Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New Rockford, ND
    Posts
    133

    Default Should we buy ISI or MSA?

    My department will soon be purchasing new SCBAs. I think that we have it narrowed down to ISI Vikings or MSA MMR Extreme. I am looking for any input from users of these units. We are presently using the older MSAs with the belt mounted regulator. We are a small rural fire dept that uses our SCBAs only 5-10 times a year. The most popular packs in our area are MSA and ISI, I think this is because their sales reps are the most aggressive. Please give me any input you can on any SCBAs.
    Last edited by toddman; 12-23-2003 at 09:55 AM.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    Neither, I'd go with SCOTT

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    I think you are refering to the ISI Viking not ISA.

    I wore one for 4 years in my former dept. We had the old Magnums or what ever they were called. They did a 1 year trial using the viking and decided that they prefered SCOTT. My dept had ISI almost since they came out on the market and they decided ISI wasn't providing a good product.

    I personally had many problems with the facepiece outside/Mask air valve. After a few fires it would get stuck and hard to operate. Sometimes it would get stuck partially open and you couldn't tell.

    The two straps on the head netting don't tighten it up enough. It always felt loose on the top side. The old rubber straps had 5 and it was secure. It needs 4 straps to have the proper adjustment.

    Also Communication was extreemly difficult. The voice communications were never clear. They did a trial with the voice activated radio communications. They did poorly. The button would get stuck on at jobs, it would cut transmittions short.

    The Dept I am now a member of uses SCOTT. I personally prefer SCOTT and I would recomend you look at them.

    FTM-PTB

  4. #4
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    we have been using the MSA masks since they came out in the late 1990's. We had Scotts with steel bottles so these were like a godsend to us. Have had minmal problems with them , only things being are the pastic chest buckle breaking and a couple of snaps. For awhile we are also having some mighty bad PASS devices but hose have been all repalced and upgraded and esentially hassle free.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,708

    Default

    Been looking into SCBAs myself.

    I do believe we are going Scott, but we have to evaluate Drager yet.

    However, the guys realy REALY liked the Scott Airpak 50, 4.5 with 45 minute Bottle, AV 2000 Facepiece.

    I am not sure if we are going to go with any of the communications devices. That remains to be seen.
    -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.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    I personally don't like the length of the MSA mask with the regulator attached. The last one I tried really got in the way. To be honest, I don't know if they have changed styles since then.

    My department presently uses ISI Vikings. I find the mask comfortable, and the visibility excellent. I have experienced an airswitch malfunction at a structure fire(switch clicked down, but no air). Supposedly it was a piece of trash in the mask, but I'm close to fanatical about my gear being in good condition. It was right after a voice amplifier was installed, though.

    The Vikings do seem a bit fragile. The good news is that there aren't many working parts so they are simple to service (we have two certified techs on the department so we do our own repair and testing).
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Figure out what you want the performance spec's to be. Then decide. Don't get a certain brand stuck in your head. And most importantly, try out the ones you think you should.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    48

    Default

    What I mean is what works for me may not for you. As an aside we have Scott Air Pak 50 45 min

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Gowanda ny USA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Our dept. has always used scott. We have been using the 50 with the carbon fibre bottles. They are sooo light. Like they say, once you try it you won't go back to the aluminum or steel. If you get a chance, have your Scott rep show you some.

    Olscout
    GFD

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Boston Fire Rescue 1
    Posts
    67

    Default

    I don't usually reply to this type of opinion question. However, in my 23 years on the job, I have spent many as an instructor for the state and with a private company conducting many live training evolutions. In this capacity I feel safe in saying that I'm pretty familiar with most SCBA out there for the last decade or so. I've worn MSA,ISI,Interspiro,Survivair,D raeger,Lynx and except for the latter,(thank goodness)many dozens of times. I've worn old units, new units and most manufacterers state of the art units.To date none are even a close second to most Scott SCBA I've seen in the last ten years. In this case I guess price is allways an issue, I've never had to buy any of the units I've used but If they made me buy my own equipment I'd save my pennies till I could afford the Scott 4.5 or 5.0, that's my opinion.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Canada's North
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Our Dept went with ISI Viking. Big mistake as we have experianced numerous problems.

