Behind the Scenes: N95 Mask Fitting

Conewago Indiana Administrative Coordinator, Sam Wiseman. You might think he looks like he’s dressed for a costume party, but the yellow hood plays an important role in the testing of the N95 Masks. 


The safety of our staff and residents is ALWAYS A TOP PRIORITY for Firetree, Ltd. and we have recently provided our staff with N95 masks as part of our safety protocols.  N95 masks are recommended when possible but they do not work as well unless they are properly fitted. Firetree, Ltd. was fortunate to have the Pennsylvania National Guard visit our facilities to teach our staff how to properly fit their masks.
For N95 Masks to work correctly, they must be fitted specifically to each individual. Each person goes through a Sensitivity Test and a Fit Test to ensure that their N95 is fitting and working correctly. A  non-toxic Test Solution is exposed to the subject wearing  their N95 underneath a yellow hood in the form of a fine mist to see if they can detect the slightly bitter taste of the test solution.  Every subject is made aware of the solution prior to testing.

Once the Sensitivity Test is completed successfully, the fit tester asks the subject to perform activities while wearing the N95 – breathing normally, deep breathing, moving head side to side and up and down, bending down, talking, then concluding with normal breathing. These movements test mobility and ascertain that the subject is able to breathe properly while wearing the mask. If at any point the subject tastes the bitter taste of the Sensitivity Test Solution, the test is terminated as that signifies an improper fit.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.