1. #1
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    Default What price for SCBAs

    Is there an acceptable price for SCBAs that the AFG program will allow? I am getting a wide range of prices from vendors. Looking for the state-of-the-art SCBAs which meet all the current requirements. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFD1800 View Post
    Is there an acceptable price for SCBAs that the AFG program will allow? I am getting a wide range of prices from vendors. Looking for the state-of-the-art SCBAs which meet all the current requirements. Any help would be appreciated.
    I got reduced to $5250 for 45 min composite SCBAs with facepiece and an extra bottle. I think another guy a week or so again said he got a little more. The FEMA rep at the AFG workshop I went to in March actually said the AFG max on SCBAs was $5250. So I have no idea how someone got awarded more. FWIW, I asked for $7,000 per pack.

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    I got my packs awarded in 2007 when Scott was the first to come out with a 2007 compliant pack. I had a bid price of almost $6000. I to got the $5250 number. When I told my rep thats all I had to spend, magically the price dropped. LOL

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    And they can go even lower. Competitive bidding is a big deal. $5,250 is plenty.

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    Talking

    Last year we recieved three quotes :
    Brand "S" was 6,435.00 per unit
    Brand "M" was 5,100.00 per unit
    Brand "I" was 5,800.00 per unit

    We were awarded 5,250.00 per unit.
    Guess which one we went with???

    MSA Firehawks with 4.5 carbon bottles.!
    We actually ended up spending quite a bit less by buying salesmans demo units that had been used at trade shows and dept. demos. Like new condition at 1/3 off quoted price for new.

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    In 2007 I spent 4700 for msa 4500 air packs and fema allowed up 5000 if needed due to new 2007 regulation.

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    In 2007, I got Scott AP75's complete with spare 30min bottle & hard case for $4995. Requested $6000 each but reduced to $5000.

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    Default Scba

    2008 AFG awarded 5250 for SCBA w/ spare bottle. Easily found 3 bidders would met that mark.
    Mark

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    We just ordered 23 Sperian Warriors SCBA's. Bid came in just under $4,900 each. This included 45 min carbon cylinder @ 4500 psi with a spare cylinder for each pack. We also received 5 RIT packs for about $2,800 each. Each SCBA also has a voice amplifier, buddy breather hose. We received bids from MSA,Scott, Sperian and ISI. All were pretty close in bid with the exception of Scott, they under bid everybody by $19,000 to $21,000. Nobody on our department wanted Scott, plus they did not meet specs, no audiable bell for low preassure alarm. I talked to my regional AFG Rep and explained to her what was going on, and she stated that if we took the Scott bid, that we would be visited with an audit due to the fact that we would have $19,000 to $21,000 left over on a PPE award. And that this low price could have an impact on future SCBA awards (meaning that they could lower what they are willing to pay for SCBA's).

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    That suprises me about the Scott... The salesman must not know too much about them: a low air bell is an available option - I have 50 units with them (between the bell and Pass they are rather annoying doing the flowtesting!) I know my AP75's came in at 5250 last year... Personally, I like the vibralert & HUD features - there is no question if it is your low pressure alarm or someone else close...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rands1 View Post
    We just ordered 23 Sperian Warriors SCBA's. Bid came in just under $4,900 each. This included 45 min carbon cylinder @ 4500 psi with a spare cylinder for each pack. We also received 5 RIT packs for about $2,800 each. Each SCBA also has a voice amplifier, buddy breather hose. We received bids from MSA,Scott, Sperian and ISI. All were pretty close in bid with the exception of Scott, they under bid everybody by $19,000 to $21,000. Nobody on our department wanted Scott, plus they did not meet specs, no audiable bell for low preassure alarm. I talked to my regional AFG Rep and explained to her what was going on, and she stated that if we took the Scott bid, that we would be visited with an audit due to the fact that we would have $19,000 to $21,000 left over on a PPE award. And that this low price could have an impact on future SCBA awards (meaning that they could lower what they are willing to pay for SCBA's).

    You actually threw out the leading SCBA in the country because their alarm was not a 10cent tin bell? Who had low bid. And bought Sperian??? SPERIAN?

