Last October, Garland Fire Department officers Capt. Justin Dickstein and Capt. Collin Blasingame launched their new company, BlastMask. The BlastMask is a training regulator that simulates breathing conditions without an air tank, allowing firefighters to reduce the resources needed to train on-air. The two officers came up with the idea while training for their annual physical assessment and realizing how many bottles of oxygen they were using during each shift.
With the help of an engineer, the officers designed a new regulator, produced a prototype and contracted with a manufacturer to start production in the U.S. The BlastMask is now sold in countries including Germany, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina, and it is gaining recognition here at home, too. The University of Missouri has just finished a study on the benefits of the BlastMask, and the New York City Fire Department has started a pilot program that will use the mask in their fire academy.