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  1. #1
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default Breathing Appartus Procedures

    A few weks ago, I stuck a thread on the Firefighters Forum about Breathing Apparatus Procedures. I got one reply, (from Iceland!), who's procedures are the same as ours in the United Kingdom.

    Dare I siggust that the lack of replies meant you DON'T have any procedures??

    To surmise quickly so you can compare, these are procedures in the UK.

    1) Each engine has 2 main BA wearers who will be the first into any job. There are also two other sets for anyone else who may need one later.

    2) At any BA job we attend, there will be a BA Entry Control Officer, who's job is to monitor & direct BA teams into a job as they arrive. (The first engine to the scene assumes this role and a F/F is designated ECO and dons a black & green checked high visability jacket to identify him.

    3) All BA wearers carry a tally on their set, which contains; their name, station, cylinder contents, and a sapce for what time they entered the job.

    4) The ECO takes the tally when they enter and polaces it into an Entry Control Board. This has 10 spaces for wearers and records what time and where in the job they have gone to, eg basement, 1st floor.
    Most importantly, by use of a calculator contained on it, it records by examining the time of entry v contents of cylinder, what time the wearer should have returned to the entry point.For added saftey, the calculation is made with two times. Firstly "time of whistle" which is the point at which the cylinder signifies it has 5 minutes of air left, and the time when it has no air left.

    5) at all times communciation is kept between the ECO and his wearers so he knows how they are doing and they can relay any useful information on their search to update further teams.

    It seems like a lot, but its all done very qucikly when you see it. We are now starting to experiemtn with telemetry between the BA set and the ECo so he can monitor without have to ask lots of questions on the radio.

    I would be interested to see what procedures you all use.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.


  2. #2
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    For that kind of system to work here you'd have to find someplace able to put 6 guys on the first-in unit every time.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    On this side of the pond, everyone that is riding the apparatus including the driver has SCBA. There aren't any special procedures over here for, SCBA, it is just another piece of equipment like an axe or helmet. Everyone wears them, whether the breath from them is their choice. Not really a big deal over here.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

    HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We have been mounting our SCBA's on the walls of the station instead of adding more on a truck. Our first due engine has 2 SCBA seats but holds 7 guys. We found that it's easier to put the SCBA on as you are getting dressed. We end up with 4-6 guys on the truck with SCBA. Our SOG is that the truck will not roll without at least 2 SCBA wearer's.

  5. #5
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    SCBA procedures....Well here is ours in a nutshell.

    SCBA shall be worn in any atmosphere that is toxic, potentially toxic, or may become toxic.

    Our pumpers all have SCBA mounted in the riding positions for donning en route. There is an additional SCBA on the engine for the MPO to don if the atmosphere near the rig becomes hazardous.

    SCBA may not be removed at any incident without the Incident Commanders okay.

    The maximum time in SCBA before rehab is 2-30 minute bottles.

    Simple straight forward and we have not had a "smoke" inhalation injury that I can remember.

    Take care and stay safe,

    FyredUp

  6. #6
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    I'm w/ Puffy. SCBA is a tool and is used and trained on by all members. and FyredUp has the basic protocals that mine and most depts i know work under.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  7. #7
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default New Zealand Procedures

    Agree with Martin.

    Here we use the same system with ECO
    being the pump operator normally.

    Also we have the protocol that as soon as possible
    a rescue team of 2 will be established for each entry point,they will be donned but not wearing.

    the rescue team become the next entry team as team one pull out, and 2 more become the rescue team.

    ECO will control two only entry points, giving 4 working inside, 4 rescue/relief and more showing up if needed.

    After two entry points are established a second ECO will control the next two and so on. and an officer be appointed as ECO Control.

    This allows a progressive build up in response to any incident, and yes as MartinM said, it happens fast.

    The main point is that every FF who becomes a Pump Operator/Driver has completed the B/A course FIRST. At least he knows what you are going through when you are cooling down the hot stuff.

