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New Breathing Apparatus Contract with Major Fire Brigade in Australia Keeps Momentum Strong for MSA's Fire Service Business

PITTSBURGH, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA) announced today it has been awarded a multi-year contract to supply, service and maintain 3,600 AirGo® eXXtreme self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) in Australia, one of the world's largest urban fire and rescue services. The contract is valued at approximately $4 million USD, all of which the company expects to recognize in 2016. Firefighters, as well as industrial workers, rely on SCBA to provide respiratory protection in life-threatening environments.

The AirGo eXXtreme SCBA features patented, single-line air hose technology, which reduces weight and snag points for first responders.  The eXXtreme SCBA harness utilizes advanced materials to reduce maintenance and the overall cost of ownership by minimizing the need for frequent replacement due to use in extreme conditions.  The Ultra Elite facepiece provides firefighters with an undistorted field of vision, exemplary wearing comfort and clear voice communication.   

While the initial contract with FRNSW is for seven years, the tender includes a five-year extension option.  The contract also represents a key competitive SCBA conversion for MSA, and it follows FRNSW's 2015 contract for 7,000 F1 XF Fire Helmets, also manufactured by MSA.  

"We're extremely pleased that FRNSW has chosen the MSA brand, and we're proud that our equipment is helping safeguard the lives of firefighters around the world," said Ronald N. Herring, Jr., Senior Vice President and President of MSA International.  "While MSA has had a long-standing relationship with New South Wales, we understand that customer trust is something that must be earned every day.  Our brand mantra for the fire service is – 'When you go in…We go in with you.'  But those words are more than an advertising tagline.  They represent a mindset that truly inspires our associates and fuels our passion to continually raise the bar to protect firefighters with the best and most advanced technology available today," Mr. Herring said.

The New South Wales order is just the latest in a number of recent SCBA contract wins that MSA has secured around the world.  Earlier this year, the company gained two orders from the LiaoNing Fire Brigade in China for more than 1,500 AirGo® 2100 SCBA units.  The first order, for nearly 1,000 units, was delivered in March, and the second is expected to be delivered before the end of the second quarter.  MSA's AirGo 2100 SCBA, a model that MSA designed specifically for the Chinese fire service market, is one of the first SCBA to meet new Chinese safety standards and to receive certification from the China Certification Center for Fire Products.

Earlier this year, MSA also initiated shipments against a new SCBA contract with the Junta Nacional de Bomberos (JNB) of Chile.  The contract for MSA's new and innovative G1 SCBA calls for a minimum of 1,000 units over the next three years.

The G1 SCBA is the single largest new product development effort in MSA's 102-year history.  It is the most technologically advanced, streamlined, balanced, and customizable SCBA the company has ever produced.  The ergonomic SCBA features two patented and 12 patent-pending design features, including the elimination of all electronic components from the facepiece; a "Central Power" unit that powers the entire SCBA from a single battery compartment; darkness- and smoke-piercing "buddy lights" that provide visible indicators, from any angle, of critical air supply data; and improved voice amplification communications, all of which come standard on every MSA G1 SCBA.

The JNB is a nationwide consortium comprised of more than 37,000 volunteer firefighters and 307 fire departments throughout Chile.

"Overall, we are seeing solid demand for MSA's new SCBA technology across a number of our key geographic markets," said Nish Vartanian, Senior Vice President and President of MSA Americas. "The investments we're making in our organic R&D efforts targeting the fire service helped drive global SCBA growth of 40 percent for MSA in the first quarter of 2016 alone, and we're excited about the many future opportunities that still exist on the horizon."

About MSA 

Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures.  Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations.  The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military.  The company's core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection, fire and rescue helmets, and fall protection devices.  With 2015 revenues of $1.1 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,600 people worldwide.  The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America.  For more information, visit MSA's website at


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