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Thread: picking a scba

  1. #1
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    Default picking a scba

    we are looking at buying new scbas it is a hard choice need pros or cons for survivair,msa,and draeger. need your help


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    Default

    One question. Why did you leave Scott out of the list? We've been happy with all the Scott air paks we've used. I will admit there have been minor problems with them but nothing major.
    Last edited by SFDchief; 11-30-2002 at 11:21 AM.

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    Default MSA

    My department has used MSA since they've had scba, and we've never had any problems out of them. We've tried out some other packs and Msa has by far been the best. Just my 2 cents.
    "I truly believe that tradition is important to the long-term survival of the fire service."-Lt. Andrew Fredricks, FDNY,9-11-01

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Scott SCBA are like Timex watches...

    They take a lickin and keep on tickin!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Default

    we use Scott 2216 and are buying new AP 50 w pass and voice amps
    all the MA depts around us use Scott 2216 or 4500psi.
    in ten years of inspections and field maint never had a failure
    a couple of things to consider if your only replacing a couple a year and you go with a differant scba more training will be needed, but if
    can replace all at once demo demo and more demo see what is out there
    but i would still buy Scott
    stay low stay safe

  6. #6
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Default

    we mostly use scott or msa. i prefer msa but after the RIT class in houston where we used that prototype scott pack, i have changed my mind. this is just my opinion.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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    Default

    We switched back to Scott a couple of years ago. The biggest advantage for me is we now have individualy assigned face masks. I have my face mask fitted with a spectacle kit. I now have prescription lenses mounted in the face mask and I can see with a mask on for the first time in 20 years.

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    Forum Member wellsfr's Avatar
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    You need to look at your dealers ability to provide quik reliable service. What ever brand you choose it is most important to keep it in service.
    wellsfr
    We've been doing so much for so long with so little. We can do almost anything with nothing.

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    Default

    Scott's pass alarm is in their back pack, and it alarms quite often you also need voice amplification that you don't with the others.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Doesn't alarm any different than any other pass.When you get the red flash and the chirp, just shake your booty.Not terribly difficult.My votes for Scott.T.C.

  11. #11
    iceman4442
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    Default

    I've used MSA, Scott, and Survivair. My preference is just that - my preference! The best way to find out which unit will work best for your department is to get a couple units of each "candidate" as demos from a good vendor set up some good training, and use them. If a vendor says they can't get you a demo, maybe you need to look for a better vendor; we've had very good luck doing this.

    Also, decide beforehand what capabilities you want or need the SCBA's to have - 30 min / 1 hr. bottles, built-in PASS, type of low-air alarm, etc. You also need to know if you're going to issue individual facepieces or not. (Do it if you can!) This way you should be able to compare apples to apples.

  12. #12
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with drkblram; may different packs, each with their pros and cons.
    When selecting new scbas, you need to really only answer a few basic questions:
    1) Do you really need a pack with every bell and whistle? Are you a small vollie department with a limited budget and you can recieve more for your dollar by going with a pack that meets the minimum current standard? Or are you a large career department that needs a pack much more durable because of call volume and some of those added bells and whistles may be a problem?

    2) Bottle duration- is your service area mostly residential and a 30 minute bottle is adequate? Or are you in a metro area with highrises, large commercial structures, or storage facilities in which a 60 minute bottle may be benificial?

    3) Do you currently have the equipment in place to go from low pressure to high pressure, or will you need to buy a new compessor and/or cascade system?

    4) Do you have people in-house to service the newer packs, or will you have to rely on an outside vendor? This can be an expensive proposition.

    There are many good scbas out there, make sure you look at them all. Good luck.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Default

    If you look at Scott try to get a look at the new face piece. Called the AV-3000 it's supposed to have improved visibility. I haven't seen it yet and haven't been able to find out much other than it's coming to replace the Av-2000. Availability is supposed to be in early 2003. Maybe other regions in the US already have it?

  14. #14
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 2 cents...

    In my humble opinion...SCOTT! I have used a few and
    aways wish I had a Scott on my back. They are the
    one that set the bench mark and has been copied by
    the others. Reasons-

    1. Look at FDNY, bet the hell out of theirs and they
    keep going.

    2. I like the face piece. Click in/click off. Easy.
    It has the vibe-alert. No confusion, is it him or me
    going off???

