The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working with its partners to design and test a Wildland Firefighter Respirator that meets the specific needs of these firefighters. This new respirator system for wildland firefighters:
- Is chest-mounted and has a lightweight mask covering just the mouth and nose.
- Uses an electric blower to force filtered air to the mask, relying on AA batteries for power. During early testing, first responders gave S&T feedback that drawing air through the filter system could be tiring while hiking through wilderness areas.
- Relies on filtration instead of compressed air tanks and can go an entire shift before it needs changed.
- Weighs less than 1½ pounds.