Respirator Roundup

There are many respirators out there for police officers to choose from. Here are some of the best units available that meet the special needs of the police officer.

There are many respirators out there for police officers to choose from. Here are some of the best units available that meet the special needs of the police officer.


Yes, that's right. The same company known for making adhesive products and high-visibility products (think Scotchlite reflective vehicle striping) also makes the gas mask currently in use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in Iraq. The civilian version of this unit, the FR40, is now available to police

Available in small, medium, or large, the FR40 is made of a soft, conformable silicone material with a single flanged edge for a secure seal.  An optional butyl rubber second skin fits easily over the facepiece to help protect it from advanced chemical agents. The mask has dual lenses, which mesh well with the optional prescription insert.

Avon Rubber

Avon rubber has been producing respirator products in Britain and elsewhere overseas for years. Realizing the need for top-shelf respirator gear by U.S. police officers, the company now sells the civilian versions of its battle-tested S10 military respirators in the United States.

The Avon AR10 Police Respirator is a variant of the successful military NBC S10 General Service Respirator, which has been in service with British forces since 1986. The AR10, highly identifiable by its unique voicemitter and plano eyepieces, can easily accept tinted outsert lenses, and is supplied without a drinking system.


Interspiro has quietly been making very stable SCBAs in the United States since the 1980s. Many of "those in the know" use their products. One such product, the Interspiro Spiromatic, was one of the first SCBAs to receive a NIOSH CBRN designation for chemical resistance.

The Spiromatic S-4 also recently received NIOSH CBRN approval. It was designed to be rugged and comfortable. The mask features a flexible system for easy fit of accessories such as radio, eyeglass kit, and extra air supply.
The company's latest system, a combined SCBA and gas mask, is still in development.


While a newcomer to the police respiratory products field, ISI has shot out of the gate with what has to be one of the most innovative SCBA designs on the market.

The ISI Stealth, which is an all black Viking ST, features hands-free communications via an in-mask waterproof microphone, a unique earphone, and a radio link to your existing radio. The double curvature, optically correct lens provides a greater field of vision and easier maneuvering in tight areas than many other facemasks. And the separate regulator doesn't inhibit this view as mask-mounted regulators can.

A unique valve system allows one-handed switching from ambient to bottle air. The system's control console not only allows simple operation of all SCBA functions, but also contains a built-in voice amplifier. It also allows one-click stealth mode, which deactivates the amplifier and locator lights. An ergonomically designed backframe places weight on the hips instead of the wearer's back, allowing longer use with less fatigue.

ISI's Frontier is an SCBA made for first responders to exceed industry standards and be economical. The Frontier's few and uncomplicated components make it easy to use. The compact demand valve (CDV) is ISI's newest high flow regulator that's the smallest on the market. Three optional positive pressure facepieces are available and provide a protection factor of 10,000. Handles built into the backframe make it easy to carry and take anywhere.[PAGEBREAK]


The grand olde dame of the respirator industry, MSA (Mine Safety Appliances) has been a proud supplier of WMD-resistant respirators for many, many years. More than 7 million MSA gas masks have seen service with the U.S. military in the past century. Now many police agencies are using them as well.

The brother of the current issue gas mask for the U.S. Air Force, the Millennium respirator is the mainstay of the majority of U.S. SWAT and WMD units and other law enforcement teams wanting the cutting edge in air purifying respirators. Made of black Hycar, the flexible single-port sight lens allows wearers to get in close to their carbine sights or use optical devices like dosimeters and scopes. Fitted with the optional ESP II voice amplifier, the Millenium is the benchmark for all air purifying respirators.

To create the Blackhawk, MSA used its best technology in industrial hygiene and listened to input from the police special operations community. The result is an SCBA utilizing Kevlar straps, glass composite backplate (for lighter weight), heads-up display for critical functions, and choice of low-pressure L-30 Stealth or high-pressure H-30 Stealth, H-45 Low-Profile Stealth, and H-60 Stealth carbon fiber cylinders. The MSA proprietary SpeeD-ON Harness makes donning a snap.

Safety Tech International

Safety Tech, formerly Micronel Safety, is a source for some of the most advanced, most used respirator products in the military and law enforcement special operations field. The Safety Tech C420 Powered Air Purifying Respirator and M95 Air Purifying Respirator are in use worldwide, and are some of the fastest selling items with many of the more knowledgeable vendors.

The C420 PAPR provides a constant, filtered airflow to the user's facepiece, providing users with a higher safety factor due to positive pressure in the mask. The airflow helps prevent the wearer's facepiece from fogging and also greatly reduces breathing effort.

Unlike many unsealed commercial PAPR's, the C420 can be effectively decontaminated of NBC agents and other toxic industrial chemicals. Its blower is air-tight and waterproof (with the three protective port caps properly installed). and may be fully submerged for decontamination.

The Safety Tech M95 Full Facepiece Respirator is designed to meet the critical hazards encountered in warfare and incorporates the highest standards in NBC protection with unrivaled comfort, reliability and wearer acceptance. Maintenance of the M95 Full Facepiece is simple to learn because the entire thing, including the vital exhalation valve, is easy to dismantle and reassemble. The M95 also features an extremely wide field of vision, even downwards, due to the close-fitting design of the face mask.


Scott Health and Safety, a trusted name in respiratory safety products for the fire service and industrial hygiene industries, is making significant inroads into the police market with its Scott SWAT-Pak. The heart of the SWAT-Pak is a time tested, proven regulator and hose design used in the fire service, and is known for its durability. The SWAT-Pak sports a black Nomex tactical hood that attaches to the facepiece for added protection, as well as all black hardware and cylinder bag. This unit interfaces with all current Scott communications accessories.

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