1. #1
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    Default Apparatus/Equipment Checks

    Looking for some guidance. A few questions on apparatus and equipment checks:

    1. How often does your department run through the apparatus and check each piece of equipment to ensure it is operating?

    2. In particular, how often are SCBA's checked?

    3. Are officers responsible for doing the checks, or is this done on a work/drill night and assigned to members?

    4. How often do you change the batteries in your PASS alarms?

    5. Do you keep records of completed equipment checks? Are volunteer fire departments required to keep records of checks of any equipment such as SCBAs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Looking for some guidance. A few questions on apparatus and equipment checks:

    1. How often does your department run through the apparatus and check each piece of equipment to ensure it is operating?

    2. In particular, how often are SCBA's checked?

    3. Are officers responsible for doing the checks, or is this done on a work/drill night and assigned to members?

    4. How often do you change the batteries in your PASS alarms?

    5. Do you keep records of completed equipment checks? Are volunteer fire departments required to keep records of checks of any equipment such as SCBAs?
    1. We do our weekly (Monday evenings) or after each use.

    2. Same time as everything else, weekly.

    3. Our officers are "responsible" in the aspect that they are the ones who make sure it's done. We page everyone a reminder before the designated time and whoever's available to help shows up.

    4. We usually do it as needed. That works out to be about 6 months by the time we figure in usage and checks. You might look in your owners manual to see what they recommend for that particular brand/model.

    5. We keep records (check-off forms). I'm sure it's required in the NFPA standards somewhere (couldn't cite which ones), but it's a damn good idea to do it anyway. Lack of documentation can come back to haunt you if something goes bad and a guy gets hurt/killed.

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    1. VFD = weekly; work = daily.
    2. VFD = weekly; work = daily.
    3. Officers are responsible to see that it's done, but the individual FF's take care of this. I check my own SCBA at work, but at the VFD, the FF's there for the work detail handle this.
    4. As needed.
    5. Yes, record keeping is very important. Do it!
    Career Fire Captain
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    1. the company checks each rig once a month. Then there are the guys like me who check them weekly.

    2. The company check them once a month. Then there are the guys like me who check them weekly.

    3. The officers are responsible for making sure someone does it.

    4. Once one battery fails we change them all.

    5. We keep the check off forms.

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    1. Once a month on the workday, and after each call.

    2. Same as #2.

    3. Officers are ultimately responsible. After calls, the driver and FF's are responsible for making sure everything is ready for the next call...the guy riding in the officer's seat is responsible for making sure that it actually gets done. On workdays, the work is divided up amongst whoever shows up.

    4. After they fail. Seems like 6 months would be a better answer...I'll recommend we do that!

    5. Yes, we keep records. To cover our butts if something goes wrong. Also to keep a record of issues with particular pieces of apparatus/equipment. Keeps a paper trail too...for instance if "Chainsaw taken out of service/won't run" is on the check sheet, at least we know it wasn't left at the scene.

    I don't know if VFDs are required to keep records or not, but we do.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    1. Detailed monthly, and a post run check

    2. Detailed monthly, and post run

    3. Ultimately the chief/employer is responsible, but two members are responsible for a month, and we rotate through the membership

    4. Annually, we hardly have any calls that require SCBA, most calls are Vehicle accidents.

    5. Michigan OSHA requires records kept for all of the above mentioned. I know this because it was one of the things we got fined on. We have check off sheets.



    Edited because I added a sentance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    4. Once one battery fails we change them all.
    Very proactive. We have had a dead battery on a PASS alarm for more than 10 days, and the officers were notified when it was noted that the batteries were dead. Batteries are not accessible to members, and when an inquiry was made why the PASS alarm was still dead, the officer stated that they were waiting on 9 volt batteries. Sad part is the pack was not taken out of service, and it was only discovered that the PASS alarm was still dead at a fire call. Any suggestions on what could be said to the officers here without getting a foot in the @ss?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Very proactive. We have had a dead battery on a PASS alarm for more than 10 days, and the officers were notified when it was noted that the batteries were dead. Batteries are not accessible to members, and when an inquiry was made why the PASS alarm was still dead, the officer stated that they were waiting on 9 volt batteries. Sad part is the pack was not taken out of service, and it was only discovered that the PASS alarm was still dead at a fire call. Any suggestions on what could be said to the officers here without getting a foot in the @ss?

