Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Cleveland Heights
    Posts
    8

    Question 30 min or 45 min, that is the question

    We are in the process of upgrading our SCBa in our department. We are at a stumbling block though on wether to stay with a 30min bottle or go with the 45 min bottles. We cant seem get over this problem.

    He said: longer safety factor, not much more working time, longer escape time, and doing firefighting once you find the fire.

    She said: The extra weight is stressful, the longer time in is stressful, the larger bottle will get you trapped, FF are dying of heart attacks so why compound the problem.

    Any ideas for him or her????


  2. #2
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    4,713

    Default

    Unless you are on a resque company / Haz - Mat company I don't see any reason at all for a 45 minute bottle.

    As a normal engine / ladder company goes a 30 minute bottle is all you need. Roughly 50 percent of all firefighter "Line of Duty Deaths" are cardiac related. Guys are coming out of a building with the Grim Reaper standing over their shoulder just waiting to swing his scythe. Yeah it may blow to have to leave the building every 15 to 20 minutes to change your bottle but your body NEEDS that 5 minutes outside the building to cool off.

    We encapsulate ourselves in turnout gear, hoods, and gloves and push ourselves deep into these buildings and overheat ourselves just doing the job. So now I'm inside a building not for just the 15 minutes I get out of a bottle (on average) but I'm in for amost 30. I might as well just hook up a defibrillator to my chest because I'm probably going to need it.

    More and more departments are invoking a 2 bottle rule. You use two bottles and you're out for a good, long while to rehab. This, of course, is going against the grain and people ****, moan, whine, and complain about it. I guess you'd rather be dead from a heart attack than be able to go home to your beautiful wife and kids and tell them about the big, bad one right?

    We are too encapsulated to keep pushing ourselves to the limit by adding more weight and keeping us in a hostile environment without relief and rehabilitaion. As for whining about getting to the fire and not being able to fight it for long.....Well that is what you're second due companies are for. You push yourself to get there, sucking air like it is going out of style because of the heat and stress of humping the hose up stairs and searching rooms for the demon and putting up with the heat from the fire and you want to stay there because of some macho code and then you do leave after being there for 15 minutes walk out of the building, grab your chest, go Ahhhhhh, and have your friends and co-workers puping, blowing, tubing, and juicing you. Now you have an IC worried about you and not necessarily the fire, at least 3 firefighters who cannot be committed to the fire because they have pump and blow on you until you get to the hospital, and your wife or husband gets woken up at 4 in the morning by the chaplain and the chief. A few years down the road when teh new station opens up it is named after you.

    No thanks, I think I'll stick to a thirty minute bottle.


    Notice of legal disclaimer.

    Just the sordid rantings of a raving lunatic, nutjob. This is just a subject that continues to arise and it just irritates me. We don't need any help killing ourselves, we do it quite well on our own thank you very much.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  3. #3
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
    Posts
    2,386

    Default

    i agree, unless you are hazmat or performing a RIT removal, then go with the 30 minutes bottle. i always look at the 30 minute bottle as the mark that when the bell starts ringing it's time to get out and go to rehab. no ifs, ands, or buts. with a 45 minute bottle, people will start staying in fires longer and that can be dangerous.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    S.W. Virginia
    Posts
    1,286

    Default

    There was some good (recent) discussion on this topic in the Safety & Survival Thread.

    link -> http://www.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=39564

    My personal take (never having used anything other than a 30 minute bottle) is that if you want to "upgrade" to 45 minute (or even 60 minute) bottles - fine. But you still need to limit your total operating time to 20-30 minutes.

    A bottle with increased capacity will give you no greater reserve if you end up working for longer times.

    30 Minute bottle = 5 in, 20 to work, and 5 out
    45 Minute bottle = 5 in, 35 to work, and 5 out

    So unless you limit the work time (Via SOG & good Scene tracking & Control) to the same 20 minutes, then you really haven't gained anything.

