Building on a Tradition of Dramatic Difference for Firefighters

Product: The Vision C5 facepiece and E-Z Flo C5 regulator
Company: 3M Scott

Design Reality has been providing design services to Scott™ Fire & Safety for over 18 years. In the summer of 2018, 3M™ Scott™, the global leader in respiratory protection and imaging solutions, revealed the latest facepiece that we helped them design, the Vision C5 facepiece with E-Z Flo C5 Regulator.

Dubbed the “new face of firefighting,” the Vision C5 facepiece and E-Z Flo C5 regulator was created with the intention to meet firefighters half-way, no matter what challenges and surprises they face. The more advanced fire-fighting strategies and methods, the more complex become the requirements from the technologies incorporated in the protective equipment.


– Product Design
– Research
– Development
– Electronics
– Qualification

Vision C5 full face mask respirator

As all industries move toward more personalised custom solutions for both employees and clients, firefighting has always demanded a highly specialised approach to outfitting their heroes.

To date, 3M™ Scott™ has launched a multitude of performance-enhancing, communication-facilitating equipment for firefighters.

It comes as no surprise then that their Air-Pak™ SCBA – which includes the Air-Pak X3 Pro, compliant to the NFPA 1981, 2018 edition standard – is fully compatible with the new facepiece. The Vision C5 Facepiece itself further improves on the cleanability benefits of the Air-Pak X3 Pro A, simplifying the process of machine laundering to assist firefighters with exposure reduction efforts.

Design Reality helped perfect the interface of the Vision C5 facepiece with existing PPE, through a face seal that provides wider landing area with ridges to ensure it works with the protective hood. Another new feature of the Vision C5 facepiece is the wider field of vision it offers, improving situational awareness for firefighters. Whilst maximizing the field of view, we also optimised integration with a wide range of global helmets. We also built upon the piece’s modular design, enabling swift software and hardware additions or removals, depending on the work situation. This feature also enables future product upgradeability, improves its serviceability and provides a platform for use across multiple respiratory applications.

A single reflex face seal provides a more comfortable fit and greater ease when donning the facepiece. Vision C5 also offers a redesigned head harness, allowing for easy removal without the use of tools. The heads-up display (HUD) has been recessed into the regulator, allowing a clearer downward view through the facepiece. Last, but not least, the E-Z Flo C5 regulator that comes with Vision C5 provides enhanced breathability, reducing user burden and improving operational efficiencies.

RPE tube

Graham Wilson

Design Director

“The Vision C5 facepiece was by far the largest, most comprehensive and rewarding product I have ever been involved in developing. Working very closely with the development team in Monroe, NC, headed up by Darin Thompson, we were able to meet all the original requirements set by the business and more importantly, the end users. The satisfaction of designing a product that protects heroes while they save lives was awesome.”

Get in Touch

If you need support with your product design, manufacturing, electronics or software development then get in touch today.