Firefighter Pre-Basic II

Proper knowledge and use of personal protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus is necessary to help provide a safe working environment for the emergency service provider. Session Reference: 2 Topic: Firefighter Pre-Basic II...


• Normal by-product of combustion, especially incomplete combustion

• Can affect body functions

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• SCBA protects firefighter from most respiratory hazards encountered in a fire

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General Safety Precautions

• Vision standards

• Use of standard eyeglass frames not recommended

• Prevent facepiece seal at temples

• Special lens mounts available from manufacturers

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• Use of contact lenses - Recent studies involving soft and extended wear contact lenses have shown no significant problem

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• Hair standards - facial hair interfering with facepiece seal is prohibited including beards, sideburns, mustaches, and long hairlines or bangs

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Method of Operation

• Compressed air from cylinder is supplied to wearer

• Inhalation opens valve in regulator

• Regulator allows air to flow to facepiece

• Exhalation closes valve in regulator, stopping flow and opens exhalation valve in facepiece to atmosphere

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• Air from cylinder is allowed to pass through regulator. Upon inhalation, pressure is reduced in facepiece. Regulator supplies more air to compensate for pressure drops. Exhalation valve forced closed by spring tension causing slight pressure buildup inside facepiece

• Maintains slightly higher than atmosphere pressure

• Prevents leaks from outside into facepiece

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SCBA Components

• Cylinder

• Types

• 30 minute high pressure

• Volume - 45 cu. ft. at 4,500 psi

• Average unit weight - 23 lbs.

• 60 minute high pressure

• Volume - 88 cu. ft. at 4,500 psi

• Average unit weight - 30 lbs

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• Cylinder valve and gauge

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• Markings - serial number, hydrostatic test date (tested every 3 years), DOT markings, fill pressure

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• Safety or over-pressure plug - if, during filling, the cylinder is over filled, a small metal disc will rupture and the air will escape to the outside

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• A full cylinder rated at 30 minutes by the NIOSH/MSHA (Federal non-fire service agencies) will last about 15 to 20 minutes depending on

• Physical condition

• Psychological stability or make-up

• Ability to control breathing

• Training and experience

• Work activity

• Other factors

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• Harness - a device to hold and carry the breathing apparatus assembly on the back

• Backplate - holds the cylinder in place with a cylinder strap; equipped with adjustable band for 30- and 60-minute cylinders

• Shoulder strap - straps to carry the assembly on the back

• Chest strap - holds the shoulder straps in position

• Waist strap - holds the harness on the back and prevents the assembly from sliding

• Approval label - NIOSH/MSHA

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• Low pressure warning device

• Device to warn that your air supply is running low

• Activates at approximately 25% of rated working pressure (3 to 5 minutes) of air left in the cylinder, depending on

• Physical condition

• Psychological stability or make-up

• Ability to control breathing

• Training and experience

• Work activity

• Other factors

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• Location and type of device

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• High pressure hose

• Carries air, at cylinder pressure, from cylinder to first and second stage regulators

• Connection from high pressure hose - Should be finger tight. If the connection still leaks, snug up with hand. If it still leaks, check "O" ring. Never over tighten. It will damage "O" ring

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• Regulator assembly - a device which reduces the high pressure air from the cylinder to a lower pressure

• First stage mounted on side of backpack

• Gauge - tells how much air is remaining in the cylinder