    Sorry to hear that you are having this problem. I say, whether you get the "foot" or not, bring this up the ranks. This is YOUR safety that we are talking about. You guys need to have "out-of-service" tags handy. This way when you find a problem, tag it. Before returning this piece of equipment to service, your officer needs to sign the tag and remove it.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    At my current department, each officer is assigned a piece of apparatus and that officer is responsible for making sure it's checked off every week and replacing or repairing anything that is missing. The officer does not have to do it himself, but is responsible for getting it done. We keep check off sheets to show that it was done. PASS batteries are changed as needed, they are part of the check off.

    In my last department, the "duty crew" was to check off a different piece of equipment for each day. Each piece was assigned a day and that crew for that evening was responsible for checking it off. This did not work as well since there was no direct accountability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Looking for some guidance. A few questions on apparatus and equipment checks:

    1. How often does your department run through the apparatus and check each piece of equipment to ensure it is operating?
    Weekly, at Sunday morning truck/radio checks. And prior to being placed back in service after each call.

    2. In particular, how often are SCBA's checked?
    Weekly. See above.

    3. Are officers responsible for doing the checks, or is this done on a work/drill night and assigned to members?
    Assigned to members. Three crews, each assigned to every third week. Officer ensures it is done and signs off on it. Officer should not, IMO, be the primary person checking the truck, for the same reason production workers can't do their own QA.

    4. How often do you change the batteries in your PASS alarms?
    Checked with a (can't think of the name of it, basically a guage) weekly, replaced as needed.

    5. Do you keep records of completed equipment checks? Are volunteer fire departments required to keep records of checks of any equipment such as SCBAs?
    Yes, we keep careful records, and the officer in charge needs to sign off on the checklist. It is not hard to keep careful records once you get the system set up, and there are many good reasons for doing so. No reason not to except laziness.

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    In our combo dep. (paid/vol):

    Daily truck check includes making sure everything is on the truck and in place; also lights, sirens, mechanical check

    Weekly monday morning check includes cranking all tools, thorough inspection of SCBA's, allowing secondary apparatus to run for awhile, checking inventory on supplies, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Looking for some guidance. A few questions on apparatus and equipment checks:

    1. How often does your department run through the apparatus and check each piece of equipment to ensure it is operating?

    2. In particular, how often are SCBA's checked?

    3. Are officers responsible for doing the checks, or is this done on a work/drill night and assigned to members?

    4. How often do you change the batteries in your PASS alarms?

    5. Do you keep records of completed equipment checks? Are volunteer fire departments required to keep records of checks of any equipment such as SCBAs?
    1. This year, we tried to get the members to do a "truck check" every meeting night once a week, but it hasn't worked out too well thus far. I would say that our trucks get checked fully and completely about once a month, more or less, on average.

    2. SCBA's are usually checked with the truck checks, but that's not always the case. I'm an assistant engineer for 3 of our apparatus and whenever I go through the trucks I always find something messed up with the SCBA's - ranging from something as simple as the straps not pulled out all the way to bottles being low on air or, most recently, one of our packs had a small air leak, which was sent out and received back a couple of months ago.

    3. We have a Chief Engineer for our fire company so him and our 1st Lieutenant are responsible for the apparatus and equipment being checked and making sure that they are safe and operational at all times. Aside from those two, members are more than welcome to go out to the firehouse and do truck checks whenever they want. We have a "truck check checklist" that members fill out while doing so.

    4. We usually change them as soon as a low battery alarm is heard, but, again, that's not always the case. They have to be detected in order to be replaced. I'm unsure if there is a time frame in which they are recommended to be changed and I don't know if any of our members adhere to something of the sort so I can't speak on the entire process.

