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    Default The use of Buddy Breathers?

    Does your department have Buddy Breathers attached to SCBA?

    How many times have you had use your BB?

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    Are you talking about a RIT connection on the SCBA?
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    Ive used it once, in training. Id say become familiar with it during training exercises (hood over mask) and wear your gloves.. it was a fumbly mess!

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    EBBS? Several times (training only)...agree with Dark, training with gloves and blacked out masks is what we did.

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    Would REALLY appreciate input on this. We are upgrading our 2.2's. The EBBS option is around $500/unit, much more if installed after delivery. We will also be purchasing 2 RIT packs.

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    we have a few of them that we got with our Interspiro's. never really used them in a true life incident but numerous times in training. Very cumbersome but once u get used to it they arnt too bad. We actually carry one in with the first attack team as well for self rescue if necessary.
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    RIT (Rescue Intervention Team)? The buddy breather is seperate option from the RIC fitting used to rapid fill cylinder. The buddy breather allows you to breath off your partners air until the RIT comes to rescue.

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    We have then on our new ISI Z-7's. We have practiced several times with them, but thankfully never used them. I would certain get that option if you can afford it at all. If a firefighter goes down or have a scba failure of some kind then there partner can give them air from his bottle right away. Other wise with out is they would have to wait till the RIT crew finds them and uses the RIT bottle and that may be to late. It a very good option they may save a life but you hope you never use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    We have then on our new ISI Z-7's. We have practiced several times with them, but thankfully never used them. I would certain get that option if you can afford it at all. If a firefighter goes down or have a scba failure of some kind then there partner can give them air from his bottle right away. Other wise with out is they would have to wait till the RIT crew finds them and uses the RIT bottle and that may be to late. It a very good option they may save a life but you hope you never use.
    very good point sir
    Whos says Fire Trucks cant be YELLOW!

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    We tend to use them at incidents when we need to take other services into IDLH areas on the extension mask E.G. large MVA's with a hazmat component (B double rolled with driver dead in cab etc) to get our ambo's into the scence to declare the driver as deceased so we can extract the body.
    Last edited by BlueMtnsFF; 01-28-2011 at 07:21 PM. Reason: spelling

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    I have alot of Mixed Feelings about this one, If you are talking about the Scott EBBS system, and have a fixed air source,IE air on your aerial, then I would say get them. having the oppurtinity to be able to tie into a fixed air source is a great advantage, and IMHO worth the money.

    However, If you don't have the need for plumbing into fixed air supply, then No. ( i expect to get ragged on about this)

    If your partner is low on air, Chances are good, so are you. If you Tie your SCBA's together you have just doubled the problem. Now instead of you being a potential rescuer, you are another potential victim.

    The best thing is Early identification that you are in trouble and dropping a may-day. That doesn't mean you Can't continue to self extricate, but remember your burning 1 firefighter's amount of air at twice the speed. For everyone firefighter that goes down it takes 12 (on average) to remove that person from danger. If 2 go down..... well you get the idea.

    That being said, I know the people beside me And i know that i would try to do everything i could to keep them going home at the end of the night. But I Don't like the concept of Buddy breathers, Would i use one if i had to, yes. But i think the money would be better spent in training to keep your selves outa that situation, and your RIT crew to handle a situation like that.
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    We have them on or survive airs. We train with them on a regular bases (blackout mask and gloves). I do not know of a time that it has been used on an actual incident. For our packs it is a small pouch on the belt straps. Doesn't really get in the way or weight to much.

    I personally think they are worth it if you have the extra money laying around. If not i would think a rit pack is higher on the priority list. To me it would be used to buy those couple of mins it takes until the rit team gets to you and your partner.

    As bushwacker said above the hope is to never have the need to use it. Training is the key to air managment. The EBBS does not give you the ablity to stay longer or anything like that. It just gives you another option when you are 4th and 10.

    They are better then the old clear plastic tubes between face mask

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    I have alot of Mixed Feelings about this one...
    Thanks Bushwhacker, well said. Money aside (and no, we're not rolling in it!), I feel the same about drawing down the air from two FF's. I agree 100% that we must train to prevent getting ourselves into that situation.

    I think having them installed does afford another option and again, training is key.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Are you talking about a RIT connection on the SCBA?
    I thought the RIT connection was different? On our SCBA's the RIT connection is on the back next to the regulator coming hooked to the bottle. My understanding is that the RIT connection is for filling the bottle without having to remove it, e.g., a firefighter is running low on air so you can hook your RIT connector to his with the hose in the pouch and it equalizes both bottle to the same pressue.

