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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Grants and Gear Evaluation Equal STRESS!!!

    Sorry if my questions on equipment seem to get repetitive. Also, sorry if this maybe should have ended up in the grant section. It is more of a equipment based thread so I put it here since this part of the forum seems to get the most traffic. Also, I hope this helps anybody that may be in the same boat, there seems to be a lot of related topics on the forums these days.

    I am in a bit of a dilema, and this is one of my better resources IMO to get honest opinions on current gear. My rural Volunteer department has been blessed this year with 2 grants (one State and one Fire Act) for a total of 96 thousand dollars at a cost of about 9000 dollars match.

    This is a God Send, the only problem we now have is evaluating equipment. We are literaly hundreds of miles from civilization! Far Eastern Montana is not a hotbed of Fire and Rescue Service dealers. We have a very difficult time evaluating/getting demos for equipment because we are just to far out of the way for most salesmen to mess with, there is easier money to be made. We dont have the benefit of live burn resources anywhere withing a days drive. The only gear and equipment which we can realy get our hands on and evaluate is the gear we already own, and that of our neighbors. Problem is, we all have gear that is a minimum of 10 years old, more often 15 or 20 years old! So far behind the technology curve that it raely gives no insight into what is quality and long lasting gear of todays market.

    Since our grant anoucement a month ago, the chief has been getting all sorts of letters and some very funny phone calls:

    "Hello Chief! Congradulations on your FEMA grant, we would sure like to have your buisness, would you like to have a demonstration meeting with free cool aid? ... What!!! You are how many hours from the Ends of The Earth? OKAAAEEE... How far from Nowhere? Oh, I see... Well, if you would like to place an internet order, sight unseen, the Poney Express should have your new bunker there say, in about a years time. Oh, and dont forget, our product is FAR FAR superior to anything the other guys sells, regaurdless of price, origin, or your personal preferance. ... What do you mean support after sale (giggle)? ... Maintenance on your SCBAs?!?! Cheif, listen, you are so far from Nowhere that our nearest service rep is a 8 hour drive, one way. I dont think we will be stopping by very often to perform maintenace checks, you are going to have to send them to us by Poney Express. ... Sorry, got to go, I just noticed that another department, only an hour away, has just been anouced for their grant, nice talking to you Chief, thanks for spending your precious funds with our company, have a nice day."



    So here we are. The cheif and serveral of us members have been doing our best to research gear and equipment, but with our very limited resources, it has been a very daunting task. We have talked face to face with any department we can find, we have made phone calls, we have scoured the internet for many many hours, and...

    We still do not feel confident that we are ready to make the final decision. This is truthfully a very very big deal to our small department. It is also our first experience with a grant like this and our first experice for the current members in buying and evaluating a bulk order of gear like this. We have been useing hand me downs for so long none of us are up to speed when it comes to purchasing fire equipment. These are decisions we will have to live with for the next 10-30+ years. Likely the only way we will ever replace this gear again is though future grant funds when it becomes unservicable or so obsolete that it is considered dangerous by future standards.

    I am going to give an overview of what we have done so far, and what our trains (derailed at times) of thought have been. Please critique and give comments and opinsions. I take critisism well and actualy welcome it when people can point out my mistakes. Much better to hear it now then to hear it for the next 10 years from the guys every time they use the potential offensive piece of equipment that I have blundered into buying.

    Our grant project was for 12 head to toe sets of structure fire PPE, 12 NFPA 02 Compiant SCBAs with 12 spare bottles, a Thermal Imaging Camera, and a high pressure breathing air compressor. This came to a total of 85 thousand federal dollars and our approx 9000 match. That is enough PPE/SCBAs to outfit a third of our department. Our plans for next years application is to outfit another 1/3 of the department (another 12) with PPE and SCBAs (8 aditional for a total of 20), and to provided for additional equipment for a RIT/FAST group such as a resuce air cylinder and an aditional TIC. The Year after that we hope to outfit the remainder of the department with PPE (not SCBAs), buy additional spare air cylinders, aquire an additional TIC (each engine would then have one), and maybe by then look into updated extrication gear such as the self contained electrical units. After that there is only rough speclation at this point. That is putting the hourse before the cart, but it never hurts to plan, grants or not, we have to have direction.

