NYPD recalls 30,000 tactical response hoods
By Philip Messing
NEW YORK — The NYPD has recalled an estimated 30,000 emergency devices designed to help cops breathe after a terrorist blast, because the manufacturer warned they might be defective, The Post has learned.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered the recall earlier this month after the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer, Mine Safety Appliances (MSA), issued a safety alert for their life-saving Safe Escape CBRN Respirator, which bears the initials for the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminants it is supposed to protect against.
Every patrol cop in the city is equipped with the gear, informally known as a "tactical response hood," essentially plastic sheathing that fits over a cop's head and neck with straps, as well as a carbon-filtered breathing apparatus that is engineered to provide non-contaminated air during a catastrophe.
Packed in foil and stuffed in a cylindrical pouch that is worn on an officer's hip, the item is supposed to give patrol cops precious extra minutes of safe breathing until the officer can manage to move to a less toxic area, the sources said.
As part of the recall, commanding officers have been ordered to inspect the troops to make sure any cop equipped with a device stamped with an expiration date before "May 2011" surrenders it for a newer replacement.
Every member of the force was expected to have complied with the directive by Aug. 22, although an informal polling indicated many cops had yet to do so, sources said.
Mark Deasy, a spokesman for MSA, told The Post that testing the company conducted revealed "rough handling, transportation and shipping" had compromised, in some instances, the promised four-year shelf life of the item.
He also said that MSA is footing the NYPD's costs for replacements.
"We're erring on the high side of caution, so we've issued a user's advisory," he said, adding that the NYPD account was "a top priority for us."
Copyright 2007 The New York Post
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