    Isn't the buddy breathing connection on the front on the same hose as the facepiece regulator. I know on the MSA'a there is a connector coming out of the same regulator that your hose frome the facepiece regulaotor connects to and your partner can connect his face piece regulator hose to it if his SCBA has a malfuntion. I think SCOTT packs have an actual separate line that your partner can hook into next to the line going to your face piece regulator.

    I'm a little foggy n it, so please, correct me if I'm wrong. But that's my understanding of how it works anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    I have alot of Mixed Feelings about this one, If you are talking about the Scott EBBS system, and have a fixed air source,IE air on your aerial, then I would say get them. having the oppurtinity to be able to tie into a fixed air source is a great advantage, and IMHO worth the money.

    However, If you don't have the need for plumbing into fixed air supply, then No. ( i expect to get ragged on about this)

    If your partner is low on air, Chances are good, so are you. If you Tie your SCBA's together you have just doubled the problem. Now instead of you being a potential rescuer, you are another potential victim.

    The best thing is Early identification that you are in trouble and dropping a may-day. That doesn't mean you Can't continue to self extricate, but remember your burning 1 firefighter's amount of air at twice the speed. For everyone firefighter that goes down it takes 12 (on average) to remove that person from danger. If 2 go down..... well you get the idea.

    That being said, I know the people beside me And i know that i would try to do everything i could to keep them going home at the end of the night. But I Don't like the concept of Buddy breathers, Would i use one if i had to, yes. But i think the money would be better spent in training to keep your selves outa that situation, and your RIT crew to handle a situation like that.
    I'm not going to rip you brother, but one thing you're missing is that some fire departments actually have a RIT bag with a complete SCBA in it for the sole purpose of taking it to the lost/trapped firefighter and hooking it up to the RIT connection on their SCBA to give them more air in their bottle to get out. That's how Havelock has it set up anyway. That's the main advantage I see to having the connection. That way you're not having to do an extremely difficult and risky hazardous invironment bottle change with limited to no visibility as it is.

    But, as always, there are pros and cons to everything. It's just making sure that the personel using the equipment has the training to use it.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 01-29-2011 at 11:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefightinirish217 View Post
    I'm not going to rpi you brother, but one thing you're missing is that some fire departments actually have a RIT bag with a complete SCBA in it for the sole purpose of taking it to the lost/trapped firefighter and hooking it up to the RIT connection on their SCBA to give them more air in their bottle to get out. That's how Havelock has it set up anyway. That's the main advantage I see to having the connection. That way you're not having to do an extremely difficult and risky hazardous invironment bottle change with limited to no visibility as it is.

    But, as always, there are pros and cons to everything. It's just making sure that the personel using the equipment has the training to use it.
    I have got our department set up that way,(RIT packed) however some don't, it happens. I guess I think that there are enough other ways to get them air (UAC/RIT-QD) That ya really don't need them, Sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    I have got our department set up that way,(RIT packed) however some don't, it happens. I guess I think that there are enough other ways to get them air (UAC/RIT-QD) That ya really don't need them, Sometimes.
    Sometimes ya feel like a nut, sometimes you don't, haha.

    Yeah I hear ya brother, some budgets allow for it and others don't. Luckily Havelock has the bidget for it, even if it is with MSA's and not Scott's.

    I remember the last time I had to do a hazardous environment bottle change, it sucked. You remember the old Scott 4.5's with the yellow kevlar webbing straps, the real ****ty ones? Yeah, I had to use one of those bastards with the old yellow tanks. It took me forever to get the damn regulator threaded back onto the tank. My face was probably turning blue, I know my lungs were burning for some fresh air, haha.
    Last edited by firefightinirish217; 01-29-2011 at 11:15 PM.

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    we have the buddy breather system on all our Scott's and train on them almost everytime we do SCBA training even if its just picking on one or 2 firefighters to make sure they haven't forgot how to do it.... our guys are very well versed on it..... hope we never have to use it.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan143n View Post
    Does your department have Buddy Breathers attached to SCBA?

    How many times have you had use your BB?
    Yes. We have them on our packs, MSA Firehawk 4500's. Have used them Zero times in real life, train on it quarterly.

    Think it is a good idea, not something to loose sleep over, but another level of safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Are you talking about a RIT connection on the SCBA?
    Universal Rescue Connection (URC) is what I beleive you are talking about. Those are the ones that flash fill a bottle and equalize it with another bottle to extend air time. We have two URC connections, one by the remote display or Intergrated Computer Module and one as part of the audi-alarm connection to the bottle.

    We recently replaced all of our RIT pack bags with a longer URC connection hose. Training in RIT showed that the standard 3' hose was too short in many situations. Replaced with a 5' hose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    If your partner is low on air, Chances are good, so are you. If you Tie your SCBA's together you have just doubled the problem. Now instead of you being a potential rescuer, you are another potential victim.

