February 2017 : Advancements in Safety and Technology
The Henrico County Division of Fire has placed nearly 260 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in service. “Air Packs” as they are sometimes known, are the lifeline for firefighters who enter smoky or hazardous environments. The air packs allow firefighters to enter toxic environments while breathing compressed air (not pure oxygen, as is often portrayed on television shows) without worrying about breathing in any of the hundreds of dangerous products that could be in the smoke or air.
Personnel spent over a year developing and implementing this $1.7 million dollar project. Henrico Fire worked closely with the manufacturer, Mine Safety Appliances of Pennsylvania, to ensure that the packs met the department’s exact specifications. Field trials and training were performed, and once approved, the department’s training section developed a three-phase training program to ensure that when the new packs were placed in service, all personnel would be thoroughly knowledgeable of their packs operation, construction, and use.