    5. Yes, we just implemented a "truck check program" this year where we have a checklist of all the equipment on each truck with room to write comments and check off if it's in safe, working order or not. Any certified/accepted member of our fire company can do this and fill out the sheets with his (we don't have any females on our company as of right now) ID number (station number, 20, and member number together. ie., 2092 for myself). As for our volunteer department, I am unaware of any laws, bylaws, guidelines, etc. stating that these checks have to be done.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

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    More than 3 weeks later, the PASS alarm on the same SCBA is still not functioning, and the SCBA is on the first run truck and not tagged out of service. Verbal inquiries have gone nowhere. What is constructive way to say in writing that there is an obvious safety problem here? I am a bit reluctant to push the issue for fear of backlash, but recognize something must be said and done. At what point do you take this outside the department, and to whom?


    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    Sorry to hear that you are having this problem. I say, whether you get the "foot" or not, bring this up the ranks. This is YOUR safety that we are talking about. You guys need to have "out-of-service" tags handy. This way when you find a problem, tag it. Before returning this piece of equipment to service, your officer needs to sign the tag and remove it.

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    Rigs are checked weekly, after drills, calls or any time they are taken out (pub ed, parades, etc).
    SCBA's checked weekly also & after drills & calls
    Drivers are usually responsible for weekly rig checks. We also have a system that every member is on a rotation to check all of the "loose" equipment (fans, saws, jaws). This also helps the guys remember where all the equipment is on the trucks. This committee is ran by an officer.
    We are trying to do an annual battery change or if the battery starts to go dead they get changed.
    We keep records of all of the checks we do.

    As for the dead PASS alarm battery, if it was me I would go & buy a 9v and put it in myself. I would not want to take the chance of getting that pack at a working fire & have something go wrong. I don't know if your dept allows anyone to fix stuff or not. But bring up the battery issue at your next meeting so everyone knows about that issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Looking for some guidance. A few questions on apparatus and equipment checks:

    1. How often does your department run through the apparatus and check each piece of equipment to ensure it is operating?

    2. In particular, how often are SCBA's checked?

    3. Are officers responsible for doing the checks, or is this done on a work/drill night and assigned to members?

    4. How often do you change the batteries in your PASS alarms?

    5. Do you keep records of completed equipment checks? Are volunteer fire departments required to keep records of checks of any equipment such as SCBAs?

    1. Both medic units, one of which is staffed from 8-4 everyday are checked top to bottom every single morning.

    2. SCBA's are also checked.

    3. Whoever is working "dayshift" as we call it.

    4. Two to three times a year I believe.

    5. Our maintenace capt. does.

    For all the other trucks, dayshift does top to bottom checks on those trucks 1-2 times a week. 2-3 times a week the aerial is taken out on the apron and run and extended, etc. And also 2-3 times a week all the saws and powered equipment are taken out and run for 30 minutes.
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    Any suggestions on what could be said to the officers here without getting a foot in the @ss?


    What about asking if y'all could help the officers by taking off some of their load by replacing the batteries in the spring & fall when the time is changed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    More than 3 weeks later, the PASS alarm on the same SCBA is still not functioning, and the SCBA is on the first run truck and not tagged out of service. Verbal inquiries have gone nowhere. What is constructive way to say in writing that there is an obvious safety problem here? I am a bit reluctant to push the issue for fear of backlash, but recognize something must be said and done. At what point do you take this outside the department, and to whom?
    9 volts are cheap. Change them yourself. Yes, an Officer should have acted upon the request quickly, but you also have the ability to fix the issue. A dead battery shouldn't have to go up the chain. Change it and log it on a checksheet if one is available. You have received good feedback from others here, but I will share our SCBA checks and PASS battery schedule.

    SCBA visual check several times a week, thoroughly checked weekly with condition, bottle pressure, PASS and low air alarm operation recorded.

    PASS batteries are changed annually when we have our packs flow tested, and if one indicates a low battery at any other time, we change it and record it too. By the way, you can make a simple form on any computer to keep track of those inspections. It could serve as a legal record if the unthinkable were to occur.