    What's the real story for manipulating the "specs" with the bell BS?
    If FD has $ left over you turn it back in. No harm no foul. It will be given to the next FD in line that had a DJ.

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    We had the packs for over a month for evaluation. Not one person on our departemt liked the Scott brand. Nobody felt secure wearing a Scott pack. I call Scott mfg myself to clarify about the low presure bell alarm, they stated just like the salesman that they no longer offer that as an option, it is only the vibra alert. The guys wanted the bell style as the low pressure alarm because that is what we are use to. The bell was written into the specs as the low presure audiable alarm for the packs, simple as that.Also as I stated that after talking with my regional AFG rep, if we took that bid, we would be auditied, and that the scott price could make AFG look at the prices for future SCBA awards. Would you like it if AFG lowered the scba price from 5250 down to around 3500, or your RIT packs lowered from 3000 to 850? Can you afford to pay the additional money for these SCBA's? I know that we couldn't.
    The way I look at it, the guys are getting the packs that they want and we may be saving future scba grants from getting major reductions.

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    Something smells in Denmark (nothing against you Denmarkians out there). What is wrong with having a very good pack and saving money that can be given to other departments that really need it?
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    It was a very simple process, not one member on our department wanted Scott. The guys looked at it in three directions, 1. It had too many possoble snag points, 2. It looked cheaply made ( the guys did not feel confident in this pack compared to the others) and 3. when only one vendor can low ball the comptition like this, it raises a red flag to us. Are we goining to buy cheap going into it and pay for it big time in the end? After the bids came in I called a department that just bought this unit about a year ago. They informed me that they have had nothing but problems with both the dealer and with Scott themselves. Scott did not want to honor the warrenty repairs (so they had to fight over that. I was told that if they had to do it over again they would not pick Scott, in fact they are thinking about just buying new packs from another vendor because of all the problems that they are having. But it comes to this, why should we buy a scba that the guys don't like or even voted for when they had a say on which pack they preffered?

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    Ahh, nothing invigorates a heated discussion much like brand of air pack!

    "1. It had too many possible snag points"
    Maybe so, but as a 'mask confidence' instructor, I've 'snagged' ALL brands of packs - the best solution is to know how not to get into trouble, and then what to do if you are in trouble. The pumper has too many possible vehicle accidents - do you not drive or do you train the folks to drive responsibly?

    "2. It looked cheaply made (the guys did not feel confident in this pack compared to the others)"
    Wow, pardon the pun here, but cheaply made as compared to WHAT? The AP75 looks like the strongest pack yet! I have battle proven packs here from the 2A up to and including the AP75's. As a Scott certified technician (we are an in-house repair center - do all the repairs ourselves) who has torn these things down to the bare block, I would NEVER trust my life to anything but Scott. The dual redundant air passages have NEVER both failed: it is designed to 'switch' to alarm if the primary stage fails. Try that with the others. Scott has never had a report of total air failure from one of it's packs.

    "3. when only one vendor can low ball the comptition like this, it raises a red flag to us. Are we going to buy cheap going into it and pay for it big time in the end?"
    I know the dealers get various 'specials' to offer depending on the amount of packs sold in their area. When I bought my updates last year, the package came in at $5,250.00 for the AP75 with quick disconnect hoses, integrated PASS & HUD, (2) cylinders the AV3000 mask, and voice amp - FAR from cheap! Scott's AV3000 was actually designed with enough voice intelligeability that the amplifier was not needed, but I wanted to add that option. During that time, the local (large) dealer was offering one free bottle for every 2 purchased! These guys sell over 5,000 packs per quarter themselves! Does that fact make the pack cheap? Nope. The QD option is similar to your 'buddy breather' hose as my RIT pack can hook onto the ff in trouble without removing it. Also, the option of every FF having not only their own mask, but regulator as well. They are responsible for it's cleaning and storage - NO cross contanimation! Buddy breathing is extremely discouraged here in NY, 2 people breathing down the bottle will run out of air quickly and give us 2 dead ff's.

