Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan has put her support behind a Bendigo-designed mask which could help better protect volunteer fireys from radiant heat and smoke inhalation.
Mike Taylor – a former volunteer firefighter – designed the the Fair Air mask as a reusable, all-natural alternative to those currently used by the CFA.
He believes the masks offer better filtration, protection and fire resistance than their disposable counterparts, but has so far failed to get the equipment approved for use by the CFA.
Ms Allan – whose opposition portfolio includes bushfire response – yesterday stepped in to offer her help.
Ms Allan said she had heard about the product in 2011 through the Bendigo Inventors Awards and had met with Mr Taylor yesterday to discuss the issues he was having with CFA approval.
“We had a discussion about the project and some of the challenges he’s having working through the CFA processes,” she said.
“I’m looking at how I can make some representations to help work through those issues.”
Ms Allan said she was already in contact with the fire services chief and CFA management.
“I can understand these things can be bogged down bureaucratically so I’m happy to give him a hand to work through those issues,” she said.
“I have to make sure it goes through the appropriate processes, but I will continue to push his product forward.”
Ms Allan said she had been impressed by the mask.
“It’s great to see another innovative idea coming out of Bendigo,” she said.
“Mike has developed this over a number of years based on his own experience as a volunteer firefighter.
“I’m not an expert in masks, but based on the evidence I have been presented with, it has met CSIRO standards and I believe it’s worth the next steps of investigations with the CFA.”