PBI protects in every situation

PBI reports on being at the forefront of incredible innovation in the development of fabrics that protect firefighters against heat and flame but are also lightweight and breathable, reducing the risk of heat stress

The company’s range of fabrics have become the preferred choice of fire services all over the world. In the UK, PBI outer shells have been chosen by most fire and rescue services, including the National Collaborative Procurement Framework, all Welsh fire and rescue services, Humberside, London Fire Brigade and South and West Yorkshire.

Choosing to work with only the best fabric manufacturers in the supply chain ensures that every PBI product performs to the highest levels required in modern firefighting and rescue. The company’s close working relationship with its supply chains is a key factor in the continued investment in research and innovation, which results in products that set new standards in comfort and performance. It has driven the development of an extensive range of structural firefighting outer shells designed specifically for the different needs of fire services.

The company recently introduced its lightest ever new fibre, PBI LP™, that enhances comfort, breathability and freedom of movement for future structural firefighting gear without compromising protection.

Fabric made with PBI LP™, which stands for ‘lightweight performance’, is ten per cent lighter than other outer shells for structural fire gear, helping to reduce the risk of heat stress.

PBI’s continued commitment to innovation and new product development is not restricted to structural firefighting solutions. Working closely with the supply chain, PBI has also developed a range of lightweight protective fabrics with increased tensile strength that is designed specifically for technical rescue, wildland and industrial firefighting.

One of the biggest challenges to firefighter safety is the risk posed by heat stress. It can cause many problems, from muscle fatigue and reduced cognitive function to cardiovascular strain and cardiac arrest. Research has shown that more firefighters die in the line of duty from cardiac arrest than any other cause. One of the paradoxes of firefighter protection is that structural firefighting garments designed to protect the wearer from heat and flame can potentially contribute to the rise in core body temperature that triggers heat stress. That is why it is so important that the outer shell, which has a primary role of protecting from heat and flame, is designed to mitigate the risk of heat stress.

All PBI fabrics are designed to offer maximum thermal protection from the outside, while at the same time delivering high levels of breathability and comfort to reduce the risk of heat stress. They will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures, which is among the characteristics of other fabrics. This means that the integrity of the internal layers of the garment is protected and the transfer of any radiant heat is slower, allowing more time for firefighters to escape to safety in a situation such as a flashover.

PBI Performance Products has created a reputation for protection without compromise that is recognised all over the world.



PBI LP gives more protection with less weight

PBI Performance Products is renowned for creating new standards of performance and protection that are recognised worldwide. An unwavering commitment to research and innovation has kept the company at the forefront of firefighter protection for almost 40 years. The company reports

PBI’s LP™ fibre embodies that drive to continuously push the limits of technical development in high performance protective fabrics. It is lighter than ever, improving comfort, breathability and freedom of movement in structural firefighting gear, without compromising protection.

Fabric made with PBI LP™, which stands for ‘lightweight performance’, is ten per cent lighter than other outer shell for structural fire gear, helping to reduce the risk of heat stress.

The lighter fibre performs incredibly well when used in outer shell fabrics, even when tested against other heavier meta-aramid blend outer shells.

In independent tests undertaken by BTTG in the same conditions the 180 gsm PBI LP™ garment outperformed an identical garment made with 220 gsm meta-aramid outer shell. An eight second burn test was undertaken on the 2006 version of the male heat sensing manikin known as RALPH, which was developed by BTTG and conforms to ISO 13506. For the test the hands and head were not used, leaving 123 sensors on torso, arms, legs that monitor the temperature on the surface of the manikin during the test.

The BTTG tests showed second and third degree burn injury prediction of only 1.8 per cent for the garment with lighter PBI LP™, compared to a much higher figure of 19.3 per cent burn injury for the meta-aramid, despite the meta-aramid also being 40gsm heavier.

Like all PBI fabrics, PBI LP™ delivers excellent tensile strength and will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame and high temperatures. This means that the integrity of the internal layers of the garment is protected and the transfer of any radiant heat is slower, allowing more time for firefighters to escape to safety in a situation such as a flashover. PBI’s protection from exposure to heat and flame has been proven over many years of independent testing and performance in the field.