    "After the bids came in I called a department that just bought this unit about a year ago. They informed me that they have had nothing but problems with both the dealer and with Scott themselves. Scott did not want to honor the warrenty repairs (so they had to fight over that.)"
    Good for you checking into things before purchasing them, I applaud that. Scott has one of the best warranty programs on the market today - 10 year bumper to bumper, 2 years on the electronics. (doubtful you got that with Speiran) It is possible that the dealer was not a service center and couldn't do the work. I find it hard to believe that Monroe would not rectify any problem quickly. Maybe I'm living in a glass house because ANY problem I have run into, I just fill out the form, send it to Monroe and get the replacement parts in a week or so, never an issue. My field service rep quickly answers every question I have in regards to issues with the packs. Sales reps, however, are a bit slower to respond because they are trained in selling them, not fixing them. That could have been their problem...

    "I was told that if they had to do it over again they would not pick Scott, in fact they are thinking about just buying new packs from another vendor because of all the problems that they are having." Boy, I'd love to contact them and make an offer on their packs if they are going to sell them! The FD's in my county are about 90% Scott, 5% MSA, and about 2% each other (ISI, Interspiro) At work, I am responsible for 1500 Scott's, 80 MSA, 30 Dreagers, and 20 ISI's statewide, and we rarely ever run into operational issues on Scotts, the others - well, I'd rather not talk about it... The largest problem I've ever seen on Scotts was training issues (both proper use and cleaning) Irregardless of the pack you're using, the training component is the most important: the best pack in the world won't hold up if it is not used and maintained properly.

    "But it comes to this, why should we buy a scba that the guys don't like or even voted for when they had a say on which pack they preffered?" THAT, I'll give you. If that is what the body wishes for, that is what you should give them. Me - I'll take the Scott, thank you. Tactile alarm (vibralert) AND HUD advises me if I am low air, not some darn bell (who's bell IS that, anyway?) I'd be happy to give you a bunch of those blasted bells from my packs that I consider useless and a waste of money anyway! I was not aware that they did away with those blasted bells - I'm glad! They were always a pain anyway! We stopped buying the bells a few years ago (however, in my defense, they are still available in our 'parts' catalog...)

    -Stay Safe!

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    I believe everyone gets audited that recieves a grant. I can't believe you bought Sperian??? You can use the excess money for fire prevention all you need to do is write a amendment. SPERIAN?????? As long as the guys are properly protected I guess thats all that matters so I will stop picking on Sperian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by admpaul View Post
    I believe everyone gets audited that recieves a grant. I can't believe you bought Sperian??? You can use the excess money for fire prevention all you need to do is write a amendment. SPERIAN?????? As long as the guys are properly protected I guess thats all that matters so I will stop picking on Sperian.
    That's my thought also. I wouldn't even send an RFP to a dealer in anything other than Scott and MSA. In our area have dealers that do well with maintenance/repair for both of these. I see Scott warranty repair gear that was years out of warranty and they are tough on dealers that aren't performing.

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    I bought Sperian too (formerly suvivair). We have 8 1997 compliant survivairs and felt that interoperability within our department was critical. Heap on the criticism, I can handle it.

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    Chief could you get me the address and POC for the scbas you bought and an email address and if possible contact me at sheltonjimmie63@gmail.com
    Quote Originally Posted by MIDWESTCHIEF View Post
    In 2007, I got Scott AP75's complete with spare 30min bottle & hard case for $4995. Requested $6000 each but reduced to $5000.

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    Bermuda it's sent

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    Quote Originally Posted by medic190 View Post
    Ahh, nothing invigorates a heated discussion much like brand of air pack!

    "1. It had too many possible snag points"
    Maybe so, but as a 'mask confidence' instructor, I've 'snagged' ALL brands of packs - the best solution is to know how not to get into trouble, and then what to do if you are in trouble. The pumper has too many possible vehicle accidents - do you not drive or do you train the folks to drive responsibly?
    I thought I'd throw some personal experience into this one. I just got back (literally, like a couple of hours ago) from our state's Summer Fire School. I was the assisting instructor for an advanced SCBA class. The biggest part of this class (8 hours) is doing confidence drills in SCBA. This includes confined spaces, entanglements, donning/doffing during the course, and things like that.