    We have been asking ourselves what we want from each different category of gear.

    Bunker Gear: We wanted gear that would be durable, cofortable, and meets minimum or better standards. This probly covers the vast majority of modern PPE, especialy compared with our current issue PPE which is a heat stroke waiting to happen. There is much love for Morning Pride and Globe, the luxury PPE that is probly the best to be had anywhere. But, on the other hand, Cheiften PPE is about a third less, which would free up a condierable amont of money for aditional sets of PPE. IMO we cant go to far wrong with the budget sets since they meet the same standards. Unless Chieften is so uncomfortable that it hurts I would imagine that is the route we would go. IMO it is more important to get more sets of modern albiet budget gear then it is to get less luxury gear. We are not gauranted of any future grant money, so I would like to get as many ff's in modern PPE as possible.

    Boots: Rubber Rangers. This is set in stone, we cant justify leather boots for this since we have already spent a considerable amount on leather boots for wildland.

    Helmets: This has been an very difficult dicision. We would love to have traditional (leather or no) for the looks (were not shallow, nooo... ), but they are impracitcal for our area since we have a lot more wildfire then we do structure fire. Run of the mill tactical tupperware is afordable, but it is still hot. I do believe that our best choice is Phenix brand helmets. This is because we have the option to use these on both structure and wildfire incidents. This is common practice in many of the western States, and IMO is the best approach for us from a logistics and budget standpoint. Also, they give adequate protection for structure fire use, they give higher then the standard wildfire protection.

    SCBA: This is going to be probly the equipment choice with the longest lasting impact, both finacialy and performance wise. The long term costs of an SCBA system can be of more importance then the up front costs. Also, it is important to have the firefighters useing equipment they trust and feel comforatble with. I do believe that we have it narrowed down to SCOTT and Drager. SCOTT because of its very high quaility and because of its reputation. Drager because we have found a vendor willing to cut us a very sweet deal on Airboss SCBAs and becuase this is our closest source for SCBAs (2 hours one way).

    We do have some of the criteria set. We will be going with a high pressure system, 4500. This is to maintain our iteroperability with our mutual aid departments. Mutual aid is one of our most vital concerns. All of our mutual aid partners are either high pressure or planning on going that route as soon as possible.

    Now, this is where it gets difficult.

    We did get a demo for SCOTT, and of course everybody loves them. We have had SCOTT for years, Airpak 2s, so there is brand loyalty as well. The price was not out of reach, and there was a promis of maintenance support from the vendor. While I am hopefull of this, it is over 6 hours one way for a tech to come to our area from the vendors HQ. The maintenace described by the salesman sounded very doable, and the waranties were good. Can anybody please elaborate on what maintenace a SCOTT 4.5 or NXG2 required and what the long term costs are?

    The NXG2 Vs. the SCOTT 4.5 is another issue that we will have to work out with our Neighbors. There is some talk from our closest mutual aid partner of going for the NXG2s. If they do so we will likely follow suit. This will have to be ironed out later. My main concer with the NXG2s is the quick change cylinders, this could put a monkey wrench in the system IMO.

    What do you like about SCOTT 4.5s or NXG2s? What are the flaws, what is there to watch out for.

    The same for Drager Airbosses?

    We are going to be getting a demo for the Dragers. The maintenace described by the salesman was that there was very little maintenace, and that Drager would send a department member to a school to become a certfied Drager tech. We could in theory do our own maintenace. They have a lifetime waranty on many of their parts. Could anybody elaborate on the maintenace of Dragers, the long term maintenace costs, and any other costs we have overlooked.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but with the SCOTT SCBAs you do not have to rebuild any of the regulators or pressure reducers over the first 15 years.

    I dont know about the dragers yet. Are there any components that need to be replace or rebuilt on a regular schedual?

