Further to Newsletter – 21 December 2012.

A group has been established to address ongoing issues with the roll-out of the new B.A. The group includes Union representatives – Peter Nicolle and Brent Single. This group met on 30th and 31st January at NTC, along with representatives from Drager.

Issues discussed included (but were not limited to) -

  • Seats and Brackets.
  • Pass Alarms
  • Telemetry Sets and Functions
  • PTT microphones
  • Maintenance arrangements
  • Cylinder bags
  • Rewriting of SOPs.

Pass Alarms

As a result of both feedback, and our discussions with Drager about the lack of sensitivity of the Bodyguard 1000 Pass Alarms, there is a proposal to increase the sensitivity rating. This will result in less movement being required to stop the alarm going into full alarm.

The group tried the new setting at NTC, and it appears as if the new setting is a great improvement.

To trial this in the field, the Union have agreed to place four Pass Alarms, set at the new sensitivity, on the first truck at Rotorua. Feedback from the crews will be sought after a period of time.

During the meeting with Drager, the thermal alarm in the Pass Alarm was also discussed. Due to the low setting of activation and the high temperatures we encounter, the alarm is activating within minutes of entering fire situations.

This is causing confusion for BA wearers, to the point where alarms are being ignored, or even disabled by leaving the alarm key in the unit.

The Fire Service is doing a risk analysis of this alarm as it appears to provide little benefit to the wearer.

Alongside the trial of the new sensitivity level, the thermal alarm will be disabled in the units going into Rotorua's first truck.

Telemetry Set Alarms

The alarms in the telemetry sets are also having the sensitivity increased on the advice of Drager. This will be done as soon as possible so that wearers can accustom themselves to this during the training phase.

PTT Microphones

The microphones are causing interference with radios, particularly UHF.

Some Locals have removed the microphones from usage, but this leaves the comms cord dangling from the mask.

Where the microphones have been removed, Drager are able to fit a blank to the comms port on the facemask, to alleviate this problem.

The Fire Service and Drager are working to find a solution to this problem.

Seats / Brackets

Fixes to the seats and brackets will be introduced shortly to seats in four Brigades, in order to seek feedback on the suitability of the changes.

A prototype seat for new appliances will be fitted to an appliance in Wellington (Brooklyn Station), with similar feedback from users sought.

The B.A. Roll-out group will be ongoing, and will provide a forum for addressing issues relating to B.A.

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