1. #1
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    Default Avon SCBA Feed back

    My dept is currently looking at new SCBAs. Tonight we looked at thr Avon Deltair air packs. These packs had some nice features and were comfortable to wear. No one in our county uses these so Im looking for some feed back from depts who uses them. What they like, what they don't etc.

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    We received our Viking Z7's from 2009 AFG. They had some early programming hiccups that ate batteries. This wasn't a big problem as they kept sending replacements free of charge. We had one face piece air switch break when it was dropped 6' onto concrete. We also had one fall out of the truck going down the road at 55. The chief from the neighboring department happened to be going by on his motorcycle and watched it happen. Sent the pack in, they had to replace the bottle and everything else was fine.

    We have had no real issues with ours and would not hesitate to buy them again. There have been many instances where they have proven better than some other brands due to the batteries, air switch, and larger glass. The fact that nothing is bolted onto the face piece is huge.

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    Heck, if you like them, can afford them, and they meet NFPA buy them. Just keep in mind that compatibility with your neighbors may be an issue at some point.
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    We have ISI Z7 by Avon also and have nothing but praise for them. The air switch on the mask is great. It encourges firefighter to wear thier packs becuase with a easy flip of switch they can switch from tank air to ambient air with ease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Heck, if you like them, can afford them, and they meet NFPA buy them. Just keep in mind that compatibility with your neighbors may be an issue at some point.
    What compatibility issues are you concerned about? NFPA dictates connection types, etc. all be the same from one brand to another. I don't understand when people bring up compatibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    What compatibility issues are you concerned about? NFPA dictates connection types, etc. all be the same from one brand to another. I don't understand when people bring up compatibility.
    I guess it depends on the relationship with your neighbors, but training, and in house repair can be shared if everybody in the area uses the same brand.

    For example a lot of the agencies in my county use Survivair, so instead of paying to send people away for the technician class it is easy to pool enough firefighters together to get Survivair to send an instructor to us. Similarly short term loans of equipment are easy to help out each other until a long term solution can be made (for example a firefighter who needs a small mask).

    On an emergency scene bottles can be swapped between brands (assuming same pressure), but once the emergency is over you can't use different brand on your air pack. many departments pool air compressors, so on a large incident you could run into equipment being out of service while waiting for air cylinders to be filled. If everybody uses the same you can get everything back in service and work out getting specific cylinders back over the next day or two.

    If you don't cooperate with you neighbors then it really doesn't matter, but it can be helpful if there is a lot of back and forth cooperation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    What compatibility issues are you concerned about? NFPA dictates connection types, etc. all be the same from one brand to another. I don't understand when people bring up compatibility.
    Unless the Standard has changed, and it very well may have, using another brand's air cylinder on your scba voids the NIOSH approval of the SCBA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Unless the Standard has changed, and it very well may have, using another brand's air cylinder on your scba voids the NIOSH approval of the SCBA.
    The vast majority of cylinders are made by one company, Luxfer so really Scott, Survivair, MSA etc cylinders are all the same under the sticker. Because of this NIOSH and OSHA are pretty reasonable and allow an exemption to swapping cylinder brands during emergency operations. They do not extend this to getting back in service even to go to a new emergency. I am quite sure they would frown on departments intentionally relying on this exemption and making it a regular practice. It is intended to allow for the extraordinary emergency, not day to day emergency operations.

    At least this is what I was told by both Scott and Survivair when I went to their SCBA technician classes (2005 for Scott and 2008 for Survivair).
    Last edited by Here and there; 01-18-2014 at 11:47 PM.

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    where are they built ?
    ?

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    Isn't Avon the old Cairns SCBA?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Unless the Standard has changed, and it very well may have, using another brand's air cylinder on your scba voids the NIOSH approval of the SCBA.
    The way I remember it, the unit just has to be stored for use with the factory cylinder installed. A replacement on scene can come from anywhere. This is one way departments get away with purchasing "off brand" cylinders instead of Scott, MSA, etc. when theirs hit hydro maximum age.

