As if law enforcement hasn't had enough to worry about, the threat of chemical weapons is reintroducing many challenges for responders. For those of us old enough to remember, the post 911 anthrax scares had police departments across the country scrambling to procure WMD suits and masks to better protect their personnel. In the event of an incident involving chemical, biological, radiologic, and nuclear agents (CBRN), agencies needed to have appropriate PPE to conduct the mission. The majority of the masks that made their way over to SWAT lockers throughout the U.S. were either industrial based or fire department based, neither of which gave much thought to their use in a tactical setting. "We got them on a grant, make them work", was a common answer to our complaints about visibility, painful buckles under helmets, and more.
Fast forward to today and once again the concern of a WMD incident exists but, Avon Protection has changed the game with the FM53 "Multiple Mission Mask". The FM53 protective mask was developed to work with the wide range of respiratory protection equipment used by specialist operators in the tactical community. The FM53 was designed using the U.S. M50/ Joint Services General Purpose Mask (JSGPM). This design was made to maximize operational flexibility and address multiple threat scenarios including chemical, biological, radiologic, and nuclear agents (CBRN).
The FM53 can also be utilized in several modes of operation including: APR, PAPR, SCBA, and CCBA. Other features include the ability to purchase this mask in either a twin port or single port configuration (twin port being the most popular choice of the two).
Key features that can be found with the FM53 are the most optically correct eye lens, a 6 point head harness with low profile pre-adjusted straps and no metal buckles creating "hot spots" under the helmet, a fail safe, high flow hydration system, flexible face piece to allow for superior cheek-to-stock weld for weapons integration, and much, much, more. If you really want a homerun set up, couple the FM53 with the Atlantic Signal internal mic cable kit and push to talk communications suite. The FM53 is a true tactical mask that will serve as a solid platform for many modes of respiratory protection within the operational setting.