1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question SCBA's - New style regulators

    ---I posted this in the wrong forum (I was reading this one when I decided to post a topic). I have reposted it in the Safety/Survival Forum. Please reply there. Thanks.---

    This is just a general question regarding the newer SCBA's with the regulator that attaches to the front of the mask.

    I am familar with the SCBA's that have the hose coming from the mask and attaching to either a waist or chest regulator. This is the style my FD currently uses. I have seen the newer ones where the regulator attaches directly on the mask. Eventually, we will be upgrading our SCBA's to newer models. There is a concern I have regaring the face mounted regulator that no one yet has been able to answer. With our current models, if for some reason your tank goes "empty" before you completely exit the structure (as you are escaping the house because your "bell" went off), or you have possible equipment failure, you disconnect the hose and place it in your turnout coat to filter as much of the smoke as possible on your way out. What do you do in the case of the face mounted regulators? You can't take it off, because the mask will then be open to the smoke.

    Any insight to this question is appreciated. Basically, I would like to know some pro's and con's of the newer style. I don't want this to be a "what is right or wrong" debate, I just want us to make a logical decision when it is time to upgrade our SCBA's, as to which style regulator to get. I know there are benefits both ways.


    [This message has been edited by JCB209 (edited 04-26-2001).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have the Scott 2.2's with the mask-mounted regulator. I have heard this argument many times from those who admire this 'feature' of being able to stuff the low pressure hose in your coat if you lost air. MSA's and the old Scott 2A's are the only packs I have any experience with regarding this and fortunately have never had to test it. The funny thing with the new MSA's is that they no longer have this feature, the regulator is now on the mask like the Scott's. The MSA's however mount on your mask lower than the Scott's (down below your chin) where the Scott's are more in line with your mouth and not so low. Some FF's have commented on the low mounting of the MSA's as awkward when they try and look directly down at their feet. Haven't had the opportunity to try it myself. Your only real option if you lose air is to get your face on the floor (not low, but ON the floor) and get moving. Hopefully your buddy is with you and you can share his/her air if needed. You can also stretch your hood up over the opening, but that is really of limited value if you're in a real nasty atmosphere with lots of heat.
    Not sure if there are other packs out there that still have the low pressure hose arrangement that you speak of.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    1. Take a rag stuff it in the hole.
    2. Hold rag with your gloved hand.
    3. Run like hell.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have used both Mask mounted and belt mounted regulators and your concern is shared by myself. The only thing I have noticed in my research is that Surviveair now offers a filter cartridge that replaces your regulator during air loss

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You can use the thing if you want to but it looks like a death wish for the user as the only thing the"canister" does is scrub CO to make CO2, it does nothing to keep all the other gasses produced in a fire from you. The thing has NO certification tests (NIOSH, NFPA). People NEED to research a product instead of being fed cr** information that a manufacturer has the latest and greatest thing out. It really scares me to think how many people think this is the way to go.

  6. #6
    S. Cheatham
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Recently in fire engineering mag they showed what to do in this case. Like TCFire said was GET LOW! They then recommended pulling your hood up and over the hole in the mask. This takes some practice, but it will work.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have both kinds of BA's in service..... MSA Ultralite II's and MMRs.

    Being in charge of the department's SCBA's I have found that the members prefer using the MMRs. One reason is that their masks have better visibility. Althou, you can get the Ultra-elite masks converted to fit the Ultralite IIs. One thing we have found, is that the MMR high-pressure line to the mask isn't prone to being "clamped," blocking the flow of air to the mask.

    We use 30 minute bottles (2216psi). The low-air alarms go off at 500 psi, which leaves about 1/4 of the bottle left. If you start to leave when your bell begins, you should be able to get out in time. If not, like most people have recomended, stay low. Of course, if you can't make it out, radio for the RIT team to meet you on your way.

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