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...

            • Place harness on floor with cylinder towards floor

            • Extend all straps on the harness assembly

            • Lay out straps and check to see that they are not tangled or twisted; straighten

             as necessary

           • Shut off cylinder and bleed with purge valve

                   NOTE: Upon completion of the last donning and doffing drill, have students remain

                   in SCBA and sit on floor. Have them practice controlled breathing methods as

                   they are described in next section.


Donning Drill

        • Have students spread out in a large circle

        • While in full protective clothing, each student shall don and place their SCBA in

          full operation with 1 1/2 minutes, using the four-step method

                • Procedure: Students shall stand erect with hands above head. Donning and

                  timing starts on the word "go." Students shall kneel or raise one hand in the

                  air to indicate completion of task

              • Instructor should call out time at one minute and each ten second interval

                thereafter until each student has completed task

              • Repeat as necessary


Controlled Breathing Techniques (1-4)

Breathing must be kept on a conscious level. Subconscious patterns result in breathing only through the mouth or nose

         • Nose breathing results in

                   • Short breaths

                   • Lungs not filled to capacity

          • Mouth breathing results in

                  • Rapid breathing

                  • Body cannot take full advantage of oxygen before exhalation


Suggested Patterns

         • In through nose - out through mouth

                • Easy to learn and remember

                • Close to normal pattern when speaking

                • Technique

                          • Breathe in slow and deep

                          • Hold in lungs 3-4 seconds for maximum oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange

           • In through mouth - out through nose

                 • Allows for good air exchange without holding breath

                 • Techniques

                       • Inhale rapid and full

                       • Exhale slowly

                       • Best method for strenuous work


          • Five-second count method

                • Technique

                      • Inhale for 5 seconds using either of first two methods - slowly and fully

                      • Hold for 5 seconds

                      • Exhale for 5 seconds

                      • Hold for 5 seconds

                      • Repeat cycle

               • Best for short rest breaks

         • Skip breathing

              • Emergency only - for conservation of air

              • 30 minute SCBA may be extended to two hours

              • Technique

                     • Inhale fully

                     • Hold breath for normal exhalation time

                     • Take additional breath before exhaling

                     • Exhale slowly

                     • Repeat cycle

             • Important to remain mentally and physically calm