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BA Mask-Helmet Combinations


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Numerous European fire and rescue services, including many across Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, make use of BA mask-helmet combinations instead of a rubber harness. They allow the BA mask to be donned and the wearer to go under air without removing the helmet. Several examples from different manufacturers are pictured below


I can understand that one negative would be the risk of the face mask becoming dislodged if debris were to fall on the wearer's head. However, the fact that so many services (including the Parisian military BSPP) trust the setup throws this into contention. Does anyone know if any services in the UK have ever trialled these at any point, either historically or recently?

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I really cant see any advantage- especially as donning BA has to be carried out in a safe environment,  so why the need for a helmet in the few seconds it takes to mask up?

I also wonder how decontamination is carried out as a fire helmet could easily be contaminated- especially at a chemical/hazmat fire?

Here you would leave your mask on while you disrobe, but that wouldn't be possible with a combined unit

But there must be an advantage 🤔 

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  • 2 weeks later...


We use this kind of BA masks for decades now in France. Personally, I never had problem with them, and I never heard of major incidents like falling debris pulling off your  BA mask.

The main advantage is to put your mask on your face very quickly. You don't need to remove your helmet, get down your fire hood and put back eveything.

Concerning decontamination in hazmat situation, another FF will remove all your fire PPE in a safe area, following a special method.

But now, some fire services, including mine, are slowly switching these masks to net harness like this one :


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