During the Fire Service Forum at the recent UFBA Conference, Paul McGill said he believed the order for the replacement BA sets will be the biggest ever from one manufacturer. It’s huge even by global standards. The BA replacement project, due to be completed in 2012, will involve replacement of 3500 BA sets, 8500 cylinder valves, and additional BA technology for high-use sets.
On the following day of conference, Rob McMahon, NZFS National Plant & Equipment Manager, told the delegates exactly what was involved in choosing the right set from the right supplier. After putting out a request for tender, the project team received proposals from 7 suppliers for 11 different sets. They shortlisted three sets for operational evaluation: the Draeger PSS 5000, Scott ACSi-2, and MSA AirMaXX extreme.
In undertaking the evaluation process, McMahon says they were mindful of making sure it was as extensive and inclusive as possible, representative of all firefighters, objective, consistent, and involved stakeholders. NZFBI President Kerry Ferris was one of those stakeholders, and represented the UFBA on the project.
In testing out the sets, the team did a nationwide evaluation with cold wearings, and then had a smaller group carry out live fire work.
McMahon says the project is now winding down, and that announcement of the preferred set can be expected this month.
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