My fire department is looking to buy new scba. I was wondering what type of scba everyone prefers. We are currently running MSA belt mounted low- pressure scba. We are looking at MSA and Scott's. We want high pressure, integrated pass devices and mask mounted regulators. Was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are.
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Thread: Scott or MSA scba
05-26-2001, 10:05 PM #1engine121Firehouse.com Guest
Scott or MSA scba
05-26-2001, 10:13 PM #2CLWFWFDFirehouse.com Guest
I have used both and I prefer the Scott Pack.
It's just a personnel preference. It seems more comfortable. Check out the Scott Vs. Survivair post.
05-26-2001, 10:22 PM #3fireman_387Firehouse.com Guest
Check out ISI, they have a unit called Viking Digital that has integrated PASS, buddy breather, voice amplification, and in mask cylinder level display (it will be required in 2002 of all SCBA mfg's and it is standard on the Viking digital.
You can view the Viking at www.intsafety.com/vikingdig/vikingdig.html
[This message has been edited by fireman_387 (edited 05-26-2001).]
05-26-2001, 10:51 PM #4D.C. KronFirehouse.com Guest
Scott wins. They have the best pack that I have used.
05-26-2001, 10:54 PM #5Truckie5553Firehouse.com Guest
We use the new Scott with the integrated PASS. I love the comfort of the pack. It has a large pad for the small of the back and thick padding for the shoulders. The face mounted regulator works well and you can get the voice enhancement modules for the mask for about a hundred dollars a mask. They work really well. Also look at the composite wrap cylinders. They really help in taking the load off back during the work. I have not worn the new MSA so i wont say wether this is a good or bad pack. I only give the facts or tell what works well for me. Hope this helps.
You can also try scotts homepage at
Captain James Collier
McMahan Fire Rescue
KCTCS Area 6 Instructor
05-27-2001, 05:48 AM #6mfgentiliFirehouse.com Guest
On the job I have used MSA for years starting with the old belt mount demand style regulator up to the newest version with the Mask Mounted Regulator and integrated P.A.S.S.
I have also used Scott 2.2s and 4.5s while teaching at the Fire Academy.
I feel confident saying I have spent hundreds of hours breathing through each.
Until last week, I would have preferred Scott because of its comfort, ease of use, and facepiece with its large regulator opening.
Last week my department put new MSAs with 3000 psi 30+ cylinders in service. These cylinders are said to give a full 30 minutes of air, even while working. The very same night, we broke them in at a structure fire. I was able to force entry through two locked doors, advance an uncharged 1 3/4" hoseline up the front stairs and into the second floor with my partner, do a primary search on that floor, come down the back stairs into the first floor where the fire was located, and assist pulling ceilings for overhaul. I don't know how much time elapsed doing that but when I came out I still had half a tank. The new SCBA was also extremely comfortable and the P.A.S.S. didn't give me one false alarm which was a flaw with others we've had. The other members of my crew as well as other on scene companies also commented about how much they liked the new units.
I know that's only one fire but I am very pleased with the performance of the new MSA and after a few more jobs may say it's now my favorite.
Mike Gentili, Capt.
New Bedford Fire Dept.
05-27-2001, 05:00 PM #7engine121Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the help everyone. i am kinda partial to Scotts. have used friends pak's at classes and really liked. My department may go with MSA's due to the fact that they are local. I would like us to go with what works best and what the people who use them think.
06-14-2001, 11:40 PM #8M1NFDFirehouse.com Guest
My department is about to purchace all new, we got in an MSA SCOTT Draager and Cairns. We kicked them all around for the better part of a month, then rated all the components and Scott was the best by far. Dont buy based on local dealers, make em buy based on performance, and remember to listen to everyone's opinon, as everyone(most) will have different perspectives on what works for them and what doesnt, and buy based on that as how close the dealer is wont get a kid out of a burning house where how comfortable yoe are in your scba may effect that.
06-15-2001, 06:30 PM #9SWPettyFirehouse.com Guest
I would reccomend at least looking into the survivair panther. As a 14 year veteran or the service...12 of those years were MSA loyal. When we decided to get new SCBA, survivair came in with the panther, and it is extremely impressive. About 3 lbs lighter than either the Scott or MSA comparative model, and the functionability is fantastic. the integrated PASS is very easy to use, as is the facepeice attachment/detachment. I am VERY impressed with this unit..and reccomend in to everyone
06-16-2001, 11:28 AM #10bjhfdFirehouse.com Guest
I would have to agree that the ISI Viking Digital is the best one out there. Our department recently did a study as we are replacing all of are packs in in July, and the ISI Viking was the winner over Cairns, Survivair, Interspiro, Scott, MSA, and Draeger. However, you should chose what the majority of the members in your department like after some field testing. Most manufacturers will give you two loaners to play with for an indefinite time.
