Firefighters to get new breathing apparatus

  • The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service requires 76 breathing apparatus sets (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service requires 76 breathing apparatus sets (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Firefighters are to be kitted out with new breathing sets.

The Government asked companies to submit bids for the devices and associated parts in a request for proposal.

An RFP published online said: “The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service invites interested and qualified parties to submit a request for proposal for 76 open circuit, self-contained breathing apparatus and related components.

“The new SCBA system will replace the fire and rescue service’s existing Avon SCBA’s and encompass a turnkey solution by providing the BFRS with a new SCBA system that meets current and future equipment needs, both reliably and functionally.

“‘Turnkey’ is defined as a system that can be easily implemented into our current processes while meeting all the necessary BFRS requirements and performance standards for one price.”

It added that a specific brand was not required, but that a list of minimum requirements should be met.

The appliances were expected to include indicators that showed when they neared the end of their service time as well as a system that allowed firefighters to communicate with each other while wearing the sets.

They should also offer “harness and back-frame assembly for supporting the equipment on the body of the wearer” and incorporate a “remote gauge indicating cylinder pressure” mounted on the shoulder strap.

The RFP said that the BFRS needed 70 air cylinders that lasted for 45 minutes, and six that would last for an hour.

It added that “each cylinder shall be of a lightweight, composite type consisting of an aluminium alloy inner shell”, as well as other specifications.

The tender document said that an instructor should also be provided to show firefighters how to operate the new kit.

It explained: “This programme shall be a minimum of eight hours of hands-on training delivered by a factory-trained instructor, followed by a competency exam and each user to be issued with a certificate of competency.”

Further instruction was expected to be provided to trainers and service technicians on the island.

The RFP was issued earlier this month. The original submission deadline was extended by two weeks to January 24.

The 2019-20 Budget book showed that an estimated $669,000 was earmarked for new breathing sets.

Allan Wilkinson, the Fire Service Association president, explained last summer that the kit had a “life expectancy and after that the recommendation is to have them replaced”.

He said equipment used by Bermuda’s firefighters would start to expire next year.

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Published Dec 28, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 27, 2019 at 10:50 pm)

Firefighters to get new breathing apparatus

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