    Regardless, fittings and style doesn't make a difference if you use 2216 and the next department over uses 4500...
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    All of the above are why I am not sure where the compatibility issue comes from. You can't put a 4500 cylinder on a 2216 pack (different threads). I understand the economy of everyone using the same like was said above for purchasing power, service, parts, etc. But operationally, I haven't heard of many valid reasons. At worst, the company with the cascade on scene can only fill your packs half way. I think this is a great thing by the way. It ensures competition between the makers.

    Back to the feedback on the actual air packs, we were told that when the DeltAir came out, we would be allowed to upgrade our face pieces as the newer models would have an improved seal and face piece fit. Not that the ones we have are bad, but our members with long, narrow faces say that they can become uncomfortable after a while wearing them. Something to look at is how everyone feels in the masks.

    Also, I am not sure if they still offer the free batteries for 10 years. They did when we bought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    The way I remember it, the unit just has to be stored for use with the factory cylinder installed. A replacement on scene can come from anywhere. This is one way departments get away with purchasing "off brand" cylinders instead of Scott, MSA, etc. when theirs hit hydro maximum age.

    Regardless, fittings and style doesn't make a difference if you use 2216 and the next department over uses 4500...

    You are not correct. As per NIOSH, you can only use a manufacturer's specific cylinder with their SCBA. There is provision for "emergency use" of another brand cylinder during a period of a life threatening emergency, but upon completion of the emergency, you must return to using the SCBA manufacturer's cylinder. Not having enough full / correct cylinders at scene does not constitute an emergency as it is just poor planning. This includes purchasing "off brand" cylinders for use as spares. These units carry DOT exemption certifications, but do not meet NIOSH compliance for SCBA use which in turn voids the NFPA certification and may impact warranty as well. This holds true with all brands of SCBA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    All of the above are why I am not sure where the compatibility issue comes from. You can't put a 4500 cylinder on a 2216 pack (different threads). I understand the economy of everyone using the same like was said above for purchasing power, service, parts, etc. But operationally, I haven't heard of many valid reasons. At worst, the company with the cascade on scene can only fill your packs half way. I think this is a great thing by the way. It ensures competition between the makers.

    Back to the feedback on the actual air packs, we were told that when the DeltAir came out, we would be allowed to upgrade our face pieces as the newer models would have an improved seal and face piece fit. Not that the ones we have are bad, but our members with long, narrow faces say that they can become uncomfortable after a while wearing them. Something to look at is how everyone feels in the masks.

    Also, I am not sure if they still offer the free batteries for 10 years. They did when we bought.

    Compatibility issues could show in many ways:

    1 - Inter department training - It is easier to pool training resources, i.e. Fire Academy or weekly / monthly drills when many departments are using the same brand (regardless of which one it is).

    2 - RIT scenarios - If your mutual aid RIT team is called into action for one of your members being down and they bring in another manufacturer's RIT Pack, will it be compatible with your SCBA utilizing anything other than the UAC wand? Will they be able to place the RIT regulator onto your member's facepiece? (With AVON, it is a permanently affixed facepiece which negates this common practice). Can the RIT team readily tell what / if there is a problem with the downed member's SCBA since they're not familiar with the equipment?

    3 - Spare equipment - If your department has any / many SCBA out of service for some reason, can you borrow from a neighbor if they're using something different?

    4 - On scene usage - If you're at a scene and have more personnel that SCBA, can you borrow one from a neighbor if they're using something different? Probably not.


    As for the free battery thing... is this a gimmick to get your business, or is it covering up other issues with their product? You definitely get what you pay for.

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    ^^^^ spoken like a true blue koolaid drinking scott salesman

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    ^^^^ spoken like a true blue koolaid drinking scott salesman

    HA HA HA HA!

    On a more personal note, we use Avon. vikings7 Like em well enough. Little quirks get tiresome, like changing batteries and sometimes the comms dont work.

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    So who is Avon? What name did they sell under 10 years ago?

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