Basic Firefighting: SCBA Review

Proper knowledge and use of self-contained breathing apparatus is necessary to help provide a safe working environment for the emergency service provider. Session Reference: Topic: Basic Firefighting: SCBA Review Level of Instruction: 3...

          • Cylinder pressure

          • High pressure hose coupled to cylinder - should be finger tight

          • Operation of low pressure alarm

                 • Open cylinder valve

                 • Alarm should activate when pressure builds up and stops afterwards

                 • Check gauge on shoulder strap

                 • Alarm - Note pressure at which alarm starts to sound. Should be 1/4 of

                   working pressure and continue until pressure reaches approximately 5 to

                   10% of working pressure

           • Straps fully extended

           • Check complete unit

                  • Cracks

                  • Cuts

                  • Abrasions

                  • Dents

                  • Missing parts

          • Cylinder secured to backplate and harness


Monthly Inspection and Maintenance - same as daily/weekly plus

          • Visually inspect all rubber parts for damage

          • Test cylinder and valves for air tightness with soapy water solution

          • Don and operate unit and check

                  • Airflow

                  • Noises

                  • Gauge readings

                  • Exhalation valve

                  • Anything else the manufacturer recommends


Defective Units

            • Remove from service

            • Tag

            • Repair or replace


Testing Schedule - Hydrostatic

            • Composite - every 3 years

                     • NOTE: As per DOT regulations, 49 CFR 173.34(e), cylinder life on

                       composite cylinders only is restricted to a fixed number of hydrostatic test

                       dates. That number should be five

            • Regulator/high pressure hose assembly must be tested by an approved service

              center every 2-1/2 years



III. Donning and Doffing Procedures/Safety Checks (1-3)

Student Preparation

         • Harness and facepiece - all should be the same

                 • Cylinder up

                 • Cylinder valve at feet

                 • Straighten and extend all straps

                 • Facepiece on right of cylinder

        • Check apparatus to see if the cylinder valve is off and system bled


Pre-Donning Inspection

        • All straps (harness and facepiece)

                  • Take out twists

                  • Fully loosened

        • Valves - all connections hand tight

        • Read cylinder gauge (out loud during drills)

        • Open cylinder valve

              • Listen for low pressure

                         • Will not activate if regulator has not been bled from previous use

                         • Remind students not to use SCBA if warning device does not activate

               • Read regulator gauge and compare to cylinder gauge


Donning (two suggested methods)

          • Coat method

                  • Stand or kneel at valve end of cylinder

                  • With left hand, cross over backplate and grasp shoulder strap that will be

                    worn on left shoulder

                  • Control the regulator (if applicable) with right hand