When I took my essentials by far the best was 4th mod. Why?.....because it had a live burn! But before we could go in we had to learn all about our SCBAs. When i was taught the golden rule was after an hour of breathin air a firefighter should go to rehab. Now being trained on a SCOTT that meant we had two options, two 2.2 tanks(half hour) or one 4.5 tank (a hour). After a hour of fighting fire you need a much need break, but now they have SCBAs that can give you up to 75 minutes of air. So are we sending firefighters in for too long and over working them?
Air supply with an SCBA doesn't mean that it has to be used up before rehab. Besides there are situations that are not as demanding as FF where a longer supply of air may be necessary.....such as confined space rescue, or HAZMAT ops where one can be on air for a longer period of time.
So realistically, the "time" on a bottle is an average, not a guarantee. So one could easily down a 30 minute bottle in 10 or 15 minutes, yet one could also breathe off a 30 minute bottle for an hour or so too.......it all depends on exertion. So for the issue at hand, one does not need to wait for a low air alarm to go off to mean it is time to leave for rehab. It does mean that command, company officers, and individual FFs need to have better accountability of time and that once going inside (despite what time the bottle says) that a good and proper rotation is implemented.
If someone working a fire gets 75 minutes off a bottle they are doing much better then i can. We will send you in with your first bottle and when you come out for another you let someone else change your bottle you drink go back in with your second in 10 minutes when most come back out and it is off to rehab. No ends - if's or but's. These are 2.2 i am not sure why you would need 4.5 bottles unless you where doing a lot of confined space rescues. I guess if chiefs and officers are allowing guys to work that hard at a fire were they are going over a hour before rehab one of two things are going on. ( Most likely i'm about to make some people mad). 1) They are short handed and not smart enough to call for mutual aid or 2) They just don't give a ------- you fill in the blank. I know we are all short handed these days more so in the day time hours but there is no reason for anyone to have to work at a fire scene for over a hour before being sent to rehab. I will admit when i get going it will take a couple of times to get spoken to before i go to rehab but i will go because i know it is the right thing to do and i have a family waiting at home for me and i know my men have a family at home for them as well. I do not want that burden on my shoulder's and wouldn't think anyone else would neither.
Who makes a 75 minute bottle? We have the latest Scott AP75 which has 30, 45 or 60 minute bottle option.
The answer to your last sentence is YES.
I went to the website and read the application for the new cylinder. Designed specifically for HAZMAT and RIT applications. Hazmat applications it buys you time in the suit for proper air management, getting into the suit, final checks, access to the hazmat, usually a distance away, make entry, work time, then you have egress, time to go through multiple step decon and still afford time to get out of the suit without running out of air. The one hour cylinder is what we use now for entry. With a 30 minute rule for useage in Hazmat. I do not see a need for the extra 15 mins in the 75 minute cylinder, if you manage your crews work time.
The other application listed being RIT, most likely used in the RIT bag and not on a RIT entry member. That affords the downed firefighter a longer duration without continuous transfilling or bottle changes. Again RIT entry is limited by air time but we do not even use the 1 hour bottle on the entry team either. Too much stress and exposure to heat / elements / time on the RIT company.
We went with 30 minute cylinders to reduce the stress and exposure hazard on the every day operation, with a 2 bottle rule and off to rehab.
Good comments John. Couldn't agree more!
havent managed to get an hour out of a 4500psi tank yet, but have had a few people that are "10 minute men"...no matter the size of the scba they have 10 minutes.
We normally go on the 2 bottle rule...at a minimum you are sent to rehab after you come out the second time. However IC, company officer or safety officer can pull you at any time and send you there.
My previous VFD did a lot of testing with longer-duration SCBAs several years ago. At the time we were using 30-minute Scotts, and purchased several 45-minute cylinders for field testing. After several months of some fairly heavy training and fireground usage, we reached the conclusion that for most personnel, the 45-minute cylinder was simply not applicable for structural operations as members were reporting they simply felt too fatigued after operating for 30-35 minutes interior on a 45-minute SCBA.
We then put the 30-minute units back on the engines and kept the 2-bottle rule in place.
That being said, we did continue to utilize the 45-minute units on the tower and our third out "haz-mat engine" as the extra duration did prove useful for bucket and haz-mat work.
I agree with you John. Sometimes it comes down to using common sense and assessing each situation you are involved it.
it depends on the person , the estimate time is 75 mins of air for the cylinder but it depends on the person breathing it if they are small and fit or big and fit , unfit, everyone breathes their air at a different rate, i know if im working hard my air levels go down faster, here in New Zealand we go off bars most of our cylinders hold 200 bar if we get below 170 bar and we have come out we cannot re enter and we have to recommission out B.A sets we have estimate working time with them and follow that if we are not out by our estimate time they will send someone in after us