MSA will build a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) prototype based on a design developed by the International Association of Fire Fighters and paid for through U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants. Rich Duffy, assistant to the general president of the IAFF, said the association has been working on a next-generation design that uses pressure-vessel technology to reduce the form factor and weight compared to those units currently in use.

"The biggest improvement is that it is significantly lighter and its size has been reduced to less than a third compared to before," Duffy said.

Duffy said the technology was pitched to the IAFF by a NASA rocket scientist, who had developed a lighter, more ruggedized SCBA unit. To fund the project, the association asked for more than $2.7 million from the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. The result of the research is a new, flat-pack technology that uses a high-temperature lining instead of the conventional aluminum liners used in SCBA cylinders.

Read the entire story from FIRE CHIEF, our sister publication.

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