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Thread: NFPA 1981 2013 edition delay

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    Default NFPA 1981 2013 edition delay

    OK, here's a good one. After finally receiving an AFG award to replace our obsolete SCBA's, I just discovered that there may be a potential delay to the NFPA 1981 edition approvals. Apparently, NIOSH has requested an extension of the change deadline until possibly Feb 2014 due to their delays in CBRNE testing at the facility.

    This creates a dilemma for our 2012 AFG with deadline of March 2014: either wait out the testing results and hope that we can purchase new SCBA units before the grant expires; or purchase SCBA units that meet a 2007 standard and will be obsolete when the new one takes effect.

    Anybody encountered a problem like this before? Is it possible to get FEMA AFG to extend their deadline to get the best of both choices - new SCBA units that meet the new 2013 standard. Considering that the new standard changes the low air alert from 25% to 33%, it would appear in the best interest of firefighter safety to wait for the new change.

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    its out??



    http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product....h&icid=&Page=1



    6.2.6 The EOSTI alarm shall activate at 33 percent, +5/–0 percent of full cylinder pressure.

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    I know the standard is complete and in print. However, the NIOSH testing for new SCBA units is not complete, so they are asking NFPA to issue a TIA and to delay the manufacturer's production until as late as Feb 2014. All because NIOSH cannot complete their CBRNE testing in time.

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    Ohhhhh.....

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    There's an issue with the testing related to CBRN apparently, something about it changing slightly and the Army does the testing for it. They're backed up, so they can't get the masks and packs in to test until close to Xmas, which means nothing can be certified until that point, then manufacturing can kick up again. I know several of the manufacturers had shut down 2007edition manufacturing, so unless they can kick it back up again they won't be selling squat until the results are in.

    And yes if you get in a jam where no one has 2007ed packs, and the 2013s aren't out yet then you will in all likelihood get the extension approved.

    But if 2007s are made available throughout this time, then the delay isn't needed. Not a whole lot of difference between 2007 and 2013 to wait if what you have is falling apart. That's the greater interest in firefighter safety, especially if you have 92 or 97ed now without integrated PASS devices? Get some 2007s in there ASAP, otherwise might sound like the grant wasn't needed so badly if there is something better available but you aren't buying it on the hope that the 2013s get approved. After all, if they all fail then the 2013s won't show up for a long time. If I remember correctly it was a few months before many got approved for 2007ed, quite a few failed numerous times in the compliance testing.

    After all a low air alarm that goes off at 33% just means that it will be ignored for a longer period of time....and don't tell me that doesn't happen, guilty of it myself. Think we all have, doesn't make it smart or right.
    WJVaughn likes this.

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    "After all a low air alarm that goes off at 33% just means that it will be ignored for a longer period of time....and don't tell me that doesn't happen, guilty of it myself. Think we all have, doesn't make it smart or right."

    I agree with Brian (also have done it...) but also - having to change the low air activation because of folks running out of air and the universal PASS sound because a Chief didn't know that a loud squealing noise in a fire building are not operational issues, they are both TRAINING issues... When the alarm sounds, get your butt out of the building, not "I have another 5 minutes or so" If you train regularly with your mutual aid departments, you will know the sound of their SCBA's PASS alarm... (what's that loud noise coming from the end of the hose line?...) Then train what to do when you hear it... Repeat it until it is an automatic reaction from ALL Firefighters!

    We've placed so much emphases on the technical and advanced stuff that we are no longer proficient in the basics...

    And, realistically, changing a 30 minute cylinder low air alarm from 1/4 to 1/3 decreases the working time: how many Firefighters are in good enough physical & mental shape to get 30 min to begin with? More realistically, with regular firefighting exertion, we are looking at 15 - 20 minutes IF FULL. The alarm activates at approximately 10 minutes (1/3), giving us 5 - 10 minutes work time on a cylinder? Maybe a good idea to change the low air alarm, but possibly not completely thought out...

    I know some will disagree with my comments and this is more of a "really think about it and then let's discuss it rationally" argument. Will changing the low air alarm from 25% to 33% save Firefighters? Maybe. Will it reduce victim search & firefighting time? Yes... Will we loose more victims and / or buildings? Remains to be seen... I dunno, what do you think?

    If the new SCBA's are not out yet and the "old" (current) version is better than what you have (integrated PASS, HUD, ineligibility...) then I also would say get them... I never had any luck getting my guys to turn on their stand alone PASS units - now (thanks to AFG) my department has the 2007 edition SCBA's with HUD and integrated PASS. They are safer, and all they have to remember is to turn on the cylinder...

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    My point exactly, a tool is only as good as the human using it, just like a hammer, saw, tile saw, paint brush, etc.