    The best thing is Early identification that you are in trouble and dropping a may-day. That doesn't mean you Can't continue to self extricate, but remember your burning 1 firefighter's amount of air at twice the speed. For everyone firefighter that goes down it takes 12 (on average) to remove that person from danger. If 2 go down..... well you get the idea.
    Well said, training is key, learn not to get yourself into the situation. This is a lot like the flashover argument. Is training to survive a flashover important, or is it better to train firefighters to recognize flashover conditions and not get caught in them?

    Still, to have the option afforded to buddy breath is a nice security blanket. Conditions like first stage regulator failure, high pressure hose failure, or just running out of air exist. It is nice to have the option to save your buddy. Again training is key; firefighter must take into account conditions, their own air, escape routes, ect... before commiting to buddy breathing.
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    This may be a little off topic and if so, please forgive me. When we fill air bottles from a cascade or compressor, we are to place the cylinders in an "explosion proof" tube and fill at a slow and steady rate. This was explained to me as this was the time that the cylinder would be most vulnerable to failure either due to overfilling or wear.

    What NFPA now dictates is that all new airpacks must have the connection types so that on my back, someone can hook up and fill my bottle at a rapid rate. Granted if things are done properly, it is impossible to overfill the bottle. But you are still filling my cylinder in less than 1/10th the time we are supposed to fill.

    Is it just me, or does this seem a little contrary to standard filling practices? Does this mean that rapid filling is actually safe and standard is overly cautious, or am I taking a risk every time they fill my cylinder on my back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post

    Is it just me, or does this seem a little contrary to standard filling practices? Does this mean that rapid filling is actually safe and standard is overly cautious, or am I taking a risk every time they fill my cylinder on my back?
    It's safer than running out of air. It is interesting to note the discrepancy you mention. At the same time, it's RIT and if you're using that connection things are already fubar.

    So yes. There is additional risk when rapidly filling your SCBA bottle through the RIT connection. That risk is probably lower then NOT filling it in these circumstances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    This may be a little off topic and if so, please forgive me. When we fill air bottles from a cascade or compressor, we are to place the cylinders in an "explosion proof" tube and fill at a slow and steady rate. This was explained to me as this was the time that the cylinder would be most vulnerable to failure either due to overfilling or wear.

    What NFPA now dictates is that all new airpacks must have the connection types so that on my back, someone can hook up and fill my bottle at a rapid rate. Granted if things are done properly, it is impossible to overfill the bottle. But you are still filling my cylinder in less than 1/10th the time we are supposed to fill.

    Is it just me, or does this seem a little contrary to standard filling practices? Does this mean that rapid filling is actually safe and standard is overly cautious, or am I taking a risk every time they fill my cylinder on my back?
    Read the "fine" print. You are comparing normal standard filling procdures with emergency filling procedures.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    This may be a little off topic and if so, please forgive me. When we fill air bottles from a cascade or compressor, we are to place the cylinders in an "explosion proof" tube and fill at a slow and steady rate. This was explained to me as this was the time that the cylinder would be most vulnerable to failure either due to overfilling or wear.

    What NFPA now dictates is that all new airpacks must have the connection types so that on my back, someone can hook up and fill my bottle at a rapid rate. Granted if things are done properly, it is impossible to overfill the bottle. But you are still filling my cylinder in less than 1/10th the time we are supposed to fill.

    Is it just me, or does this seem a little contrary to standard filling practices? Does this mean that rapid filling is actually safe and standard is overly cautious, or am I taking a risk every time they fill my cylinder on my back?
    Remember we are equalizing the pressure between two cylinders, We are not completely re-filling a cylinder. When I first seen the UAC i went wtf, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    Does this mean that rapid filling is actually safe and standard is overly cautious, or am I taking a risk every time they fill my cylinder on my back?
    Yes and no. The main reason we're taught to fill bottles slowly when at the station is to prevent the buildup of heat. Heat causes the distance between air molecules to expand, causing the bottle to read as "full." When you put this bottle back on the rig and check it the next day, it could be anywhere from 100-500psi less than yesterday. Why? The air has cooled off inside the bottle and reduced it's pressure.

    As far as filling via the RIC/UAC, this is safe. When you "hot fill" a bottle from the RIT bag, the two tanks are equalizing. Even with the expansion due to heat, it won't blow up your bottle.

    In short, both methods are acceptable. Just going to have to babysit the bottles when your filling them at the station...

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    We use buddy hoses. Put packs have quick conncts on them. Most of our members carry 3' buddy breathing hoses, and we also carry them in our RIT packs. RIT members go in with a spare harness/bottle that has the buddy hose connected. They connect it to the downed member's connection, and the 2 tanks then equalize. We train on it periodically blacked out and with gloves. Its not easy to do with gloves. The system is great and very reliable and fast.
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