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Innovations in firefighter safety: Telemetry, Technology and Connectivity

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On the 23rd of March, International Fire and Safety Journal and MSA Safety will be hosting a webinar on innovations in firefighter safety: Telemetry, Technology and Connectivity.

International Fire and Safety Journal had the pleasure of speaking with Aurélie Favre – MSA Marketing Manager First Responder, and Kevin Tomkins – MSA First Responder Specialist UK & Ireland, to find out what we can expect from the webinar, and why new innovations are vital for crew safety.

What can we expect from the upcoming webinar?

AF: “I think you can expect to be given some in-depth detail on MSA’s vision on the future of firefighting. It will provide some educational perspective to our audience, and it will explain the foundation of the connected fighter eco-system that MSA wants to go in to. We have tried to give an overview of what connectivity and Breathing Apparatus telemetry is so the audience can understand some of the technical details that are hiding behind each piece of equipment.”

KT: “It is a deep dive in to the detail of telemetry, technology and connectivity, and it’s really from the perspective of the firefighter, the command officer in charge and the fire chief. From those three perspectives, we’re going to show them how this can fit in to their life and how it can serve them.” 

How long has this new connected fire fighter solution been in the making?

AF: “This type of technology and eco-system has taken a long time to develop because it involves a lot of software development and new equipment which has to stay intuitive and most importantly, reliable. Here we designed a new SCBA called M1 and all the connected eco-system around. From the perspective of MSA, this project really started with the G1 SCBA and the success with this has been huge since it has been released to the North America/NFPA market.”

What is the driving force behind the project?

AF: “The reason we wanted to continue this project and introduce more technology and connectivity in the UK is because the region is one of the most advanced countries that already use or require telemetry enabled systems. We believe that by adding connectivity as a second layer to telemetry systems, we will help to improve the safety of crew members.”

KT: “Our customers have identified what we call the safety gap. Ultimately, they are the ones that are driving the technology. It’s MSA’s engagement with the end user and working together with what we call voice of the customer and collaboration that has helped us to develop a solution. It’s not just a great idea from us, it’s what our customers have asked us to do and that has really driven this forward.”

What are some of the benefits for the fire services?

KT
: “Data can teach us a lot. For example. after an incident happens to get a report quickly is something that just doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, certainly not in the UK. That is just post-incident, we can also measure the firefighter as an individual, the equipment, time, air performance, alarms and so much more. When a chief gets this information, they can look at that and achieve better benchmarking, team performance and base lines they want to achieve. There are so many areas they can dig in to, to see how they can move forward in a better and improved way.”

AF: “From a maintenance perspective, the fire service can improve the way they save and aggregate their data. We still see a lot of fire brigades who use spreadsheets to manage their inventory and maintenance scheduling. Connectivity and better software will enable brigades and technicians to improve the way they schedule, run or predict maintenance and allows them to have access to vital data at any time, anywhere right after an incident has happened.”

Is this the future of firefighting?

KT: “Absolutely. It is already changing the way they think about firefighter safety and how technology can underpin that improvement. Without doubt fire services are seeing that technology in the moment is helping improve firefighter safety, and technology of the future is helping safeguard firefighter health.”

AF: “Overall, connectivity shall be seen as a modern tool to simplify firefighters job in a world where the digital stakes are already high, a peace of mind to execute their tasks in order to keep them safe in the most dangerous situations”.

Join IFSJ’s and MSA’s webinar on the application of new technologies for increased firefighter safety and efficiency by registering for FREE on the following link – https://lnkd.in/dQbAVcM