    I agree 100% w/ Sharkie - the human body needs that cool off period between tanks. The only reason I would switch to a larger bottle for general Firefighting, is if I were looking for greater reserve time in case of emergency. I would still limit interior work time to 15-20 minutes (plus the 5 in & 5 out).
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,672

    Default

    When we upgraded (changed?) from 30 minute to 45 minute bottles, our SOG's changed. With 30 minute bottles, we had to go to rehab after 2 bottles. Now with the 45 minute bottles, rehab is after each bottle. So, instead of working 60 minutes, you work 45. Safer than using the 30 minutes because you have less work time. We find guys are now less stressed, have more energy, and have better vitals while in rehab. Yup, it sucks coming out after 1 bottle, but we stressed the reasoning for it and don't have much trouble with anyone following it.

    The extra weight is stressful, the longer time in is stressful, the larger bottle will get you trapped, FF are dying of heart attacks so why compound the problem
    The extra weight is minimal between the bottles. By changing the SOG, we have actually reduced the working time so less stress. The bottle size is minimal so getting you trapped is not much of an issue. Practice low profile procedures so you are proficient and less of an issue. Less overall working time, less stress, less chance of heart attack.

    One other thing to think about with the upgrade is how you fill the bottles. If you have a compressor/cascade system, can it handle the increased volume and pressure? Ours could not, but we were lucky enough to get a new system that can.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    As with many things, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. In an ideal world, I would absolutely agree with using 45 minute cylinders. You would still only work for 20-25 minutes, but still have that extra air just in case all heck breaks loose. However, is the officer going to stand there w/ a stop watch timing guys? 99% (including myself) of firemen will push themselves past the 20-25 minute mark and go until the bell goes off. This could lead to a lot of problems. An analogy I like to use goes w/ the old joke - I can't be out of money, I still have checks left. I can't be overworked, I still have air left! Or, from Top Gun - son, you're writing checks your body can't cash.

    Also, this was a freakin' riot ... I think this can apply to all of us at one time or another. Well done Sharkie ...
    Originally posted by Da Sharkie
    Notice of legal disclaimer.

    Just the sordid rantings of a raving lunatic, nutjob. This is just a subject that continues to arise and it just irritates me. We don't need any help killing ourselves, we do it quite well on our own thank you very much.
    Stay Safe

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Posts
    117

    Default What are you calling a 30 minute bottle?

    Not wanting to be too ignorant about this, but what psi bottle are you considering a 30 minute bottle? 2200 psi? Most authorities on this subject say that you use about 100 psi/minute during mask work and that time can be cut in half by strenuous efforts. Therefore, a 2200 psi bottle can be estimated at somewhere between 11 and 22 minutes of work depending on exertion/activity. It might even be less if you consider that upon sounding of the low alarm, the wearer and partner should be exiting the environment.

    We switched from 2200 psi to 4500 psi (over 4 years ago) and I have nothing but praise for the switch. As a company officer of a busy engine company, I have not seen any of the types of problems mentioned. Haven't heard any complaints from the users either.

  8. #8
    Forum Member firemangeorge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    266

    Default

    I aggree with you 077. We went to 45 min bottles six years ago, and no problems noted. Our heavy rescue has some one hour sets, but they only use them with level A suits or for confined space work.
    The MSA 45 min are exactly the same size and weight as our 30 min were, and the one hour jobs the rescue boys use are smaller. I don't know how much 30 more cubic feet of air weighs, but I don't think it adds very much. We have 40 companies using them and no problems yet. I would upgrade. Its just like a ladder, take a longer one than you think you need, cause you can't just add another section if you run out.
    See You At The Big One

  9. #9
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    In a van down by the CT River!
    Posts
    2,771

    Default

    We started upgrading in the mid-90's from the Scott 2.2 bottles to Scott 4.5 45 minute bottles.

    The reason we went 45 minutes was we sent 3 FF's to the hospital after they ran out of air rescuing a child.

    As far as weight, the 45 minute bottles are as light as or lighter than (depending on the composition) the 2.2 bottles.
    IACOJ Agitator
    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

  10. #10
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    Okay, I'm an idiot ... I was thinking this was switching from 45 minute cylinders to 60 minute cylinders.

