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x635

Boston FD Selects MSA G1 SCBA

31 posts in this topic

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Boston Fire Department Selects MSA's G1 Breathing Apparatus
New SCBA Technology Supports Department Focus on Cancer and Muscular Injury Prevention
 
News provided by MSA
Oct 21, 2016, 14:21 ET
 
PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE:  MSA) today announced a $4 million contract to provide state-of-the-art respiratory protective equipment to the Boston Fire Department. The formal equipment conversion will take place this Saturday, with an all-day, station-to-station change-out process led by representatives from MSA and Firematic Supply Co. of Milford, Mass., MSA's distribution partner responsible for servicing the SCBA contract.
 
The decision to upgrade the department's SCBA technology was made after an extensive and comprehensive evaluation process, conducted by the Boston Fire Department Training Division with the full support and cooperation of Boston Firefighters Local 718 IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters).
 
"The G1 SCBA represents the most advanced technology available in critical personal protection and is the flagship of MSA's product line for the fire service market," said Nish Vartanian, President, MSA Americas. "We're incredibly proud to establish this new partnership with one of the oldest and most respected fire departments in the United States. But more importantly, we're honored that the Boston Fire Department has entrusted MSA with the responsibility of protecting the men and women who keep the residents of Boston safe each day."
 
For the Boston Fire Department (BFD), the new SCBA technology supports the department's many efforts to reduce the incidence of cancer among firefighters, as well the number of annual joint and muscular injuries sustained by firefighters on the job.
 
Boston Fire Commissioner and Chief of Department Joseph E. Finn has been a vocal advocate for change – in Boston and throughout the entire fire service community – when it comes to deploying new tactics and using new equipment that improve the overall health, safety and welfare of firefighters. In 2014, with this vision in mind, Commissioner Finn established the department's first Safety, Health and Wellness Division with a goal of making Boston a model department as it relates to the health and wellbeing of its more than 1,450 firefighters. On Thursday of this week, Commissioner Finn addressed industry leaders on this same topic as the opening keynote speaker at the annual Firehouse (magazine) Expo in Nashville, Tenn.
 
Commissioner Finn noted that since 1990, more than 160 Boston firefighters have died from cancer.  And every year another 20 firefighters, on average, are diagnosed with the disease. He added that the department has also seen more than 150 neck and shoulder injuries in a calendar year. These statistics were a key factor in the department's decision to deploy new practices and evaluate new protective equipment, including SCBA technology.
 
"Obviously it's vital to wear protective gear during a fire," Commissioner Finn said. "But as flames are extinguished and the fire begins to smolder, firefighters risk severe exposure to dangerous heat and smoke toxins, and therein lies the cancer health threat," he said. "What we're working to emphasize is the need to wear protective equipment after a fire has been extinguished, and then to properly clean that equipment to reduce additional exposure risks."
 
The groundbreaking design and ergonomic features of the MSA G1 SCBA were a key factor in Boston's selection of the new SCBA technology. As the single largest new product development effort in MSA's 102-year history, the G1 is the most technologically advanced, streamlined, balanced, and customizable SCBA the company has ever produced.
 
Unlike conventional designs, the G1 SCBA has no electronics on its facepiece. In addition, the unit's unique ergonomic design, combined with an adjustable waist belt and wide shoulder straps, allows more SCBA weight to be carried on a firefighter's hips. Collectively, these features make the SCBA more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
 
In addition to these innovations, the G1 SCBA includes improved voice amplification and a "Central Power" unit that powers the entire SCBA from a single, rechargeable battery compartment. It also comes equipped with darkness- and smoke-piercing "buddy lights" that provide visible indicators, from any angle, of critical air supply data.
 
For MSA, Mr. Vartanian commented that the SCBA contract with Boston represents the beginning of a new and exciting partnership. "As a company whose sole mission is safety, MSA is incredibly proud to be associated with a department that is regarded as the industry leader when it comes to advancing firefighter safety. Boston is one of the most progressive and respected fire departments in the country and, as part of our Voice of the Customer process, we will certainly be seeking their input on future product development initiatives," he concluded.
 
