Communicating clearly and effectively is always a challenge for firefighters given the prevalence of loud and often piercing background noise at a fire ground. Overcoming this hazard and making two-way communication between firefighters more reliable is the goal of a new collaborative effort between global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated and JVCKENWOOD, globally renowned developer of critical communication solutions. voice communications With a common vision of making Bluetooth-enabled voice communications more readily available to firefighters, the two companies announced that MSA’s industry renowned G1 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) now allows voice transmission – via Bluetooth technology – over a number of Kenwood portable radios, including the VP5000, VP6000 and NX5000 series. An elegant and wire-free design makes pairing of the two components easy, while reducing snag hazards An elegant and wire-free design makes pairing of the two components easy, while reducing snag hazards. The end result is an innovative communications solution that ensures two critical pieces of life-saving equipment – a firefighter’s SCBA and portable radio – are working in concert. Enhanced firefighter protection MSA has been committed to improving firefighter safety for more than a century,” said Steve Blanco, President of MSA’s business in the Americas. “Our collaboration with JVCKENWOOD and the integration of their Bluetooth technology into our G1 SCBA is a great example of the G1’s versatility and the ease with which new technology can be added to the platform to enhance firefighter protection.” To enable the Bluetooth personal-area connection between the G1 SCBA facepiece and the Kenwood radios, the two devices are paired in a manner similar to the pairing of a cell phone and a car stereo or entertainment system. Once this link is established, a firefighter can follow normal operations without introducing a new potential snag point, or an additional piece of equipment. Kenwood NEXEDGE and Kenwood Viking P25 radios “JVCKENWOOD is committed to working with leaders in the fire service to help keep firefighters safe with the latest mission-critical communications solutions,” said Karthik Rangarajan, Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Product, JVCKENWOOD. “Kenwood NEXEDGE and Kenwood Viking P25 radios now seamlessly connect to MSA’s G1 SCBA to enable firefighters to speak clearly to each other and their commander via Bluetooth technology when wearing their G1 SCBA facepiece,” Mr. Rangarajan continued. “This is another example of how JVCKENWOOD is putting firefighter safety first and working closely with leading manufacturers on solutions that make the firefighter’s job simpler and safer.”
After revolutionizing the firefighter safety market with the introduction of the industry’s first and only thermal imaging camera integrated into the firefighter’s breathing apparatus, MSA Safety Incorporated plans to turn heads once again, this time with helmets. The company has announced it will debut a new jet-style fire helmet, called the Cairns XF1, at the annual Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC International 2018), scheduled to take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from April 23 -28, 2018. According to Steve Blanco, President of MSA Safety Incorporated’s business in the Americas, the XF1 helmet is just one of several new and innovative products the company is introducing that support overall firefighter safety. Mr. Blanco said, “Protecting firefighters is what we do. And for more than a century, we’ve been committed to continuously innovating on behalf of firefighters across the globe.” Cairns XF1 helmet The XF1 helmet incorporates LED lights, an integrated communication system and can easily be disassembled to clean The Cairns XF1 helmet represents a new addition to the MSA firefighter helmet line and is one that represents a significant style departure from the ‘brim-style’ helmet, which is traditionally preferred by U.S. firefighters. The new style delivers enhanced technology integration while maintaining the quality, durability, and safety performance firefighters have come to expect from MSA’s Cairns brand. The XF1 helmet incorporates LED lights, an integrated communication system and can easily be disassembled to clean, thereby helping firefighters comply with various cancer prevention directives, published by renowned agencies, such as the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN). Partnership with FCSN In 2017, MSA Safety Incorporated established a three-year sustaining partnership with the FCSN to help raise awareness of the cancer risks faced by firefighters. “Establishing our partnership with the FCSN was a natural extension of our commitment to supporting the industry’s heightened focus on the overall well-being of firefighters,” said Steve Blanco. He adds, “One way we’ve supported this movement, from a product standpoint, has been through the development of easily removable SCBA and fire helmet textile ‘soft goods’, which can then be laundered to help reduce firefighter exposure to toxins.” Enhancing firefighter safety According to Steve Blanco, these collective changes are significant and are representative of an overall shift taking place within the fire service industry at large. He stated, “And because of that, we know we have to support this movement and continue to raise the bar from a product development perspective, to help protect firefighters in ways never before possible.” Tactical performance and fitness of firefighters MSA Safety Incorporated’s mission has always been about protecting the health and safety of workers" Firefighter safety, however, extends beyond the use of products. It also encompasses tactical performance and fitness, cardiac health, mental readiness, and injury prevention. That’s the reason MSA has chosen to partner with O2X, the world’s renowned provider of human performance training and education for first responders, military personnel, elite organizations, and other tactical athletes. MSA Safety’s President for the Americas region, Steve Blanco said, “MSA Safety Incorporated’s mission has always been about protecting the health and safety of workers and the products we develop address the protective equipment aspects of that mission.” Educating firefighters on fitness and health He adds, “But our partnership with O2X is more about habits, practices and overall firefighter health, and what we, as a renowned safety equipment manufacturer, can do to support the industry’s growing focus and awareness of this important issue.” As part of this partnership, and in connection with FDIC, MSA will be granting 30 well-deserving firefighters with tactical athlete scholarships designed to educate firefighters on proper fitness, nutrition, and overall health and wellness practices. Winners of the scholarships will be announced live at the MSA booth at FDIC International 2018, on Friday, April 27, 2018. MSA fire safety products at FDIC Other new products that MSA Safety Incorporated plans to showcase at FDIC International 2018 include: The MSA Hub, a cloud-based solution that allows incident commanders to evaluate and manage multiple situations at one time from anywhere. Globe SUPRAFLEX boots, a lighter weight firefighter boot that provides comfort and unprecedented flexibility by incorporating continuous segmented flex panels. Vibram Arctic Grip Pro, an optional outsole for Globe firefighter boots that are specifically engineered to perform on wet ice. Turnout Interface Guards, which are designed to help reduce exposure to toxic substances without adding heat stress on the firefighter. G1 SCBA, PPE equipment on display Also on display, MSA’s G1 SCBA, breakthrough integrated Thermal Imaging Camera and ATHLETIX turnout gear Also on display will be MSA’s game-changing G1 SCBA, breakthrough integrated Thermal Imaging Camera (iTIC), and ATHLETIX turnout gear that deploys new material technology with unique stretch fabrics, to provide a body-contoured fit that is lighter weight with less bulk and more flexibility. Other MSA Safety Incorporated activities at the FDIC International 2018 event will include the company’s official sponsorship of the conference’s firefighter training classes and exercises, where participants will use MSA Evolution 6000 thermal imaging cameras. MSA Block Party and G1 Readiness Race Furthermore, back by popular demand is the MSA Block Party and G1 Readiness Race, where participants will compete head-to-head to don, doff and interact with MSA Safety’s Cairns XF1 helmet, ATHLETIX jacket, and G1 SCBA fire safety equipment. In addition to donating a sum of US$ 50 per participant to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), MSA Safety Incorporated will also award the participants with the fastest time five G1 iTIC upgrade kits and their choice of a Cairns leather or XF1 helmet.