1. #1
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    Question Cold Temperature B.A. Operations- How Cold?

    What is the coldest temperature you know of that B.A. can be safely worn and operated in?

    The company I am employed by has -40 degree's celsius storage rooms. The question has been raised by our Emergency Response Team as to how cold B.A. can cope with.

    I am awaiting feedback from the manufacturer, but has anyone else had any experience in this sort of environment?

    How did the sets cope?

    How did the members cope?!
    Luke

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    iceman4442
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    We've operated with our SCBA's in -30 degree Farenheit, with a wind chill of -70 at the same time. (Wind chill only affects the human element, not equipment, as I'm told) Only problem encountered was that the masks fogged very easily, and if it fogged and wasn't warmed up soon (either in a truck or nearer the heat source!) the fog froze.

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    I've seen Scott's used down to -20F, the only problem I've seen is once the mask has been removed spit and condensation in the regulator can freeze up and jam the valves either open or closed, but the few times I've seen it were during tank changes and you can shove the reg into your coat to avoid it.

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    I personaly have used both ISI and MSA at -35 celsius and have had both fail thankfully in the open or bypass position. All the times this has happened in this type of weather up here in the great white north, it has been in an outside location and has not been critical to my safety. It usualy happens after a bottle change or after you go off air and are standing around rehabbing. The only solution is to put your BA in a hot cab of an apparatus and warm it up along with the mask, nothing more uncumfortable and useless at trying to get a good seal than a cold mask.

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    Originally posted by drkblram
    no one better to ask about cold than a mainer, right 304?
    I don't know about that, Me thinks the brave fellow from Alberta might have a bit more deep freeze experiance that I. I did have to have my hands chisled off an 1 3/4 line one night, but those are truly (thank god) rare occations.

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    Default Sabre B.A. Sets...

    I've had confirmation that the Sabre range of BA will operate as low as -30 degrees celsius, as they come, direct from the manufacturer.

    With a few minor changes to components, they can operate as low as -70 degrees Celsius!

    That's cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Still awaiting confirmation from Drager....
    Luke

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    Carrot ,

    Is it Drager sets that you are using? You will find that most brands will need a special kit put through the regulators beyond about -20 to -30 degC, in mucht he same way that sciba diving regulators require special kits from the manufacturer before diving in really cold water.
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    Yes it is Draeger....

    They have now come back and confirm that they too will operate down to -30 degrees celsius.

    They're still trying to confirm if they can in fact be retro-fitted to go colder...
    Luke

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    Talking Two solutions

    Here are two solutions to the air pack freeze problem.

    1. Go to a smaller attack line so that the fire keeps burning and the heat keeps the pack working.

    2. Go to a bigger attack line so that the fire goes out and you can take the thing off.

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
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    or option 3 - don't take an attack line at all and that way both you and the pack keep warm

    I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and guess that the times when Lutan's crew need to use BA in those sorts of temperatures aren't necessarily going to be for firefighting operations but more probably owing to leaks of refrigerants - ammonia being one that is commonly used in large facilities.
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    Lutan's crew need to use BA in those sorts of temperatures aren't necessarily going to be for firefighting operations
    Spot on stillPSFB!

    These -40 degree areas are warehouses storing biological products. The concern for the Emergency Response Teams is if someone collapses, or for example was to become entrapped (Collapsed racking?!), or overcome by some form of gas/fumes....

    The list goes on! You get the idea....
    Luke

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    I've used Scotts at -45F with no problems,I didn't do the conversion to C but I think it's in the ball park.T.C.

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    Ah, Grandmaster 101- this does not involve a tow truck, as a young grasshopper, I do not understand why you replied...


    Serious though- what sort of duration were you operating for?
    Luke

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    Lightbulb Duration?

    Ah Luke,This was at a Racehorse barn fire,heavily involved so the duration was in the hour range of intense labor.I do,on occasion,deal with things other than transportation emergencies.Once in a while I enjoy cranking on uppity Aussies.I hope this doesn't make you think less of me(Hehe)The best place to gain the info on your current problem is thru the Mfg. of your BA,they should be able to rate and or modify the equipment to fit your need.If not,there's always Scott.Gotta run now,got a car vs pole.T.C.

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    We've been to the manufacturer (Draeger)- they can't give us a definite answer! They're concerned about liabilty, I guess...

    Will keep you updated.
    Luke

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    Did I mention there's always Scott?Do I have to send Kiwi over to explain this to you?Again?T.C.

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    Grandmaster 101- that stubborn streak is coming out again! Get back in your tow truck!

    We've got around 30 sets to retrofit or, if we went down your path of changing brand, that's a hell of a lot of money! (We don't all earn as much as you tow truck drivers!!! )
    Luke

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    Luke,

    Give Robin at Allwoods Breathing Services a call on 03 9725 1577 - he mainly deals in and services Auer/MSA but he may be able to help.

    BTW where the heck do you work that you require 30 BA sets?
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    Talking I got a snake

    Perhaps you would like ME to charm Draeger?Did you get your care package yet?Hehe T.C.

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    Thumbs down I know nothing....

    stillPSFB wrote:
    BTW where the heck do you work that you require 30 BA sets?
    lutan1 wrote:
    These -40 degree areas are warehouses storing biological products.
    I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you!

    The 30 sets are spread over two sites.....
    Luke

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    Unfortunately down here we tend to have fewer SCBA sets on trucks, typically two per piece, with a few carrying 3 or 4 sets. The much lower number of SCBA sets was one of the biggest differences that I noted when I joined an Australian dept, you don't see everyone with a set on their back at a structure fire here like you would in the U.S. It feels a little uncomfortable not to have a set on my back at fires after being used to a SCBA being almost a part of me - sort of like a turtle without a shell. Note I said Turtle not Tortoise - I'm not that old and slow yet
    Last edited by stillPSFB; 12-14-2002 at 11:24 PM.
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    Originally posted by drkblram
    still, so I take it there is not a pack for every seating position (whether it's in the seat or in a compartment)? just enough for an interior team from the apliance/rig/vehicle or whatever you call it?
    That's it unfortunately, just enough sets for two firefighters to go in
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    Just so you know, this is not a fire dept. This is for an industrial emergency response team for a private company....

    The BA sets are in place for emergencies such as HAZMAT, confined space rescue, fires, terrorism, etc.



    Draeger have now come back in writing stating that we can use them in the -40 degree stores without a problem.

    I'm going to get a few guys together and try it to see how the set's handle it. I'd rather find out now, than during an actual incident!
    Luke

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    Originally posted by lutan1
    I'm going to get a few guys together and try it to see how the set's handle it. I'd rather find out now, than during an actual incident!
    That's usually a good idea. See Luke, now that you have left the Carrots your ability to think logically has returned You never know, once that orange stain washes off we might even let you join us guys!

    BTW, which station's response area is this wonderful place that you work in located?
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    Quick note -40f = -40C = too dang cold for truck to work right. As my old captain used to say on those frosty nights, "It's a good thing we've got a fire going, cause it'd be damn cold without one."
    This is of course only my humble opinion, but then again, its likely the only one that matters.

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