The story behind Interspiro

Since the 1920’s we have developed respiratory protection for non-breathable environments above and below ground. Our technological milestones have been numerous and many of them have become industry standard. Since 2003 we have been part of the Ocenco group, one of the world leaders in respiratory protection.

From the early days of AGA to this day




Interspiro's hundred-year history goes back to the beginnings of the multinational industrial group AGA, which was founded in 1904. Gustaf Dalén, Swedish Nobel Prize Winner, joined the company in 1906 and became CEO 1909. From an early stage, AGA diversified from navigation aids and gas to related products, including regulators to save gas in lighthouses. The regulators proved to have many benefits and started to be used in the medical field and for respiratory protection as early as the 1920's.


Breathing valve with inhalation and exhalation in the same diaphragm. Exposing the breathing valve to one single pressure to control the air flow gives lower work of breathing.




On November 24, 1948, a very tragic bus accident occurred on a bridge between the Essinge Islands in Stockholm. The bus ended up 20 meters deep in the water and only one of the 13 passengers survived. After this terrible accident, the rescue service realized the need for rescue divers. At that time the fire chief in Stockholm, Erik Arve, gave AGA the task of further developing their firefighting equipment into a diving apparatus that had the advantage of quickly getting the diver into the water, "rapid deployment".


Throwback to 1954 when the Swedish department store NK at Hamngatan in Stockholm decided to launch a range for scuba diving. The regulator was constructed by Dag Johannisson, a very good & innovative engineer at AGA. This regulator has all the years internally been mentioned "tesilen=tea strainer" at AGA/Interspiro. This was really a milestone for water diving. As you can see on the headline of the sign, the name "Divator", was already used back in 1954. The swimsuit fashion at that time was definitely something else from today.


Using the knowledge gathered during the development of the fighter air craft apparatus Aviatic and years of physiological studies Interspiro develops the first system with positive pressure. Today positive pressure is a standard around the World.


Interspiro introduces fog free face mask for diving. Dry air flushes the inside of the visor keeping it fog free.


Introduction of 300 / 4500 psi bar technology.

A considerable increase of the duration with small cylinders. By using double cylinders with a common cylinder valve the balance and impression of weight was improved, thus reducing strain. Increased duration also enhanced safety.


With the development of the ACSC a mechanically controlled mixed gas diving apparatus was invented.


To increase safety Interspiro incorporates a radio communication device with the SCBA/BA. Today this is mandatory in many countries.


Interspiro creates a reserve air valve with a breathing resistance warning which gives the user a clear warning that can not be missed.


Development of a positive pressure extra mask and artificial respiration unit with a quick coupling to the SCBA/BA to aid victims.


Comfort and user safety were greatly enhanced when Interspiro used air from the SCBA/BA to ventilate gastight suits.


Automatic activation of positive pressure was a logical step for improvement, this was accomplished with the introduction of first breath activation. 


Interspiro introduced Divator MKII full face mask with low volume visor and automatic activation of safety pressure.

In 1974 AGA Spiro was formed as a part of AGA's medical division. In 1983 AGA concentrated its company portfolio, AGA Spiro become Interspiro and left the AGA company sphere.

AGA diving equipment is used by the space shuttle rescue team from NASA. This equipment was especially fitted to use when plunging down 15 meters from a helicopter to save astronauts in their space pod when landing on water. This picture was taken close to the Cape Canaveral Space center in Florida.


With the ambient air hatch the user can breathe ambient air in standby without removing the breathing valve. This allows the user to be fully prepared with all equipment ready to go in the simplest and safest way. During the years we have refined the ambient air hatch function to perfection in our latest S and Inspire face mask.


After years of development and testing, together with ABB, Interspiro introduced the first full composite cylinder for firefighting. Weight reduction, balance and safety were key variables in this product development. 


The introduction of computerized SCBA/BA. Interspiro was once again placed in the development front line. A computer monitors the equipment’s functions and a self-test is performed every time the cylinder valve is turned on. 


The integrated rescue hose made it possible for fire fighters to save each other in emergency situations, in the US this system is referred to as “Buddy Breathing”. The solution with one male and one female connection made it possible to easily connect to each other without interruption of air supply and has since become industry standard on several markets.


An Interspiro SCBA/ BA is the first in the World to be approved under NIOSH CBRN – full compliance with the new NIOSH specifications for dealing with chemical, biological and radioactive threats.


Interspiro becomes part of the Ocenco group.


The DP1 Surface Supply introduced an umbilical combining a high-pressure supply hose with a lifeline. This umbilical reduces weight and volume compared to existing surface supply systems and the surface attendant does not have to monitor the diving depth.


Diving with neutral buoyancy composite cylinders.

Interspiro continues to expand the field of use for composite cylinders – enabling the use of composite cylinders for diving. A flexible weight system makes the air supply neutral buoyant in water.


Interspiro introduces Divator MKIII Regulator Unit. Ergonomic redundant regulator system designed so that the primary regulator and/or the breathing valve can be isolated in the event of freezing or other malfunction. Dual first stage regulators integrated in one unit gives the diver great advantages if problem arises during the dive.


The introduction of IS-MIX Semi-Closed Mine Clearance Diving System. IS-MIX is extremely simple and fast to prepare and operate. Maintenance costs are very low since most service can be made with little or no tools. The breathing work is minimal due to large diameter hoses and hydrostatic balanced breathing bellows. The set is neutral in water giving ease and exactness in diving procedures.


Interspiro introduces SpiroCom Voice Communication System. The mask mounted SpiroCom unit is the first unit combining handsfree teamtalk, integrated voice amplifier and wireless radio interface. The Team Talk feature is a voice activated, full duplex, short range voice communication within a team of fire fighters. To access the long range radio there is a push-to-talk (PTT) button on the side of the mask unit.


The introduction of Incurve – The world’s most cleanable SCBA. To reduce the risk of long-term health problems, we developed a SCBA, with an absolute minimum of textile parts, making it less susceptible to contamination as well as easier to clean. 


Our AGA Divator full face mask was an important piece of the puzzle in the dramatic rescue of a boys’ team in soccer, who were trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand, due to heavy monsoon rains. This became global news and the whole world came to the rescue. Against all odds, this story had a happy ending. This rescue operation has also been filmed by director Ron Howard recently. The film is called "Thirteen lives" and you can see the trailer here.


PAC - Personal Alarm Control unit excels at everything you’ve come to expect in regard to safety and is easily upgraded to most of our SCBA’s out there. With features like buddy reading, PASS alarm and distress signals, safety comes first. The Bluetooth connection ensures the possibility to change settings and to download log files. It goes hand in hand with the unique concept of Easy Clean products and can easily and safely be machine washed.


Divator Pro - a modular diving system that allows thousands of CE-approved variants. The system includes a completely new and groundbreaking harness and regulator, cylinder pack, full face mask and several accessories for more advanced dives. Since many of the parts are available in several designs, the diver can choose from thousands of possible configurations - all with intact CE approval.

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