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Local firefighters invent lens shield used across U.S.

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 10:52 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Two Sparks firefighters are now providing a piece of equipment to fire stations all over the country.

‘We came up with an idea of trying to find a way to protect the lens of our SCBA mask,” said co-owner Cody Cavin.

What started as an idea became BA Shields, where they manufacture shields that cover the lens of a firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus.

“Once it gets into the hands of our firefighters, they see the value of it almost immediately,” added co-owner Pat Case.

The shield protects the lens from getting scratched and nicked while out on the job. And it also saves time and money. A replacement lens can run upwards of $200, not to mention the time it’s pulled out of service to get repaired.

“They have to send it off, they have to get it removed, replaced, re-fit, tested and get back in that person’s hands,” explained Cavin.

Meanwhile these shields cost just $35.

A pair of Sparks firefighters are now providing a piece of equipment to fire stations all over...
A pair of Sparks firefighters are now providing a piece of equipment to fire stations all over the country.(kolo)

“We wanted something that was affordable to fire departments, but would also save them money,” added Case. “So what we found is departments are saving like 80 percent on lens replacement nationwide, just by using our product.”

They also found another use for the product in their “Smoked Out” series.

“It’s made to simulate smoked conditions,” said Case.

Those are now being used in training in all 50 states. It replaces the need to set live fires or use smoke machines during training.

“The ease of use of our product has been a game-changer for them,” added Cavin.

A pair of Sparks firefighters are now providing a piece of equipment to fire stations all over...
A pair of Sparks firefighters are now providing a piece of equipment to fire stations all over the country.(kolo)

It’s also better for instructors, who can now watch the training easier than ever before.

“And be able to accomplish that goal of them not being able to see, but us having a clear view of every action that they’re taking in training,” explained Case.

The shields are nearly indestructible, and come with a lifetime warranty. In fact, only five or six have been returned in the six years they have been in business. It seems counter-productive to making money, where one day the supply could out-number the demand. But that wasn’t the point of the business, which is run by firefighters, for firefighters.

“And that’s our goal. It’s not to get rich, it’s not to make a ton of money on the product. It’s definitely to advance the training and safety of firefighters nationwide. Because it’s what we do,” added Case. “We’re not just random people who made a product that we thought would work; we’ve got skin in the game. We’re firefighters too.”

BA Shields has also now branched out to make shields for scuba diving masks. And their in-house design department can add any company signage, fire department logo or picture to the outside of the shield.

You can learn more about the company by clicking on the link below.

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