I help with our Fire Dept's Dive Team. We have been organized for about 12 years, we have been using Viking Drysuits for about 9 years. We have had consistent problems with guys using the suits and either having a neck squeeze, or having the hood fill with air, almost pulling off our full face masks.
Can I get some feedback on what other departments are using, whather it be the the neck rings or what ever else you use.
Any info would be appreciated.
We use USIA drysuits that are custom fit to each team member. Our neck seals can be trimmed to make them bigger.
I know this is a slight hijack, but my volunteer organization used wetsuits, although they were quite thick. I used a two piece farmer john that was 5mm thick in water that was 42º before. Combined with proper sealing, I never got cold during the operation. We were cooperating with another dive team that was using dry suits, and my team covered far more area than theirs because they spent more time fighting their suits than swimming & looking.
I see by your location that you're likely seeing temps well below 42º. But maybe a 7mm thick two piece farmer john suit, some a nice hood, booties, and gloves, combined with excellent sealing at the ankles, wrists, and neck, would make for a quite comfortable dive in cold water.
Wetsuits are mostly not practical for public safety if you ever think you may be in a hazmat situation. This could even include the gas leaking from a submerged vehicle.
My suggestion is having the hoods professionaly trimmed by your dealer. This made a big difference in ours.
Hey Fire Medic 7,
Digger here, from Columbus, down the pike a bit. We dove with you guys a couple times at Whitestar and Circleville.
We had this problem a bit too, and the biggest thing that helped was making 100% sure the insulation didnt peek out from the latex hood, and making sure the AGA strapping sits as far down on the back of the head as possible. If there is anything showing from the faceseal, it will let air in, and getting the straps way down seems to help keep the mask from starting up in the first place. We used nomexes initially, we thought the neck being covered would be nice, but we went back to the foam head caps, although I do still use a shorty nomex too.
hope this helps, if you guys come around anymore, look me up!
Thanks Steve- See ya at the quarries!
Originally Posted by diggerdpilot
Trim the neck seals for your guys, it's not a one-size fits all. Viking/aftermarket has a simple one-way valve, about the size of a nickel, that installs into the top of the hood to release trapped air.
Firemedic, all of these are good suggestions that should be addressed. custom cut the neck seals, hood, and be sure that the AGA is fitting properly. one other item that you can do is to install hood vents. one way valves that install in the top of the hood just to one side or the other of the top AGA strap. this will allow excess air to vent and not pull your hood off. it also reduces neck strain and excess float do to the trapped air. they are cheap and easy to instal. check with your viking dealer or your drysuit repair company. if you cant find any, let me know and i will hook you up.