our department is working on getting new airpacks we put together a group to decide which to go with we have test scott msa and sperian packs in two training burns. iam looking for more info on these packs we have all msa packs right now but we are kinda leaing towards the sperians for the comfort and features they have. any info any one can give me on these would help and ill bring to our next meeting. thanks
We had MSA MMR 4500 high pressure SCBA's and we just changed to the new Scott Airpak75; NFPA 2007 standard with voice amplifiers. I am with Michael mutual aid compatibility is important but unless they have 2007 standard packs, then it doesn't matter as your newer air packs will have universal firefighter down connections that there packs will not have.
we are not going to go with high pressure because non of our surrounding departments run high pressure and they all really dont have just one brand that they stuck with they kind of have a mix like one has msa and draggar and sum have a mix of scott and msa.
Tyler, we purchased and use Scott Nexgens 4500's. We have 28 of them and have had them for 5 years with very little problems. We will be purchasing 8-10 more when we take delivery of our new pumper in a few months. Actually, we were the first Department in Oregon to have this Scott model. They were brand new that year. What make the difference to us is service after the sale. Since in Oregon there are franchise agreements so you can only purchase certain types of equipment from certain suppliers. We work only with suppliers that are in our area and who stand behind the products they sell. You might purchase a product from someone at what appears to be a good price but your on your own if there are any problems after the fact. The other factor is to try to stay with one SCBA manufacture. It is easier to do maintenance and get service on one type. As well the issue with training and familiarity of your SCBA. It is better to have one type of SCBA and have everyone familiar with it then several different types.
Totally agree with Chief Sharp on the importance of service after the sale.
Service after the sale is key, and your purchase contract should spell out what you want for the 1 or 2 year agreement. We recently placed an order for 60 airpacks, 120 bottles, 120 masks, fit testing, flow testing for masks and regulators as part of a two year service contract. They also inlcuded per our request SCBA technician class for simple in house repairs with a parts cache.
And I have heard of others who just shopped around for the low bid and got just that, a delivery of airpacks with absolutely no real service package...
I would have to agree that trying to match up with your mutual aid is a good way to go. Our dept and most of our mutual aid use Scott packs. I got to play with MSA and Drager at a few training evalutions with other dept and have found that I prefer the Scott to the rest.
did you have any problems with the sperrians i know that models we are looking at are new thats kind of our biggest worrie. but we have demo the scotts and we werent that impressed with them and there sales rep really didnt seem like he cared to sell the packs so we kind of ruled them out but i just wanted to hear if any one had any problems witht he sperian packs. because we have used msa for 15 years now and so its a toss up between msa and sperian
Scott's all the way, as to interoperability, if you decide against the more popular brand, consider who is next to get new SCBA's and maybe you'll be setting the new trend (we were the first with Scott's, now there are 3 dept's that use them in our area). Also, I wouldn't discount going with high pressure just because no one else is, remember small bottle means less weight on your shoulders.
We demo'd Scott, Survivair, MSA and ISI. The ISI was the cheapest looking in material and construction, they required way to much costly maintenance, uncomfortable and a non removable face mounted regulator was a deal breaker. MSA, the demo broke down, the regulator quit working - bad demo (and Seattle was having a lawsuit over they're MSA's, concerned us).
The Survivair is by far the most popular in our area, but no one had 2007 compliant equipment so inoperability didn't seem so important. Also the high pressure air line to the face mounted regulator incorporating the HUD cabling was so large and stiff, everyone complained that it got in the way.
The Scott, NXGX2 SCBA, love the quick release tanks (one draw back, getting wet in freezing weather can make it difficult to remove tank, stick it under the engine's exhaust for a second and it's fine), the HUD is easy to see, single battery location to run all of the electrics is sweet (minus the face mask mounted voice amplifier), IC can easily identify who is low or running out of O2 by easily seen LED lights on the back of the airpacks as well as the chest gauge. A redundant high pressure regulator to back up the face mounted regulator is awesome, face mounted regulator that vibrates when you are low on O2 is hard to ignore. One draw back, no diaphram between the FMR and mask makes Respiratory Protection a little more difficult, really need to have a mask and a regulator per FF to be compliant. Finally, low amount of required maintenance, making it more budget friendly in overall cost of ownership, made it pretty clear for our dept.
One last point, don't be afraid of the electronics, pack still functions with dead batteries, you've got your chest gauge to know what your pressure is and the FMR still vibrates when you get to your last 1000psi. If you remember to "change your batteries when you change your clocks" you'll be fine.