Mercy Ships Maritime Training Center buys breathing apparatus with part of a US$225,750 grant from TK Foundation.
Since 1978, Mercy Ships has used hospital ships to deliver world-class medical care to developing countries with limited available medical care. Providing safety training for crew is a high priority. The Basic Fire-Fighting (BFF) Coast Guard-approved course requires Mercy Ships to have 30 SCBA units. All technical and long-term crew members onboard the hospital ship must complete this course.
A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is a device worn by rescue workers, firefighters, and others to provide breathable air in an IDHL (Immediate Danger to Life and Health Atmosphere). An SCBA typically has three components: a high-pressure tank, a pressure regulator, and an inhalation connection. These components are mounted to a carrying frame.
The units Mercy Ships is now using were manufactured in 1990 and 1991 and need to be replaced by no later than 2014. In addition, the cost of maintenance and repairs of the SCBA units has increased exponentially. Since these units are no longer being manufactured, spare parts have become scarce and cost-prohibitive. This problem is now solved by the generous donation by the TK Foundation, a private foundation that supports nonprofit maritime and youth development projects
The new units were purchased from First Alarm in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Doug Nelle, Regional Sales Manager, came to the Mercy Ships International Operations Center to assist in assembling the SCBA units.