The Essex Crewmember PBE is a self-contained, portable, protective breathing device. Designed to safeguard aircraft crewmembers from the effects of smoke, carbon dioxide, harmful gases and oxygen deficiency, it provides protection as they manage in-flight fire, smoke or fume emergencies and assist the evacuation of passengers.
The Essex PBE is a portable hood which contains an integral oxygen supply and lithium hydroxide (LiOH) scrubber panels that absorb exhaled carbon dioxide. The breathable oxygen supply is provided by compressed aviator's grade oxygen assemblies that deliver controlled flows of cool oxygen into the hood. The scrubber panels utilize lithium hydroxide to maintain safe carbon dioxide levels within the hood. The scrubber panels utilize lithium hydroxide to maintain safe carbon dioxide levels within the hood, providing a minimum operational duration of 15 minutes under a heavy operator workload. Unlike other PBEs in the market, the oxygen supply system and scrubber panels in the Essex unit are not considered fire hazards.
The Essex PBE has a self-fitting, elastic neck opening that seals out contaminants, retains the oxygen supply and keeps the hood inflated during use. The entire unit is hermetically sealed to prevent exposure of the scrubber panels from outside air. The Essex PBE can be donned in less than 15 seconds and features a unique design that eliminates the need for an oral/nasal mask, allowing the crewmember to easily communicate while wearing the unit. The amber-tinted hood provides 270° of visibility. This compact, lightweight device requires very little stowage space. Fifteen different stowage options are available to meet virtually any application.
Since the early 1990's, Essex has produced over 90,000 PBEs without a single reported incident involving equipment safety. An estimated 90% of the commercial airline industry in the United States as well as a majority of the international airline market currently uses the Essex PBE. The Essex PBE holds FAA TSO-C116, TSO-C99 approvals as well as CAA, EASA, CAAC and ANAC approvals. It is available on GSA Advantage under contract number GS-07F-0483N.