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New telemetry systems from Draeger have been well received by Dorset FRS.
Designed to provide a safety enhancement to current entry control and accountability procedures and bring a new level of monitoring and protection to firefighters, the Service’s new Draeger PSS Merlin telemetry system has also significantly improved communications and evacuation procedures.
Station Manager Stu Jeneson, Incident Ground Safety Project Support Officer at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, is delighted that the new telemetry systems have been very well received and that the crews have been able to use them within just a day of training, in very difficult firefighting situations.
“According to a recent report”, comments SM Jeneson, “a rubbish fire had been started inside a concrete structure that was partially buried in hillside, surrounded by soil. Four firefighters wearing Draeger PSS 7000 breathing apparatus and the PSS Bodyguard 7000 electronic monitoring unit were working inside the bunker. Outside, the team noticed that a large crack was developing in the concrete roof and the ECO made the decision to evacuate the teams immediately. With two-way communications, group and individual evacuation commands and both audible and visual warning signals, the system made this very easy to do and everyone was able to escape before the roof collapsed.
“On arrival at another incident”, Stu Jeneson adds, “the crew were confronted with a well developed, very complex property fire with people calling out for help from several windows. Five teams were committed at the height of the incident and the ECO commented that the telemetry equipment performed excellently under pressure. He also stated that it had given him invaluable information which, on the traditional style entry control board, he would never have had. Radio communications, which were difficult because of the high levels of noise from the main fire alarm, were not an issue either as the Draeger PSS Merlin was able to provide him with all the information he needed in terms of gauge readings and how each team was working. In addition, the ECO commented that this was the first time that the watch had used the new equipment in a testing and difficult environment and it had performed very well throughout the incident.”
The Draeger PSS Merlin 7000 is able to continuously transmit and receive data from up to 12 individual firefighters simultaneously. Unlike traditional manual or semi-manual systems, it remotely monitors their exact status and safety from outside the incident and provides the ECO with a continuously updated supply of vital information, enabling them to react immediately in an emergency.
Incorporating Tally Control operation, The Draeger PSS Bodyguard 7000 combines pressure indicators, real time time-of-whistle and time-to-whistle, monitoring and distress signalling in one unit. This provides the wearer, (as well as the ECO via the PSS Merlin 7000) with an accurate calculation of remaining air time which is updated every second and is based on current air consumption.
Firefighters log on individually by removing the tally from the PSS Bodyguard 7000 and inserting it into the control board. They are then allocated a specific channel and two-way communication is established immediately. Each channel displays an on-line signal, ADSU alarm signal and evacuation and withdrawal signals. These signals can be given, received and acknowledged by the BA wearer or ECO.
The ECO can select whether to view time-to-whistle, time-of-whistle or cylinder pressure, and additional data can be displayed according to requirements. Group and individual evacuation commands are also supported by a separate voluntary withdrawal facility and, in the event of a radio signal being lost, audible and visual warnings will alert both the BA wearer and ECO. Data logging is also possible for post-incident analysis.