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December 2001

Investigation of MSA PASS Devices

The IAFF has been notified by Norfolk Fire Department (Virginia) of problems with the Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) ICM 2000+ integrated personal alert safety system devices (PASS). The fire department, working on the problem in conjunction with IAFF Local 68, has been experiencing water infiltrating “water tight” housings and analog gauges becoming loose. The fire department also reports that the units go into “full alert” during normal, routine and expected use. The repeated failures of the PASS device have resulted in the fire fighters desensitization to the potentially life saving alarm. Similar problems have been reported in Carrollton, Texas and Toronto, Ontario.

The Safety Equipment Institute has opened an investigation into the matter. The Safety Equipment Institute is the independent testing laboratory that has certified the MSA PASS devices to meet NFPA standards.

MSA has issued a User Advisory on the ICM 2000.

Any IAFF members that have experienced problems with the ICM 2000+ PASS device should document the incidents in writing. Please email these reports to the IAFF Department of Health and Safety at safety@iaff.org or fax them to 202-737-8418.


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