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Dräger helps Red One protect Hinkley Point

11 April 2024

DRÄGER HAS provided Red One, the commercial trading arm of the Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, with its most advanced fire safety technology available to help protect Hinkley Point Site C from the dangers of fire.

Red One operates a private Fire and Rescue Service for Hinkley Point Site C, the first Nuclear Power Station to be developed in the UK in over 20 years. With the large-scale visible construction site also consisting of an underground network of galleries and service tunnels, the team required respiratory protective equipment that could combat the unique dangers presented by these combined spaces, and could be integrated into one overarching, interconnected safety system.  

Long duration breathing apparatus was required to mitigate the significant risk of oxygen depletion underground, as toxic gases and smoke can quickly displace breathable air in confined areas. Dräger’s PSS®BG4 positive pressure breathing apparatus was selected and purchased by RedOne. This closed-circuit breathing apparatus is trusted by miners and tunnellers globally and combines uncompromising safety with the highest level of breathing and carrying comfort, supplying the wearer with up to four hours of cooled, oxygen enriched, breathable air. The electronic control unit supports the PSS Merlin Telemetry system, enabling continuous remote monitoring of the wearers vital core temperatures and key statistics including air pressure and remaining cylinder volume, overseen and communicated through the Dräger Merlin Entry Control Board (ECB). 

In addition, RPS 3500 Emergency Air Supply Rescue Packs were also purchased should immediate air supply be necessary in the event of an emergency.  

Since initial specification, the site developed significantly, as did the size of the team and the identified risks, prompting the need for a technical refresh.

Dräger’s PSS AirBoss Connect was selected to work alongside the PSS BG4 sets, both connected to Dräger’s Merlin ECB. When the tally is inserted into the ECB, wearers of the SCBA or CCBA set are also added – establishing a direct communication channel to incident command and enabling quick and strategic response in the event of an emergency. 

With both BA sets being light in weight, and ergonomically designed with the weight distributed to be carried on the pelvis, rather than the shoulders and back, the risk of strain-related injuries and fatigue is reduced significantly, leaving users comfortable and benefitting from safe freedom of movement across long-duration operations. 

Users of the PSS AirBoss can also combine additional safety and communication systems into a single, integrated safety solution thanks to enhanced Bluetooth capability, which also opens up an opportunity to connect new and emerging Dräger technologies in the future. 

Ben Hewson, station manager at HPC Fire and Rescue, says Dräger’s service has been exemplary over the course of the project, and understood the specific requirements of its unique and expanding operation: “There was a need to be self-sufficient as a service, due to our remote location, which Dräger tended to with its Total Care Package, providing technical training to our team so that we could replace component parts of our equipment safely and securely, without compromising on its performance.  

Steven Holland, Incident Response Lead at EDF NNB, says that specifying a safety solution that met this need, but also fulfilled the requirement of an expanding project was no easy task:  We needed to find a solution that provided protection above and below the ground, and in a challenging environment. We’re delighted with Dräger’s service, and proud to enhance the safety of our firefighters in the same breath.” 

Andrew Dimond, regional sales manager at Draeger Safety UK, says Red One’s combined approach toward tunnelling and fire safety is the first of its kind, and demonstrates a leading approach towards personal safety across a demanding project: “The equipment and service package provided to Red One and Hinkley Point is unique in that it combines long duration breathing sets with contemporary fire and rescue practice. As always, we are committed to providing tailored safety solutions to fulfill customer needs, but seeing a project as significant as Hinkley Point benefit from our technology is a great feeling. A job well done.” 

For more information, visit www.draeger.com