Our Dept is currently evaluating BAs and I thought I would share this information I found on the web in case any of you are currently evaluating.
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Thread: Msa Scba
01-29-2002, 10:24 PM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- Seattle, WA, USA
01-29-2002, 11:17 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- MI. USA
Thanks for the heads up we just recieved in our Dept. the new MSA MMR's for service withing the next month.
GOD BLess FDNY and all of the lost Brother's and thier families.
FTM, PTB, RFB
01-29-2002, 11:36 PM #3
We just recived ours MMR's also, thanks for the info!
01-30-2002, 10:45 AM #4
We replaced all packs approximately one year ago with MSA MMR's and have had no problems. We had to change the batteries in the in line PASS Devices. Other than that, they've been fine.
01-30-2002, 10:46 PM #5
We have had numerous problems with MSA Dragon fly 2 PASS Device. We have been getting new PASS Devices to replace the malfuctioning, free of charge from MSA. But then again they say there is nothing wrong with them.
01-31-2002, 07:51 AM #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2000
Something to take a good look at...
Got this off the local fire/ems list server a couple of days ago.
Might be something to look into regardless of brand.
Forwarded from NNFD. May be worth checking into with
other brands/models . . .
NEWPORT NEWS FIRE DEPARTMENT
CITY HALL BUILDING
2400 WASHINGTON AVE
NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA 23607
September 30, 2001
Situation: Portable radio transmissions from an
engine company operating on an emergency scene were
broken and unintelligible due to interference. The
Incident Commander had a visual line of sight with the
officer transmitting and observed a direct correlation
with the rhythm of the interference and the flashing
of the visual alert sequence produced by the
integrated PASS device on the SCBA.
Equipment Involved: Mine Safety Appliance Company
(MSA) - Positive Pressure Self Contained Breathing
Apparatus equipped with the DragonFly Personal Alert
Safety System and the Motorola MTS 2000 Model II 800
MHz portable radio equipped with a Motorola NMN6191
Noise-canceling Remote Speaker Microphone. Literature
for the PASS device, portable radio and remote speaker
/ microphone is attached for reference.
Research: The Department Safety Officer, C. Creig
Moore, was on scene during recognition of the first
event and agreed to conduct an independent testing
scenario in an effort to replicate the event. The
Incident Commander reporting the event also conducted
separate tests in an attempt to replicate the event.
Both individuals were successful in replicating the
interference using unrelated SCBA assemblies and
portable radios. This concurrence indicated that the
problem was universal to our equipment and not
isolated to one specific radio or PASS device. It was
also noted that there was a direct correlation between
the distance separating the transmitting microphone
and the PASS device and the level of interference. It
is necessary to note that the typical installation of
the PASS device places it on a shoulder strap
approximately center of the chest. The interference
occurs both with and without the use of the remote
speaker / microphone.
Concerns: As a matter of personnel safety, the
purpose of the audible alarm of the PASS device is to
signal a distress condition. The inability to
transmit emergency information while the PASS is
activated causes us great concern. While the PASS
device is designed to allow the user to cancel the
alarm, we have documented several cases where the unit
activated in full alarm mode and could not be returned
to a passive state. Personnel had to de-power the
device to silence it, an operation that is not
adaptable to an IDLH environment. The possibility of
a PASS failure and activation during a distress
condition for personnel, while remote, does exist. If
personnel were trying to exit due to a PASS failure,
they would be unable to communicate with Command. The
safety concerns inherent during these circumstances
Radio Questions: The electronic maintenance
supervisor for the City of Newport News was contacted
for an opinion concerning the issue of interference.
His opinion, supported by the technical data provided
my Motorola, was that the PASS device would not
generate enough RF energy to cause interruption to the
transmission signal. The association with the PASS
device and the loss of transmission however was
irrefutable and was replicated for the technician. It
was discovered that the high decibel alarm (over 85db)
emitted by the PASS device caused the noise limiting
circuit in the radio microphone to open and halt
transmission of high decibel "noise". This is a
direct result of the "gain" setting for the
microphone. This function is supported by technical
data from Motorola.
MSA - DragonFly Personal Alert Safety System -
Department personnel met with the local MSA
representatives after questions arose concerning the
PASS device. The MSA representatives indicated that
there have been several incidents where the DragonFly
PASS malfunctioned due to moisture or other
contaminants entering the circuitry through a damaged
switch cover or from a damaged or missing light lens
(The lens covers the visual warning lights).
Additional cases have been reported where the switch,
controlling a return to a passive state, had failed
and the unit could not be silenced. While extremely
rare, the malfunctions have occurred. This was the
first time that any of the three MSA representatives
present had heard of a conflict between the PASS
device and portable radio interference.
Action Taken: The Motorola MTS 2000 radio uses
FLASHport technology and allows for adjustments,
through proprietary software, to the gain on the
microphone to allow continued use in high noise
environs. A cache of radios was serviced by the
electronic maintenance facility and a repeat of the
original tests was undertaken to evaluate the
adjustments to the radios. Follow-up tests indicated
that the high decibel level emitted by the PASS device
would not affect transmission of the adjusted radios.
The balance of our portable radio cache will be
similarly adjusted if further testing indicates that
it provides a reliable fix.
Additionally, a program will be implemented to
specifically track any issues identified or related to
the DragonFly PASS device and trouble reports
indicating the cause for unit failure will be
requested from MSA when a unit is returned for
service. Personnel will be instructed to carefully
inspect the PASS unit for damage at the beginning of
each duty shift - specifically the light lens and the
condition of the rubber switch covers - and general
operation of the PASS device.
While both the DragonFly Personal Alert Safety System
and the Motorola MTS 2000 Model II radio worked as
designed during this incident, the identified conflict
caused concern. It is quite possible that this
situation could occur with other models of PASS
devices and other portable radio combinations with
noise limiting technology. We encourage all
organizations to exercise their safety /
communications systems to ensure that their systems
are secure. Only through careful analysis of system
synergy can you ensure the safest possible working
environment for emergency responders.
01-31-2002, 05:27 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Norfolk, Virginia
I spoke to the Safety Officer of NNFD about this issue. This was not a PASS device based problem, but a radio problem. The "gain" setting of the radio microphones was set at (approx) 65 decibles (dB). The PASS alerts at approx 85-90 dB. Therefore, when the PASS would alert, the dB emitted would override the gain setting causing an intermittent shut down. Once the radio gain was set higher than the PASS device (dB level), the problem went away.
01-31-2002, 07:24 PM #8
- Join Date
- Sep 2000
I agree. I just wanted to pass the word. I believe this problem is possible with any combination of radio equipment and PASS devices. Testing is the only way to tell.
02-01-2002, 10:37 AM #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
The City of Toronto, Canada had several issues with their MSA SCBA
02-01-2002, 11:59 PM #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
Problems in Chicago as well.
The Chicago Fire Department is having problems with their MSA masks as well.
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