1. #1
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    Default 4500 Vs 2250 SCBA's Concerns

    I have several questions concerning the 4500 SCBA's vs the 2250's.

    1. Our department was told that the 4500 bottles have only a 15 year lifetime. They must either be destroyed or sold to a foreign country, like the UK which allows the 4500 bottle to be used for 30 years. If this is true in 15 years our department will have to come up with money to replace 28 bottles. Our yearly budget is only 12,000.00. Can anyone veryfy this argue this?

    2. What are the main advantages of the 4500 over the 2250 or vise versa.

    3. Our instructors for Fire Fighter 1 & 2 have strongly indicated that volunteer department members should not spend more than 30 minutes in a SCBA. There reasoning is that most are not in adaquate physical condition. (I am sure some are and some are not, but as i look at myself and our department I can't argue with this one).

    4. I understand that the only lifetime SCBA tank is the 2250 aluminium. Provided it passes the reqular hydro testing.

    As a very small town department making ends meet is tough. We just want as much info so we can make an informed decision. Any unput is appreciated good or bad.

  2. #2
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    You just have to look to the future and realize a lot could change in 15 years. Who knows the cost could go down, your budget could go up, and they could even redo the life span to the 30 years like Europe. The main advantage of the 4500 over the 2216 is the increased working time, and not just on fires think about hazmat scenes, how long does it take your dept to set up and run a decon line sufficient to decon 8-10 techs? A 30 minute 216 will leave you short right in the middle. As for the physical issue I agree that is a strong one, but you should also know that a lot of career depts are not in the best of shape either. With the limited number of volunteers these days sometimes you have to work longer.
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    Default We went with 2216

    Our department just ordered 10 Scott 2216's yesterday. We researched and debated what we should buy for over a month. We talked to many sales reps and asked the opinoins of everyone involved. We finally decidedon the 2216 over the 4500 because it was compatable with our older Scott 2.2 packs, and they are 4.2 pounds lighter than the 45min packs. We don't do HazMat or other special ops, so we figured that 30 minutes inside is long enough.

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    Ummmm, 30 minute bottles only last 30 minutes if you are sitting in your Barco-lounger watching TV. We do air consumption drills all of the time and our people go from 12 minutes to 20 minutes until the vibe-alert goes off. Walking up and down stairs, carrying foam buckets back and forth across the bay, up and down the ladder, hose drags, are all exercises we do to simulate fireground work and effort. There is no difference between a 30 minute 2216 and a 30 minute 4500 under working conditions. The same person will get the same longevity out of both.
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    I agree with BC79ER. Both "containers" hold the same quantity of air (approx. 45 cubic feet). The difference is how small of a space you compress it. But what you also have to concider is the accociated costs with switching pressures. First is your compresser able to fill the high pressure bottles efficienly? If not add the cost of compresser upgrade to the bottom line. Add the cost of new mounting brackets in the vehicles as well. It seems to me with the limited budget previously stated there are other pressing matters to address paramount to mounting brackets.
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    Talking

    With a little help from FEMA we just replaced all of our SCBA. We went with Scott Air-Pack 50s in 4,500 psi. We bought both 30-minute and 60-minute bottles. I agree 30 minutes is long enough for most incidents in our department. We have 6 of the 60-minute bottles for searching large buildings and other extended uses. The lighter and smaller 30-minute cylinders are a plus for attack crews. I think 4,500 psi will be the ?norm? in a few years. Prices will come down, more departments will have compatible equipment.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 4500 Vs 2250 SCBA's Concerns

    Originally posted by heycmann
    I have several questions concerning the 4500 SCBA's vs the 2250's.

    1. Our department was told that the 4500 bottles have only a 15 year lifetime....
    2. What are the main advantages of the 4500 over the 2250 or vise versa.
    3. Our instructors for Fire Fighter 1 & 2 have strongly indicated that volunteer department members should not spend more than 30 minutes in a SCBA. There reasoning is that most are not in adaquate physical condition. (I am sure some are and some are not, but as i look at myself and our department I can't argue with this one).
    4. I understand that the only lifetime SCBA tank is the 2250 aluminium. Provided it passes the reqular hydro testing.
    1. Any composite bottle, whether 4500 or 2216, is limited by DOT regulation to 15 years or 5 hydro-tests...whichever is LESS. There is quite a bit of rumor that the composites will soon move into a similar category to the all-aluminum bottles.
    2. 4500 allows a 30 minute bottle to weigh less than a 2216 (you save about 4 pounds); it also gives the flexibility to wear a 45 or 60 minute bottle.
    3. On my FD, the limit was 2 bottles before mandatory rehab. For some people this was too much...it should have been 1 bottle. For our fit guys, on a normal day at a normal fire, 2 bottles was a good break point. Your physician signing off on your respiratory fitness (required by OSHA and NFPA) should be able to give more guidance.
    4. Aluminum and steel cylinders have an endless life as long as they pass hydro every 5 years.