    We are starting to get a new unit for the initial entry team. in the past if a snap rescue was done, you left your tally clipped to the pump unit until ECO was ready. Time was remembered by someone and then Time Due Out worked out.

    This unit has two slots and two digital stop watches that are activated when the tally is plugged in. Now the ECO can see how long you have been in and work out Time Due Out accurately.

    Our tally board records time due out and usually WHERE THE TEAM ENTERED, this is a handy piece of info.

  8. #8
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. Seems that this is the biggest difference between the USA & UK in terms of firefighting/BA procedure.

    Flying Kiwi;We just got Rapid Entry boards as well, have'nt had to use one for real as yet, but they seem to save that "panicky" sort of time when you first arrive and everyone is running into eachother.

    Thanks again & stay safe.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  9. #9
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Martin

    Rapid Entry Board.

    A device to be used when the pucker factor is 10
    and a snap rescue is on


  10. #10
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!!

    Rapid Entry is'nt too popular with some of my crew, but I form the opinion that I would at least like someone to know that I am in BA and have gone in to affect a rescue. At least your tally is in the board and can be located, and has'nt been thrown in the pump locker or a shoe (which has occurred!), by the driver 'cos he's doing 10 other things as well....
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    martinm, Please explain more about the rapid entry board? Also what is your staffing per unit? What is the normal job of the firefighter designated as the initial ECO? What officer rank fills the ECO position as the incident grows and is he only assigned that duty? Looking forward to replies.

    Our systems in the US basically suck. Which is one of the reasons you didn't get many good replies. Where there are systems, many firefighters ignore them or put quite a bit of false hope in a plastic tag that will save their lives. (read threads on accountability and PASS, you'll get the idea)

    How many firefighter LODD's do you have that involve interior firefighting? ie lost or out of air?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    United Kingdom Statistics:

    (From http://www.safety.dtlr.gov.uk/fire/rds/pdf/firestat.pdf and U.S. info for comparison from http://www.usfa.fema.gov/nfdc/overall.htm )

    No fire fighters died in 2000. There have been no fire fighter deaths since 1996.

    (U.K. lost three firefighters in 1996...none in 94 or 95 though)

    To put things in perspective, the U.K. has 60 million population, versus 280 million in the U.S., so you'd expect them to have about 20% of the fires, etc as the U.S.

    U.K. Fires, total: 476,000
    U.S. Fires, total: 1,700,000
    So, U.K. has 28% of the fires the U.S. has -- sounds a little higher than expected, but could just be better reporting over there than in the U.S.

    U.K. Fire Deaths: 600
    U.S. Fire Deaths: 4,045
    So the U.K. at 14% has better than the U.S. fire death rate overall.
    Put in little more easier to understand numbers, U.K. has 1.2 fatalities per 1000 fires. The U.S. has 2.4 deaths per 1000 fires.

    As to firefighter deaths, even taking the most rigorous definition of LODDs by only counting Fireground, non-stress related deaths which exclude accidents enroute, exclude all cardiac problems, exclude LODDs in quarters, etc during 1994-2000 the U.S. has lost 196 Firefighters on the fireground non-cardiac related. Same period the U.K. lost three. Even adjusting for size, and taking the strictest possible definition of LODD, the U.K. has just 1/13th the number of firefighter fatalities.

    Do Entry Control Officers account for all the difference? I'm sure not -- there is building construction differences, there are deployment differences, there are tactical differences. But everything put together, they're seeing firefighter deaths so low it's actually difficult to compare -- it's kinda hard to divide by zero year after year.

    Matt
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  13. #13
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default Haligan 84

    Check out this for New Zealand

    www.fire.org.nz

    got http://www.fire.org.nz/about/quick_facts.htm

    this shows our fire stats.

    Under http://www.ufba.org.nz

    got Last Calls this shows about 36 LODDs since 1872, interesting enough most are from heart attack or MVA.

    Anyway our trucks run roughly like this.

    1 Pump Operator/Driver/ECO (say it ECHO)
    2 OIC
    3 Branchman
    4 Waterways

    AT scene OIC surveys scene, driver gets pumps established and water supply sorted with no4. no 3 is getting high pressure reel line established.

