There are a number of problems relating to the roll out of the new Draeger PSS5000 BA sets that the project, in conjunction with the NZPFU, is working hard to resolve. This joint statement sets out the position of the project and the NZPFU.

In-seat BA brackets

The project is developing a modification to the BA seats to resolve the issue of welfare and comfort for those sitting in the seats. This is in addition to the modifications already carried out in order to fit the new set into the brackets. The NZPFU has provided a representative, Brent Single, to work with the project to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

The modification will be trialed in January in Kawerau, Taupo, New Plymouth and Whanganui and will then be rolled out to other brigades, subject to its acceptance.

All the modifications to the brackets carried out to date have been tested and certified by an independent engineer to ensure that the seats continue to meet the required standard.

It is essential that no local modifications are carried out whilst this process is completed in order that any solution agreed upon is a national one, and to ensure that the modifications are fully certified.

PASS alarms

There has been a great deal of feedback on the new Draeger Bodyguard 1000PASS alarm, in particular the motion sensor feature. There have been numerous reports of activations at incidents when no firefighter is in need of assistance, and there is a feeling that the units are not sensitive enough to movement and that the pre-alarm is difficult to cancel. There is concern that firefighters will start to ignore an alarm activation, making the assumption that it is one of these activations.

The thermal sensor feature on the Bodyguard 1000 unit is adding to the confusion and it is unclear whether some of the activations are motion sensor ones or thermal alarm ones.

The project, in conjunction with the NZPFU, will run a trial early in the new year to test the settings on the units and to recommend a course of action. We will involve Draeger in this initiative.

BA roll out advisory group

We will be putting together a group to address any outstanding issues relating to the roll out of the new sets, the introduction of telemetry and new BA maintenance processes. The group will be made up of the major stakeholders groups such as NZPFU, UFBA, the Executive Officers Society and operational firefighters and will provide a forum for national BA issues to be addressed.

The make-up of the group will be subject to a later announcement.

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