06-16-2001, 11:31 AM #11ceno2749Firehouse.com Guest
I have used both, and I like Scott alot better.
I agree, don't order MSA just because they are local. Buy what your department thinks is the better pack performance-wise, be it Scott or MSA or Survivair or Drager.
06-16-2001, 12:09 PM #12CaptKup4Firehouse.com Guest
We had the MSA like yours and just went to the Scott with 4500 psi bottles. We had 2 each of Survivair, ISI, and Scott and our old MSA's (local MSA dealer wouldn't give us demos of the new MSA) and compared them together for about a month at our training tower. While Survivair and ISI had some nice and innovative features, both broke down at least twice during the month. The Scott's had no problems and provided a much better warranty. We went with Scott and about a year later I'm pretty happy with them. Only problem, we bought too many add-ons. Integrated PASS, mask mounted radio interface, voice amplifier, buddy breathing hose. Makes it a challenge to don in the truck. Not too bad once you get used to it. Several problems with the radio interface. All in all, the airpacks are excellent and are manufactured to a higher standard. Gotta love their durability.
06-16-2001, 02:41 PM #13YOBIFirehouse.com Guest
I "grew up" on MSA,and I have had a chance to use both Scott and Cairns. I like the Cairns, but the MSA has the only NIOSH approved "transfill" connector. Remember, "buddy-breathing" adaptors are not "approved" by NIOSH, and, if they fail in a rescue of a fire fighter, actual buddy-breathing, and the fire fighter getting the air from the donor dies, the fire department can be in some legal jeopardy (wrongful death lawsuit brought by a next-of-kin)if it can be shown that the donor's regulator failed. Just a thought!
06-16-2001, 05:57 PM #14YOBIFirehouse.com Guest
Another aspect of this issue is NIOSH does not approve "buddy-breathing" adaptors because of the fact that two fire fighters become tethered together by the bb hose. NIOSH does approve the use of the "transfill" connector, used to equalize the air pressure and volumn in two bottles.
If I am not mistaken, the only NIOSH
approved "transfill" connector on the market is the one for the MSA airpak, although I believe that the company's patent on the connector has expired. If you want to, you can contact NIOSH in Morgantown, WVA. GL!
06-18-2001, 09:50 AM #15ddvfdFirehouse.com Guest
we just purchased 6 new MSA 3000lb packs and are very happy with them, the comfort of them is great compared to the scotts and the pass device is easy to operate and works well
06-18-2001, 10:52 PM #16BLACKSHEEP-1Firehouse.com Guest
You need to get hold of a Capt. Zamparelli at the St. Petersburg (Fl) Fire Dept. His crew did an exhaustive test of the most popular SCBA's. Don't talk to a chief, don't talk to training, just get Capt. Zamparelli for the straight scoop. They actually settled on Scott, but I can see that they may not be for everyone, I think their harness is really crappy, and definately get the chest straps. But the rest of the rig seems first rate. I guess you can't have everything.
06-19-2001, 02:03 AM #17bgfdchickFirehouse.com Guest
Most of my experience has been with MSAs...the first department I joined had the old style, with the belt regulator and elephant trunk - and the pass device you had to turn on manually.
My new department had the MSAs with face regulator and integrated pass device - which I love. I feel I can suit up quicker than with the other types of regulator. I've also tried Scotts, and felt as comfortable with using it.
However, I personally have found the reps from MSA more helpful, and when I've seen their demonstrations along side Scotts, I've been more impressed with their advancements, knowledge and helpfulness.
In all - to me - they're all the same....Frickin' heavy when I'm crawling under smoke! ;-)
Take care and be safe!!!
[This message has been edited by bgfdchick (edited 06-19-2001).]
06-19-2001, 09:06 AM #18Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
YOBI - Are you saying that Scott packs with the EBSS (buddy breather) are not NIOSH approved? Don't you think they'd get in some trouble if that were the case?
06-19-2001, 09:22 AM #19HarleyGumpFirehouse.com Guest
Our department just completed a fairly extensive testing and evaluation of the "new" SCBA. We tested MSA, ISI, Scott, Interspiro, and Drager. The MSA was an overwhelming favourite for comfort, breathability, and emergency features (transfill, etc.). Living in a Norhtern enviroment we also evaluated the masks for both on-air/off-air fogging and the MSA was by far the best. We are currently receiving prices based on 1 hr carbon bottle, new Firehawk Mask Mounted Regulator, transfill hose w/pouch, external air connection (haz-mat suits, etc.),voice amplifier, intergrated Pass (much better than Scott which you can't read guage in the dark), and the top back frame. Whatever you do, just make sure you do a good field evaluation as some of the packs were great in the classroom but fared poorly at the training tower. Good luck!
[This message has been edited by HarleyGump (edited 06-19-2001).]
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