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    One of us is really confused. Composite cylinders regardless of pressure are 15 year lifespan. Hydro is 5 years on each. You don't state how many scba you run, but if you were to put away $500 each year for 15 years, you would have $7500. That would get you close to 15 cylinders at the price we were just quoted. If you're running 7 or 8 packs, that should cover you.
    Like bc79er stated, 30 minutes of air is 30 minutes of air.
    I honestly think you have a lot more research to do before committing to purchase anything.

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    Here are the Scott AP50 weights. These numbers include the pack and a full bottle.

    Both the 2216psi 30 minute packs and the 4500psi 30 minute packs are the same weight, 18.9 pounds. The 4500psi 45 minute packs are 23.1 pounds

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    Gotta disagree with you on one small point Brian, Every now and again our dept does an scba familiarization class where you basicly just hang out at the station on air to get used to the pack and the feeling of being in one. My personal record with a scott 2.2 30 min aluminum cylinder is 1 hour 17 minutes. Grantued most of it was just leaning against the brush truck reading firehouse but that is currently the dept record. I also found that after my low air buzzer stopped vibrating, I still had a few minutes of air left. Not to say I would ever push this myself in a fire situation, or advise anybody else to push it, but its just nice to say that it has been done.
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    I don't disagree it can't be done, it just depends on how consciously you control your breathing. In a non-working mode, nearly anyone can slow their breathing. At a normal breathing rate at rest, our bodies really only use 20% of the volume of air in our lungs, so technically, there is plenty of usable 02 in the lungs that our bodies can use if we hold our breath. Otherwise we'd pass out immediately after holding our breath. While typing this I've slowed my rate down to 4 breathes per minute. Probably could do it to 2 since I can usually hold my breath for 30 seconds at a time, then breath, then 30 more seconds. At such rates you could easily double or triple the length of time in an air pack. But under any other conditions, breathing is involuntary, such as when we're sleeping, and in such cases we'll get what the packs are rated at, since they are rated at the normal 12-20 breaths per minute for an average sized human. The usual factors of lung size, smoker vs nonsmoker, physical fitness, all play into the equation.

    This is the biggest reason that it is said to consciously control your breathing and stay calm if trapped. You can stretch your airpack time if needed.

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    We had the same decision to make, went with 4500 45min. You can still fill them to 2216 if you want and have the 4500 option. Salesman have the info on what bottles hold for cfa. I your budget is $12000.00 you must be a smaller dept. Why 28 bottles?

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    Here is some background info on our Department. We have 25 volunteer members with two pumpers and a Utility Van. Our fire protection district is all city with a population of 4,000 covering 5 square miles. We currently have 14 SCBA's plus 20 spare cylinders. If we purchase 14 SCBS's plus one spare cylinder per pack that means 28 cylinders.

    Our $12,000 budget is comprised of 50% personal cost and 50% upkeep, maintenance and new equipment.

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    Other than lack of filling resources, why would anyone want to fill a 4500 to only 2216? Just curious.
    "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?

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    That would be the only reason. We bought 4500 and a 6000psi cascade couldn,t afford a new compressor so the cascade is at 4500 so you don't aways get them full. 30 minutes is probably long enough for anyone, I don't believe paid firefighters are in any better shape than volunteers so don't hold that against you.

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    Question to 12TruckIrons - Where did you read that Europe had extended their life spann to 30 years ?thanks for info
    Last edited by Bootsatcfd; 11-17-2003 at 12:55 PM.

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    Default Why not 3000 PSI

    Consider a 3000 PSI system. If I remember right the 3000 PSI tanks are the same size as the 2216's. You get 9 more minutes of air for the same weight. You don't need to upgrade your fill staion and you can still use your neighbors bottles, though they won't necessarily be able to use yours unless they bleed off some air. It has the same thread as the 2216's. You are still stuck buying expensive bottles however which is a problem for our department as well. We thought the weight savings was worth it. Somebody correct me if I am mistaken.

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    Heycmman provided that tidbit of info when he posted this whole thread.
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