Hello everyone, I am new to the community and look forward to learning from everyone.
I am new to firefighting and am going through our local class for FireFighter 1 certification. I have a question to post and see if anyone can offer up their experiences and advice on this subject.
I just joined our local volunteer fire dept. ( I moved back to town, I grew up here and want to give back), I have been a member of our water utilitie's (where i work) HAZMAT team so I have some experience with SCBA's already. The one thing I have had trouble with and haven't been able to conquer is controlled breathing with the face-piece on.
I seem to be just fine and have never had clausterphobia. I also seem to be just fine when doing normal training with the SCBA on, but when we have them on for an extended period of time (say, 20 minutes) or we are doing drill work like carrying out a victim, I tend to not be able to get anough oxygen and really, really want to get that face-piece off asap. I don't feel trapped, it's more like the air is too dry and I want to take a big deep breath of warm, moist air.
I have tried breathing through my nose, 3 seconds in, 4 seconds out and that works a little bit. And I seem to be a little more comfortable in my bunker gear as opposed to wearing a level "A" HAZMAT suit (where you are zipped in from the outside of the suit). I just want to know that I am going to be there for my team and not have a psnic attack in the middle of an incident.
My first call was a structure fire and I did fine with the SCBA on. Any techniques would be appreciated. I;m not too terribly out of shape.
Next goal I set for myself is to start wearing the tank and face-piece around the house to get some more time in on it. Trying to throw in some physical work while it's on to see if that helps. We have our own air recharge system so I can fill the tank when I am finished.
Thanks in advance to everyone who has advice for me.