The attacks of 9-11 seem like just yesterday in the minds of most in the fire service. Yet it was 15+ years ago. Those attacks prompted budgeting authorities worldwide to spend significant funds to upgrade, modernize, and improve the capabilities of the fire service to meet the new realities of the world. While Fire Safety International, Inc.® (dBa FSI North America® or FSI®) is celebrating 20 years of service to the life safety industry worldwide in 2017, FSI® was a young company in 2001 offering products such as Decontamination Shower Systems and we were often politely told there would never be a real market for these items. 9-11 changed all that.
Between 2001-2007 all manner of new products such as decontamination shower and shelter systems of all sizes and configurations, were purchased – many in the hope they would never be needed. And, other than for training and regional type events, many never have been. But sadly, another 9-11 will happen – we just do not know when or where. Just as sadly, the equipment purchased when the funds were available – between 2001-2007, is now 10-15 years old and getting very ‘long in the tooth’ as it were.
In addition, many of the products purchased in the early days after 9-11 were early in the product development stages and were produced by companies that entered the industry to take advantage of the suddenly available funds. These marginal products have not stood the test of time. They will almost certainly not meet industry standards and protocols developed in the intervening years, and they will almost surely fail when needed. And the manufacturer may have exited the industry when funding slowed down – and so there may be no support there.
But FSI® is here and will be here to help. At this time the second generation of the Conron family is preparing to join the company to help steward FSI® for the next 20 years.
So what happens when the next major disaster occurs.
These old, out of warranty, out of date products, even the highest quality products made by manufacturers that still serve this industry, may well fail. Fire Fighters, citizens, and property could be lost – possibly in horrific numbers.
So what is to be done.
You know! Every reader knows!
Check, Test, Deploy these products and actually use them to ensure they will perform. Check to see if they meet current industry standards (such as the ANSI # 113 Portable Hazmat Decon Shower Standard in the USA).
Then beg, borrow, plead, plan, budget, lobby toward the replacement of these products as quickly as possible. Show your city, county, state, federal governments how desperate your needs are. After all, you cannot protect your fire fighters or the citizenry if your old products fail when needed the most.
For more information, go to www.fsinorth.com