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  1. #1
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    Question How Much Air Can You Breath?

    I work for a small department in Texas and we just had a string of fires. During this string of fires, we had several of our young firefighters state that they had gone through multiples of bottles (sounds like the good 'ol days when testosterone ran high). We use NFPA 1854 as a rehab guideline (and we use 45 minutes bottles) but the real question is when is enough, enough? Do any of you have ant guidelines as to when you replace firefighters on scene? Thanks for the input!


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    Emergency Incident Rehabilitation Manual

    This document has a lot of information you might find useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigger91141 View Post
    I work for a small department in Texas and we just had a string of fires. During this string of fires, we had several of our young firefighters state that they had gone through multiples of bottles (sounds like the good 'ol days when testosterone ran high). We use NFPA 1854 as a rehab guideline (and we use 45 minutes bottles) but the real question is when is enough, enough? Do any of you have ant guidelines as to when you replace firefighters on scene? Thanks for the input!
    now there are some younger guys in my department who will suck down 1 1/2 to 2 bottles to everyones elses 1. we use 30 minute bottles. we haveit set that if you go through two consecutive bottles you have to rehab for at least 10-15 minutes. are accountabilty person keeps track of this on smaller scenes and on larger scenes ems/rehab personnel will help the accountability person.
    on occasion when personnel is limited we will let our firefighters go 3 bottles, more or less depending on who it is and what kind of shaper they are in.
    when you dont fight house fires but once every other week or so, you gotta be careful.
    Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff!

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    Forum Member MTKROUSH's Avatar
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    We try to err on the side of caution. If you come out you are given a quick once over by EMS while your bottle's being changed. If something don't look right you're out until that Paramedic says otherwise. If all checks out good then after the 2nd bottle you gotta sit down, have a drink and catch your breath.
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

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    Exclamation

    Thanks for the input. We have been going on the two bottles before rehab method for a while now. I was just wondering if anyone had a max limit on the number of bottles that a FF could use on a scene or if it was up to whether they could keep humpin' it.

    I had just downloaded the new USFA Incident Rehab book, but have not read it yet, though.

    Keep it, Keep it safe!

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    Forum Member tnff320's Avatar
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    I never really liked being told to rehab. I mean don't get me wrong, i'm not going to argue if I am told to by command or an officer, but I am 20 and work out 6 days a week, so I can last longer than just about all the other people on my dept. True, I think there should be at least some kind of guideline for safety, but also take into consideration age, how long somebody has been working in the service, physical fitness, and so on.
    Knowledge is the difference between KNOWING and GUESSING

    "You guys are good, but you'll never invent anything-it's all been done before."

    FF/EMT-IV (medic in training)

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    your 20 you got 2 years in
    i think after 2 bottles there shouldnt be much left to do so take a break wgen the fires out

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    Forum Member tnff320's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ap2823 View Post
    i think after 2 bottles there shouldnt be much left to do so take a break wgen the fires out
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by ap2823 View Post
    your 20 you got 2 years in
    Don't see why it matters. I know what rehab is. I was just trying to say there are the physically fit, and there are the ones who sit on the couch with pizza in one had and a beer in the other all day.
    Knowledge is the difference between KNOWING and GUESSING

    "You guys are good, but you'll never invent anything-it's all been done before."

    FF/EMT-IV (medic in training)

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    That's great, but the uniform standards exist because you are probably in the minority. You can't apply a rule to everyone but make exceptions off the cuff. If you're fine, then you should be cleared from rehab pretty quickly. Besides, no matter how good your conditioning is, there will be fires that kick your a$#. Just because you're in good shape and won't drop from a heart attack by using a 3rd bottle doesn't mean that you'll be as effective or have as good judgment of your limitations. I'm 35 but I'm a competitive triathlete. I still take a blow after 2 bottles. No harm in taking a break. They'll still get the fire out.

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    Forum Member tnff320's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngael View Post
    That's great, but the uniform standards exist because you are probably in the minority. You can't apply a rule to everyone but make exceptions off the cuff. If you're fine, then you should be cleared from rehab pretty quickly. Besides, no matter how good your conditioning is, there will be fires that kick your a$#. Just because you're in good shape and won't drop from a heart attack by using a 3rd bottle doesn't mean that you'll be as effective or have as good judgment of your limitations. I'm 35 but I'm a competitive triathlete. I still take a blow after 2 bottles. No harm in taking a break. They'll still get the fire out.
    I completely agree with yall. I am not trying to say I am mister olympia or can be a triathlete like you. I am actually very impressed by that. I am just trying to say it sucks to be told to sit down when you still got energy to keep kickin. I do what I am told and don't argue, but a lot of guys on my FD smoke a pack a day, along with a lot of other FF's, so they naturally get winded easy. So I am just trying to say you can't always base how tired everyone is by the guys who tire out quickly.
    Knowledge is the difference between KNOWING and GUESSING

    "You guys are good, but you'll never invent anything-it's all been done before."

    FF/EMT-IV (medic in training)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnff320 View Post
    I am actually very impressed by that.
    Don't be too impressed, I didn't say I actually won any races!

    But yeah, it does suck when you know you're doing fine and you have to take a break because the other guys are more pooped than you are. What really sucks is when you're doing fine on air but you have to back out and stop working because your partner is out of shape and has sucked down a bottle in 8 minutes!

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    Default air bottles

    the other thing that we have to remember is staying as team. If one of your team members sucks air harder than you do than thats going to put you out a whole lot sooner. So instead of complaining about being set on the bench, sit down with some of the guys and go over effective breating patterns while wearing a scott pack. One way that helped me a learn and I have taken to several people on the department I work for is taking the old trunk style face piece and wear it while sitting around the fire station or at home, also if you wear that or an airpack while excerising, that should help improve the amount of time you get out of a bottle. Its up to each one of us on each department to teach each other different ways of doing things.

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    Default air

    One thing to always remember is that once assigned to a crew you should stay with that crew unless moved to another crew by IC. With that said. It should be everyones goal to be able to make a botle last as long as possible. Your only as good as the weakest man on your crew. Now dont go and kick a man off the crew because the amount of air he consumes. Instead take the time to sit down with your crews and going over breathing techniques. There are several ways you can go over breathing techniques with out using air. One that I have found that works is finding the old masks that have trunks and perform your normal daily duties in those, or like a few of us have done play a game of basketball!!! Thats a real ton of fun. The more you train on something the more proficent you get at the subject. The biggest I harp on at the station is that if you have 10 mins to sit around and do nothing you have 10 mins to go over some sort of topic be it breathing paterns or forciable entry techniques

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