A Changing World
Firefighting is different now, thanks to increased heat load, duration, and toxicity of structural fires. These trends, combined with evolving technology in firefighter protection, require a new approach to safety equipment challenges.
Since the inception of the NFPA, the primary function of SCBA has been air delivery, with only minor changes to SCBA performance improvement despite the revolutionary effects of technology improvements in our daily lives.
In response to these new safety possibilities, the NFPA has increased standards by mandating the addition of certain electronic components. Unfortunately, these components have been bolted onto the mechanical apparatus, increasing the complexity and cost of maintaining SCBA, and further widening the gap between NFPA standards and available technologies.
Over time, this opportunity gap will become a vulnerability gap for firefighters with long-term implications on SCBA choice. Remember, the breathing apparatus purchased today will be used for the next 5, 10, 15 years … or more.
Missed opportunities for safety improvements are rooted in the idea that the gear must be comprised of separate, mechanical components - and that the SCBA is only about air. The truth is, air delivery has never been an issue. In fact: all firefighter SCBA on the market meet NFPA standards.
Technological advances can help overcome some of these SCBA challenges:
- Limited situational awareness due to interrupted or incomplete communication capabilities
- Physical strain caused by wearing heavier SCBA in dangerous environments for extended periods of time
- Significant investment of time and money to replace or upgrade breathing apparatus
With the MSA G1 SCBA Breathing Apparatus, there's now a first-of-its-kind, platform-oriented, safety-as-a-system SCBA that protects both the investment and the safety of everyone on a fire scene.