Categories: Breaking News, PPE

IFSJ Exclusive: The Last Word with De-Wipe

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Jo Taylor MBE, Director of De-Wipe talks education, decontamination and plans for expansion

Tell me about yourself and the company’s background?

I’ve worked in the fire and rescue industry for over 12 years. I was previously involved with the development of an innovative rescue tool which was designed for water rescue for firefighters. Because of my knowledge, network and respect in the industry I got to know people I learned of potential risks, so we looked at introducing a decontamination wipe into the UK market.

Tell us about De-Wipe and your presence in the fire market?

De-Wipe is a decontamination wipe which is scientifically proven to eliminate harmful toxins from the skin. Recent research from across the world, including that from the World Health Organisation, has identified that the increased risk of cancer amongst workers and industry including firefighters. People have become aware of the risk and need to take action.

How is the wipe used?

Post fire, firefighters will use the wipes over their face, neck, hands and torso areas as studies have shown that these are the areas where there is the most exposure. It’s a case of wiping off the contaminants post-fire and then following that with a shower. In the UK we have a mantra of shower within the hour, so they would wipe themselves down, and then have a shower using the De-Wipe hair and body wash which is scientifically proven to remove contaminants and also removes the smell of smoke – which is ground-breaking results.

How has the industry responded to the wipe?

In the early days the focus was on giving fire and rescue teams an education rather than just a sales pitch. We wanted people to really understand what was going on which was around the same time the Fire Brigades Union were also doing some studies into firefighter health.

The doctor we have onboard with De-Wipe has already studied this for over ten years in the US, so he had a lot background knowledge about the contaminants that firefighters are being exposed to. All we had to do was find the right solution to remove the contaminants. In the UK, we supply to over 90% of UK fire and rescue – they really took it on board and are committed to protect their workers.

What are you plans in markets outside the UK?

We have got the product out to a few countries in Europe who are getting on board. Its always great to get out to Intersec as we’ve got customers in the Middle East, particularly from the airport side and the oil and gas industry. We’ve also got customers in Australia and New Zealand, as well as some trials in progress in Chile, South America.

What does the next year and beyond look like for you?

We’ve got huge growth plans for the business. We are looking to finalise everything, including signing a partnership with a distributor in the UAE, which we’re really excited for. We’re also looking at new industries – people often forget about aviation firefighting and industrial firefighting which seem to get missed. We’re looking forward to branching out into other industry segments.

This article was originally published in the January edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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