In a Dynamic Flame Test, which is used to demonstrate the time it takes for an outer shell to break down under tension, PBI LP™ of 180g/m2 lasted 48 seconds, while a much heavier 225/g/m2 Para-aramid/Meta-aramid fabric lasted just three seconds.

PBI’s development process always takes account of the balance between comfort and protection. That is why outer shells made with PBI LP™ join a wide range of PBI fabrics that meet the need of every situation and work effectively as an integral part of all garment design. Each product has different properties and applications, but every PBI fabric exceeds the required protection standards from heat and flame for outer shell.

Firefighters who wear PBI can do their job with the confidence and peace of mind that their PPE has been tested and proven to offer the highest levels of protection.



The highest level of protection for your firefighting team

Rosenbauer report on why from head to toe, their cutting edge PPE leads the way for class-leading innovation and excellence

At Rosenbauer we bring the same levels of research-led innovation and technology to our PPE that we bring to our cutting-edge range of firefighting vehicles.

As Managing Director Nick Uwins explains: “We have a responsibility to ensure our firefighter’s safety and we achieve this by listening to what they need, undertaking extensive research and development, and continually striving to supply the highest performing PPE we can.”

Essentially, we see PPE as an intrinsic part of our firefighting vehicles. From head to toe, we want to armour firefighters with equipment that always puts them on the right side of safety, not the wrong side of danger.

HEROS-Titan – optimal protection, maximum safety, minimum weight

With our HEROS-Titan we have developed a class-leading helmet that not only scores high on wearability in all conditions, but fulfils all important standards and certifications for firefighting helmets, including EN 443:2008, EN 16471, EN 16473 and ISO 16073:2011.

Weighing in at approximately 1.3kg and with a heat resistant range from -40 to + 300 ⁰, the HEROS-titan has a size range from 49-67cm and is further adjustable by means of an improved external rotary knob. The headband, front section, helmet band and chinstrap are all adjustable and the helmet weight can be aligned to the body’s axis to maintain maximum centre of gravity during operation.

Fitted with a powerful torch mounted directly on to the helmet its mask adaptors can be set flexibly and are suitable for all common respirator masks. The optical class 1 visors have been designed for glasses users while neck protection is optimised thanks to heat resistant and flame-retardant materials.

Boots – premium protection from the ground up with our class-leading new BOROS range

Safety, comfort and high performance. It is a delicate balance to achieve but with our new BOROS range of boots, we have created class-leading protective footwear that offers extreme comfort in all conditions, without compromising on safety and protection.

One of the constant challenges facing firefighters is the strain placed on their feet during the most demanding of fire and rescue situations. The result is our new BOROS range, which offers the BOROS B1 slip-on boot and the BOROS B4 firefighting boot with quick release fastener.

Unique to this range is an innovative rubber sole created exclusively for us in collaboration with world leading tyre technology brand Michelin. The result is a sole that offers supreme levels of grip and traction along with maximum resistance against oil, petrol and most acids, while its antistatic rubber compound prevents sparking – an essential feature when working in potentially explosive settings.

Hands-on technology where you need it most

Our range of industry-leading firefighting gloves now includes the new GLOROS T1 designed specifically for technical rescue operations where agility and precision cannot be compromised by the demands of offering maximum protection. Whether its work on vehicles involved in accidents or other firefighting challenges – the GLOROS T1 is the ‘go to’ glove to specify for full protection during complex rescue emergencies.

For protection against chemical, electrostatic or thermal hazards, our hazard-proven SAFE GRIP 3 models are the ultimate choice when you need maximum protection from combustible materials. Featuring high quality, flame-resistant NOMEX on the back of the gloves, and a carbon/silicone coated double fabric interior, SAFE GRIP 3 has become a benchmark product renowned for its excellent soundproofing, waterproofing and breathability.

