In designing their new PSS 5000 SCBA, Dräger Safety Inc. had several goals in mind: they wanted to increase the safety of the product, they wanted to simplify the cleaning and maintenance processes, and they wanted to reduce the cost of ownership.
Dräger introduced the PSS 5000 SCBA at FDIC in Indianapolis, after what company representatives called a rigorous research and development process.
Will Wright, product manager at Dräger, said that a tremendous amount of their research involved digitally mapping the PSS 5000 so the design team could locate the various pressure points on the gear to make it more comfortable and ergonomic.
"We want our firefighter users to focus on the job they're doing, not on whether or not their apparatus is comfortable," Wright said.
Dräger created industry-leading safety innovations with the PSS 5000, like an integrated hose system so that the hoses are embedded within the backplate, effectively eliminating the chance of snagging.
The PSS 5000 is also compatible with the Dräger FPS 7000 Head-up Display, which wirelessly monitors your tank's air pressure and provides information about your cylinder's air pressure at all times. A rear-mounted sounder also audibly notifies users when their air pressure is getting low.
Wright said the design team improved the PSS 5000's cleaning and maintenance processes by using vulcanized chloroprene — a material that is extremely easy to clean and decontaminate — for the harness and waist padding system. They also simplified the disassembly process so that, using a few simple tools, a trained technician can take the system apart within minutes.
"The PSS 5000 will last much longer because it's so easy to take apart, clean and disinfect, without the need for specialty tools," Wright said.
The decreased maintenance time and reduced cost of maintenance is where the bulk of the PSS 5000's cost savings occur. "By using a very high-wear material, and by reducing snag points, you prevent dings and excessive wear," Wright said.
He added that many of the design elements Dräger incorporated with this product will become standard practice on any new designs going forward.
Dräger is an international leader in the fields of medical and safety technology and was founded in Lübeck in 1889. For more details on the SCBA, visit their website.