1. #1
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    Question Oxygen supply storage: How does your station do it & how much space?

    The issue of having a separate oxygen supply room in our planned new station has come up. So looking to get feedback on how your dept/station handles this. Do you store spare oxygen in your EMS supply room or with SCBA or in a separate area/room? And how much space does this occupy? Just a few sq ft?
    As a citizen, I previously didn't have any info to dispute our space needs document but have received input from a FF in another dept who says a separate oxygen room is just pure excess.
    Thanks for your input!

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    Unless you're storing ALL the spare O2 for the entire department, a separate oxygen room IS excessive.

    Even then, it seems excessive.

    How many spares do you keep around? O2 bottles don't take up that much space. We have our bottle that's in use, and a spare on each rig. We keep 2-3 spares in the station, stored in the EMS supply room.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 06-12-2012 at 01:39 PM.

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    My station is the O2 supply for our own units and several surrounding ambulances. We only maintain around 4-5 M cylinders and 10 E cylinders at any given time. We have a contract to receive O2 about once a week. The cylinders are stored standing up in a corner with a chain around them and the area is only approximately 4' x 4'. Anything else is overkill and having a separate room is absurd.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

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    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
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    Our EMS squad director has amongst his many "want to haves" an oxygen generator, so we don't have to worry about whether the oxygen supplier will make it around this week.

    Ideally, it would go in its own room. Not a large room, but it's own.

    Right now, the O2 cascade is in the ambulance bay, chained to the wall.

    As for my fire station, we just keep a couple of D cylinders on the rescue for responses, and swap out with the ambulance if we need a refill. If that doesn't happen, it's not a long ride to fill up on their cascade.
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    Thanks much for the replies!

    A bit more about our status: We're a small town dept with 3 ambulances and 2 engines in station but only 5-6 on duty per shift (but do call backs when a run to hospital is done due to time it takes).

    All the O2 is stored at the current station...I'm not sure how much they keep or if they plan to have a generator (will attempt to get some data on that) but our "space needs" shows 140 SF as size for "O2 filling station" with "Rack for storage of 6 air tanks, 4' long workbench, Tool storage and a mop sink"...however, floor plan has it labeled "oxygen storage" at 181 SF!

    This is in addition to a air supply room of 177 SF for air packs and compressor room (spec'd at 100 SF in needs but 192 SF on plan!).

    And as this O2 room is in the highest cost per SF area of building ($330 SF), it seems ripe for trimming now based on your feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hallgren View Post
    Thanks much for the replies!

    A bit more about our status: We're a small town dept with 3 ambulances and 2 engines in station but only 5-6 on duty per shift (but do call backs when a run to hospital is done due to time it takes).

    All the O2 is stored at the current station...I'm not sure how much they keep or if they plan to have a generator (will attempt to get some data on that) but our "space needs" shows 140 SF as size for "O2 filling station" with "Rack for storage of 6 air tanks, 4' long workbench, Tool storage and a mop sink"...however, floor plan has it labeled "oxygen storage" at 181 SF!

    This is in addition to a air supply room of 177 SF for air packs and compressor room (spec'd at 100 SF in needs but 192 SF on plan!).

    And as this O2 room is in the highest cost per SF area of building ($330 SF), it seems ripe for trimming now based on your feedback.
    Seems to me that combining the O2 equipment with the air supply room would be the way to go. There should be a separate room for O2 or air compressors as they are rediculously noisy, and pretty much prevent anyone from working in the room while they're running. (It doesn't have to be big just have the proper ventilation. I'd want to have the O2 equipment close to an outside door or the bay so delivery of cylinders is easy if that's the way you go. A smooth concrete floor is nice, most of the delivery guys I've seen just tilt them and roll them on their bottom edge to move them around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronsMan53 View Post
    We only maintain around 4-5 M cylinders and 10 E cylinders at any given time. We have a contract to receive O2 about once a week. The cylinders are stored standing up in a corner with a chain around them and the area is only approximately 4' x 4'. Anything else is overkill and having a separate room is absurd.
    I didn't know what sizes these various cylinders were but found a supplier site that gave dimensions/pix with M=36" x 8"; E=25" x 4.5"; D=16" x 4.5" so now understand your reply better.

    Also, I now think I understand what a cascade system is (a set of big M tanks used to fill D tanks, or similar, right? So is that what was meant in spec's by room for 6 tanks?) and thus even more strongly feel that a dedicated room of almost any size is overkill as I really doubt we use enough to make a O2 generator system cost effective...didn't see any prices listed but that usually means it's PRICEY!

    BTW, I know that the compressor needs to be in a separate room due to noise..have seen that in my visits to stations...my question to y'all is: how big is big enough but not too big? Is 100 SF enough or would 80 SF maybe be enough?
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 06-13-2012 at 08:00 PM.

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    I would suggest you speak with some manufacturers to see what they require for their products. Also remember you are working with high pressure compressed gases. A nice wall between you and a 9000 psi line is a nice thing to have.

    tree68 how many runs a year does your rescue squad make? We make 35,000 EMS calls a year and it's cheaper to have a O2 supplier. They take care of everything, no hydro, no cylinder to buy, etc...

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    We use the M6b and the Iron M7. The M6B is for the cots/stretchers and the M7's are the main O2 bottles on the Med Units. Storage is simple. Both are stored in the apparatus bay. The small bottles are in metal bins, and the large bottles bolted and chained to the wall. Space taken up, about 4' length wise, and 18 inches deep, at the most.

    If you plan on getting an oxy generator, then you might want to consider having a room for it. But otherwise, a separate room for storing O2 bottles is unnecessary.

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    In last week, I revisited a couple stations in neighboring towns for this issue...both had O2 storage rooms..I only saw one (other was described as being size of small bathroom and more like a closet in app bay) and it was about 12' x 8' with a O2 generator (that didnt work anymore) and more than enough space for 3-4 new M cylinders, 3-4 empty's plus the 4 cyl cascade and a rolling workbench...was located on outside wall of bay...so I'm even more convinced that ours was/is too big in proposed plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    tree68 how many runs a year does your rescue squad make?
    About a thousand.

    Our executive director likes the idea (plus the possibility of filling cylinders for other agencies) and is the main proponent, but it's still in the "nice to have" stage at this time. I don't recall that we've done an actual cost comparison.

    I'll keep your comments in mind.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    The LT who showed me O2 room said that they had to sue O2 generator company to get money back as it kept failing and was OOS still...he suspected it was unable to handle power switch to generator when they loose AC power...didnt make note of brand but think it was a 4-letter word beginning with W(?).

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