About MSA
 
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. MSA's core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, fire and rescue helmets, and fall protection devices. With 2015 revenues of $1.1 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,600 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA's web site at www.MSAsafety.com.

 

 

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"He added that the department has also seen more than 150 neck and shoulder injuries in a calendar year."

 

What does this have to do with SCBA?

 

Are they trying to blame these types of injuries on the Scott Paks? or Because these types of injuries are happening while firefighters are wearing the Paks and they need something to blame for the injury.

 

Interesting Press Release....... 

x635 likes this

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2 hours ago, oldschool said:

Isn't most of the weight of the SCBA supposed to sit on your hips instead? I doubt there is a weight or ergonomic difference between Scott and MSA>

This is part of the rumored issue from what we're hearing. Apparently Scott was not buying the claim that the injuries were SCBA related and told them to wear the waist strap as designed before pointing fingers. 

x635, SageVigiles and AFS1970 like this

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We just got the about MSA G1's about a year or so ago. We have had a lot of good luck with them coming from the much outdated MSA SCBA prior to that. The frame of the pack it self sits better on the hips, bends and shifts w/ your back w/ an adjustable back plate to user preference. We are in the process of obtaining the accountability system that is built into the pack also. Having used both Scott and MSA, MSA has come out with a pack I think has exceeded Scott. However, as long as I can rely on the product than it's all good. 

x635 likes this

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Ironic that Boston is the first major Department to break away from Scott, as it was Chief Leo Stapleton and the BFD along with NASA back in the 70's helped create the Scott 4,5 certainly improved of the years, is still the mainstay of most Department

x635 likes this

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Does anyone know what kind of training was given to each individual firefighter prior to going to service by MSA?

x635 likes this

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On 10/22/2016 at 6:46 PM, oldschool said:

Isn't most of the weight of the SCBA supposed to sit on your hips instead? I doubt there is a weight or ergonomic difference between Scott and MSA>

Yes, it's supposed to, but some designs are better at it than others.

 

As for weight and ergonomic differences between Scott and MSA.......

 

My department evaluated SCBAs a couple years ago, right before the G1 was introduced.  The brand we'd been using for a long time was no longer available, so we had to look into other brands and do a complete switch out.  Personally, I thought that the Scott model that we demo'd (the next one down from the NxG7) felt noticeably heavier and less comfortable when wearing it compared to the MSA model we demo'd (M7 Firehawk).

 

I've always been a fan of Scott from my initial experience with the 2.2 model many moons ago and brief encounters since.  I've used a couple different MSA models previously and they did the job well.  However, IMO, the MSA was a far superior product in that comparison in almost every way.  Not that the Scott was awful, but MSA was clearly better and giving them a run for their money.

 

Ultimately, Scott was selected and that's a different story.  We've been using them for a little over 2 years now.  They get the job done, but their ergonomics are not good in my opinion.

 

 

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You see MSA promoting their product a bit more then Scott as seen in this video.

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40 minutes ago, Viper said:

You see MSA promoting their product a bit more then Scott as seen in this video.

 

Yeah, the MSA salesman did a good job of explaining/showing their features and why they are better than what the competition offers without really being derogatory about them.  The Scott salesman's presentation was pretty much "We're Scott, most major cities have been using Scott for a long time so obviously we're the best, everybody else sucks, so you should buy Scott."

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7 hours ago, kinkchaser said:

Ironic that Boston is the first major Department to break away from Scott, as it was Chief Leo Stapleton and the BFD along with NASA back in the 70's helped create the Scott 4,5 certainly improved of the years, is still the mainstay of most Department

 

The Chicago Fire Department was the first major city to change from Scott to MSA.

