Cornwall FRS signs Draeger up for SCBA contract

Published:  27 June, 2011

Draeger breathing apparatus and associated equipment will soon be going live at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.  Fully covered by Draeger’s Total Care servicing packa SCBAge, this innovative kit will arrive in two phases, starting with 220 Draeger PSS 7000 Breathing Apparatus sets complete with voice amplification and FPS 7000 Face Masks.

Bringing real-time monitoring to the fore and helping to revolutionise communications as well as entry control procedures, phase two will then see the introduction of Draeger Merlin PSS Telemetry systemsA rigorous selection process started in December, 2010 when senior managers at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commissioned a working party to identify a suitable replacement for the current, near end-of-life equipment.  Comprising a cross section of staff from all areas of the organisation, the working party first captured feedback from end users.  Covering BA sets (telemetry enabled), cylinders (9 litre), enhanced BA communications and telemetry entry control boards, the evaluation then utilised the National Firebuy SCBA Framework Contract and the four listed BA suppliers were invited to present their case, showing best value products and how they would meet the Services’ exact needs.  Following these business presentations and equipment demonstrations, two suppliers were then selected for extensive equipment trials.

Paul Walker, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Head of Community Safety at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service explains, “Both sets of equipment were subjected to the same testing criteria.  The basic pneumatics performed well from each of the suppliers and operated to a very high standard.  However, when evaluating the communications and telemetry systems, it became clear that, to deliver best value and provide significant improvements to firefighter safety, the effectiveness and reliability of these systems had to be the deciding factor.  The Draeger Merlin telemetry system performed effectively and reliably throughout the trials.  It is intuitive and simplistic in operation, providing the entry control officer with dynamic critical wearer information with minimal time lag.  Draeger also scored the highest in the Firebuy national testing process.”

He adds, “Over 50% of all UK fire and rescue services are currently Draeger users and, nationally, the last 8 out of 10 SCBA contracts have been awarded to Draeger, demonstrating that the company is now the preferred supplier to UK fire and rescue services.“

Perry Jones, Sales and Marketing Director at Draeger, comments “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious contract which forms part of Draeger’s growing presence in the South West region.  We very much look forward to working with the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service over the coming months and years and are sure that we will enjoy a very successful partnership.  By choosing the modular Draeger PSS range, we believe that the Service has selected a system that will successfully meet its’ needs both today and well into the future.  By working closely with them, we are also sure that we will also be able to maximise further development opportunities to continue to improve firefighter safety.”

DCFO Walker concluded, “This significant capital investment demonstrates a major commitment from the Service by delivering the best equipment currently available, not only in the UK, but worldwide.  Fully covered by Draeger’s Total Care servicing package, which gives us additional confidence and resilience, this new equipment will also provide a wide range of operational benefits and clearly contributes to our Service Priorities.  Ultimately, this will lead to a number of key improvements to both firefighter and community safety.”

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