Dräger launches PSS® AirBoss, the next generation in SCBA

Dräger, an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology, has launched the Dräger PSS® AirBoss, the next generation in Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), which provides firefighters and emergency service teams with the utmost in usability, safety, serviceability, and connectivity.

Dräger’s PSS® AirBoss includes a carrying mechanism with pneumatics, monitoring systems, masks and communication technology and numerous accessories, such as the ultra-lightweight Type 4 Nano compressed air breathing cylinders, lung demand valves and fire escape hoods. Three models will be available: 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.

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.

Improved wearer comfort has been achieved by shifting the centre of gravity relationship between the human body and the set and creating a ventilated space by the SCBA backplate. It is also improved through a pivoting waist belt and three-step height adjustments.

PSS® AirBoss’ weight is carried by the legs and pelvis rather than the back. This not only improves personal comfort, but also enhances mobility within confined spaces, while descending ladders and stairwells and in any situation which requires a high level of mobility.

On a practical level, the Dräger PSS® AirBoss has also been designed to be ‘snag-proof’, ensuring that all attachments are neatly connected or integrated to mitigate any risk of snagging or entanglement. Easy cylinder exchange has been achieved through the Quick Connect function and all key components are fitted with RFID tags for ease of asset management.

Also critical to the Dräger PSS® AirBoss system is digitalisation. Dräger provides the only operationally-proven telemetry solution in the UK, delivering vital information, which is automatically communicated between the wearer of the BA set and the Entry Control Point – without the need for either team to stop what they are doing to communicate. These signals include manual and automatic distress signals, team withdrawal and evacuation signals to and from the wearer, cylinder pressure, time to whistle and time of whistle.

This system also provides comprehensive data regarding the firefighters’ condition in relation to their SCBA, proving invaluable to those responsible for monitoring and directing BA crews. A new feature, unique to Dräger’s PSS® AirBoss, are ‘Buddylights’ fitted to the backplate, which use digital data from the set to provide immediate and highly visible signalling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition.

Connectivity is an important aspect to Dräger’s new solution. The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilise the data created on scene wherever they are. The only requirement is a connection to the base station, which uses Wi-Fi or LTE to access data stored on Dräger’s Cloud. Authorised personnel can then remotely monitor the incident and access the full incident log at any time.

An additional benefit, you can easily customise reporting for multiple purposes, from user or device history to synchronised overviews of complete incidents. The ability to create tactical and evidence-based incident reports provides comprehensive and valuable analysis post incident, essential for debriefing and training purposes – or as required for any investigation or inquiry.

PSS® AirBoss enables fire and rescue services to maximise the significant investment already made into their SCBA and telemetry. With a modular design, PSS® AirBoss is backward compatible with existing Dräger PSS SCBA and telemetry, enabling elements of the existing set to be upgraded over time. This reduces the requirement to purchase a full suite of new equipment including telemetry, pneumatics, electronics, integrated communications, cylinders and vehicle charging systems.

Liz Millward, Marketing Manager Emergency and Rescue Services at Draeger Safety UK, says PSS® AirBoss should not be considered a standalone product, but a connected solution. She says, “PSS® AirBoss has been 10 years in development, during which time we have utilised medical, physiological and safety expertise and thoroughly tested technology. We have used not only our direct relationships with the UK fire services and global expert third parties including universities, but also our support of emergency events such as Grenfell and the Salisbury poisonings to make sure PSS® AirBoss has been designed with real life firefighting experience in mind,” she explains.

“PSS® AirBoss’ improvements reduce firefighters’ physical stress, which in turn reduces the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue when wearing the set operationally, as well as extending potential working duration due to reduced physical exertion.

“In an industry where a split second can be the difference between life and death, these advancements are crucial for the safety of our firefighters.”