    We as an industry have decided that technology is going to make us safer, forgetting that no matter what, it's still a human being going into an uncontrolled situation involving fire and an unknown level of structural compromise. Back in the day I spent almost as much time learning firefighting as I did software code which paid my bills. Writing code might extend the waistline but it wasn't going to kill me like a bad fire could.

    Training is the basis for every improvement possible, and very few departments do enough of it and that's any type, career, vollie or combo. I know vollie departments that have more people with higher certification levels than most career departments because they take it serious and spend the time achieving that level of readiness. Career departments are working against the grain because that's the first line item cut from a budget other than ConEd required stuff. Doesn't matter how many runs you've been on or anything else, if you're not prepared for the next run that's the one that could get you. It's not easy, and it takes time, but too often we end up with situations where we're supposed trust the equipment because of it's features instead of training whoever is wearing it.

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    Default Wait

    If you can get an extension, wait on the new packs. I am not debating the merits of the new standard just that it puts you in a catch 22 in a few years.
    In 2006 we were awarded an AFG for air packs. We purchased packs that were 2002 complaint rather than wait for the new standard. Now here we are in 2013 our packs are 7 years old and they considered obsolete, since they are two code cycles old. The cost to retro fit the packs to the 2007 standards are not cost effective.

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    We are in the same boat, with our grant deadline in April. Has anybody been successful at getting a grant extension for SCBA at this point? We were going to wait to officially request a grant extension once the end of August comes around and there is a more definitive indication of what will happen with the testing. If all went well by the rumored February testing, that would be cutting it too close for our comfort with an April deadline, especially counting on a commitment from manufacturers to fulfill the order so we can complete the grant process on time. I'm finding it hard to swallow that we - and indirectly the taxpayers - could miss out on 2013 certification by a month or two. But then again, we're not about to lose out on a sizable grant due to wishful sitting on our hands.

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    We too are in the same position. Would like to apply for an extension, but we have been advised by FEMA to not plan on getting one and to move ahead with the process. We have demo'd several packs with one more to go. One of the MFG's offers a "life time" warrantee on pneumatics and harnesses . When questioned about what is life time they said 10 years after they stop building that pack. So if you buy the 2007 standard pack you will get 10-11 years if you buy the 2013 pack you will get at least 15 years maybe more depending on what the next revision of NFPA does .

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    I know y'all keep saying 10 years, but it's 15. Hence the reason replacing 2002s by AFG isn't going to happen unless you're in the triple digit structure fire per year on call volume.

    The only thing the standard says on 2 standards old is that you can't upgrade from 2 standards old, only the previous. Nothing really changed on parts availability because the manufacturers always stop making parts after the 2nd cycle of NFPA comes out anyway, that's nothing new. Before 2007 hit most didn't have parts for 1997s after 2005, or very few of them. Certainly very little for 2002s because the designs changed so much to pass the 2007ed requirements. Not real different from any other industry, after a while you can't get parts for vehicles either. Nature of the manufacturing beast, otherwise how is a company going to convince you to buy the new stuff so they can make their R&D money back?

    Same reason that the PPE says you have to get rid of gear that's over 10 years old, not really an issue about safety, it's about selling more gear. We're dealing with a lot of departments that have 10-15 year old gear in great shape, and 1992-1997 SCBA and only spend money doing the tests, repairs are few and far between. They might be the exception, but the stuff we use is built to last, and if taken care of, it does.

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    I would purchase the 2007 edition unless you really have your heart set on the 2013. The biggest change that I see will have any effect on firefighter safety is the higher temp face pieces. We recently purchased 2007 edition SCBA off the 2012 grant and one of the things we stipulated with all the bidders was that they would upgrade all of our face pieces when the ones that met the new standard became available. Every manufacturer and vendor agreed to this. Plus by purchasing 2007 edition when we did, we will soon be one NFPA cycle behind which can only increase our chances of getting them replaced down the road if the grant program continues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFPDLT View Post
    I would purchase the 2007 edition unless you really have your heart set on the 2013. The biggest change that I see will have any effect on firefighter safety is the higher temp face pieces. We recently purchased 2007 edition SCBA off the 2012 grant and one of the things we stipulated with all the bidders was that they would upgrade all of our face pieces when the ones that met the new standard became available. Every manufacturer and vendor agreed to this. Plus by purchasing 2007 edition when we did, we will soon be one NFPA cycle behind which can only increase our chances of getting them replaced down the road if the grant program continues.
    UUUHHHHM Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here so don't shoot the messenger but contrary to what you may have thought, AFG takes a very dim view currently of funding somebody twice for the same equipment, regardless of how old it is or how poor you are. Once they have "extended the helping hand up" once and bailed you out of a situation where improper financial planning put you behind the eight ball, they are reluctant to offer you a "hand-out" for a second time. You need to initiate a SCBA replacement program within your own financial resources now to be prepared when your SCBA hits the 10-12 year mark in the future.
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    ktb9780,