    And also, considering taking a dead 9 volt battery issue outside of the department is a bad idea in my opinion.
    Glenn Rainey
    Colington Fire Department
    Dare County, North Carolina
    The Outer Banks

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    Hi Guys;
    Most, if not all PASS alarms that are integrated into S.C.B.A. pack's are on all of the time, they are never off. Ever see an off switch? The batteries need to be changed at least every 6 months, even if never used. We put in place a system that all S.C.B.A.'s are checked every week and monthly the duress alarms are checked with a S.C.B.A. air tank with low air pressure. In the last 3 years we went from complaints all the time about issues with our S.C.B.A.'s to almost never an issue now. We do this by a crew of 4 / 5 guys that rotate on a schedule that is given to them on a quarterly schedule. A Captain over see's the process, issues with the pack's are given to him. Most of the problems we believe were from firefighters not being familiar with there operation. Training / education is most important. We have also learned that 9Volt Duracell PRO batteries work best. Not sure why, no stock in Duracell here but they have made a difference. I sent in a SCOTT S.C.B.A. pack we had duress alarm problems with and the tech asked if we tried Duracell PRO 9V batteries? We had been using another brand that even SCOTT had recommended and.......well were now using DURACELL PRO from now on. Any questions let me know, maybe I can help.

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    We assign each platoon to a two month rotation on each truck. the 2nd Mon. every month is "truck check night", and the assigned platoon goes through their rig from front to back. this also includes ALL of our personal gear.

    Each platoon has a "driver" assigned as well. Their responsibility is to check their assigned truck, including all equipment at least once a week.

    There's always a box of AA, AAA, and 9V batteries on hand in our equipment room.

    Of course, everything is checked/restocked/serviced after every run.

    Poochy, integrated PASS alarms can be turned off, at least on SCOTT SCBA's. They then turn on automatically when the valve is opened.

    If I remember correctly, after the bottle is turned off, and the lines purged, press the button on the side of the alarm 3 times and it will beep and turn off. I'm sure someone else will jump in and verify, it's been a while since I've used one with integrated PASS. We use stand-alone alarms.

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    Well, yes and no to the question of turning the PASS alarms off. While you must turn them off by pushing the button once on the SCOTT's PASS alarms or they will go into the alarm mode. They are never really off, there is a small amount of battery current that continues to monitor the system. That goes for the new SCOTT heads up display also, they are never really off. So a regular schedule of battery changes is needed. Hope this helps

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    Quote Originally Posted by PNEFD23 View Post
    Poochy, integrated PASS alarms can be turned off, at least on SCOTT SCBA's. They then turn on automatically when the valve is opened.

    If I remember correctly, after the bottle is turned off, and the lines purged, press the button on the side of the alarm 3 times and it will beep and turn off. I'm sure someone else will jump in and verify, it's been a while since I've used one with integrated PASS. We use stand-alone alarms.
    Actually, Poochy's right, they're never really turned "off." They basically go into a passive mode. This is something they discussed when I took the Scott Repair Tech class, so it's straight from Scott.

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    At my paid department we do ops checks and equipment check-outs at the start of every shift. At my volunteer department however we do truck check offs on the first thursday of the month (our buisness meeting night). Then close to the middle or end of the month we do a second check-off. We have 2 crews, each consisting of 2 officers.

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    Default Equipment checklist

    Does anyone have a checklist they use for equipment on their apparatus. We do weekly checks but I would like to have a form the members can use. If you can send me a copy that would be great. Thanks Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by NHFDCar1 View Post
    Does anyone have a checklist they use for equipment on their apparatus. We do weekly checks but I would like to have a form the members can use. If you can send me a copy that would be great. Thanks Mark
    Each truck has an inventory, broken down by compartment or location on the truck. The inventory list is just a Word document. Each inventory is kept in the truck's assigned book. When checking a truck out, member's just compare the equipment on the truck with the inventory list. The "Truck Check Out Form" has a box to check if everything is there, and a "Comments" box if something is missing/broken. The "Truck Check Out Form" goes in the truck book.

    I can email it to you if you want, but it's just a list of equipment. No magic, or anything.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    The chief here assigns 3 members and an officer, or 4 members one of which is a senior firefighter. and sometime within that month they must go through every truck top to bottom. all power tools get run, all fluid levels checked and topped off. SCBA's are checked at this time, if the batteries are below 50% they are changed. we do not as this time keep records of completed checks that i know of, but i did make up check lists for every truck but some equipment has been moved so the lists need to be modified.

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