 

Now 2 of original 5 Metro cities to help develop early Scott SCBA have switched.

 

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Does the G1 still have that stupid bicycle bell for a low air alarm? I'd much rather have the Scott Vibra Alert....you can feel and hear that clearly.

 

And I too don't see how one brand vs. the others causes neck and back injuries. In that way they are essentially the same. That's ridiculous.

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I can not believe Chicago witched over, it didn't seem that Dawson, Mouch and Severide had any problems with the Scotts

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 7:48 PM, LineCapt said:

Does anyone know what kind of training was given to each individual firefighter prior to going to service by MSA?

 

Per @SOlsonBFDL14 on another forum:
 

Quote

 

Every company went through a 2-3 hour class at the Academy that consisted of a film, PowerPoint presentation & a 60-90 minute hands on component. It was pretty thorough.           

 

 

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Here's a short article published in the Boston Globe today. It's basically what's been already said in articles above. Yet still NO correlation in my eyes between two different brands of SCBA's reducing muscular injuries and cancer rates.  They are talking apples and oranges.

 

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/28/boston-firefighters-get-million-worth-new-equipment/IwAceK00jVUfhxzu0dNGWN/story.html?event=event25

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On 10/23/2016 at 9:23 PM, FireMedic049 said:

As for weight and ergonomic differences between Scott and MSA.......

 

My department evaluated SCBAs a couple years ago, right before the G1 was introduced.  The brand we'd been using for a long time was no longer available, so we had to look into other brands and do a complete switch out.  Personally, I thought that the Scott model that we demo'd (the next one down from the NxG7) felt noticeably heavier and less comfortable when wearing it compared to the MSA model we demo'd (M7 Firehawk).

 

I've always been a fan of Scott from my initial experience with the 2.2 model many moons ago and brief encounters since.  I've used a couple different MSA models previously and they did the job well.  However, IMO, the MSA was a far superior product in that comparison in almost every way.  Not that the Scott was awful, but MSA was clearly better and giving them a run for their money.

 

Having operated in fires with both MSA and Scott products, I can completely agree with you.  I grew up with the MSA (we had the Firehawks before I moved downstate).  The whole system was comfortable, except the mask had a design flaw that the regulator could easily find it's way back into the mask if you didn't remove it from the hinge point.  When I moved to Scott I found it heavier, as well, but the mask/regulator design is much more simple.

 

IMO, if you could incorporate the MSA pack with a Scott mask, BAM!  That would be awesome.

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4 hours ago, dwcfireman said:

IMO, if you could incorporate the MSA pack with a Scott mask, BAM!  That would be awesome.

I could support that idea.

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Boston would still be Scott if Scott hadn't just blown them off. From what I hear, MSA was much, much more responsive to their needs during this process.

 

When my vollie house wanted to replace our packs, we wanted to use Scott through our local dealer we've used for many years and are tremendously happy with their service. However, Scott tried to force us to use a large dealer with locations nationwide that I personally think they have ties with and we haven't had good experience with especially after the sale. We're now considering MSA because we think Scott's regional manager that's been involved will try to steer business and give this national dealer a price advantage over our local guy, and us staying with Scott is based on us staying with our local dealer. Don't get me wrong, we love our Scott SCBA's and I still think they make the best product but who you get after the sale is the most important.

 

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Here's an excellent article and profile about Scott, as well as a little bit of history. May be a little old, and some things may have changed, but still very applicable:

 

http://www.scotthealthsafety.com/Americas/en/resources/news/PDFs/_FireApparatusScottProfiler.pdf

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Scott has many of the same features as the MSA, if not more, and they have been proven time and time again to work. I think it's just as comfortable as the G1, especially the Scott x3.  And Scott offers the Pak-Tracker and In-Mask thermal imaging, a growing technologies MSA doesn't

 

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My father, who is a battalion chief/investigator for a county upstate, just got issued a Scott 5.5 AirPak with a Sight mask.  I only mention this because the county he works for is completely MSA.  It's a complete reversal from where this topic is discussing.  This kind of shows that depending on what you're looking for and what you need out of your SCBA, there's definitely different options to achieve what your goals are.  I foresee that upstate county switching over to Scott 5.5 packs in the near future.  Is it best for them?  Who knows.  We'll see how it plays out.

