Thread: SCBA usage

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    Default SCBA usage

    Do you have a policy against using your hazmat teams SCBAs for fire fighting? I have been told that there is no way to decontaminate the harness and therefore should not be used with turn out gear in a fire. Agree, disagree? why?

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    We use the same SCBA's for either. If any part of the SCBA can't be deconed, specifically the harness, it's replaced and Haz wasted.

    Depending on the chemical involved, it may or may not be decon'ed. If it can't be cleaned, it's hot and will expose you when you do your PM's and could be corrosive to the other components, specifically the bottle if it's a carbon fibre which is a real bad thing since the bottles tend to depressure in a stunning and glorious way when they encounter a hole where ones not supposed to be

    Be safe, R2
    Last edited by robertr2m; 10-03-2009 at 02:27 AM.

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    If your in level A how is your BA getting contaminated. if your in level B the product shouldn't get on the BA. We have sent the SCBA through decon before with no problems. I guess it depends on what the product is...remember spiller pays

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    If it can't be deconned, should it not be disposed of? So it wouldn't matter, since it wouldn't be used for either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    If your in level A how is your BA getting contaminated. if your in level B the product shouldn't get on the BA.

    That is what i was wondering. An SCBA is fully protected inside your suit, their should be no contamination issue at all. If your in a level A suit and your SCBA gets contaminated, you have more serious problems to worry about!

    Even with the SCBA worn with normal turnout gear in a hazmat situation, the idea that it is impossible to decon seems a bit far fetched? On our Scott paks, all the straps can completley removed and laundered if need be. The frame, hoses and reg can be cleaned as well. If the chemical cannot be deconned, then you could replace all the straps. Just make sure your sitting down when you hear the price. It's around $700.00 for all the straps on an AP50.

    I would guess that if whatever the chemical is can be removed from your turnout gear, it can be removed from your SCBA harness.

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    "I would guess that if whatever the chemical is can be removed from your turnout gear, it can be removed from your SCBA harness."

    The only thing I would check is what the particular chemical property will do to the turnout weave or coating vs. the harness.

    I don't think I'm "saying" this very well so bear with me, your sentence got me thinking that say Chemical X breaks down the harness but is benign to the PPE material it would damage one but not the other.

    Same would go for a chemical that debonded rubber but left kevlar weave alone you would need to really eyeball the rubber fittings. Maybe going beyond the MSDS and questioning the manufacturer on what the chemical would do to what it was exposed to.

    Then again, maybe I'm over thinking this LOL.

    Be safe, R2

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    Not all hazmat teams use NFPA compliant SCBA. By this, I mean they may not have the built in PASS since this is most likely not a necessity for what the teams would be doing and could potentially be very annoying and distracting depending on the work being done. Also, our team uses fully encapsulated level B suits also, not decon of the packs there either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    Not all hazmat teams use NFPA compliant SCBA. By this, I mean they may not have the built in PASS since this is most likely not a necessity for what the teams would be doing and could potentially be very annoying and distracting depending on the work being done. Also, our team uses fully encapsulated level B suits also, not decon of the packs there either.
    That is how the SCBA on our Hazmat team are setup. No PASS devices, for the simple reason that you should never need one in a Hazmat situation. Most people dont know that Scott also makes a non-fire rated version facepeice as well. All of ours are fire rated, but I have seen the non-rated versions used with SCBA in industry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    That is how the SCBA on our Hazmat team are setup. No PASS devices, for the simple reason that you should never need one in a Hazmat situation. Most people dont know that Scott also makes a non-fire rated version facepeice as well. All of ours are fire rated, but I have seen the non-rated versions used with SCBA in industry.
    The non fire rated masks use a nylon head net and straps vs the nomex/kevlar type. The price difference is much less. The air packs can also be bought with nylon shoulder straps which lowers the price dramatically. These packs Scott markets as "Industrial" packs and the only real difference between them and the firefighting packs is the straps and mask. They are otherwise fine for hazmat use.

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    From strictly an industrial point of view, the expense and liability of having two different systems most likely isn't going to work (or doesn't in the facilities I have been in).

    From the cost point of view, you have an NFPA rated SCBA that can do both fire suppression and HAZMAT vs. a non NFPA rated that can only do HAZMAT.

    Secondly, from a liability standpoint, what if someone grabbed the wrong SCBA for an interior operation. The general thought is to spend a bit more to engineer out a potential error. That in addition to more specific training on the different packs.

    The only packs I have used that are specialized is confined space entry packs.

    Good discussion and alot of thoughtful points made

    Be safe, R2

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertr2m View Post
    From strictly an industrial point of view, the expense and liability of having two different systems most likely isn't going to work (or doesn't in the facilities I have been in).

    From the cost point of view, you have an NFPA rated SCBA that can do both fire suppression and HAZMAT vs. a non NFPA rated that can only do HAZMAT.

    Secondly, from a liability standpoint, what if someone grabbed the wrong SCBA for an interior operation. The general thought is to spend a bit more to engineer out a potential error. That in addition to more specific training on the different packs.

    The only packs I have used that are specialized is confined space entry packs.

    Good discussion and alot of thoughtful points made

    Be safe, R2
    I think those of us that are referencing different packs have the luxury of having dedicated hazmat team packs on the trucks. Obviously we can always use our regular SCBA as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    Not all hazmat teams use NFPA compliant SCBA. By this, I mean they may not have the built in PASS since this is most likely not a necessity for what the teams would be doing and could potentially be very annoying and distracting depending on the work being done. Also, our team uses fully encapsulated level B suits also, not decon of the packs there either.
    NFPA does not require an integrated pass, to prove the point Grace Ind Pass devices are still made. SCBA units must pass NFPA 1851, 1852 for the electronics. I had read in an accountability report somewhere in the past that it recommended putting pass devices even on engineers, that way if there were an accident, heart attack or anything like that it would make you aware hopefully quick enough to make a change in the outcome. Would that be any different in hazmat, what if your entry teams entered a building and for some reason both came overcome (for what ever reason) a pass device (especially integration like Scotts SIMS and companies like that would be a benefit as in if you couldn't hear the pass it would notify you electronically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    I think those of us that are referencing different packs have the luxury of having dedicated hazmat team packs on the trucks. Obviously we can always use our regular SCBA as well.

    That would certainly be a luxury. Convincing a bean counter of the wisdom of a specialized and dedicated pack sometimes doesn't work so well.

    "Obviously we can always use our regular SCBA as well." is exactly the reason why.

    Be safe, R2

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    Quote Originally Posted by LT2387 View Post
    NFPA does not require an integrated pass, to prove the point Grace Ind Pass devices are still made.
    And you can be an NFPA approved pack without a PASS system as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by LT2387 View Post
    a pass device (especially integration like Scotts SIMS and companies like that would be a benefit as in if you couldn't hear the pass it would notify you electronically.
    Just a clarification, it's SEMS, not SIMS. And while the first edition SEMS is discontinued, a new version is coming out, supposed to be even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    And you can be an NFPA approved pack without a PASS system as well.

    that's exactly what I said originally


    Just a clarification, it's SEMS, not SIMS. And while the first edition SEMS is discontinued, a new version is coming out, supposed to be even better.
    SEMS/SIMS it evidentially was a toy in the first version. Miami Dade had what 700 or so and finally sued Scott in 12/2007 case # 2007-45211-CA-01, last date of record is 10-08-2009. From what I was told by a friend down there in FL, Miami Dade put a portion of the new units in service trying to work out the bugs and it never got any better. From what he said the SEMS would lock up when ever somone keyed a radio.

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