    3. The low pressure hose doesnt have to dangle all
    over your front. Simple push it up and it stays out
    of the way. Nice, very nice.

    4. Not a lot of cheap parts. Easy to use, durable,
    etc.

    Lastly- Ask FDNY, Orange County, CA, Houston, Phoenix,
    Ventura County, CA...The list goes on....

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Default

    We used to have MSA's but now we have SCOTT 4500psi.

    The MSA's worked fine but the ones we had just wore out. When we were in the market shopping around, SCOTT was the manufactuer of breathing apparatus for NASA and then finally got into the private sector, including municipal fire departments.

    Like Gonzo said, they take a beating and keep on ticking. We ran one over with a truck once (OOPS!) and sent in for repair and they came back saying there was nothing wrong with it. That's a damn good test right there. (however, not suggested)

    I have heard bad things of Survivair, more than one person has said the regulator is not as rugged and sticks in cold weather. No personal experience of this.

    I like MSA. They are user friendly. I was raised on MSA and when we switched to SCOTT I was very much against it. Now that I have tried them, I like them better than MSA. As far as pricewise, they are about the same, depending on how many bells and whistles you get.

    Good luck.
    ___________________
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

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    Default

    I too would have to vote for the SCOTT packs, but since you didn't mention them as packs you were considering. I think of the choices you gave, I would honestly go with the Draegers. I've tried them out several times and would prefer them as a second choice to SCOTT. They're comfortable to wear, not extrodanarily heavy and the breathe well (easy to inhale). A friend of mine has his own which he got to demo the packs, he's had it sevral years and it has held up very well. And believe me he's put it through it's paces. I've also had the MSA on, but I'm not entirely impressed by them, though many departments around here swear by them. I guess it just left a bad taste in my mouth that MSA went so many years without making any real improvements that had to play catch up all of a sudden. Plus I saw several failures of their first version of a MMR. I'm sure that they are a quality pack, but definately not my first choice. The last one you said you were considering was Survivair. In my opinion you would do well to stay away from these packs. They do not have a good track record in my area, meaning I haven't run into many satisfied users. I've tried on their new version and I was not impressed at all. I found it very uncomfortable, straps and back frame. I also thought it was harder to breathe through. I was told by the salesman that it could be adjusted which I thought was fine. But what he couldn't answer me was why, I can take a SCOTT, Draeger or an MSA off the rack and breathe just fine but a new Survivair needs to be adjusted. I just don't think as soon as you get a new pack that it should need work to suit your needs. I was also not happy with the manuevering you have to do to change bottles, what ever happened to keeping things simple? Whatever you choose I hope that you are happy with and I hope I was able to help at least a little. God bless and stay safe.
    Randall E Guntrum FF/E.M.T.
    Last edited by Gooch26; 02-02-2008 at 03:30 AM.
    If lights, sirens, and air horns do not attract the attention of a driver, he or she is too drunk to be assisted by a paint scheme.

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    Exclamation SCBA's

    You should definately get at least one of each in for a month or so
    Let everyone who will be using a pack try them all out to get an idea
    who likes what. Then go from their based on your needs and price.

    We just did this in May with Scott, MSA, & Draeger. Everyone preferred
    the Draegers. They are very lite & comfortable. They also gave us the best deal of the three. We have been using them since July and have had no problems.
    This is just my departments opinion. You have to go through the entire process yourself to be sure.
    Work Hard
    Stay Safe
    EFFD131

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    Default

    We have had the salesman show off their scbas and they have left them to try out.
    They are all good each one has it's high points that is why it is a tough choice. The distributors are equal in service also. We are going with 45 min. 4500psi bottles. The new NFPA 2002 rules are integrated pass, heads up display and RIT connection so we will also go with those.

    Thanks for the excellent imput!

  19. #19
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    Default Hey Scooby

    Why not ISI's? We are looking at buying the Viking. Wondering what you do not or would not like about the Viking.

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Default

    We didnt look at ISI because we have no local distributor that is it. Haven't heard anything about them.

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