Anti-snag device for BA equipment rolled out to Royal Navy

Published:  29 September, 2016

A pioneering invention of a Hampshire firefighter will soon be helping to save lives on the high seas.

The ground-breaking anti-tangle strap was designed to protect fire crews from getting caught in falling cables and trapped while tackling a blaze.

This device, which bridges the space between the back of the pack and the cylinder on breathing apparatus, is to be rolled out to hundreds of Royal Navy vessels during the next two years. Defence contractor, BAE, who make warships for the Royal Navy and work closely with the fire service, already use the strap on all their breathing apparatus.

Colonel Mike Tanner, Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base said: “The anti-snag Extended Duration Breathing Apparatus devices appear to offer a common-sense way to better protect our people when fighting a fire inside ships and we’re excited about this opportunity. We’ve already trialled the equipment with RN fire experts in our Phoenix Fire Fighting facility with very positive results.

“This demonstrates just one of the many ways in which we closely work with Hampshire Fire & Rescue, as well as the many joint training exercise held on ships and within the base and, of course, preparations ahead of the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers”.

The piece of kit was created by Fareham acting crew manager Pete Broomfield, who was involved in tackling the fatal fire in Shirley Towers, Southampton, in 2010, in which two firefighters died. An investigation identified falling cables as a factor in the tragedy.

The anti-snag device, which Broomfield designed based on his wife’s hair clip, has received interest from fire crews as far afield as Canada and the US. Broomfield hopes that in the future the device will be fitted on all sets of BA equipment before leaving the factory.

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