MSA Safety Incorporated, a global leader in firefighter safety equipment and technology, marked the opening of Interschutz 2022 with the unveiling of a new line of firefighter protective clothing (FPC) that is specifically designed to meet the needs of firefighters in Germany, the Netherlands and across continental Europe, offering enhanced comfort and compatibility with MSA’s advanced safety equipment and solutions.
Called the MSA Bristol X4, the new line of FPC integrates MSA Bristol’s expertise in creating high-performance protective clothing with MSA’s market-leading experience in firefighting technologies and connected solutions. The result is a range of new FPC options that provide enhanced comfort, ergonomics and full compatibility with MSA’s suite of state-of-the art firefighter equipment, from helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), to the very latest in monitoring accountability and communication devices.
‘The development of the MSA Bristol X4 line represents a great new addition to the MSA portfolio of innovative safety solutions for firefighters,’ said Bob Leenen, President of MSA’s International Business Segment. ‘We’re excited to be back at Interschutz because we will be able to demonstrate how the new X4 line of FPC integrates with other MSA products to provide additional capabilities for use in extreme environments.’
Working seamlessly with the company’s iconic Gallet F1XF structural helmet and the industry-leading M1 SCBA, both of which are widely used among fire services across continental Europe, the MSA Bristol X4 has been created with input from hundreds of firefighters in Germany and the Netherlands to deliver a solution designed for these specific markets. As an example, the German fire service market requires an Integrated Harness System and Drag Rescue Device. To meet this need, the X4’s Integrated Harness System offers added safety when working at heights. The X4 jacket features an integral belt, lanyard and carabiner that can be easily accessed via a pocket and flap. The Drag Rescue Device, accessed from the upper back of the jacket and via a pocket near the knee, can be used to carry or pull a downed firefighter to safety in an emergency.
In the Netherlands, firefighters expressed the need for stronger kneepads for comfort when crawling or operating in confined spaces, and special reflective elements for additional visibility. To address this customer preference, MSA Bristol designers incorporated ergonomic shaping and a streamlined fit, reducing bulk and weight, all while maintaining full range of motion.
Jason Traynor, General Manager of MSA’s Global Fire Service Products, noted that with the launch of the new X4 line, MSA is now able to provide a full line of fire service products to firefighters in Germany, the Netherlands and throughout continental Europe. ‘We will continue to listen to the needs of our customers and develop the innovative products and solutions they want – and need, he said.’
The X4 line is manufactured with the latest high-quality fabric combinations from leading fibre and fabric manufacturers, including WL Gore, PBI Performance Products and Hainsworth. The line has been designed to meet the requirements of CEN standard EN469 Level 2, is available in a wide range of colour combinations to suit regional preferences, and can be customized with a selection of optional pockets and loops to accommodate specific equipment.
As a global leader in innovative firefighter safety equipment and technology, MSA Safety also showcased its Connected Firefighter Platform – a suite of advanced safety technologies that work in concert to significantly improve firefighter monitoring, accountability and communication. Two key components of the Connected Firefighter Platform are the LUNAR Connected Device and MSA’s FireGrid software services.
A multifunctional handheld device, LUNAR provides personal thermal imaging and several other innovative features that are designed to enhance firefighter safety and accountability. These innovations include MSA’s proprietary Firefighting Assisting Search Technology (F.A.S.T.) network, which alerts and guides teammates to downed team members. In addition, cloud connectivity provides incident command with an overview of on-scene operations by aggregating data from other MSA devices, such as the M1 breathing apparatus. In use, it can transmit key self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) information such as cylinder air pressure, battery status and various alarm indicators. FireGrid gives incident commanders the ability to evaluate and manage multiple situations in real time and from any location.
At this year’s show, MSA previewed several enhancements to these leading-edge technologies, including:
- M1 Control Module – LUNAR Compatibility: Leveraging the integrated Bluetooth capabilities of the M1 Control Module, cylinder air pressure and other alarm indicators can be aggregated by LUNAR and transmitted to FireGrid to provide incident commanders with real-time fireground information. Additionally, incoming alerts from incident command (such as evacuation requests) can be relayed through LUNAR to the M1 Control Module to alert firefighters to immediately exit the structure. The M1 Control Module and LUNAR devices are designed to work together as one system – when paired, LUNAR’s motion alarm capabilities will default to the M1 Control Module to not distract firefighters with have to managing two motion sensing devices.
- FireGrid Map View: Leveraging the GPS capability in devices such as LUNAR, incident commanders will now be able to monitor their crew’s location in the FireGrid application.
- Fotokite Partnership: Tethered drone technology from Fotokite were on display, featuring its aerial video capabilities that will be integrated into MSA’s Connected Firefighter Platform through future development projects to help increase situational awareness.
‘Firefighting is a challenging profession, requiring courage and composure in the face of highly dangerous situations,’ Mr Traynor said. ‘To operate effectively, firefighters must have confidence in themselves, in their crew and in their safety equipment. At MSA we pride ourselves on listening to the needs of firefighters on the ground, and providing them with innovative solutions and technologies, so that when they arrive at an incident, they know we have them covered.’
For more information, go to www.MSAsafety.com