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Dräger launches BG ProAir for enhanced performance during mine rescue missions

Dräger has launched the Dräger BG ProAir, a closed-circuit breathing apparatus with innovative features to protect emergency responders during longer deployments typical in tunnelling and mining rescue operations.

The BG ProAir’s positive pressure breathing closed circuit prevents toxic substances from entering the breathing system, according to the company. Both inhalation and exhalation are optimised by cooling and enriching the air with oxygen before inhaling, and CO2 being absorbed when exhaling. An even distribution of the breathing apparatus’ weight enhances comfort and ergonomics, especially important during extended missions, Dräger added.

Oxygen is supplied according to the wearer’s personal workload, allowing more than four hours duration at low breathing rates, while the new cooling concept also makes breathing easier and more natural, according to the company. This allows the emergency responder to manage the incident at a lower work rate.

“It is further enhanced by smart on-board electronics, which include a low-pressure sensor,” the company said. “The integrated low-pressure sensor warns when there is a lack of oxygen to ensure safe breathing. The sensor also provides a low-pressure leak test of the breathing system.”

The BG ProAir’s housing features highly visible reflectors and a buddy light system that alerts other emergency responders to their team members’ vital information, such as cylinder pressure and operating time.

With a high contrast, full-colour display, user data is visible even in the most difficult environments such as darkness, bright sunlight or smoke, the company claims. An integrated Bluetooth® module provides a short-range connection to work with external devices such as gas detectors as well as a PC connection to download data and perform configuration.

The BG ProAir’s integrated data telemetry and RFID assists the user in multiple scenarios such as entry control management and absorber status tracking. In addition to time calculations such as time to whistle, Dräger has also integrated recognised features such as PASS, ADSU and temperature readings.

“With a fully sealed housing, the BG ProAir has been approved to the highest standards for heat, flame and chemical resistance,” Dräger says. “For additional safety, it also comes with an optional buddy system, which enables the user to safely share oxygen with those in need during rescue situations.”

Liz Millward, Marketing Manager at Dräger Safety UK, says the BG ProAir is the culmination of proven manufacturing and design experience.

“Dräger’s BG ProAir is evidence of our commitment to continual improvement,” she said. “It delivers new functionality that has the potential to save lives and will improve wearer comfort, especially important when attending the most challenging, longer-duration incidents where heat, high-humidity, tight spaces and poor visibility are typical.”

Millward adds that Dräger’s breathing apparatus history is cemented in the mining rescue industry: “In 1906, there was a massive explosion in a coal mine in France. Bernhard Dräger attended the incident and brought with him a Dräger breathing apparatus he had developed two years earlier. Its continued use gave rise to the ‘Drägerman’ – a group of extraordinary men and women all across the world who have volunteered to be trained in mine rescue.”