Many Parker team members, driven by Purpose, wish to give back and have a positive impact in the communities they call home. For Jason Manning, Environmental, Health & Safety Manager for the Quick Coupling Division, that impact has been twofold.
Not only does Manning save lives as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Clear Lake, Wisconsin. He also works for the Parker division that developed the breakthrough quick disconnect couplings for the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that provides life-saving oxygen to firefighters. Please click the image to the right to watch a video featuring Jason and his story.
“I think my passion for safety really came from when I left active duty and taking care of wounded soldiers,” says Manning. “So, really understanding what I can do to keep our team members safe day-to-day so that they go home in the same condition or better than when they came in.”
Imagine a firefighter emerging from a dangerous, smoky fire scene with an oxygen tank that is critically low on air. With the traditional threaded connection, it used to take one minute or longer to switch out tanks. Parker’s quick disconnect coupling uses a patented pressure lock to connect and disconnect in five seconds.
Clearly, it’s a technology leap. The value of—and the Purpose behind— the Parker product was evident from the beginning: The couplings are designed to keep our firefighters safe and effective in stressful situations. But making the switch from a threaded fitting to a coupling would be costly as 100% of the market was relying on those threaded connections.
According to Paul LeMay, Engineering Manager for the Quick Coupling Division, Parker launched the quick disconnect couplings for the SCBA with a charter customer who fully understood the “Must Have” nature of the product and it wasn’t long until the rest of the market followed suit.
“We had a very tight timeframe to launch the product and so we leveraged all three manufacturing plants to work together to build the assembly cell,” explains LeMay. “This is an assembly cell where you have to produce the part perfectly every time. It’s an emergency-use product, it’s got to be reliable. From an engineering standpoint and a manufacturing standpoint, you take a lot of pride in making sure you’re doing it right.”
Certainly, pride in one’s work, innovative thinking and a shared sense of Purpose are the hallmarks of our most critical engineering breakthroughs and most significant achievements. The quick disconnect couplings won Parker’s 2019 Mousetrap Award and are now keeping firefighters safe in over 40% of the US Market.