    So, if anybody has any comments on Dragers Vs. Scotts both in performance and long term maintenace/costs please elaborate in detail. This is the equipment choice that is keeping my up at nite.

    TIC: This is narrowed down to the Bullard T3Lt and the MSA5000 Evolution. We have not had a chance to get hands on with either of these, and this is largely based on research both form print and internet. I have been promised that I would get a hands on with these units sometime this month, and then we will have to make our decision. I have also been offered a demo of the SCOTT/FLIR unit from the SCOTT vendor, and I agreed to take a look. But, from what I have read, they are not in the same league as the Bullard or MSA units. This is largely a preferance decision, but if you have any insight, please let me know.

    Compressor: This is one area that I have not yet had a chance to dive into. We will likely go with the same brand as our closest neibor (13 miles) department in order to simplyfie the maintenace/check dilema. If we can talk one tech into comeing fro both departments, then we should not have much trouble.

    If you see any glaring flaws in logic, have in comments or insight, opinions or obervations, please post them! Also, it is always good to hear why people prefer certain types of gear, what the best and worst aspects of the gear is, etc...

    Sorry for being so long winded, but I had to vent somehow! Now that I see it all down in writing, it doesnt look as bad as it feels. I am seriously stressing out about this!
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


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    While not as isolated as you, we have many of the same choices to make. Help us out, guys!

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    OK, let me rephrase this...

    What would you buy with this grant project?
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  4. #4
    Temporarily/No Longer Active July36's Avatar
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    Sounds about like our predicament SAMSON...being rural and all and not having the updated equipment....its just we wish we could find grantgivers that would at least look our way and give us a chance to improve.
    I just recently applied for a cpl grants for next year but I strongly doubt theyll even look at our application after they see were Independents.They always seem to overlook us so my fingers are crossed....and my toes. LOL

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    My opinion and mine only....take it for what it is worth....

    Bristol turn-out gear. Lightest and most comfortable gear I have ever had on.

    Never worn a Phenix helmet, if you like them and they meet the stanadards buy them. We buy Cairns 660 and use them structural and wildland.

    SCBA, we got a fema grant for SCBA and are buying Scott Air-Pak 50's for mutual aid compatibility. Don't have much experieicne with Draeger. Been either a Scott or MSA man for ever.

    I would tell people that want to sell you something that there unwillingness to even come and show you it means they probably won't be willing to service it and then eliminate them from the process.

    FyredUp

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    You spoke about buying a TIC this year and looking for additional TIC's in future years. The Feds have limits on how much they will contribute toward the purchase of the TIC. They also limit the number of cameras they will pay for. If you buy a camera this year and request a camera thru the grant next year and your population size does not support a second camera, your application will be thrown out. It happened to me last year. The particulars are buried somewhere in the grant rules and regulations.

  7. #7
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by decou151
    You spoke about buying a TIC this year and looking for additional TIC's in future years. The Feds have limits on how much they will contribute toward the purchase of the TIC. They also limit the number of cameras they will pay for. If you buy a camera this year and request a camera thru the grant next year and your population size does not support a second camera, your application will be thrown out. It happened to me last year. The particulars are buried somewhere in the grant rules and regulations.
    Direct from the grant website:
    Thermal imaging cameras are eligible, but the number of cameras that can be purchased with grant funds will be based on the population served by the department applying for assistance. Departments that serve communities of less than 20,000 can purchase one thermal imaging camera with grant funds if awarded a grant; departments serving communities between 20,000 and 50,000 can purchase two cameras with grant funds if awarded a grant; and departments serving communities of over 50,000 can purchase three cameras with grant funds if awarded a grant.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Samson - Do you allow your people to respond from home, or do they carry their gear with them and respond from where ever they are? That is the way my department does it. The reason I ask is while researching turnout gear, I found out it is NOT very resilient to UV light. You can loose a lot of its protective ability by just allowing it to be stored in sunlight (in members vehicles) or under florescence lights (in the station). Ask your gear vendors how long they will stand behind their gear if you allow your members to carry it where direct sunlight can hit it. Few, if any, will. When you make a decision, make sure everyone knows how to protect his or her gear. You don't get this opportunity very often.

