Originally published in Fire Engineering.
DECEMBER 21, 2015 — Three months ago, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., the industry leader in firefighter air replenishment systems (FARS) pledged to donate a percentage of proceeds from every new FARS projects to the Fire Smoke Coalition (FSC). This week, the FSC received its first check, in the amount $2,400.00.
“FSC is honored to partner with Rescue Air Systems in its ongoing mission to provide firefighters with life-saving technology as it relates to air management. Understanding the absolute necessity to prevent firefighters from the exposure to fire smoke is a mutual educational goal shared with Rescue Air Systems,” said Shawn Longerich, Executive Director of FSC.
The donation was triggered by the Marriott Luhrs project, a 19-story, 320-room hotel located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, AZ. The hotel will open in 2016.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to see our relationship with the FSC elevate to an on-going partnership,” said RescueAir President and CEO Anthony J. Turiello. “To have our first project-based donation happen in December allows us to put on our Santa hat and support a wonderful organization that shares our mission of firefighter health and safety.”
FARS are a permanently installed air standpipe system that allows firefighters to refill their air cylinders inside a complex structure such as a high-rise, mid-rise, tunnel or large horizontal structure during a fire or any emergency where air quality is compromised. Just as water standpipes in buildings provide ready access to water, FARS provides firefighters with quick access to a constant, safe and reliable source of breathing air. At a typical fill station, a firefighter can replenish the air in his or her air cylinder within one minute under full respiration, greatly reducing the chance of exposure to smoke and other toxic materials.
Phoenix has required these systems in mid- and high-rise buildings and large horizontal structures since 2004, and was one of the first cities in the country to do so.
The Fire Smoke Coalition (FSC) is a non-profit organization focused on bringing attention and resources to the deadly and life-long consequences of breathing fire smoke by teaching firefighters and first responders how to prevent, protect, detect, diagnose and appropriately treat the exposure if it occurs. The FSC is comprised of firefighters and members of the medical community, all of whom embrace the challenge of teaching firefighters how to stay alive and prevent the disease, illness and death associated with today’s deadly fire smoke.
FARS were developed in the 1990s and gained acceptance with progressive fire departments in the mid-2000s, many of which added FARS requirements to their local fire codes. After a rigorous vetting process, FARS was added to the 2015 ICC International Fire Code (IFC) under Appendix L.