The Emergency Fire and Rescue team at George Best Belfast City Airport has become the first in the UK to opt for Dräger’s newly launched AirBoss self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), to provide its firefighters and emergency service teams with the most advanced fire-safety protection.
The 34-strong emergency service crew at Belfast City Airport is required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to deploy and attend any fire-safety incident in the airport or on the runway within three minutes of being alerted.
Although a previous user of Dräger’s equipment, the decision to choose AirBoss followed a rigorous review of SCBA systems from different providers and is part of a multi-million pound investment in all aspects of the Airport’s fire-safety response. Seamus MacMahon, Chief Fire Officer and Head of Emergency Planning, says he is assured knowing Dräger is the global industry leader, and that they have chosen the most advanced equipment possible: ‘By choosing Dräger, we are ensuring the longevity of our investment which is key for continuity. With a strong footprint in Northern Ireland, Dräger’s ability to support its customers with dedicated resources in training, aftercare, spares, service and maintenance is invaluable and second to none.’
Dräger’s next-generation AirBoss includes a carrying system with pneumatics, monitoring systems, masks and communication technology and numerous accessories such as the ultra-lightweight Type 4 Nano compressed-air breathing cylinders and lung demand valves. State-of-the-art ergonomics provide improved wearer comfort and mobility, complemented by a pivoting waist belt and three-step height adjustments.
With the new Type 4 Nano cylinder providing a continued reduction in cylinder weight, all new SCBA sets are significantly lighter than existing SCBA models, and its unlimited life can also reduce full lifecycle costs.
Cleaning has been made simpler by designing smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces to make equipment easier to wipe down and decontaminate. Reduced webbing material allows for faster drying and numerous attachment points mean kit can easily be dismantled for optimum cleaning – both mechanically and by hand.
The range includes three models: PSS AirBoss Active providing the lowest weight; PSS AirBoss Agile with increased safety features; and PSS AirBoss Connect, providing maximum situational awareness for the firefighter. Belfast City Airport has opted for the AirBoss Connect.
‘We will benefit from AirBoss Connect’s digital displays, and the new “Buddy Light” feature – an innovative element allowing immediate and highly visible signalling amongst our firefighters to alert them on aspects such as cylinder pressures and the physical condition of their colleagues.
‘The advanced modular design of AirBoss means we can build in additional functionality as and when required to ensure we stay at the forefront of fire and rescue response capabilities.’
Seamus says that AirBoss’s easily adjustable backplate is a significant benefit: ‘Emergency Service teams have changed considerably during my career – minimum height requirements, for example, are a thing of the past – and so systems need to be easily borne by different physiques, both male and female.
‘Overall, the whole team agreed that the system is very appealing, especially its lightness and “snag-proof” design. Our overriding commitment is to the wellbeing and safety of passengers and staff; it is what underpins every decision in the business and has been the driving force behind this latest investment.’
Liz Millward, Marketing Manager Emergency and Rescue Services at Draeger Safety UK, says it is fantastic that AirBoss has been ordered so soon after launch. ‘It is testament to the forward thinking nature of Belfast City Airport team – and indeed the long-standing relationship and trust that they have in our brand,’ she says.
For more information, go to www.draeger.com