A firefighter is shown from behind who is wearing a SCBA.

Firefighter SCBA Backpack

In the early stages of the firefighter SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) development, our user research team evaluated prominent competitive SCBA equipment, interviewed professional firefighters, and observed fire companies from various regions of the US. This research propelled our SCBA backpack industrial design, which incorporates proven SCBA technology, new safety features, and many insights learned from the firefighters themselves. The result was a SCBA backpack engineered for ease of use, comfort, and safety.

The SCBA backpack is designed to move with the firefighter. The rigid backpack, necessary for securing the air cylinder, is attached to a swivel and pivot mechanism on the belt that allows the backpack to move with the user's shoulders, supporting natural back movement and hip flexion. The backpack is lined with Kevlar padding and features re-curved shoulder straps to improve comfort. When compared to a typical rigid SCBA platform for posture, range of mobility, and comfort, firefighters experience a more natural fit with less pressure on the shoulders and back, as well as exceptional maneuverability. This new SCBA design won business with fire companies across the country, including one of the largest - Los Angeles County.

Training and Facilitation
Interface Design
Industrial Design
Human Factors
Ethnographic Research
Mechanical Engineering
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Full Service Development