Patrol officers Pascal Meier (left) and Remo Berger, as well as patrol officer Evelyn Kunz, unveil the TCS roadside assistance's new uniforms.
To perform their duties optimally and safely, the approximately 200 TCS patrol officers rely on reliable, functional, and visible clothing. These are exacting standards that the new, carefully selected uniforms meet.
"I'm pleasantly surprised," says Pascal Meier as he examines his new work clothes. He has been with TCS as a patrol officer in the Biel region for 33 years and the material is particularly important to him. This should feel comfortable against the skin and, ideally, keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. That seems to be the case here.
Evelyn Kunz, who has been providing roadside assistance in Zurich East for over seven years and has also been training patrol officers for three years, agrees with her colleague: “The clothes feel comfortable. Along with their functionality and visibility, this is critical because we spend so much time in our cars.” “Not to mention the mobility,” adds Remo Berger, a three-year patrol officer in the Thun area. “Sometimes we work in a kneeling position or under a vehicle. Freedom of movement shouldn't be restricted there," says Berger. All three immediately notice one detail: The black areas on the thighs and knees are extremely useful, as they conceal dirt when kneeling or wiping hands.
With 340,000 calls per year and an 82 percent retention rate, the 198 TCS assisters make a significant contribution to traffic and road safety on Swiss roads. And they do so in wind and weather, day and night. Accordingly, the uniforms must also meet a variety of criteria, not least to ensure the patrol officers' safety.
Along with the previously mentioned requirements for wearing comfort, mobility, practicality, and weather resistance, one criterion takes precedence: visibility. The clothing must ensure that it is noticed as soon as possible, regardless of the time of day or night or the lighting conditions. "High-visibility warning clothing is the only item of clothing that comes into question. It must conform to the EN ISO 20471 standard with the highest protection class 3, which is approved for hazardous work on roads with speeds exceeding 60 km/h," explains Fabian Renggli, TCS's Head of Fleet Management and Logistics. The standard requires, among other things, that the reflective strips be at least fifty millimetres wide and that they completely enclose the torso and sleeves.
Under this premise, a thorough selection process was initiated, which began with nine suggestions that were eventually narrowed down to two potential suppliers following a pre-selection. “One of the criteria we used was that the items were also available in a women's collection, as we have female patrol officers,” explains Fabian Renggli. In the end, the patrol officers themselves had the final say. Various patrol regions throughout Switzerland received a sample set from each of the two suppliers and had the opportunity to vote democratically for the winner.
The "Mascot® Accelerate Safe" collection, which was supplied by Brandschutz Ettiswil AG and produced by Mascot International, was chosen in the end. It not only complies with all applicable standards and requirements, but “a special ordering portal was created for the TCS, and we can manage the data ourselves. Additionally, we have short distances and we are well-cared for as a customer”, says Fabian Renggli convinced of the choice.
New uniform sets include a winter jacket, a hard shell jacket, and a soft shell jacket, as well as a fleece pullover, a roll-neck shirt, and a polo shirt. There are also work trousers, bib and brace overalls and cover trousers as well as a belt and a winter hat. TCS's brave assisters in bright yellow can look forward to soon shining in a new, even safer appearance.