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  1. #1
    Firehouse.com Editor
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Do your chiefs/first-out units carry multi-gas monitors?

    We posted the following story today and it got me wondering if your department equips its chiefs and/or first-out units with multi-gas monitors to check the atmosphere on arrival of a "man down" or "unconscious person" call.

    In two of my former departments, we had a monitor on the officer's radio strap and both would be turned on as we arrived at the scene to monitor the environment.

    Kansas Men Killed by Fumes; Responders Back Off
    ...The call initially came in as a possible drowning at a rural saltwater disposal lease about 3 miles north and a mile east of Claflin, but investigators later determined it to be an oil-field accident, Bellendir said.

    Emergency personnel arriving on the scene first found Myers deceased on the steps of a flooded underground cellar-type structure that was part of a saltwater disposal system.

    Emergency personnel were unable to enter the structure because of high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas, which can be a byproduct from the production of oil and natural gas.

    Full story: http://www.firehouse.com/news/109843...nders-back-off

  2. #2
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001


    Prudent action by this crew undoubtedly saved their lives.

    As far as carrying a multi-gas, we only own two such units so we don't issue one to the chief. However, we wish we could!

    There is one on each of the two engines at our main station. We don't put them on the light rescue because it doesn't have any SCBA, so it doesn't roll on CO calls, hazmat, etc.

    So yes, we have one on each of our first-out engines, just not the engine at our substation.
    Last edited by EastKyFF; 07-10-2013 at 02:28 PM.
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Rural WI


    Our first out Engine carries an MSA 4-gas meter. Our second out engine carries a CO meter.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2013


    All ladder companies and Battalion Chiefs carry a detector for [I]combustible[I] gases only. They are routinely used for locating natural gas leaks, but can be used for any combustible fumes/vapors. More specialized gas detectors are carried by Squad and Rescue companies.

    The "underground cellar type structure that was part of a saltwater disposal system" mentioned in the article would in all likelihood fit our guidelines for "Confined Space Operations". These are ALL assumed to be hazardous atmospheres regardless of metering. Metering will still be done upon arrival of proper resources and information-gathering from on scene employees should begin immediately. It is very common for both civilian and FD rescuers to automatically enter such an area in order to make a rescue. This can and has led to rescuers being overcome and even killed by the same hazard that affected the victim. Full PPE including use of SCBA is absolutely necessary for members entering the area. Mask sharing with victim is not acceptable. If they are breathing, getting SCBA to victim may be best option as removal will probably be difficult. It will take time and staffing to get a single victim out, never mind multiple victims. Confined spaces don't generally have stairs leading to them. There are often other obstacles to removal.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
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    Feb 2005
    Marble Rock, Iowa


    We don't have a Chief's vehicle but we carry a multi gas in our first out Engine and in our Rescue since it responds to medicals as the only unit a lot of times.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    Every unit except for the ambulances carries a multigas monitor.

  7. #7
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
    Every unit except for the ambulances carries a multigas monitor.
    Same here - 4-gas meters for us.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Fairly progressive gas meter program

    We recently began clipping CO monitors (single gas function) to the "first in" bag on each ambulance and on the bags of each of the town's two other first response vehicles. These stay on at all times (long battery life). They alarm at (I believe) 30 ppm. The primary ambulance has a four gas meter and all first-due engines have four gas meters (one is actually a three gas, but small difference).

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    Our department has a 4-gas meter on all of our fire apparatus, ambulance and Battalion Chiefs vehicle, also one HCN detector on a response vehicle stationed at each engine house.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002


    Our engines, ladders, and rescues carry 4 gas moniters. The medics (ALS ambulances) do not. I see no reason for a chief to carry a 4 gas moniter because they should be doing incident command not entry, not to mention they are usually a single person unit, so there is no one backing them up, let alone the 2 in, 2 out standard.
    As for a "person down" call, that's a pretty generic dispatch, 90% of the time it's an intoxicated person in the absence of more detail info.

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