We recently had the opportunity to get a look at the new MSA G1 SCBA. This unit just went into production and we have put together a review for you to get a look at it for yourself. Below the video we share some of the details about the new NFPA 1981 and 1982 standards and also some more information about the SCBA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKbL57ReqSI
The new G1 is a complete overhaul of the past SCBA systems you have seen from MSA. We have broken each of these features down below:
The new G1 face piece is completely different from past models. The new face piece is very light, coming in at just under 1.5 pounds. You will also notice the new G1 mask has all electrical systems removed. This is accomplished by allowing the regulator to handle the communications, HUD, and air. Now that these systems are relocated you have a very streamlined and low profile mask which is very comfortable.
The regulator is a fundamental component of this entire system because not only does it supply your air but also pipes the lighting through your face piece for the HUD and includes two microphones to amplify your voice through the voice amplifier.
The new harness features a new quick release system for both the cylinder mount and the coupling itself. You will find this system to be very fast. The most notable comfort feature of the G1 is the new adjustable and swiveling lumbar pad. The lumber pad is adjustable to your height and also swivels as you move. The shoulder straps also have a few changes to help the straps stay in place as you move. The straps snap together at the frame and then each strap has a friction material positioned on you shoulders to help keep the straps from shifting. You will also notice status LED lights all over the SCBA. These lights give you a visual indication of the users air level. When the SCBA low air alarm activates you will also see the RIC connection will illuminate for other firefighters to make that connection.
The G1 pass device features an analog air pressure gauge and also a digital display. The display is customizable and can show your air pressure or time remaining using an algorithm to calculate the time you have available based on your air consumption. The SCBA is also bluetooth compatible and will include RFID as an upgrade. You will also hear the new NFPA 1982 common PASS sound which all SCBAs will have for the 2013 edition of NFPA 1982.
The new communications system has been well though out. They have moved your voice amplifier speaker off of your mask and onto your harness. This helps tremendously by removing unwanted weight off the mask and allowing the mask to be more streamlined with less to snag on. The regulator uses two microphones to amplify your voice through the speaker. You will find this system to be very clear and loud.
Overall this SCBA is very different from past models. My first impression was that the SCBA was a little heavy but after analyzing the systems you see where the weight has been shifted as an advantage. The G1 harness weighs 15.5 pounds with the battery, 25.5 pounds with a 30 minute 4,500 psi cylinder and the mask weighs just under 1.5 pounds. So, when you lift the harness for the first time it feels a little have until you actually strap it on and wear it. The reason it feels like this is because the weight you are used to carrying on your mask shoulder strap (for a PASS, HUD and Voice Amplifier) have all been moved to the harness. You also get a little added weight for the comfort feature of the new adjustable lumbar pad. This SCBA wears nicely and feels very balanced and the features give you a lot of advantages on the fire ground.
BOTTOM LINE: If you get a chance to see this pack do not just look at it and the features. Strap it on and wear it. You need to feel the pack to really understand it's design.