    Going to 45 minute cylinders is absolutely the way to go.

    I do think that 60 minute cylinders for basic fire ops may be too much, though.

    Stay Safe

  11. #11
    Forum Member scbaguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    65

    Default

    It seems the questions are this:
    1. is the difference in size of the air tank significant
    2. is the diff. in weight of the tank significant?
    3. is the value of the "extra" air worth it?

    On number one, the size of a one hour 4500psi cyinder is only a few inches longer than a 30 min. 2200psi bottle. the 45 min. high pressure botle is sized in between the other two. With at least 10 feet seperateing the two bottles, you CAN NOT tell the difference. (I know, we tried it in my department). Many departments still use the similar sized 30 min. bottles and are able to operate without entraping themselves. I dare say (IMHO) that the size is not an issue.

    Number two, What do you use now to compare the weight difference to? If you use a 30 min. aluminum/hoop wrapped fiberglass cylinder the difference in wieght is less than one pound. Okay Okay, the aluminum/wrapped bottles are not as popular as they used to be. If you use a fullwrapped composit (fiberglass)30 min. bottle, the difference in weight is four pounds. So are your department members saying that if they have to carry four more pounds into a fire they cant do it? What if they have to carry tools? Hose? Maybe actually rescue another person?? If they tell you they can't handle the 4lbs., I suggest you find some way to keep them out of the fire, as they will be more of a hiderence than a help.

    Number three (my personal favorite). Just how much is the air worth? While I'm sitting here typeing this, I wouldn't give you a nickle for 40cubic feet of air. But ask me when/if I ever get lost in a smokey warehouse, with my low air alarm going off. Ask me when I know that I have less than 5 minutes of air left, and I haveno idea which way is out. As I scramble to try to give directions on the radio, but don't know where to direct too, as I think that next week is my sons birthday (but I'm about to die of suffacation), as I remember that the last words I said to my wife were not I love you, ask me then how much 40 cubic feet of air is worth.

    I am a FF/Paramedic, and also an SCBA Tech. for our department. I have seenthe testing criteria and NFPA standards. A 30 min. bottle is rated at 30min. while NO WORK is being done. When tested at what NFPA calls "work rate", the 30 min. bottle last LESS THAN 12 MINUTES. A 60min. bottle is 60min.AT REST. When working, a 60 min. bottle last about 22-26 minutes. Sooooo... all you folks argueing that 'we don't need to stay longer than 20 minutes' can use the very same argument for the 60 min. bottles.

    If you don't at least have an idea of how long you have been inside on air, you need more training. If you have even a halfassed accountability system/program you can address the 'staying in too long' problem with SOP's, and training. If you think a 30 min. bottle last 30 min., you need more training. If you cant carry 4lbs., you guessed it training.
    Just because you have a longer duration bottle, dosen't mean you have to use all the air every time you put it on. If your crew can work effectively for 15 min., come out then with 15 minutes of 'extra' air. We don't get penalized for not useing the air, but there is a very stiff penalty for running out of it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Smoke286's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    St John's, Newfoundland , Canada
    Posts
    310

    Default

    Our Dept uses 4500 PSI "60 min" tanks exclusivly. We have for a long time. Personally I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. They are big, bulky, heavy andhard on the back after a while. It is my personal belief that the main reason our dept buys them is that they can buy less cylinders.

  13. #13
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    4,713

    Default

    There are a myriad of factors here. Yes the 60 minute bottle will get you 22 minutes of air, but you still have to wear the mask, if you're smart, in most situations to actually get to the seat of the fire, or at least close enough to be able to put water on it.

    As it was also stated you will still only have ABOUT 5 minutes of air left when your bell goes off, so no matter how far you hae gone into the building you are still going to have the same amount of air to get out of the building, no matter how far you have humped yourself and your equipment into the building

    Let's be realistic here too, the VAST majority of guys working at a fire are not keeping track of their air. It is the plain, honest, brutal truth. You can train unitl you are blue in the face, no pun intended, but when the real deal is going like a snot, and you get on the knob and hump into the building monitoring your air goes right out the window for most of us. If this weren't true, we would never walk out of a building with the vibralert or bell going off on our tanks. Unless you have someone outside the building wiht a stopwatch and a clipboard for every man that goes into the building, you are probably not going to be able to keep track of time. It is just the way the body works, you lose all track of time when you're working.