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    MembersZone Subscriber TLFD40's Avatar
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    Default Help??

    Hope this helps you, we are not that remote, but the vendors had to truck their butts up from the South of us a couple of hours, some even said they were interested and never showed up. Needless to say they weren't in the running.
    Gear: We got the Globe gear, it's a little bulky, but in the winter up here it's a god send and nobody has gotten burned yet. We did need a coat serviced and the Dist lost it (still fighting them about that one. The gear is great but our distributor sucked. We also got Gear bags to put them in, so they were not exposed to sunlight or other damaging things.

    SCBA: We looked at Scott and MSA (We were already Scott) We decided to stay Scott. Liked the HUD setup and the price was right, MSA was nice but too many batteries nad the HUD was too low for our liking.

    TIC: We looked at MSA 5000 and Bullards 3tmax. BULLARD hands down. Just read the forumn on TIC's, it helped us alot and the salesman was very informative. Constant contact was maintained and they even left us a camera to use for awhile. (We were able to use it during a stubborn chimney fire) Worked great.

    Hemets: We use the Cairns for structure and wildfire.

    HOPE THIS HELPS
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  10. #10
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Default We got a grant also

    We are currently doing the same thing that you are doing ,looking at scba's/compressers(grant monies) and turnout(non grant monies). We are going to go with scotts for three main reasons

    1. Service from the vender along with training
    2. All the members of my department have been trained on scott and have found it to be the most dependable in a working situtaition.
    3. Most of the M.A. companys around us use scotts which makes bottle changes and refilling very easy.

    As for the compresser we are looking at Mako and Bowermen, again service will be the main concideration for this purchase.

    The turnout gear will go along the same lines, we have had Globe and Securitex and will test those has well as other gear. Some of the things we will look at will be repairability and gear life. Our Health and saftey Committee is leaning toward Globe or Morning Pride because it holds up better over time, Securitex was ok but did not last as long as our old Globe did 6 years has opposed to 9 years. Some of the off brand gear like Janesville and Fire Dex have come along way since we last test this gear. Hope that this helps BTW we run 2300 calls per year to give you an idea of how much we wear the gear 1100 are fire related
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  11. #11
    Temporarily/No Longer Active July36's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firemanjb


    Direct from the grant website:
    Thermal imaging cameras are eligible, but the number of cameras that can be purchased with grant funds will be based on the population served by the department applying for assistance. Departments that serve communities of less than 20,000 can purchase one thermal imaging camera with grant funds if awarded a grant; departments serving communities between 20,000 and 50,000 can purchase two cameras with grant funds if awarded a grant; and departments serving communities of over 50,000 can purchase three cameras with grant funds if awarded a grant.

    May I ask where that grant website is and for which grant it may be?
    I just applied for an assistance program through Bullard for funding so im hoping they come thru.IF we get an approval,then I will be purchasing a thermal camera from them(since it is kinda part of the deal).

  12. #12
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by July36
    May I ask where that grant website is and for which grant it may be?
    I just applied for an assistance program through Bullard for funding so im hoping they come thru.IF we get an approval,then I will be purchasing a thermal camera from them(since it is kinda part of the deal).
    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/doc/03prgguide.doc

    An assistance program through Bullard? We have the inSight program, which is designed to help FDs raise money for thermal imagers, but I am not aware of a funding program through us. Perhaps you could email or post with more details?

    jonathan_bastian@bullard.com
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    For us it was Scott hands down, just remember the NxG2 quick connect adapter cylinders only work with NxG2 and an adapter is required for air tools, and just a suggestion if you go with Scott they have some pretty good compressors and fill stations and you might as well get your service from 1 vendor if possible. Good Luck

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    It's more than time for an update. We got a grant for SCBA, and invited every manufacturer. Drager declined to come up the mountian, but we borrowed a set from everyone else.
    Our choice was the ISI - it is the one we found fit our needs. They have been in use, and I even got to take one into our first fire since we got them. WOW, things have gotten better in the last 30 years!

