1. #1
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    Default ISI SCBA questions

    My department currently uses ISI SCBAS. I have just been placed in charge of SCBA maintenance, etc. We have several Magnums, and 15 of the Vikings. Recently we've had some problems with the magnums, mostly low air alarms not operating properly. After talking to the local dealer we found out that they no longer make the whistles and that he exhausted his personal supply on our repairs. The chief has raised some doubt in my mind about the future availability of parts to keep our packs in service. I guess my question for the forum is what do you think of ISI packs? Do you think we should stick with them and upgrade to vikings as the magnums die? Should we ditch them and try to raise funds for all new units from a different company? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

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    We used to use ISI's. Switched for 2 reasons. 1) Had a member run out of air with no warning. We found that water got in the whistle and froze while he was outside. 2) No one in our area had them and we wanted to be more compatible with our neighboring companies. I'd get away from the whistles. As for switching them all over to another brand, it will be a large expense. Replacing all your packs at once makes it easier on the members as they don't have to know 2 or 3 types of packs. Replacing them a few at a time can be easier on your budget, but may be harder on the members due to different types of packs.

    My Fire Act Grant for 2004 will be for pack replacements.
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    Thanks for the reply... neighboring departments isn't really an issue as bottles are bottles... we also usually have a rescue with a cascade on scene. That's kind of interesting about the freezing low air whistle... hadn't thought of that! Do you think that ISI will still be manufacturing SCBA's in say, 20 years? I might just reccomend a push to rid ourselves of the magnums and aquire vikings to replace them.

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    In 20 years I wouldnt worry about still haveing your ISIs. They will be so outdated by then, and the bottles will have ran out of life at 15 years.

    IMO a SCBA purchase is on a 15 year cycle, or maybe even 10 years this day and age. Technology improve so fast and so much, in 10 years our brand new Dragers might not meet NFPA standards and will probly be poor performers to what is available then.

    Our previous SCBAs, Scott Airpaks (the originals) and Scott Airpak 2s had more then what would be considered a safe lifecycle. 30+ year on the older packs, 15+ and 20+ on the majority of them.

    With the long overdue upgrade to Drager PSS100s it is like stepping out of the 70s and into today. Such a world of difference that we wondered how the hell we made it so long on the old SCBAs.

    I expect the same feeling the next time we buy SCBAs, probly in 15 years when all of the Carbon Fiber bottle we just bought have to be retired.

    On ISI, I have heard of a lot of problems. I have not used the SCBA myself, but I do like the look and features of the.

    A lot of freeze up problems seem to be common. There are also mask failures reported due to high temp conditions. There was just a thread that mentioned that, but I cant find it. Someting like 5% mask failures in one department, due to high heat!!! That is totaly unacceptable, but it sounded like ISI blew it off when the department approached them.

    If you can come up with creative funding, Grants, or if the powers that be will upgrade for safety reasons, then maybe you should look into getting another SCBA.
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    Hi there,

    You should take a look at SCOTT SCBAs.

    I just found out that there is a new product that fits their facepiece called the EVACpro.

    It is an emergency back-up respirator that attaches to the SCOTT facepiece in the event of an out of air situation or backpack entrapment.

    Just my 2 cents...

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    as bottles are bottles
    Go to the SCOTT web site. Look up the NXG2, their latest style of packs. Pay close attention to the part mentioning the bottle connection. It's not a thread, it's a quick connect fitting. Bottles aren't just bottles anymore.

    And I won't even go into the 2600 vs 4500 differences. Yes, a 2600 will work on a 4500, but not the other way around.
    "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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    Some of our MSA bottles don't fit our ISI packs very well.

    We have a few "leftover" MSA spares in the station and the valve/gauge assembly doesn't go through the ISI's metal hoop all that well. It's not a big issue for us becuase we primarily use the old MSA bottles for air tools. It might make a difference to you, though, in a mutual aid situation.
    ullrichk
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    My volley company used ISI for years, with no major problems. Check with your parts dealer, I believe they make bells for low air alarms as well as whistles. Anyway, we just recently switched to MSA. Personally, I hated the ISI masks, you had to suck pretty hard to inhale outside air when you didn't have the air flowing. I found the MSA regulators a bit annoying to fumble with if you have gloves on though. We also had problems with the diaphragms blowing off if you bleed the air off too fast.

    Bones is right, bottles aren't just bottles anymore. Especially if you get into a RIT situation. Look at what your neighboring departments have. Get their feedback on what they like/dislike about the packs they use.

    Happy hunting, buying all new SCBA is a big purchase.
    "At one point we decided to fight fire with fire, basically your house just burned faster."

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    Armyfirerescue:

    I don't believe, based on conversations with our dealer, that it is possible to swith the whistles (which are by the air gauge) to bells (which in the vikings are located in the pack). I guess I should have known better than to say bottles are bottles, lol... our department, so far, has never run into a situation where we were using bottles from other agencies... then again we don't run many structure fires and most of them are save the basement type fires. I will speak with our auto-aid deparments and see what they're using though.

    Switching to a differenet SCBA manufacterer would be a hugely expensive ordeal... and we were saving for a cascade system... I think a more likely scenario is to upgrade to vikings as our magnums die.

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