Irving, February 14, 2019 – Communicating clearly and effectively is always a challenge for firefighters given the prevalence of loud and often piercing background noise at a fire ground. Overcoming this hazard and making two-way communication between firefighters more reliable is the goal of a new collaborative effort between global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA) and JVCKENWOOD, a leading developer of critical communication solutions.
With a common vision of making Bluetooth-enabled voice communications more readily available to firefighters, the two companies announced today that MSA’s industry-leading G1 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) now allows voice transmission – via Bluetooth® technology – over a number of Kenwood portable radios, including the VP5000, VP6000 and NX5000 series. An elegant and wire-free design makes the pairing of the two components easy, while reducing snag hazards. The end result is an innovative communications solution that ensures two critical pieces of life-saving equipment – a firefighter’s SCBA and portable radio – are working in concert.
“MSA has been committed to improving firefighter safety for more than a century,” said Steve Blanco, President of MSA’s business in the Americas. “Our collaboration with JVCKENWOOD and the integration of their Bluetooth technology into our G1 SCBA is a great example of the G1’s versatility and the ease with which new technology can be added to the platform to enhance firefighter protection.”
To enable the Bluetooth personal-area connection between the G1 SCBA facepiece and the Kenwood radios, the two devices are paired in a manner similar to the pairing of a cell phone and a car stereo or entertainment system. Once this link is established, a firefighter can follow normal operations without introducing a new potential snag point, or an additional piece of equipment.
“JVCKENWOOD is committed to working with leaders in the fire service to help keep firefighters safe with the latest mission-critical communications solutions,” said Karthik Rangarajan, Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Product, JVCKENWOOD. “Kenwood NEXEDGE and Kenwood Viking P25 radios now seamlessly connect to MSA’s G1 SCBA to enable firefighters to speak clearly to each other and their commander via Bluetooth technology when wearing their G1 SCBA facepiece,” Mr. Rangarajan continued. “This is another example of how JVCKENWOOD is putting firefighter safety first and working closely with leading manufacturers on solutions that make the firefighter’s job simpler and safer.”
While the G1 SCBA has featured Bluetooth capability since its launch, the ability to link with Kenwood radios is new and will now be a standard feature with all new G1s effective immediately. This standard feature comes in addition to the pairing capabilities already established with Motorola APX radios.
The Kenwood pairing ability will also be available as a firmware update to existing units in the field later this year.
JVCKENWOOD Corporation manufactures KENWOOD analog and digital communications equipment, including P25 compliant, DMR and NEXEDGE two-way radios using the NXDN protocol. JVCKENWOOD provides complete turnkey system solutions for the utility, public safety, government, education, healthcare, business and industrial markets and is recognized by industry professionals for providing products known for quality, performance, and value.
About MSA Safety
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture, and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems, and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining, and the military. MSA’s core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas, and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter protective apparel and helmets, and fall protection devices. With 2017 revenues of $1.2 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,700 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA’s web site at www.MSAsafety.com.