Dräger (Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA), a globally renowned company in the fields of medical and safety technology, has launched the Dräger PSS AirBoss, the next generation in Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that provides firefighters and emergency service teams with the utmost in usability, safety, serviceability, and connectivity.
It was officially launched at the global virtual DrägerUp 2021 event, where Dräger demonstrated how PSS AirBoss represents a digital progression with telemetry and connectivity, providing the information and enabling the integration and communication required, to further firefighter health and wellbeing.
PSS AirBoss SCBA
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.
Featuring advanced ergonomics
State-of-the-art ergonomics is a vital feature of the Dräger PSS AirBoss evolution
State-of-the-art ergonomics is a vital feature of the Dräger PSS AirBoss evolution. Improved wearer comfort has been achieved by shifting the center 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 digitalization. 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.
‘Buddylights’ fitted to SCBA backplate
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 signaling to firefighters of their team’s cylinder pressures and physical condition.
Efficient accountability system
An Entry Control Officer requires live information from all SCBA wearers of all entry points
Connectivity is an important aspect to Dräger’s new solution. An Entry Control Officer requires live information from all SCBA wearers of all entry points and to know they are accounted for in any scenario. Dräger’s accountability system accomplishes this.
The optional Dräger Web client enables workshop, management and command staff to utilize the data created on scene, wherever they are. The only requirement is a connection to the Base station, which uses Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity to access data stored on Dräger’s Cloud. Authorized personnel can then remotely monitor the incident and access the full incident log at any time.
An additional benefit, users can easily customize reporting for multiple purposes, from user or device history to synchronized 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.
Cleaning has been made simpler by designing smoother, non-absorbent, water-repellent surfaces, in order to make the 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.
Modular design for backward compatibility
In recognition of the financial pressures that the fire services are under, PSS AirBoss enables fire services to maximize 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
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.
Medical, physiological and safety tested
Liz Millward, Marketing Manager for Emergency and Rescue Services at Draeger Safety UK feels PSS AirBoss should not be considered a standalone product, but a connected solution.
She said, “PSS AirBoss has been ten years in development, during which time we have utilized 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.”
Liz Millward adds, “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.”