    Point well taken about the funding, I'm sure you are much more knowledgable about the grant process than I am, although I do know of a department that has received funding twice for turnout gear. As for the "hand out" and "improper financial planning put you behind the eight ball" those comments are a bit harsh seeing as how you know nothing about our department or financial situation. And there are plenty of departments who receive funding that can afford to pay for what they were funded for. We have tried unsuccessfully many years for grant funding only to see much more affluent departments in our area receive funding year after year. Only a fool would not take advantage of any additional funding for equipment when available, so please don't make us out to be signing up for the fire service equivalent of food stamps.
    Last edited by LFPDLT; 08-07-2013 at 09:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFPDLT View Post
    ktb9780,

    Point well taken about the funding, I'm sure you are much more knowledgable about the grant process than I am, although I do know of a department that has received funding twice for turnout gear. As for the "hand out" and "improper financial planning put you behind the eight ball" those comments are a bit harsh seeing has you know nothing about our department or financial situation. And there are plenty of departments who receive funding that can afford to pay for what they were funded for. Only a fool would not take advantage of any additional funding for equipment when available, so please don't make us out to be signing up for the fire service equivalent of food stamps.
    HHHMMMH my bad guy; goes to show I should not post till I have had three cups of coffee each morning. I did not mean to point a disparaging finger here specifically I was just trying to put it in terms that more clearly explained the purpose of the program. You are right and I am quite sure there are many others, including me, who have in previous years received an award for something that we had already been awarded for also but, during the last year this has become much more prevalent. Its primarily due to there not being as much money in the program as there used to be. I mean $270 million now vs $850 million in 2004 is quite a difference and we have more departments applying for a smaller pool of money. That's when they start getting "picky" about what they will or will not fund. My apologies to you and your department, my statement was not meant to be a personal affront or demeaning I only wished to make sure that you understood where the program is coming from and prevent you from making a costly assumption.
    Kurt Bradley
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    No hard feelings, thanks for your insight. And honestly I do not expect this funding to be available in another 15 years anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFPDLT View Post
    No hard feelings, thanks for your insight. And honestly I do not expect this funding to be available in another 15 years anyway.
    Lets hope you are wrong about the funding being there in 15 years, of course at my age I may not be here in 15 years anyway! LOL
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default AFG at FRI

    My Chief had a discussion with a couple of higher ups from the AFG program at the Fire Rescue International Conference in Chicago this last week, including a Section Chief of AFG. They stated they are well aware of the problem with certification of the SCBAs as well as the problems this has caused with production. They clearly told my Chief that AFG WILL be granting extensions. They indicated that AFG understands the desire to get 2013 SCBAs so that firefighters are in the newest, and safest, SCBAs. They also said they understand the financial benefits of being at the newest standard.

    Apparently this is a relatively new decision. He stated that they will be passing the information down to the field reps soon so that everyone is on the same page.

    Common sense from one of the best run programs in our government.
    Last edited by JAM1096; 08-19-2013 at 11:00 AM.

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    May not be necessary for how late the in the year the application process is. Even if they haul some of the POPs will extend into 2015. Doubtful that it will take that long to get the 2013s certified and don't see where there will be a whole lot of people making upgrades without grant funding based on pricing estimates, so turnaround from order to delivery shouldn't be too bad.

    Still not so sure about higher temperature ratings, same thing I didn't like about Reed hoods. Being able to feel rapid temp changes was the sign to not be where you were for much longer, hence the reason I liked my sock hood a whole lot better. Higher heat rating means you can't tell when whatever you're doing isn't working, and reduces the chances you'll be able to get out from wherever you are. If it's that hot where you're at, 99.9% surety that any entrapment victims are long gone, so whatever happened to risking nothing for nothing? Might just be the extra reading I've been doing creating instructor guidelines and assignments for AS/BS level Fire Safety courses over the past 2 weeks, but pretty sure it was the way I was taught back in the olden days of the 1990s. Technology never will outpace basic fire science and BTUs, and if we continue to create an envelope that dulls the senses around FFs how are we supposed to assess situations and respond properly? Just because we survived a situation doesn't mean it was good tactics, just like fatalities aren't an indicator of bad tactics. Those of you that have been in my classes know that I have said many a time that I can recognize stupid only because I've done stupid, so the fact that I've never been injured on a fire scene has nothing to do with proper decision making on my part while being interior. Been lucky many times over. This is one industry that good is better than lucky.

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