Full body protection with a lineup of bespoke suits for every fire and rescue setting

From the moment they step out of their fire engine, every firefighter needs to feel confident that they have seamless protection for the full duration of their call. As the leading supplier of operational and protective clothing for firefighters, our range of research-led clothing includes protective suits, rescue operation suits, firefighter clothing and bunker gear.

Tested in accordance with EN 469:2005, our range includes FIRE FLEX, FIRE MAX 3, FIRE FIT 2 and our THL suit. Using high quality outer materials (NOMEX®Tough, PBI), they offer high levels of heat and flame resistance and are made for optimum fit, comfort and flexibility during operation.

If you are interested in learning more about the Rosenbauer PPE range of products either contact the team on 01484 854134, or visit the website at: www.rosenbauer.co.uk



‘No compromise’ protection for airport firefighters

Gore report on firefighters at London Luton Airport benefiting from the highest levels of breathability and thermal protection thanks to the inclusion of GORE® PARALLON® System in their structural firefighting gear

London Luton Airport (LLA) is one of the busiest airports in the UK with about 18 million passengers travelling through its terminal building each year (pre-pandemic). The airport firefighting team have to be ready to respond to an incident within two minutes.

“When it comes to the safety of our firefighters we’re simply not prepared to compromise,” says Paul Allen, Fire Services Manager at the airport. “When the time had come to replace our gear we wanted to ensure that we chose the highest specification available to deliver the best protection for the team.”

Firefighters at LLA benefit from the highest levels of breathability and thermal protection thanks to the inclusion of GORE® PARALLON® System in their structural firefighting gear.

The GORE® PARALLON® System is the most innovative moisture barrier available today and is the result of research and development over several years with input from many firefighters throughout the world. The unique technology reduces the risk of burn injuries and heat stress in both wet and dry conditions while protecting from exposure to particulates and blood pathogens. It incorporates a highly breathable liquid proof Gore thermal barrier combined with a CROSSTECH® Moisture barrier. This combination ensures a consistent level of thermal protection and enhanced comfort for the wearer during structural firefighting activities and protects from blood pathogens, particulates and common chemicals.

“The moisture barrier plays a really important role in any suit and protection from the many risks beyond fire, such as particulates and pathogens, a significant consideration for our choice of gear. Our firefighters have to be ready to respond to a hostile environment that can involve jet fuel burning at intense temperatures so we want them to have complete confidence that they have the best available gear for protection,” says Allen.

The use of two membranes encapsulating a layer of thermal protection maintains breathability while wicking perspiration away from the skin out through the suit, simultaneously preventing liquid penetration from the outside.

The firefighting suits, manufactured and supplied by Ballyclare, are issued to all 42 members of the team that provide 24/7 response to ensure the safety of passengers and staff at the busy airport.

Allen added: “The feedback from the team has been very positive. They incorporate some of our own design elements, such as a red striping on arms and legs, to easily identify our team members in a multi-agency response.”

In addition to their fire duties, all of the firefighters at LLA are clinically trained training to respond to other emergencies at the airport. They deal with around 450 (pre-pandemic) medical calls a year, from heart attacks to falls as well as running a range of training courses for airport staff and external organisations on first aid and defibrillator use, as well as mass casualty (MASCAL) and compartment fire behaviour courses.

The London Luton Airport firefighting team undertake their daily operation with the confidence that comes from wearing some of the most advanced protective clothing available today.



Latest garments add a new dimension to fire and rescue PPE

The demands placed on today’s emergency services continue to expand in size and scope. Deborah Hudson, Head Designer at Ballyclare, examines how the PPE used by those services continues to evolve and offer ever-increasing levels of protectionWith today’s firefighting and rescue professionals facing an ever-expanding range of challenges, the danger they are confronted with continues to increase accordingly. They undertake a wider range of duties than ever before and this exposes them to new hazards, so it is vital that the PPE they use continues to develop, in order to not only maintain, but also to increase the levels of protection it affords them.

