Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is the first service in the UK to introduce MSA Safety’s telemetry technology which increases firefighter safety as they use breathing apparatus (BA) when responding to incidents. The technology provides live data about the content of the cylinder contents and air consumption in real time at the scene.
BA is the equipment used by firefighters to help them breathe while they are carrying out operations in smokey and harmful environments.
Bedfordshire firefighters have been training using the new breathing apparatus and the roll out across all fire stations in Bedfordshire was completed this week. This marks the end of months of work to update this equipment.
“We know we’ve picked the best upgrade for our crews as Bedfordshire’s frontline firefighters have been involved in the replacement of these sets and their feedback has shaped what we’ve bought, trained and rolled out.
“Safety is paramount for us and making this investment, supported by updating our procedures and processes, gives us the reassurance that we are doing everything we can to look after our firefighters.”Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jason Tai.
The service has also changed its air cylinders to ultralight weight cylinders, reducing the weight of the cylinder by more than four kilograms, which will maximise comfort and reduce the demands on firefighters.
In addition to breathing apparatus, the service has introduced new replacement TAIT fireground radios, which are fully compatible with the new BA, and some older equipment including BA guidelines, has been retired.
Introducing the new BA also brings the service in line with National Operational Guidance, which the service says gives the assurance that procedures and training are the most up to date to ensure both firefighter safety and operational effectiveness.