Product Review: Blast Mask

blastmask (2)BlastMask recently contacted The Model City Firefighter about completing a product review of their product. As any of my frequent visitors know, I recognize the importance of physical fitness in the fire service. Although I was not familiar with the product prior to receiving it, I couldn’t wait to receive the product to try it for myself.

Why Blast Mask?

As stated below, there are a variety of uses for BlastMask! It can be used during fitness exercises in the gym, during Memorial 9/11 or during training evolutions to simulate the breathing with an SCBA without having to drain down the cylinder in the airpack. There are many departments across the country that still do not have the luxury of having a cascade system to refill cylinders after every training drill.

With BlastMask, you are able to save wear/tear on the regulators without having to sacrifice the realistic breathing that you experience while on air.

YOU ALREADY TRAIN YOUR ASS OFF. 
NOW TRAIN YOUR LUNGS OFF.

In the line of duty, an SCBA regulator and pack weight reduce VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) by 14.9% – primarily from the regulator. Additionally, peak power output and SPO2 (oxyhemoglobin saturation) are decreased by the regulator alone. TRAINING IN A FACEPIECE AND PACK ALONE DOES NOT REDUCE VO2 MAX, PEAK POWER OUTPUT AND SPO2

Training with and without BlastMask Training Regulator:

blastmask (1)The Product
The BlastMask regulator is currently available in a variety of models. All of the models are constructed of a thermo-polymer resin that is constructed for those impacts that typically happen when we are beating and banging the SCBA on in our training evolutions.
The BlastMask is currently available for the following SCBA masks:
  • MSA UltraElite
  • MSA G1
  • Scott AV-3000
  • Scott AV-2000

The Warranty

Each BlastMask training regulator comes with one full-year warranty from the date of purchase.

The Review

 As I stated above, I was really excited about giving the BlastMask a try. I brought my mask home from work following shift and arrived at the gym around noon. Rowing was on the workout schedule, and I thought this would be a great exercise to give BlastMask a try on. I would be able to wear my mask without it hampering my movement, and it would allow me to work my heart and respiratory rate to a higher level. I clicked the BlastMask into my mask, just as I would the regulator, and started rowing. Immediately, I realized the difference each time I would take a deep breathe in. I could feel the resistance that it provided and I worked to control my breathing as I worked harder. After several minutes of rowing, I did start to get a little fog build up in the mask. This was manageable for quite some time as I did not need to see where as I was going since I was simply rowing back and forth on the rower.

blastmask (3)Following the exercise, I was able to eliminate the fogging issue by cleaning the mask with a wet rag or a thin layer of dish soap to help minimize the fog.

A few weeks after, I was able to use the BlastMask while completing a firefighter down drill at the firehouse. We typically try to black out our vision with wax paper, so fogging wasn’t an issue with the exercise. The BlastMask held up fine without any visual damage despite being beat around on the props. Following the drill, I was able to place my SCBA immediately back into service. Typically, I would have had to take the time to refill/swap cylinders out before being able to place the SCBA back into service.
I feel that both of the applications are very useful for firefighters. This would be a great tool for those firefighters who want to continue to improve their fitness level and those who do not have a cascade system readily available to them.
PROS:
  • Made in the USA
  • Durable Product
  • Helps to simulate breathing through an SCBA

CONS:

  • Fogging of the Mask (not an issue if conducting drill with blacked out facepiece)

Contact Info

Website: http://www.blastmask.com

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