) chose to use bulletproof vests to make sure their agents are safer.
The scenarios for which the bulletproof vests will be used are:
- In the first place when patients are violent or psychiatric.
- Secondly in contact with prisoners.
- In sensitive neighbourhoods.
- During terrorist attacks the agents will wear extra protection;
- A last scenario is when there are gunshots heard or knives used.
With the use of body armour, Samu (Var) wants to decrease the number of victims during an intervention and to increase the sense of wellbeing of the caregiver. Feeling safe and protected helps them to do their job. Sioen is proud to be able to protect these people in difficult situations related to their job whilst saving lives.
In house ballistic development
New armour solutions are developed and tested in our own in-house ballistic labs following all international standards. These test facilities are used for the development of customized ballistic solutions and for conducting regular quality control. The tested threats can range from smallest fragments up to the highest-caliber rifles. This possibility in conjunction with the broadest stab and slash testing facilities ensures that the result is a world class protective solution. Our ballistic laboratories give us the opportunity to develop ballistic solutions in accordance with various international standards.
Together with the Samu (Var), we’ve analyzed the risks and tailored a bulletproof vest accordingly. This tailor-made approach was highly appreciated by all people involved in the risk-assessment for the caregivers.
Through our 360° know-how on both fabrics and manufacturing of professional protective garments, we can always equip any caregiver for the occasion. When we developed our new ambulance intervention garments, we focused on the needs of the ambulance workers in the field. They require comfortable clothes, that protect against the rain and cold of the winter. In warm weather conditions however, they need light and breathable clothes. The clothes perfectly protect the wearer against the transfer of microorganisms and resist industrial cleaning. Ambulance-workers often operate in difficult circumstances. That is why we use fabrics with a high mechanical strength for the manufacturing of our garments.