    Lots of problems with straps. As shoulder straps are tightened they twist in the adjusting clip and jam. Shoulder straps don't stay on the shoulders. ISI has provided optional chest straps that can be added to the units to keep the shoulder straps in place.

    We have had numerous problems with the electronics, including water getting into battery compartments (not waterproof), malfuntion of heads up display unit in facepiece, malfunction of electronics circut board ( all were replaced over the several months that it took ISI to manufacture new ones), malfunction of voice amplifiers, failure of PASS units to mention a few.

    We almost lost a firefighter this past summer in a basement fire due to a malfunction with the airswitch. The switch would not close completely when placed into the on position which resulted in a near total failure of air supply after the firefighter had been in the basement for approx. 10 minutes. The manufacturer (ISI) thought that it was due to the tolerance in the switch being too tight and advised our mask techs to use a nail file to remove a little of the material from the switch so it would move easier. Our SCBA Coordinator and Safety Officer took the mask to NIOSH for an investigation into the problem. Long story short...they called ISI in for a little talking to.

    During R.I.T. training it was discovered that if a firefighter moved against the wall or floor with/on his back (and SCBA) the air cylinder valve would shut itself off.

    On a personal note I do not like any SCBA that has the regulator permanently attached to the facepiece. Because of this the cost per facepiece is high and our Dept. refuses to provide individual facepiece for us. The facepiece that is "standard" issue is too small for most of us and is very uncomfortable to wear. However our Safety Officer and Mask Techs tell us that if we pass the fit test with it we have to wear it and can't have the larger size that is available to those who fail the test. The facepiece fit is poor when working. If you look down, the bottom of the facepiece comes off your chin.

    Brother Forristall from "Basten" hit it right on the head...stick with Scott (Did you really wear a Lynx? I thought that was strictly a Canadian problem. See ya in Indy)

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Boston Fire Rescue 1
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Yes, I actually had never heard of them before the first time I was introduced to them. At first when my regulator blew off the facepiece (several times) I thought it was me. As the training went on it was apparent that the students too, were having trouble with the regulator staying attached to the facepiece. I was only re-aquainted with them one other time since and on that occasion opted to use the departments old Scott 2.2 unit instead. As I recall the same thing happened a couple times to those guys also. It so happens neither incident occured in Canada but in a couple midwest states down here. Take care and stay well JF

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,219

    Default

    We recently held a competitve evaluation for new SCBA, and only MSA and Scott made it far enough to be invited into a "live fire" competition. A lot of folks liked the MSA better (we use old belt mount MSA units now), but we recently re-evaluated the units one last time before we send out for bids, and the newest Scott won hands down. The NXG2 offers features not available on the MSA, including some integrated accountability features that are pretty impressive (which are an add-on to the pack, also available on older Scott models).

    I personally have always liked the Scott better, and in my opinion, MSA was favored over the older Scott pack due to the familiarity of a similar mask fit, etc.

    In my opinion, going with MSA won't necessarily be a mistake, but I think Scott offers a bit better product.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    82

    Default

    We presently use MSA Ultra lite SCBA. We asked MSA, ISI, and Drager to come and demo their air packs. All had some good features. What we didn't like about the MSA was that the mask had to much clutter on it, HUD and voice box. We ask the salesman to take the mask apart for cleaning and he needed a screwdriver to take off the HUD and voice box. We didn't like the ISI because we wanted everyone to have their own face mask and the cleaning process of the ISI face mask was time consuming. We ended up ordering the Drager PSS100 4500psi - 45 minute SCBA. Nice mask. Liked the way that it sealed against your face and comes completely apart without tools in seconds. Seems like they designed this pack to fit a persons back. The pack harnesses swivel with your body and provide protection to your tailbone and back which none of the other companies pack would do. Just our departments opinion....like comparing a Ford, Chevy, and Dodge.