Although this development process is lengthy and complex, there are two key steps which PPE manufacturers must take to ensure the garments they produce will provide ever-increasing levels of protection. The first of these is to make sure the basic concepts for those garments are closely based on the needs of their customers.

This is certainly the approach Ballyclare took prior to the 2016 launch of its XENON multi-functional structural firefighting clothing. The company re-examined existing solutions and technologies, before adopting a brand-new approach to creating the garments that customers were demanding. Although the company’s products had always previously satisfied customer requirements, Ballyclare recognised the only way to ensure this continued was to work even more closely with those customers. Gathering detailed input and real-world experience from the UK’s fire and rescue services was the key to ensuring ongoing success, and the result of that process was the XENON range of multi-layered and multi-purpose firefighter clothing – a range which has since gone on to enjoy considerable success with end- sers around the world.

Ongoing Process

However, the pace of change in today’s fire and rescue environment means no PPE manufacturer can afford to stand still, and constant research and development is the name of the game. Manufacturers must take an innovative approach that builds on the best of what has gone on before, and then add new features that increase the levels of protection modern firefighters depend on.

This strategy has now led Ballyclare to introduce the latest generation of its XENON garments. Developed in response to specific customer requirements, the latest structural firefighter suits added to the XENON range have already secured a major order from a group of UK fire and rescue authorities, thanks to a number of unique features which they offer.

The new garments offer all the traditional XENON advantages, such as outstanding protection and high levels of breathability and comfort for the wearer. Taking some of their original inspiration from the designs found in modern sports and leisurewear, the garments in the XENON range feature ergonomic constructions that reduce bulk and weight. This gives the wearer maximum freedom of movement – something which is essential if they are to perform their duties as effectively and safely as possible.

But it is the layered construction of the latest generation garments that adds a new dimension to the XENON range. That construction starts with a strong but extremely lightweight outer layer that gives the XENON garments excellent protection against heat and flame, and also delivers outstanding tensile strength. It will not become brittle, shrink or break open when exposed to flame or high temperatures, thus ensuring reliable protection for the wearer. Designed to offer maximum thermal protection from the outside, the fabric delivers high levels of comfort, with strong, durable resistance to heat and flame.

A Multi-dimensional Approach

Next comes a cutting-edge moisture barrier. While other XENON fabric combinations and outstanding moisture barriers are available, this moisture barrier has been incorporated into the latest garments to meet specific customer requirements as it has a unique, lightweight construction that enhances the comfort of the XENON garments. Its special 3D structure effectively gives the moisture barrier a ‘ridged’ or ‘channelled’ construction, and reduces the area of contact area with the wearer by some 30 per cent. This increases the moisture barrier’s ability to trap air and rapidly speed up the transmission of moisture away from the wearer. The additional air inside the assembly also provides another barrier against heat, to increase protection for the wearer. Any heat which does penetrates the assembly is minimal, and this is quickly absorbed by the 3D layer structure of the moisture barrier.

Another key benefit of this moisture barrier is its rugged and reliable construction. This allows the XENON garments to withstand constant washing cycles without compromising on comfort, breathability or protection levels, meaning fire and rescue services can be confident that a rigorous cleaning and maintenance regime will not have a detrimental effect on the performance of the XENON garments.

Completing the new XENON garments is a thermal layer. This also features a 3D construction that enables it use the air trapped within to create a highly effective barrier against heat. The carefully developed blend of advanced fibres in this hydrophilic fabric layer also helps transfer moisture away from the wearer and into the moisture barrier, thus allowing the wearer’s skin to breathe more easily and ensuring maximum comfort. When layered together with the moisture barrier the 3D construction they both share serves to trap even more air between the layers, creating an extra barrier to heat penetration and increasing the movement of air throughout the suit for maximum comfort.

A Bright Idea

Conventional reflective tape on firefighters’ kit greatly enhances the wearer’s visibility in daylight, and also reflects vehicle headlights in darkness, and the new XENON garments offer a third level of protection in this area. The new XENON suits feature a ground-breaking safety innovation that significantly increases the visibility of firefighters in dark conditions, in the form of the world’s first fire-retardant and fully-launderable phosphorescent tape. By utilising a combination of advanced phosphorescent technologies it gives off an intense glow for up to eight hours, in conditions where there is little or no light. It needs no batteries as it is charged by just a few minutes of exposure to ultraviolet light. This enables the tape to produce an ongoing afterglow, which boosts safety levels by significantly increasing the visibility of the wearer.

The combination of these different fabric layers lies at the heart of the new XENON garments. Naturally, they have successfully passed a huge barrage of demanding test regimes. They are manufactured in accordance with the requisite national and international safety standards that govern performance and quality of manufacture. These include specific safety standards for firefighter clothing EN469 (Protective clothing for firefighters, performance requirements for protective clothing for firefighting activities) and standards not specific to firefighter suits such as EN ISO 13688 (Protective Clothing – General requirements). But perhaps of equal significance is the extremely favourable feedback that they have earned from the end-users who participated in ‘real-world’ tests. Many commented that the ability of the XENON garments to dissipate heat rapidly and efficiently meant they felt no need to remove their suits as soon as possible in order to cool down, and this led to descriptions of the garments as the ‘most comfortable’ and ‘most innovative’ PPE they had ever worn. The ability of the garments to provide excellent protection, to remove moisture quickly, and to allow complete freedom of movement also drew comments from the test participants.

The success of this latest generation of XENON garments is testament to Ballyclare’s simple strategy of working only with the best fabric manufacturers and specialist suppliers, with the sole aim of finding the right solution for the needs of each individual customer. With wearer protection and comfort being the prime requirements at all times, the company places great emphasis on ensuring that the contribution made by each link in the supply chain will enhance the end product and allow it to perform to the high levels demanded by today’s firefighting and rescue authorities.



Safe and sound: Firefighter health and wellbeing

Jason Traynor, General Manager for Global Fire Service Products at MSA Safety, reports on the company’s long-standing commitment to preserving the health and wellbeing of firefighters across the globe

Today’s most advanced firefighter PPE and safety equipment offers far more than simply protection against heat and flame. In recent years, the industry has made great strides, taking full advantage of significant advances in technology. Firefighter PPE can now offer protection from heat, flame and other immediate dangers, such as chemicals and pathogens. However, PPE designers and manufacturers are also working hard to create products and garments that simultaneously protect against new and longer-term hazards faced by firefighters in the modern world. At MSA Safety, we take into consideration a wide variety of potential threats, to comprehensively promote firefighter health and wellbeing now and in the future.

Heat Stress

As an industry, we have learned a great deal about the issue of heat stress, which poses a significant threat to firefighters across the world. Caused by a rise in core body temperature, its complications include loss of balance and co-ordination, extreme confusion and even cardiac arrest.

Historically, materials that protect against flame have been hot and heavy, preventing burns but trapping body heat and moisture. We now know that it is crucial to allow this internal heat and moisture to escape, to keep the body cool and dry.

As a result, developing protective clothing that keeps the body as cool as possible, continues to be a key focus for us. With both our MSA Globe PPE brand in the US, and our MSA Bristol PPE offering in Europe and beyond, we are constantly striving to create garments that are light in weight and keep the body cool.

Innovations from leading fibre and fabric manufacturers, such as WL Gore, Hainsworth, PBI Performance Products and DuPont, have helped us to produce multi-layered garments that offer resistance to fire, increased breathability, control of moisture, and a lighter weight. MSA Globe’s flagship ATHLETIX style, and MSA Bristol’s XFlex, Collaborative Framework and new EOS ranges, all feature cutting-edge fabric technology and ergonomic designs to avoid significant dangers associated with over-heating.

Smoke Particles

The long-term health risks associated with inhaling smoke are widely accepted across the industry, but there is now additional concern about the risks of absorbing smoke particles through the skin. Studies have shown that some areas of the body, such as the neck and jaw, are particularly vulnerable to particle exposure. Other areas of concern are around the wrists, ankles and torso, where smoke can infiltrate up sleeves or under the jacket.