    Now, as for the NFPA callling something a "Work Rate" do they take into account the fact you will be wearing full turnout gear or a Level A suit? You are sweating like a stuck Irish pig and have gotten closer to the fire in an increasingly hottter environment due our technology and the items burning. It is not just the work rate and the fact that you are working but that we are wearing at lesat another 40 to 50 pounds of gear on us in an environment of several hundred degrees of heat humping gear and equipment. I have a funny feeling that this is not in the NFPA "Work Rate" criteria.

    For the record, I do agree that a 30 minute bottle will only get you about 15 minutes of air. As I said, if we are killing ourselves with a 30 minute bottle, what are we going to do with a 45 or 60?
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    My personal pack has a carbon 45 minute bottle on it and it weighs less than our 2215 units on our truck. I believe any extra air is good air, and there is no extra weight involved. Call up large departments (Phoenix, Memphis, etc.) and ask what they use and their pro/con list. They will have a lot more field testing due to a larger call volume than more rural departments. Then check with a local distributor and get a list of those with 30 and those with 45 bottles and call them up to see how it is working in a department more your size. Especially in a volunteer dept., I want as much air as I can carry due to limited personnel on scenes and individuals being less practiced in the art of rapid intervention. That extra psi on my back may mean the difference in life or death.

    Also, you are purchasing for the long term, I don't think you will be replacing these bottles within the next 5 years, so evaluate the needs of your department and also the new security risks, extra air can come in handy depending on the call. Best of luck! God bless.

  15. #15
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default 2 cents...

    Ok, will try to keep this short. I simply like the 30
    minute bottle. Been using them for years, it seems to
    work.

    SECONDLY, dont focus on what size to get, rather
    why dont train more on your breathing? Thats right.
    Over the years, I was able to streach out my breathing-
    in nose, out mouth even while on my hands and knees in
    a dark house. (and wax on and off too)

    More info. on this- Some guys in my department walk the
    tread mill while breathing from an SCBA. Excercising
    their lungs. As they went on and practiced, their times
    got better and bottles lasted longer.

    Kind of a win-win situation. You got the light 30 minute
    bottle, and getting the most from it.

    Another thought...Is cost a factor? After reading some
    postings in here, some departments are "choking" on
    funds. If thats the case, maybe the economic route
    could be way?

    Hope that helps some. (probably not)
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 10-05-2002 at 12:37 AM.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    38

    Default something to consider

    As a small vol. dept that switched to the high pressure bottles about three years ago, my guys love them. Even though we don't use them as often as many departments, when we do, the extra 5-8 minutes of air is wonderful. Yes...that's about all we gained of work time, but it's a valuable addition. The only problem we ran in to was the fact that while our compressor was able to be modified to fill the bottles, we couldn't use mutual aid departments' cascade bottles any longer as we are the only department in the county with 4500 psi bottles. We don't have an on-board cascade system, but rarely have been in a position where we couldn't keep them filled by running them back to the station if needed. The worst case scenario would be to fill them at the scene from a neighboring department's cascade system to 2200 psi. Still should get our 15 minutes of air...just not using them to full capacity. Oh...and as far as weight goes...these are nothing compared to the old steel bottles that were originally used on our packs when I came on the department 19 years ago! And these are the packs we replaced...some of them about 23 years old.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    86

    Default

    First, let's get some accurate numbers out here. The NIOSH cylinder service life rating is based on 40l/min. This is not at rest, this is a moderate work rate. Remember, the entire NIOSH cert is based on industrial applications and they are not going to certify SCBAs based on some guy sitting on a sofa. That is where the 30, 45, 60 min ratings come from.