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    The ISI got the nod from us fbecause it was the easiest to breath. In fcat, thier salesman said "After you look at all the bells and lights, remember, it's all about breathing.
    We kept a unit from each makr for 30 days, so every member could try it on, work with it, and see what we liked. I even made up some evaluation forms for us. 99% voted for ISI as 1st choice (there's one in every crowd).

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    ISI must have came out with a new SCBA. I had one on a couple months ago for RIT training and it was the worst SCBA I have ever worn. My dept used Scott 4.5 and Jainsville turnout gear. Jainsville gear does not hold up very well at all in my opion. And we have very little problems with our Scba's. I belive they are over six years old. Maybe even more. Only problem we have had with them is a regulator got shut in the door of the truck and it broke.

  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well................

    Here in this part of the world, There are two SCBAs. Scott and MSA. Period. We've had Scott since we started breathing air, about the mid 50s. Next County over has MSA, and they've had them for a long time. We're more than happy with Scott, and I don't see any change on the radar.

    Gear here is spelled Globe XTreme, Cairins Helmets, and Warrington Pro Boots. Same reasons: We like them for Comfort, Endurance, and ease of care.
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    while we're not as remote as you guys, we just went through the evaluation process that you're going through for everything but the TIC. Here's some opinions/thoughts:

    Gear: We've been working in MP for quite sometime and like it. However, with our grant we ended up with the Cairns (made by Globe). The biggest reason is comfort, as most guys felt the pants of the MP were a bit too tight, especially when trying to climb ladders/steps where they pulled up the calf a little more than they liked. I don't think you can go wrong with either, they're both good sets. With the Chieftain, remember you get what you pay for. I've seen it (never worn it) and I personnally have no use for it.

    Helmets: Sounds like you're in a spot there. I'm sure you're not swimming in money enough to consider the option of wildland helmets? We got a seperate grant that allowed us to purchase the wildland helmets (got the MP cap style, around $35-40 each if I remember). I'm a traditional guy too, but at my career department we wear the turtle shells for cost issues. While the helmets themselves are within $20 of each other, the front shields costs another $40+.

    SCBA: We're similar to you guys in the fact we've always been Scott. So, we stuck with them. I've seen the Dragers and I'm not a big fan. Possible solution: see if the Scott dealer won't send a couple guys, or put on closeby, a SCBA maintenance class. They usually have one or two per year in Missouri. Though they are a few hours away, they're close enough for us to drive. If your neighbors have Scotts, having a class nearby is a way to make sure they keep their customer base in the area.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamsonFCDES View Post




    Since our grant anoucement a month ago, the chief has been getting all sorts of letters and some very funny phone calls:



    Our grant project was for 12 head to toe sets of structure fire PPE, 12 NFPA 02 Compiant SCBAs with 12 spare bottles, a Thermal Imaging Camera, and a high pressure breathing air compressor. This came to a total of 85 thousand federal dollars and our approx 9000 match. That is enough PPE/SCBAs to outfit a third of our department. Our plans for next years application is to outfit another 1/3 of the department (another 12) with PPE and SCBAs (8 aditional for a total of 20), and to provided for additional equipment for a RIT/FAST group such as a resuce air cylinder and an aditional TIC. The Year after that we hope to outfit the remainder of the department with PPE (not SCBAs), buy additional spare air cylinders, aquire an additional TIC (each engine would then have one), and maybe by then look into updated extrication gear such as the self contained electrical units. After that there is only rough speclation at this point. That is putting the hourse before the cart, but it never hurts to plan, grants or not, we have to have direction.

    We have been asking ourselves what we want from each different category of gear.

    Bunker Gear: We wanted gear that would be durable, cofortable, and meets minimum or better standards. This probly covers the vast majority of modern PPE, especialy compared with our current issue PPE which is a heat stroke waiting to happen. There is much love for Morning Pride and Globe, the luxury PPE that is probly the best to be had anywhere. But, on the other hand, Cheiften PPE is about a third less, which would free up a condierable amont of money for aditional sets of PPE. IMO we cant go to far wrong with the budget sets since they meet the same standards. Unless Chieften is so uncomfortable that it hurts I would imagine that is the route we would go. IMO it is more important to get more sets of modern albiet budget gear then it is to get less luxury gear. We are not gauranted of any future grant money, so I would like to get as many ff's in modern PPE as possible.

    The gear....What are the outer shell, moisture barrier and thermal barrier you have chosen? Most people pick gear by brand, rather than its key components. Compare apples to apples as best as you can. A Set of Morning Pride PBI with crosstech moisture barrier will way outprice the same brand with more economical material choices such as Advance shell with a lower grade moisture barrier. Decide if you want waist length pants or high back pants. Waist length pants require a long (35") coat or a tailed coat. Cairns and MP offer tailed coats, which are usually 29" (average person) fronts with a longer tail to cover the gap when bending. Everyone else requires a full 35" coat if waist length pants are chosen. Waist length pants are probably better for lower heat stress because there is no portion of the gear that wraps a portion of your body core.

    I have heard of Chieftain, and know nobody that uses it. Usually that says something about its longevity or reliability. My advice, pick the components you want then compare different brands. Use this link to understand some differences. Read about the shell and liner materials.

    http://www.morningpride.com/products/clothing.asp?p=2

    Send out request for bids for the different models of gear with the different shell and liner options and sit down and sift through them if you havent already.

    Morning pride offers a program that has 5 models of pre-engineered gear that you just pick and order. Check it out. They call it custom stock I believe.

    I have used Cairns, Globe and MP. In the MP, my greatest personal expierence is with the Advance shell(Kevlar/Nomes blend). This fabric wears like iron. I wear it as an instructor and it has taken a beating. Direct flame exposure, abrasion, high heat, etc etc. I have also used it on the street riding with my old Rescue Co. Alot of vehicle rescue, firefighting etc. Still going strong. At work, we have MP with Basofil shells. The oldest set is almost 5 years and its doing well. The co's are doing about 500 runs a year with this stuff and no complaints except a few broken suspender buttons that I know of.

    I am about to retire my set of globe GX7 PBI gear for a new set of MP Basofil. The Globe has holes worn in the pockets, the velcro is worn out and peeling off the front closure, the trim thread is falling apart and the stuff is generally beat. I tend to think this issue is a combination of the durability of the shell and a little bit of craftsmanship perhaps. Mostly its general wear and tear and the gear is telling me it wants to be hung up for good. I don;t have too much bad to say about Globe though. I wonder if the shell was different if it would have lasted longer?


    Boots: Rubber Rangers. This is set in stone, we cant justify leather boots for this since we have already spent a considerable amount on leather boots for wildland.

    Order a few different brands (one set each) and have them shipped to you. Try them out for comfort. Send back the ones you hate and decide on the ones you like.

    Helmets: This has been an very difficult dicision. We would love to have traditional (leather or no) for the looks (were not shallow, nooo... ), but they are impracitcal for our area since we have a lot more wildfire then we do structure fire. Run of the mill tactical tupperware is afordable, but it is still hot. I do believe that our best choice is Phenix brand helmets. This is because we have the option to use these on both structure and wildfire incidents. This is common practice in many of the western States, and IMO is the best approach for us from a logistics and budget standpoint. Also, they give adequate protection for structure fire use, they give higher then the standard wildfire protection.

    Cairns is probably the biggest name in the business. The 360S Helmet is a hybrid between a rescue/wildland and structural helmet with several eye protection options. http://www.msafire.com/catalog/product874.html

    SCBA: This is going to be probly the equipment choice with the longest lasting impact, both finacialy and performance wise. The long term costs of an SCBA system can be of more importance then the up front costs. Also, it is important to have the firefighters useing equipment they trust and feel comforatble with. I do believe that we have it narrowed down to SCOTT and Drager. SCOTT because of its very high quaility and because of its reputation. Drager because we have found a vendor willing to cut us a very sweet deal on Airboss SCBAs and becuase this is our closest source for SCBAs (2 hours one way).

