MSA’s Brand New Technology Centers Around Firefighter Survival

Fall Alarm Graphic on CM Red Gauge LED

MSA invited me to have a sneak peek into three new safety enhancing technology concepts for their G1 SCBA… And I couldn’t pass up the chance to see something new that may add increase firefighter safety on the fireground.

When MSA designed the G1 they wanted to make sure that it could be upgraded in the future.  Doing this makes sure the G1 can keep up with software advances.  To accomplish this goal, the G1 has built in Bluetooth and the ability to have field upgrades for software.  MSA has already been doing this, as they launched a Bluetooth link to Motorola APX radios last year, and all it took was a software update:  just like your cell phone or computer.

MSA is looking for feedback on these concepts mentioned below and would appreciate your feedback. If you are at FDIC, stop by their booth and let them know what you think. If you can’t make it, leave a comment here or on Facebook. Depending on the feedback, MSA will evaluate these concepts and move forward with these technologies.

This year MSA has three new concepts to show:  A Fall Detection Monitor, Breathing Rate Monitor, and Ranging System.

Falls are recognized as the number one cause for “MAYDAY” emergencies on the fire ground.  Taking advantage of existing hardware within the G1 SCBA, MSA’s fall detection concept uses a software algorithm to detect when a firefighter falls and triggers an audible alarm that sounds well before a conventional PASS (Personal Alert Safety System) alarm would indicate a lack of firefighter movement.  The result is a significantly shortened response time for a downed firefighter.

Breath Rate Screen 73 bpmThe second concept from MSA is a breathing rate monitor that provides firefighters with increased awareness of their exertion levels, enabling them to take immediate action to avoid overexertion, another leading health and safety concern throughout the fire service

The final concept is a firefighter ranging system that provides direction, distance and elevation data for firefighters at the scene.  Displayed directly on the full-color control module of the G1 SCBA, with one glance firefighters can know of the whereabouts of fellow firefighters, thereby saving time should an emergency rescue situation occur.

Each of the innovations unveiled by MSA are designed to work hand-in-hand with the G1 SCBA telemetry system, thereby allowing incident command to remotely monitor potentially dangerous conditions on the fire ground.

Breath Rate Screen 25 bpmIt’s very exciting to see a company like MSA continuing to push the envelope in using technology to increase firefighter safety.  It’s especially impressive that most of this work would be a software upgrade if they brought them to market.

So, what do you think?  Stop by MSA’s booth, have a look, and tell them if you think they should bring these technology concepts to market!!!