Driven by Data: Digital Management of Your PPE is a Necessity in the Fire Service

Easily upload, assign, and track your personnel’s PPE with MSA FireGrid™

“Data” is a common term in the modern fire service. Insights extracted from incident reporting, local weather and demographics information, and hazards assessments are now used in most fireground operations. Though the amount of data sources can feel overwhelming at times, this intel is fundamental to enhancing firefighting techniques and improving safety procedures.

One important data source is located right in your station: your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Properly managing your personnel’s inventory of turnout gear, boots, hoods, and other equipment is necessary for two important reasons:

1) Compliance

Keeping track of your PPE’s Advanced Inspections and Cleanings is essential to maintaining compliance. NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting (2020 Edition) mandates Advanced Inspections must be completed annually and Advanced Cleanings must be completed every six months. Records management for these actions, the dates they were performed, and the outcomes is especially important. For example, if your PPE does not pass its Advanced Inspection, do you know why your PPE did not pass? Who performed the follow-up inspection? When did your PPE finally pass inspection? Auto-reminders for upcoming Inspections and Cleanings are also needed when managing an entire fleet of PPE.

2) Budgeting

Carefully monitoring your personnel’s PPE needs is fundamental for annual budget planning. Whether PPE is due for retirement or must be taken out-of-service, understanding your annual replacement needs will ultimately support your funding request. This type of data is typically required when applying for grants, like the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. It does not pay to wait until your grant application or budget request is due. By managing your PPE inventory and personnel assignments throughout the year, you will be ready to determine the equipment your department requires.

Simplify Your PPE Inventory Management

Data management is critical but should never be cumbersome. This is where the right technology can simplify your PPE inventory management and offer real insights, rather than add to your ever-growing to-do list.

A web-based tool like MSA FireGrid is an enabler of digitized inventory and records management so firefighters can remain focused on their demanding jobs. FireGrid Inventory Management is part of a suite of applications within the MSA Connected Firefighter Platform that provides access to local and remote monitoring, reporting, and maintenance – at no cost.

To sign up for your free FireGrid account, click here.


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