What exactly is a VRU Escape Hood?

The VRU Escape Hood is identical to the Victim Rescue Unit Plus, a product of Essex Industries that’s being made available for public purchase for the first time.

VRU three pouches

The VRU Escape Hood (VRU+) is a fast donning head and respiratory protective hood — the most compact,  lightweight, totally-enclosed, oxygen-supplied Smoke/Chem-Bio-Rad protection hood available today.

What does a VRU Escape Hood do?

The unit protects the user’s head and vision from fire and smoke and respiratory system from toxic gases, nerve agents like Sarin, choking agents like Mustard and radiological particles from dirty bomb or nuclear fallout for up to 60 minutes. Dons in just seconds.

Dover EPOS

Who uses the VRU Escape Hood?

The performance and versatility of the VRU Escape Hood have made it the protective hood of choice for U.S. government agencies, military, law enforcement, homeland defense, first responders, high-rise building occupants and industrial companies both domestically and overseas.

Hawaii Guard members give Pacific Angel a lift


How long does it take to don a VRU Escape Hood?

It is easy to don in 15 seconds or less with little or no training. The unit has no front or back to cause confusion – just slips over the head.

How does the VRU Escape Hood protect the wearer?

Shields from heat and flame — Kapton hood protects head from flames up to 1832° F and dripping resins up to 392° F.

What size should I order?

The one-size-fits-all soft, pliable neck seal provides complete head, eye and respiratory Smoke/Chem-Bio-Rad protection. Allows room for corrective or protective eyewear with no restrictions. (No need for time-consuming fit testing as required for gas masks). May be used on infants by bringing the neck seal around the infant’s waist, tucking their arms up inside the hood.


Does any part of the VRU Escape Hood go in my mouth or cover my nose?

There’s no mouth piece or nose clip as with some types of gas masks. As such, the VRU Escape Hood provides the all-important ability to communicate to others as well as use cell phones or other electronic devices. In fact, victim communication provides medical personnel the most important assessment of a victim’s condition, commonly referred to as ABC assessment – Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

Can the VRU Escape Hood be put on an unconscious victim?

Yes, it can be donned easily on an unconscious victim providing immediate oxygen supply and life-saving protection. Mouth bit and respirator type systems are virtually useless when donned on an unconscious victim.

Does the VRU Escape Hood provide breathable air?

Yes, unlike a filter mask which must clean poisonous outside air to make it fit to breathe, the VRU Escape Hood delivers life-sustaining aviator grade oxygen. The self-contained oxygen supply completely protects the user in an oxygen-deficient environment. In oxygen-deficient situations, other systems that rely on outside air to operate cannot sustain life.

In fact, the cleanliness of breathable air is called a Protection Factor. NIOSH requires a Protection Factor of 20, which means the air inside the hood is 20 times cleaner than the air outside. The VRU Escape Hood has a Protection Factor of 260, or 13 times better than the NIOSH requirement.

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Is the VRU Escape Hood comfortable to wear?

Yes, it is designed for life sustainability and comfort. The extremely small felt-covered oxygen cylinder is held in place directly under the neck seal to assure comfort. No potentially dangerous protrusions exist and no adjustments are needed. Other hood systems have cumbersome oxygen supply canisters or respirator components that
are uncomfortable and can cause potentially dangerous entanglement.

At only 1.5 lbs., the VRU Escape Hood is the lightest and most comfortable hood available. Other hood units weigh 3 lbs. or more.

The thin, flexible, soft-sided pouch is comfortable to wear. Other respirator type Smoke/Chem-Bio-Rad systems are so bulky they are not a viable, wearable option.

How long will a VRU Escape Hood protect the wearer?

The VRU Escape Hood provides up to 60 minutes of protection for rescue. Other hoods provide only 30 minutes.

What’s unique about the VRU Escape Hood design?

The VRU Escape Hood’s thin protective packaging profile allows it to be concealed and/or easily and comfortably worn on belt or shoulder strap.

VRU pouch

The flat, flame-retardant soft-side pouch virtually eliminates the possibility of tripping on discarded pouch. Other systems have hard, plastic system casings that can be very large and easily cause tripping or falls which could compound panic and prevent escape.

The thin profile (7.5” x 9.5” x 2”) allows for small cache/storage units.

How well can I see out of a VRU Escape Hood?

The VRU Escape Hood provides 360° visibility to see escape routes and treacherous objects that could prevent escape.

How long will an unused VRU Escape Hood last?

The Escape Hood has a maintenance-free 10-1/2 year life span. No batteries are required, reducing the risk of dead batteries or connection malfunction used in some respirator-type units.

The VRU Escape Hood is offered through this website via an approved distributorship from Essex Industries.


For more information, download the Essex Industries VRU Escape Hood Brochure.

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