1. #1
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    Default SCBA Brands - HELP!

    I am looking for some input on different SCBA brands. We are planning to purchase brand new SCBA and looking to fully investigate the market. Most people in our area seem to have MSA, Survivair, or Scott. Can anyone provide any insight into Draeger, ISI, or Interspiro or Cairns SCBA? Personally I don't know of any departments in my area that have these brands although there are distributors in the area. Anyone with any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially from Western PA!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Without getting into a brand war....

    Our department has both MSA and Scotts. We bought some Scotts, then some MSAs. After we had had an opportunity to use both, we surveyed everyone and they chose to purchase more Scotts. We still have the MSAs. They are very dependable SCBA. The guys like the Scotts for fit, comfort and believe that the mask provides better window of vision. The alarm bell seems to be a little higher pitched and louder. Anyway, hope this helps. My choice: stick with the big dogs. Scott Air Packs.

  3. #3
    Truckie
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    Default

    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.

    Bowstringtruss; I posted this at another SCBA thread, but it covers the basics. As for other brands, my former paid on call department used ISI Vikings. They where excellent SCBA with a great view, good visability, and a real simple air switch. I know they are not what New York has, but hey, that's the way it goes`...
    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
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Draeger is headquartered in Pittsburgh. We have been using for fifteen years and we are buying 50 new ones. You should try all brands and make your own decision.

  5. #5
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    Draegers connection to the tank is different, how well does that work?

  6. #6
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    Draeger's connection is straight off the back pack. The cylinder valve is made so the shut off is 90 from the outlet. If you have to change a cylinder your best bet is to stand cylinder on end and connect the back pack. Works fine just takes getting used to.

  7. #7
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    Default Not Happy with Interspiro

    When selecting any piece of equipment I would talk to the people that are currently using the product. Don't talk to the officers or training divisions talk to the firefighters that actually use the stuff. The first thing I would want from a vendor is a list of the five busiest departments that use their products.
    Most departments don't have enough fires to conduct an adequate field test on all brands of packs. We received a new model of Interspiro last August and put them through about 10 live burn exercises. Later that night we had two packs fail on a job. The packs allowed hot fire gases in without warning. We had one firefighter go to the hospital with smoke inhalation. Since then we have had four others fail in the same way. The training division blamed it on operator error so it leads me to wonder if Interspiro knows about the problem we have been having. If it is operator error I wish someone would tell us what we are doing wrong.

  8. #8
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    My department recently switched from SCOTT to Dreager. But before we switched we had the diffrent vendors bring in demos for us to use. At one time we had three diffrent makes of SCBA for evaluation. We kept the demo's for over three months, we used them during drill, on actual calls. We set them side by side and compared features. When decision time came we had all our interior firefightes give input to help make the decsion.

    We went to Dreager because we felt they had a superior product. The interior firefighters liked the features and fit of the pack.

    Right decision for us, yes. Right for someone else maybe. You have to do your own home work and make you own choice.

    Hope this helps.

    Stay safe

  9. #9
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    Interchangability with neighboring departments is crucial especially if automatic mutual aid is used. Almost all of the departments in this area use Scott, we are very happy with them. But again interchangeability should factor high up on the list.
    Remember,

    If you don't respond.....who will

    IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
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  10. #10
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    Go with Scott it is a better pack.

    The new NFPA standard requires a buddy breathing / rit hookup that is the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. So purchase what you like. I'd choose the Scott over the other brands.

  11. #11
    dazed and confused
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    An MS-What? What the heck is a Draeger? And Cairns makes SCBA?

    *shrug*


    All I've ever known is Scott, for better or for worse. I'd be leary about switching, based on the success that we (and nearly everyone in this area) has had with Scott.

  12. #12
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    Talking Why not?

    New york uses them(and those knuckledraggers could break an anvil,Hehe)Boston uses them,and T.C. uses them.Hard to beat a Scott,particularly a new one.Damn near firefighter proof!Boston tried a bunch of packs,they have yet to find anything that works better than the Scotts.Plus you can use the mask for a APR.Double duty.I'm staying where I started.T.C.

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