    3 and 4 have left their tally, filled in with name, truck, BA set number and atmospheres in cylinder (200-210) by the pump or plugged into the Rapid Entry Board ( see above).

    when possible ECO fills in Time Due Out, and entry point. Usually we will also put down the number of the line they are on ( makes rescue easier if you know these we details).

    OIC will make pumps 2 or 3 or more depending on scene, as soon as practicle a standby/rescue team will be established by the ECO.

    After exiting you brief the ECO and the replacement team on where you have been, what you have seen, and any dangers.

    Recommision your set and stand by for orders or re-entry.

    ECO can run TWO entry points only before another ECO established.

    All trucks carry 4-5 BA sets dependent on seating and at least 4 spare cylinders.

    We do not run Truck/Pump arrangements as all FF fill the functions as required by OIC. So on day you might be in the hot dark place, and the next you will be venting and backing up.

    I noticed on of the other threads asked when to take of BA during nock down phase, my response was simple considering the S*&t that fire produce these days.

    BA Air Free
    Spare BA Cylinder Free
    Spare FF Lungs Priceless.

    Anyway will be interested to see how this matches with Martinm.

    Stay cool, stay low.

  14. #14
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Hey guys, sorry for the delay, been at work all day.

    My own service, has never lost a F/F in a BA job, this is due in part as mentioned to building deign and layout but I feel in most due to our laid down & adhered to procedures.

    I thought I would place this post due to the number of LODD's I have seen on the news sections of the site, and thought that there must be some sort of reasoning behind it, not that I want to decry anything that you guys do.

    Procedures in the UK are almost identical to Flying Kiwis, on an initial response of say one or two engines, the driver of one truck will act as ECO and look after the BA side of things as well as the water and pumping. If there are two trucks the drivers will divide up the responsibilities. Normally it is just a firefighter who is the ECO, unless, we have more than 10 wearers inside a job, in which case, the next rank up; Leading Fire-fighter gets the job. (10 wearers would equal about 10/12 engines at a job). It also depends on the number of Entry Points we are using, eg front/back/sides if the building is large. say a factory etc. There would be a board for each point that crews were entering with an ECO monitoring each.

    The Rapid Entry Board is only used in those situations where we arrive at a job and an fast entry to effect rescue is needed. The board only has sapces for two tallies, (the first due BA crew), and uses and automatic digital clock. Basically, as soon as the crew are under air and committed to the job, their tallies are placed in the board and this starts the clock running, leaving the driver to get on with other things whilst not having to try & work out what time the BA crew went in & how much air they had.

    As soon as he is able, he can work this out using the clock and what is called a "dorset calculator" on the board which is graduated from 300bars to 100bars. (300 bars is the maximum pressure our sets are calculated to which equals 1800litres of air). From this time/bars calculation, we can work out the working time of the set and wearer and monitor effectlively what time they should be returning to the board. Our sets give roughly (under normal useage), 45 minutes air,
    which in reality is 35mins and 10 mins emergency reserve.

    These procedures have been in place in the Uk for many. many years following the deaths of a great many firefighters across the country, who ran out of air, became lost or trapped etc.

    The ECO is also responsible for monitoring wearers whilst in a fire situation and will direct oncoming crews to wither "left" or "right" handed searches through a building and reflect the location of all teams under their control on the BA Board. At any time he/she should know exactly where any of the BA teams are and their current air supply from communication with them.

    As as been pointed out, the last Firefighter to die on active duty in the UK was Fleur Lomabard in 1996 (I think the date is right). Fleur died in a massive flashover at a deliberatley set fire in a supermarket in Bristol. Prior to that 2 retained (on call) firefighters died in a house fire trying to save a child in Wales a year or two before, again due to a massive flashover.

    If anyone would like further info, I am sure I can mail some stuff to you with photos of the set up etc. (Sorry do'nt have a scanner or digi camera to be able to download them to you). Feel free to ask.
    (email martinm999@hotmail.com). Hope this helps.