MSA Globe’s PPE is enhanced by the Globe Guard Exposure Reduction System, designed to help reduce exposure to toxic substances without impeding performance. The Globe Guard Hood and Globe Guard Jacket Component, for example, offer particulate-protective barrier coverage around the vulnerable neck and torso areas.

Similarly, MSA Bristol has developed specific design features to protect against smoke exposure. Its latest structural firefighting range, EOS, has a smooth outer-layer combined with distinctive HEX-TT reflective taping to avoid the build-up of toxic smoke particles, and special particle-blocking features are available around the wrist, ankle and torso. Bristol’s Particulate Protection Hood offers additional protection around the neck and jaw.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Another practical way to reduce the risk of smoke particles entering the body is by swiftly removing and professionally cleaning contaminated PPE. Our garments are designed to be robust enough to withstand multiple washes. Likewise, MSA’s popular Gallet and Cairns helmets have been carefully designed for easy cleaning, and both our G1 and M1 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) systems can be easily decontaminated without disassembling.

In the UK, MSA Bristol offers professional cleaning and maintenance of PPE out of two dedicated Service Centres in London and Bristol, handling up to 5,500 items of PPE every week. Demand for the service is high and we are in the process of expanding these operations with a new service centre set to open this year in Scotland.

For situations where firefighters have only one helmet or SCBA, which cannot be serviced off-site, MSA Bristol can supply and install Solo Rescue decontamination machines in the fire station. The compact machines swiftly clean boots, helmets, gloves and SCBA in a self-contained, sealed compartment, which minimises manual contact with contaminated material.

Situational Awareness

MSA Safety also strives to protect firefighters through the provision of high-performance communication and detection devices. With access to crucial information about the fireground environment and the location of crew mates at all times, firefighters are better able protect themselves and their crew mates from harm.

The M1 SCBA system, for example, offers state-of-the-art technological innovations such as a smart touchscreen Entry Control Board (ECB) for incident and air level monitoring. This connects to the MSA HUB base station – a local monitoring system with Cloud technology that enables full telemetric monitoring of cylinder pressure, motion, service-time remaining, personal alerts, thermal alarms, GPS location and more. It also features the fully integrated voice communication C1 headset. These are all essential features to enable firefighters to monitor themselves and their teammates and to communicate effectively at all times.

Used alongside SCBA, MSA’s ALTAIR portable multi-gas detectors are another crucial tool for protecting lives, warning against dangers in the immediate atmosphere. The ALTAIR 4X is a tough and durable device that simultaneously measures up to four hazardous or combustible gases, while the ALTAIR 5X version measures up to six. Both feature InstantAlert and MotionAlert alarms to warn others of dangerous situations or if a firefighter stops moving.

The high-tech situational awareness and connectedness offered by the G1 and M1 SCBA and ALTAIR systems has been taken a step further with the launch of our brand-new hand-held LUNAR system. Small and wireless, LUNAR can be used as a stand-alone device or as part of an MSA SCBA system. It offers advanced Firefighting Assisting Search Technology (FAST), which combines distance and direction data with thermal imaging, so that separated teammates can be located quickly.

Safety for All

At MSA, our mission is that men and women may work in safety, and that they, their families, and their communities may live in health throughout the world. In line with this, we have agreed a three-year partnership to support the charity FIRE AID, which provides ethical and sustainable donations of fire and rescue equipment to developing countries. Through this partnership, MSA will help deploy repurposed SCBA to firefighters in desperate need and often with limited access to protective equipment.

We are also proud sponsors of The Fire Fighters Charity UK, which supports the mental, physical and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK’s Fire Service.

By taking a holistic view of firefighters’ health, providing not only physical protection and safety equipment, but supporting their general wellbeing, we hope to be able to make a real difference in the lives of firefighters throughout the world.



Belfast City Airport chooses Dräger’s new PSS® AirBoss SCBA to safeguard passengers and staff

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 services 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 resource 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’ 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,” he concludes.

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 on Dräger or its product offering, visit: www.draeger.com