The new Dräger PSS AirBoss is one of the lightest self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) in its class, guaranteeing optimal respiratory protection even under the most difficult firefighting operations.

“With the PSS AirBoss, we are introducing a new SCBA that has been optimised primarily in terms of comfort, operational safety, and connectivity,” explains Dräger product manager, Ian Bell. “Wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus is physically straining for the firefighter. That’s why we wanted to design a device that was as light as possible and make it easier to wear by optimising the ergonomics.”

These ergonomic features include a rotatable and sliding lap belt and a height-adjustable carrying system. Together with the low weight of the self-contained breathing apparatus, the physical strain on the user has been reduced. The PSS AirBoss also offers various options for positioning additional equipment, such as thermal imaging cameras and rescue hoods on the shoulder straps and lap belts.

It expands on the company’s rich history within this industry, as Wimpie van Onselen – business field manager of emergency and rescue services at Dräger South Africa – explains: “Dräger was founded in Lübeck, Germany, in 1889 and has grown into a global enterprise in its fifth generation family-run business. The company invented the first closed-circuit rebreather in 1904 and the first open-circuit breathing apparatus for fire services in 1969. Today the latest SCBA offers best-in-class ergonomics and is one of the lightest breathing apparatuses for firefighting.”

The Dräger NANO fully composite type 4 cylinder further reduces the weight carried during dangerous firefighting operations. The cylinder body weights 2,8 kg, with 6,8 l air/300 bar including impact-resistant caps. This currently makes it one of the lightest compressed air cylinders on the market. A regulator hand wheel is used to fit and remove the cylinder easily. A new universal cylinder strap, with a buckle, ensures that the cylinder can be replaced quickly and that the SCBA is safely positioned. It can be fitted with one or two compressed air cylinders.

The PSS AirBoss also has large reflective elements that increase the wearer’s visibility. In addition, the SCBA can be equipped with a personal warning and safety system. A motionless detector uses visual and acoustic signals to draw attention to firefighters at risk; in the event of a fall, immobility, low cylinder pressure or high thermal stress, for example. And an additional head-up display keeps firefighters constantly updated with information on air consumption.

The Dräger PSS AirBoss can be connected to the Dräger FireGround automatic accountability and monitoring system as well. This gives the officer in charge live information about those wearing the respiratory protective devices and ensures that there is constant tracking of this information during an operation.

“We continue to invest significantly in R&D and in our people to provide customers with innovative technologies and uncompromising quality,” Van Onselen adds. “This commitment to our customers will continue into the 21st century, as we work together towards the protection of human life.”

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