  15. #15
    Temporarily/No Longer Active Cellblock776's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Our department has been using Scott forever which is what most of the Plants and State Prison Fire Brigades around here use. Whenever a local Chemical plant or Prison shuts down its' fire brigades due to layoffs or budget cuts we get the castoffs. Along with PPE, Stokes litters, hoses and ladders there's always a few Scott packs with the Steel or aluminum bottles given to us. We thought we had it good until we ordered our latest pumper/tanker and included 4 of the new Scott packs with 8 of the new carbon fiber bottles. Since the day they arrived they have increased responce time if for no other reason than nobody wants to be the 5th guy to arrive and get stuck with one of the old packs with the old steel bottles. Trust me, anyone who is still using steel bottles should try the lighter carbon bottles. You will NEVER want to go back to steel again.
    Good luck with whatever brand you finally decide on.

  16. #16
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    LA Can.
    Posts
    350

    Default

    We presently are using the ISI Magnum. They were at first a welcome trade out to the old MSA with the belt mounted regs. After a while we found numerous problems such as poorly manafactured shoulder straps that frequently frayed to the point that they were unusable, the turnkey style fastener to hold the bottle in place did not lock into place, breaking the air swicth on the regulator was a regular occurance (ISI said that we had to educate our people so as not to break the switches, my reply was that they had to educate thier people to manafacture a stronger unbreakable switch). In the cold weather we experienced freeze-up of the regs fortunatly into the bypass mode but frustrating nonetheless. When we were down to FDIC in April we checked out the new ISI Viking scba and to be honest I was not very impressed. Their ideas and concepts seemed to be fine but I found that they just did not appear to put much thought into building a good product. For example the speaker or voice amplification system was very poorly designed, you had to virtualy yell into the mask to activate it and when you did it distorted your voice to the point you could not be understood by anyone. As Canff2706 mentioned that the circut boards malfunctioed as well as the battery compartment taking on water, this is not the first complaint I had heard of this problem.
    All of the new SCBA must meet an NFPA standard and they all go through very rigorous testing, but I can't help wondering why we as the user of said equipment always seemed to be able to find deficencies and the manafacture can't in the testing, and why at times they are so slow to correct these problems, just wondering out loud.
    Seems to be the course of this thread is that Scott is proving to be a #1 contender for most folks. Go with what has proven itself over the course of time.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    27

    Default

    We just completed our purchase of Scott NXG2. After looking at everything out there, these things are sweet. 360 degree visability for all warning devices including, pass, air pressure and pack function. I think the Face Piece is good also. Done lots of research and lots of burns with different products. Actually, MSA was what we were gonna get until the new Scotts came out. Once we saw them, it was a no-brainer

    Rod

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    16

    Default Go Scott with Carbon Bottle

    I have to agree with some of the other posts. I have used both MSA and Scott. Scott is overall superior and easier to use and maintain. We have recently purchased the carbon 45 minute bottles, they are no heavier than the 30 minute bottles. At most fires our guys will play out before their bottles do. If you get the option go with Scott. Additionally we are issuing the next generation Scott masks that have more visibility than MSA or the older generation Scott, I would recommend them as well if you get the chance.

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default ISI's

    Can you guys that have had trouble with the ISI's send me a little more detail. We just purchased 12 ISI Viking Digitals and I want a little ammo to work with our Rep and the factory to make sure these problems have been addressed.

    We evaluated MSA, Scotts, Drager and ISI. We would have bought SCOTT NxG2's but do to the fact they weren't offering free second tanks they were well over $1000.00 per unit more.

    Toddman if you decide to go the same way we did lets work together to make sure they are right.
    Last edited by mjollnir; 01-02-2004 at 04:20 PM.

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    New Rockford, ND
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Thanks to everyone who posted comments.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts