I realize that scba seats are a great way of getting more air packs on a truck but I absolutely hate them!
I have caught hell for not donning the scba on the way to a fire, but I know from experience that I can don an scba faster on the ground. Most times in our dept. it is almost impossible to be in the airpack and buckled in before everybody is ready to go, so I have at times been getting into the pack as we are moving, which I do not feel is safe. And yes I have put the seatbelt on after donning the pack and been stuck! At 6'3" and 300 pounds there is not much room for me in the jump seat anyway! What do you guys think about SCBA seats, is it really that important for the first due to be fully packed up when you hit the ground? Am I way out of line in my thinking?
for a quick knock down of a fire it's important to be packed up and ready to go when you arrive. In my opinion you're just wasting time trying to get your pack on while on scene,you might as well take advantage of being able to pack up on the rig.
I am all for having the scba on my back when I get off the rig. I do believe however it is foolish and even somewhat dangerous to put the facepiece on in the rig. I want full vision as I am approaching the building and the facepiece restricts your field of vision, as well as fogging up..
Your crazy!!, this saves that little bit of time. once your pack is on and straps pulled tight, you buckle up. Then you can attach your face piece to the regulator, and your good to go! the pain comes when the last firefighter in that seat does NOT put the pack back correctly (i.e. straps not fully lose, and shoulder straps not where they should be)..things get tangled and it takes a bit longer...the beauty however, is it usually takes time to get to the scene..plenty of time to pack up...no excuse...if your apparatus is equipped with packs in the seats...use them to your advantage.
I believe they are extremely helpfull with a quick knock down, or even if need be a quick rescue. I have seen a couple times when we jumped from the truck, grabbed the quick line, and was at the door with nozzles open before some others were even packed up. I understand not getting out of the truck with a facepiece on, but that takes how long to donn? It also depends on the position of the apparatus when stopped, most of ours are rural so we stop on people's driveways, no obvious traffic there, and we get a good look as we are coming up the driveway.
The concept of having the packs integrated into the seat helps to alleviate some time it does take to don a pack once on scene (regardless of how fast you can do it) and should enable time to do other fireground tasks.....size up, pull lines, ladder, etc, etc.
Granted the SCBA seat may not be as comfortable and donning en route takes practice, but if the packs are in the seat IMO, it is the responsibility of the FF to learn and train to do this. Seatbelts are definately important and I have found several times where I will buckle up first and then start to don the SCBA. Many times I will leave the waist straps unbuckled until I get off the rig....this takes a couple seconds to do. I also know that my seatbelt is buckled and that I didn't inadvertently buckle into the SCBA strap. I DO agree with Don on masking up en route though, that concept and tactic can KMA.
What ever works best. I have did it both ways. At 6'5"and 215 it can be a tight fit.
Well, Jim, I've got ya this time. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs. Just had to say that! All kidding aside, I don't mind the seat or the pack. Just a matter of getting into the habit. You absolutely must have the pack on correctly when you step off the truck so you can focus on the task. Train hard and get it down, getting past the discomfort. I'm sure you'll agree there are many things we must do that are not fun, but it's all for our safety.
Stay safe, Jim!
Jim, I hate to sound like an ass here...BUT, if the picture by your name is you, you wouldn't be wearing an SCBA on any of the Fds I am a member of. WHY? The beard. Plain and simple facial hair inbetween the skin and the seal of the mask excludes you from wearing an scba. So there you go, problem solved!
I was wondering if you were going to bring that up Don! No, no that is a picture from about five years ago from before I was on the dept. Clean shaven now except for a crummy little moustache, and I do mean crummy!
I had a crummy little goatee until some strange fellow called FyredUp took a bunch of people to task on another forum regarding facial hair, so clean shaven for me now.
Hmmmm....FyredUp? Sounds like my kind of guy!!
I hear he is a tool....like someone who would drive a small ugly green car. :-D