    Nnow for NFPA 1981. NFPA 1981 requires the SCBA to pass an air flow rate of 100l/min. I don't readh anything is 1981 that states that the NIOSH duration needs to be downgraded to a 100l/min rate. It just states that the air flow performance must meet 100l/min. The 100 l/min is a 98th percentile firefighter rate. Basically almost the most demanding firefighter rate known from any data. If you were to apply 100l/min to the std 30,45, and 60 min cylinders, durations would go down to 13, 19, and 25 minutes repectively.

    If you have firefighters that pull that full 100l/min, then I would base my decision on cyliner size on what duration do you need for your operations. Or if they pull between 40 and 100l/min, base it on that. If you need 45 min cylinders to get your required duration for your firefighters, buy the 45's. I would very strongly recommend carbon though. After starting with low pressure steel, to have made it to high pressure carbon 30 minute cylinders - I thought this was absolutely the best. Very light, low profile cylinder. Then I change depts and it's low pressure 45's, fiberglas wrap - no thanks. Big and heavy. And the comment about it's just another 4lbs. Its not just the 4 lbs, that extra weight is higher and offset from your center of gravity. You body has to use energy to counteract those forces, so that 4lbs isn't like placing a 2lb weight in each hand at your side.

    If you buying the 45 becuase of safety factor, I would think long and hard. Here's what you get when your bell goes off:
    NIOSH rate:
    30 - 7 min
    45 - 10 min
    60 - 14 min

    NFPA rate:
    30 - 3 min
    45 - 4 min
    60 - 5.5 min

    And I hate to think of it, but when you are lost or know you are deep inside a bldg and something goes wrong and it could just a few minutes before you run out of air and die, I would assume that your breathing goes way up. So that 45 may give you less than a minute of extra air. Some may say I'll take the 30 seconds. I would say that if the fire service is banking on saving firefighters who end up lost or too deep in a bldg with 30 seconds of extra air, I think the fire service will be sadly mistaken. This is just another technology band-aid that won't be worth anythign when you are deep inside a commercial strcuture and lost or after a bldg collapse has occurred.

    So my vote is a carbon high-pressure 30 minute pack and if you determine you need the duration or your firefighters, a carbon 45 min pack.

    And if you are concerned about safety with regard to air supply - know your firefighters durations, use accountability, and make sure no one gets to deep or lost with their given air supply.

  18. #18
    iceman4442
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We have been in the process of "upgrading" to 45 minute SCBA's for the last few years. Our reason for going to 45 minutes, however, is that we also formed a regional Haz-Mat unit. If we were not operating the Haz-Mat, we would have stayed with 30 minute bottles. As far as longer working or exit time, we have strict SOP's as to how long personnel can operate; the saftey officer has to get them out when their time is up, regardless of how much air they have left. If they are not "reminded" to get out, some personnel (I would tend to include myself in this group also!) would continue working beyond their "safe" limits.

    We've kind of checked this out during training, and people will keep working beyond their limits if they have air left.

    The extra weight and bulk of the 45 minute bottles is negligible; however, we're going from 30 minute steel bottles to 45 minute carbon bottles - if anything the entire rig is lighter!

    Just from a safety standpont, my personal opinion is that unless you do Haz-Mat, stay with the 30 minute bottles.

    Another point brought up above that is a fantastic idea is to train yourselves to get more time out of whatever capacity bottles you use. Some of us can get more time out of our old 30 minute SCBA's than some can get out of a 45 minute.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Northeast,Kentucky
    Posts
    24

    Default

    We switched to 4500 PSI 45 Minute cylinders .We were using 30 minute 2216 heavy steels.Our new 45'45's are lighter and give us some extra time in a rural firefighting setting.We did not increase are work time while on air.The extra air has not incresed any risk of cardiac arrest to the firefighter.They stress level is less due to the weight of the composite fiber bottles.We need to make clear the limits firefighters will be allowed work on air . SOG'S and clear rehab standards are a must.

  20. #20
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Malingering
    Posts
    3,640

    Default

    The weight between the 30 to 45 mask is not a lot. I was taught Smoke is bad. Air is GOOD. Go with the 45.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts