Assisting African fire fighting

August 2017 Fire & Safety

The latest donation of an advanced, energy-efficient Bauer compressor to fill self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) follows an original donation by MSA Pittsburgh of 400 refurbished SCBAs and fire helmets to Africa Fire Mission for distribution to under-equipped fire departments on the continent.

In 2015, MSA Africa representatives travelled with Africa Fire Mission to Kenya and Zambia to conduct training on the donated equipment. “We demonstrated to the end-users the basic application and care of the equipment. MSA Pittsburgh refurbished the units at its own expense to ensure they were all in safe, good working order,” Tshepo Lebona, product manager, portable gas detection at MSA comments.

This initial trip was an eye-opener for the MSA Africa representatives in terms of understanding the difficulties experienced by under-privileged African countries in terms of fire-fighting services, mainly due to a lack of resources and infrastructure.

MSA Africa continued punting the project actively in South Africa, which resulted in the Shell and BP, Sapref division in Durban donating a working Bauer compressor to the NPO with which to charge SCBA systems.

Bauer distributor, HPS of Cape Town, was tasked to refurbish the compressor, whereupon it decided to donate a newer model that was more energy efficient and user friendly, aimed specifically at fire-fighting applications where Africa Fire Mission was active.

In 2016, the MSA Africa team and Africa Fire Mission returned to Kenya to donate the compressor to Fire Chief David Machakos of Machakos County.

Africa Fire Mission director Dave Moore comments that the NPO is committed to boosting the capacity of fire departments across Africa. “We accomplish this through training, empowerment, support, and encouragement.”

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