    (Ps Halligan, re staffing-minimum of 4 at all times, max 6 riders on the engine= OIC/Driver/2xBA/ECO & a Hydrant man). If we have less than 3 we don't go and another fully staffed engine is sent instead.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  15. #15
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Talking Check this out Martinm

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...0&goto=newpost

    Abso-bloody-lutely blew me away.

    I mean SOP's must stand for Some Organised ****up for some people.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Temptaker's Avatar
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    To anyone who hasn't read the link posted by Flying Kiwi, READ IT... damn scary. I didn't think such a thing could happen.

  17. #17
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Just read that other post, don't think there was ANYTHING organised about that particular incident!!

    I know everyone has different procedures but I think the figures speak for themselves guys, F/F's seem to be dying at what seems over here to be an alarming rate. We just don't loose F/F's in this way.

    The most important part of Entry Control Officer is the CONTROL bit. You really do need someone on the outside monitoring the situation, monitoring your air, and monitoring the progress of the fire, so they can tell you if someting goes wrong.

    The big problem to overcome when wearing BA in a fire is the tunnel vision which sometimes descends and you get wrapped in your task and maybe don't check you guage as often as you should. That voice on the radio telling you you only have 125bars left and to come out is sometimes the best thing to hear.

    Don't know what your training for BA is like.But to follow on from my last post, in my service, all F/F's must pass an initial 1 week BA course, which qualifies them to ride the engine and wear BA, followed
    by a re-qualification 1 day course every year thereafter. Our whole ethos is about maintaining the skills level required to operate in BA.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  18. #18
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default BA Courses

    Yup, Perms do 1 week out of nine on BA phase with more wearings as the course progresses.

    Us Voli's get 3 days across two weekends.

    First you do a four day firefighters basic course with one day being for First Aid Qualifications.

    All BA course members must have First Aid Qualifications (kind of makes sense)

    Before doing any course there are is a pile of study papers and learning that is conducted at the station to bring you up to speed. These are signed of by the training officers that you are competent in the skills before the course.

    BA course was three days as said, I went through about 12 litres of fluid a day and was wrecked. 18 wearings over the three days gives you a damn fine workout.

    Written exams, must get more than 80 % to pass.

    I guess that it is just a little bit easier to get standardisation when you have a nationalised Fire Service. Not nocking our brothers and sisters in the USA but it seems to me they spend so much time re inventing the wheel at every fire district, that they have fatalaties occuring for the same reason over and over.

    That other thread is a class example of this time bomb ticking, and you have to feel real sorry for Fireflyer.

    I could not and would not work with another crew who had a cavalier approach to training and on the job practices.

    Stay Low Stay Cool

  19. #19
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    Sorry Puffy but I must disagree with your view on SCBA. It is probally the mostimportant piece of equipment that you can wear. I don't know about your department but mine has strict policies on SCBA procedures. I can tell you without an ounce of doubt that any member that does not follow the policy will not be on the truck next time it goes out.
    Every position with the exception of the chaufeur has a pack. There is one spare bottle for each pack. We have 9 packs on each engine, 5 on the heavy rescue, we don't have a truck company. I general all companies in my region have the same setup and follow similiar procedures.
    All members are required to wear SCBA at any working fire while involved with interior or close proximity operations that involved contact with the products of combustion(smoke) or a hazaedous atmosphere. This includes car fires and technically brush fires.
    While it is our policy to use them for brush fires I can tell you we don't. This is the only time the policy is overlooked. This policy was put into effect after we learned of the dangers of inhaled poison ivy, oak, sumac, and the like. Think of what it does to your skin; imagine what it does to the lining of your repiratory tract.
    All our members must also undergo annual medical exams, including pulmonary function testing and mask fit testing.
    We are a totally volunteer department.
    My paid job follows closely to the above.

    Dave

  20. #20
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    I omited the fact in my last statement that all memebers must complete a 4 day mask confidence course given by the county academy, and then yearly pass an in house refresher course and written test administered by an officer who is a certified instructor.

    Dave

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