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Interesting photo taken today that my friend sent me. What's wrong with this photo LOL?

 

bostona.jpg

 

 

 

Source: https://twitter.com/BostonFire (Official Boston FD Twitter Feed)

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3 hours ago, x635 said:

Interesting photo taken today that my friend sent me. What's wrong with this photo LOL?

 

bostona.jpg

 

 

 

Source: https://twitter.com/BostonFire (Official Boston FD Twitter Feed)

 

Are the bottles compatible with either unit ?

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If I had to guess.  The jake wearing the Scott is from a specialized company, maybe a hazmat.  The Scott appears to be an hour cylinder.  If you thumb through the photos on the twitter link, the G1s look to be 45 ' cylinders and if you look at the older Twitter pics, they used Scott 30'.  So this leads me to believe that using the 60' cylinder is not standard.

 

The G1s appear to have quick connect, which is an adapter which goes over the thread.  This allows for quick connect / disconnect.  So the answer on compatible is yes & no.  You could take the QC adapter off the G1 & stick in the Scott or put an adapter on the Scott & put in the G1.  Not sure if MA is NIOSH state.  If its not you can do that interchange all day long.  If it is a NIOSH state then only in times of emergency or non IDLH.

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I was told by someone involved on the sales side of it that they have had increases in shoulder injuries & cancer rates. 

 

So they are putting a lot of stock in the increased comfort of the G1 shoulder straps & back frame.  Train of thought being: Better ergonomics = reduced injuries.  More comfortable = will wear more & longer.  If wear more and stay on air longer = reduction in cancer.

 

Or just because they looked cool.  There is always a little voice inside decision makers heads that can cloud choices and no matter what is printed in a report you will never find out.

 

Years ago I was in a firehouse and the Chief told me they just ordered 25 sets of Morning Pride.  The following week I ran into the salesman from AAA and he said he just sold them 25 sets of Globe.  When I asked about the MP, he said it was Globe all along with a tail.  All they cared about was the aesthetics of the tail.

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On 10/22/2016 at 0:33 PM, x635 said:

 

I have given the MSA a real chance and I’m very disappointed. The low pressure hose is too stiff, the facepiece/regulator area freezes up in cold weather, it’s too heavy, and was a poor choice. Everyone is complaining about sore necks after an incident, and there is a very negative feeling about these masks. Nobody on BFD will complain to the administration staff because they try to single you out to make an example of you if you do. They only want to hear that their ideas are good instead of evaluating real feedback. This was not well thought out and once again it was a plan developed by people who won’t have to wear the masks and be impacted by them. The only upside is a wider shoulder strap but that is negated by the additional weight.  I guess the MSA is here to stay but they are a subpar product.

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  I wonder if DOWNTOWN BOSTON had any issues with the SCBA s that the MSA's replaced , I believe SCOTT 4.5 ,and was the neck and back injuries proclaimed  as the reason for the job wide change a real issue

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I understood one of the reasons for the change was shoulder injuries. I don’t know of anyone getting injured shoulders from either harness. Im not saying it couldn’t happen. I just don’t know if it. As I said, the only positive with MSA is the more comfortable shoulder straps but that is countered by the heavier weight unfortunately. The entire setup is flawed. The connection of the regulator to the facepiece is faulty. Men have reported the facepiece falling off the regulator. The low pressure hose is to rigid. Maybe the lack of flexibility is the cause of this. I don’t see it as a wise choice and I don’t think the opinions of the guys using them is respected. I can honestly say it isn’t a situation of people being resistant to change. The MSA SCBAs just aren’t good.

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