The breathing apparatus that mine rescue teams rely on
22nd July 2016
It is also used by teams working in tunnels, chambers, tanks, vats, silos, trenches, pipes, sewers, flues, wells or other enclosed spaces when there are difficult working conditions, including: • Toxic or oxygen deficient atmospheres • Long distances (4000m plus there and back is not unusual) • Hot and humid conditions • Poor visibility (smoke) • Poor underfoot conditions • Damaged infrastructure • Restricted access • Restricted height
Rescue teams can be required to perform rescues and inspection in the conditions mentioned above. They can, for rescue purposes, be asked to travel in the conditions outlined above, and at the end of this, treat and rescue casualties. They then have to do the return trip, this time transporting and keeping alive a casualty.
To ask rescue workers to undertake this arduous operation they must have complete faith and total confidence in the equipment they are being provided with. It is essential to ensure their safety while they perform a rescue, or take remedial action to prevent injury or to minimize damage.
The workforce also needs to be confident that a rescue will be effective. Key to this is the breathing apparatus they are provided with.
A normal compressed air breathing apparatus, as used by other emergency services, will be capable of supplying the wearer with up to thirty minutes of breathable air. This can be extended by increasing the cylinder size, increasing the pressure or doubling up on the number of cylinders, but realistically you will still only be capable of getting an hours use from this type of breathing apparatus.
Airline breathing apparatus would give you the duration required, but has the obvious limitation to the distance it will be effective over.
Clearly none of the above would provide sufficient confidence to wearers who would, or could, encounter the conditions during mines rescue operations. Neither would they satisfy the legal and moral requirement to have an effective means of rescue in the event of a catastrophe or accident, affecting employees, in a mine, tunnel, chamber, tank, vat, silo, trench, pipe, sewer, flue, well or other enclosed space.
The BG4 self-contained regenerative closed circuit breathing apparatus combines uncompromising safety with outstanding respiratory protection and wearer comfort. This breathing apparatus provides the wearer with up to four hours of breathing air in toxic or oxygen deficient environments.
Benefits • Breathing air for 4 hours • Highest breathing comfort coupled with an integrated cooling system • Ergonomically shaped carrying plate • Reduced exposure from a well-balanced system • The harness and intelligent breathing hose routing for excellent freedom of movement
The Drager FPS 7000 RP full face mask that MRS Training & Rescue teams use can be fitted with an integrated drinking valve. This is a huge benefit to breathing apparatus users who wear the set potentially to its four-hour capacity or to those who are required to operate in hot and humid conditions.
Whenever MRS teams use the BG4 during rescue operations, inspections or firefighting operations in confined spaces such as tunnels, underground ducts, or in situations with long access routes, the BG4 closed circuit breathing apparatus is the safest option to provide our employees with the maximum possible protection from a self-contained breathing apparatus.
The apparatus works with a positive pressure breathing circuit that protects the wearer by preventing hazardous substances from entering the sealed breathing system.
The duration of the apparatus is four hours. (This is reduced in extreme conditions to protect the wearer in, for example, hot and humid conditions) The CO2 absorber removes carbon dioxide from the exhaled air. At the same time the breathing air is enriched with oxygen from the oxygen cylinder. Before the regenerated breathing air is inhaled again it flows through the breathing air cooler where an ice mold of the same shape is inserted inside the cooler to reduce the temperature of the inhaled air and minimize physical stress to the wearer.
The BG4 is equipped with the Bodyguard II fully electronic signal and warning unit. Monitoring functions of the Bodyguard II include: cylinder pressure (digital); remaining duration of use (time remaining unit residual pressure warning); temperature indication upon the press of a button; and automatic recording of all mission data.
The BG4 is the breathing apparatus that MRS relies on to protect its employees who in turn can provide protection to your employees. It also provides BG4 training at its centres nationwide and offers maintenance and hire services.