    The majority of the students were wearing Scott packs. The others included MSA, Survivair, and an ISI. There were at least a half-dozen guys using their Scott AP-75's for the first time. They hadn't been in a drill yet, let alone a fire. Plus, it was my first look at them.

    The entanglements consisted of that cheap wire and plastic venting that was seperated to simulate the plastic burning off and the wire dangling. What I witnessed was that the Scotts, got tangled up less than the other packs. None of the entanglements we saw with the Scotts weren't even on the pressure reducer, where you'd think they'd hook, it was on the handle for the valve on the bottle. One guy even managed to get hung up on the clip on the shoulder strap, which I had only seen one other time (when I did it during a drill at my career department).

    The MSA's worst area was the bottle valve handle, as well. One guy managed to hook up his regulator and pull his mask loose.

    The ISI and Survivairs hooked up on the pressure reducer (which is part of the assembly that screws into the bottle). The happened more frequently than anything else.

    On a side-note, and unrelated to SCBA, nearly everyone with a traditional helmet got tangled up on their eagle. Only a couple of guys had Bourkes, so that wasn't the issue. When we got to watching, the wires would run right up the face shield and hooked into the eagle's beak. A couple of the turtle-shell guys got hung a bit on the shield knobs, but were easily unhooked.

    The other helmet issue we had was guys who had flashlights and crap mounted to them. By the end of the class, all flashlights were removed from the helmets and the guys who had them said they were going to by one to hang on their coat. Sears is probably going to love us for the bump in wire-cutter sales, too.

    Back to the topic, the guys with the new AP-75's said they bought them for under $4,500 each. They were 4500 psi with 30-minute bottles and didn't have the dual EBSS or quick-connects, but they were nice-looking packs. I really liked how they changed the tank clamp for the strap; no more white clip to break off.

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    Hey catch, if at all possible, can you send me a list of what obstacles you were using in the drill? We run all of our guys from Chief of Dept down through a confidence course each year and utilize several different props. We have an entanglement prop, probably very similar to what you just mentioned, and have the same problems that you also mentioned. We utilize MSA packs, and have found the most common problem is the valve handle, and all of our guys have had a problem with a wire catching on the helmet front, just like you said, we have all of our guys do several techniques, but the one that seems to work the best utilizes the swim technique while putting the bottle as close to the floor as possible. But if you can send me pics or any info possible for this class. We are getting ready for a bread and butter class consisting of lots of fire work in the next few weeks.

    hickboy76@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limeforever View Post
    Hey catch, if at all possible, can you send me a list of what obstacles you were using in the drill? We run all of our guys from Chief of Dept down through a confidence course each year and utilize several different props. We have an entanglement prop, probably very similar to what you just mentioned, and have the same problems that you also mentioned. We utilize MSA packs, and have found the most common problem is the valve handle, and all of our guys have had a problem with a wire catching on the helmet front, just like you said, we have all of our guys do several techniques, but the one that seems to work the best utilizes the swim technique while putting the bottle as close to the floor as possible. But if you can send me pics or any info possible for this class. We are getting ready for a bread and butter class consisting of lots of fire work in the next few weeks.

    hickboy76@yahoo.com
    Novel sent.

    I'll also let you in on the biggest complaint we had about the MSA pack. That was the strap that goes across the chest. When they had to don/doff during the course, they complained that they had a helluva time finding and then fastening that strap. Not that any of the others were "easy", as most of that skill comes with familiarity with your pack.

    The best one I saw was the gal that had her leg and arm through a shoulder strap. I'm still trying to figure out how she achieved that one.

    I can't remember what kind of pack it was, but we had someone complaining about the thin shoulder straps on theirs (may have been the ISI). I remember seeing it, and it was only like 1 1/2" wide, if that, and didn't have a lick of padding. When it'd get bound up in something, it dug into his shoulders where the guys with padded straps didn't have an issue.

    I also noticed that the AP-75's seemed to sit lower on the back. Guys with a lot of different packs, including Scotts, will knock their helmet loose with the bottle, or even knock their mask loose.
    Last edited by Catch22; 06-08-2009 at 10:49 AM.

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