Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
FAST-mask – A new positive pressure breathing apparatus for HAZMAT applications
Published:  15 December, 2009

Excelerate Technology, the leading supplier of satellite and wireless-based data, voice and video solutions to the emergency services, has announced the immediate availability of FAST-mask, a new positive pressure breathing apparatus.

FAST-mask has an automatically inflating head harness that enables it to be safely donned and fully operational within just three seconds, providing immediate protection in a wide range of HAZMAT and CBRN applications.
The silicone mask automatically tensions to form a positive pressure seal without having to adjust any harness straps or buckles and switches the demand valve regulator to positive pressure helping to purge the facemask of any trace of hazardous gas.
According to David Savage, CEO of Excelerate Technology:  “The new FAST-mask is safer and delivers significantly higher levels of performance than most of the commonly used breathing apparatus sets that are still based on national standards and designs from around 30 years ago.  It will form an essential part of the HAZMAT kits being carried on mobile incident command units that are increasingly being deployed by police, fire and ambulance services across the UK.”
Excelerate Technology will be providing additional versions including FAST-cowl, which features a specially formulated hood or cowl material applied to the facemask to provide CBRN resistance, flame retardancy and certification to EN136 Class 3 for Fire Fighting.  It also includes the self-tensioning head harness whilst delivering a much higher protection factor performance, particularly for use by operational personnel with facial hair.
Excelerate is also providing a short duration, compact unit for CBRN tactical forces and counter-terrorist operations that instantly activates on removal from the carry bag and automatically inflates the head harness to protect personnel for up to 20 minutes.
FAST-mask represents a major advance over conventional positive breathing sets.  It features a spring loaded spool valve instead of cylinder valve hand wheels which releases the high pressure air from the cylinder when activated by the removal of a moulded spring clip from the spool, attached to the facemask by a strong webbing lanyard.   This spool valve also incorporates o-ring seals in balance under pressure to ensure that there is no long-term creep or leakage from the cylinder for maximum operational performance.  An optional ‘QuickFill’ high pressure