    Whatever brand you choose, look at all the gimmicky and electronic options that may not be NFPA required. Don't buy something that just came out if you can avoid it. The Scott NXG2 have been heard to be a pain in the butt in regards to the quick connect coupling

    We do have some of the criteria set. We will be going with a high pressure system, 4500. This is to maintain our iteroperability with our mutual aid departments. Mutual aid is one of our most vital concerns. All of our mutual aid partners are either high pressure or planning on going that route as soon as possible.

    Now, this is where it gets difficult.

    We did get a demo for SCOTT, and of course everybody loves them. We have had SCOTT for years, Airpak 2s, so there is brand loyalty as well. The price was not out of reach, and there was a promis of maintenance support from the vendor. While I am hopefull of this, it is over 6 hours one way for a tech to come to our area from the vendors HQ. The maintenace described by the salesman sounded very doable, and the waranties were good. Can anybody please elaborate on what maintenace a SCOTT 4.5 or NXG2 required and what the long term costs are?

    Scott will train you to do field repairs. Look into that

    The NXG2 Vs. the SCOTT 4.5 is another issue that we will have to work out with our Neighbors. There is some talk from our closest mutual aid partner of going for the NXG2s. If they do so we will likely follow suit. This will have to be ironed out later. My main concer with the NXG2s is the quick change cylinders, this could put a monkey wrench in the system IMO.

    What do you like about SCOTT 4.5s or NXG2s? What are the flaws, what is there to watch out for.

    The same for Drager Airbosses?

    We are going to be getting a demo for the Dragers. The maintenace described by the salesman was that there was very little maintenace, and that Drager would send a department member to a school to become a certfied Drager tech. We could in theory do our own maintenace. They have a lifetime waranty on many of their parts. Could anybody elaborate on the maintenace of Dragers, the long term maintenace costs, and any other costs we have overlooked.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but with the SCOTT SCBAs you do not have to rebuild any of the regulators or pressure reducers over the first 15 years.

    I dont know about the dragers yet. Are there any components that need to be replace or rebuilt on a regular schedual?

    So, if anybody has any comments on Dragers Vs. Scotts both in performance and long term maintenace/costs please elaborate in detail. This is the equipment choice that is keeping my up at nite.

    What do you want from an SCBA? Line the two up side by side and compare the features and consider the practicality of each. I love Scott 4.5's (Fifty Series) because its a workhorse. The ones we have are simple no-frills. No PASS, only the HUD display. They allow you to have the mask attached to the regulator when not in use without air flowing. Some BA's will flow air automatically when the mask is hooked up.

    TIC: This is narrowed down to the Bullard T3Lt and the MSA5000 Evolution. We have not had a chance to get hands on with either of these, and this is largely based on research both form print and internet. I have been promised that I would get a hands on with these units sometime this month, and then we will have to make our decision. I have also been offered a demo of the SCOTT/FLIR unit from the SCOTT vendor, and I agreed to take a look. But, from what I have read, they are not in the same league as the Bullard or MSA units. This is largely a preferance decision, but if you have any insight, please let me know.

    The bullards are ok, we have a few. The MSA is a little more user friendly for carrying when crawling IMO from the limited time I have had my hands on it.

    Compressor: This is one area that I have not yet had a chance to dive into. We will likely go with the same brand as our closest neibor (13 miles) department in order to simplyfie the maintenace/check dilema. If we can talk one tech into comeing fro both departments, then we should not have much trouble.

    If you see any glaring flaws in logic, have in comments or insight, opinions or obervations, please post them! Also, it is always good to hear why people prefer certain types of gear, what the best and worst aspects of the gear is, etc...

    Sorry for being so long winded, but I had to vent somehow! Now that I see it all down in writing, it doesnt look as bad as it feels. I am seriously stressing out about this!
    The best help I can give is on the turnouts, as I have spent a decent amount of time doing research for them a few yrs back. If you would like any addt;l info let me know via PM or email.

    Congratulations, you are lucky.
    Last edited by MG3610; 07-15-2007 at 09:21 PM.

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