1. #1
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    Default Input on Draeger SCBAs please

    We will be purchasing new SCBAs within a couple weeks. We are narrowed down to MSA,Scott and Draeger. Have found a fair amount of info on MSA and Scott but little on Draeger. The Draeger looks like a nice simple pack to use and that is what our vol dept needs. Any input would be great.

    Thanks for your time!

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    We purchased Drager last December, should be getting them by the end of the month. Looked at MSA and ISI, and we presently use MSA. In our opinion the Drager is a better pack. I'm also from ND, the distributer for ND is very good to work with.

  3. #3
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    Todd


    The Dragers are good, I wanted them for us but was overuled by the majority, they stated Scott sells the most in the USA ( I replied with Drager sells the most in the worldwide). They are simple and very easy to work as long as you don't get the SENTINLE monitor. The only thing I didn't like was the mask Pat brought but that was due to the rubber straps (you can get the nomex net). Also he proved to us that the 4500 will work with 2216 tanks (just shows half full) as his tank was empty and he had to use one of our MSA tanks to do the presentaion.

    Here are some web sites:

    http://www.crdiving.com/drager.htm

    Look under safety here

    http://www.draeger.com
    Last edited by mjollnir; 02-23-2004 at 02:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hi from Montana. I have actualy been to New Rockford before. Buckets bar!

    Go Drager, you wont be sorry. They are a great pack, easy to maintain, lifetime warranty on most parts, easy to use. Drager is fast becomeing the predominant pack in our area, with a few ISI and Scott. Every other brand has been dropped as departments can replace them.

    I like the Sentinal. I thought it simplified the use of the pack. Breathing time left comes in handy as does the temperature readouts.

    One mask size fits all.

    And in our case they were a much better deal then Scott, the pack we compaired them to.

    The Drager: PSS 100, 45 minute 4500 PSI, 2 bottles, Sentinal, Buddy breather, mask mounted voice amplifyer all for 4500$, our grant allowance.

    The Scott: AP 50, 45 inute 4500 PSI, 2 bottles, no computer, no buddy breather, no amp for the same 4500$

    It was a no brainer to go with the Drager.

    Quailty wise, both Scott and Drager were flawless.

    Drager beats the Scott on maintenace and life cycle costs from what I have researched.

    The sentinal is realy easy to use. 3 buttons is all, and I like the added information, especialy the Temp readouts.



    The HUD is easy to read and doesnt distract. Dont believe the hype about the wireless HUD locking onto the wrong SCBA and all that. We did everything we could to screw it up, and it always worked fine and corrected itself.




    This is the pack, only ours has a 45 minute bottle on it. They are comfortable as heck. I like how the harnis comes way down past the cylender neck. When you fall on your but as much as I do, you dont want to be baning around a carbon wrap bottles neck. The Drager pack protects the cylender neck better then any of the other SCBAs we have seen.



    I can give you the link of our vendor in Forsyth Motana if you like. I dont know if he can or does sell to ND or not.
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    I work for the Annapolis FD in Maryland and they have just recently replaced their old MSA's with Draeger's AirBoss.

    I wasn't involved in the field testing, but they said that the Draeger had a lower overall cost compared to the others, as far as maintenance, etc.

    The harness is comfortable and adjusts to fit most people. I don't care for how the bottle attaches to the harness. I also don't care for the facepiece, it seems to have a small field of view.

    I do like the "lung demand valve" or regulator as we would all call it. It is very easy to breath through, and you can breath a bottle to empty without gaining any resistance as the pressure lowers.

    It will also work underwater without free flowing.

    We bought ours before the UAC RIC and HUD stuff came about, so I can't comment on that, but we do have the Sentinel. It's okay, but does seem to eat up the batteries.

    We have the 45 minute bottles. They seem to be shorter & fatter when compared to those from other manufacturers. But they are a cool blue color & have out FD logo on them...

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    Question

    They are simple and very easy to work as long as you don't get the SENTINLE monitor.
    Why would you not want the Sentinel? Temp. read out, psi left in cylinder, minutes of air left in cylinder based on continuous calculation of your breathing pattern, easy to use, and integrated PASS. We have had the Draegers for almost 3 years and have no complaints. It is by far the most comfortable harness I've ever had on. You will not be disappointed with Draeger.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

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    Talking Well...I guess I'm a minority

    Yup...I definitely seem to be alone on this. I do not like draeger packs. My department recently replaced our Draegers with Scott Fifty's. I will simply list why I do not like them.

    1. The pack is extremely uncomfortable to wear. All of the criss crossed hose lines and crap on it make it bulky and bothersome.

    2. The mask has an extremely small field of vision compared to the Scott Aviator(R) masks.

    3. Three words: PLASTIC, VELCRO, & CLOTH.

    This is insane! Who in their right mind (no offense guys! MHO ) would want to enter a burning structure wearing an airpack whose bottle is secured by plastic buckles on cloth straps. Let it get really hot in their and watch your bottle come off and go rolling around on the floor. I don't think you will like those packs for very long after that happens!

    4. The PASS devices

    These things were so annoying and located in the worst place. They sit right on your shoulder about 2 inches below your EAR. When that thing goes off it is MURDER!!!

    5. The way they rest on your hips and shoulders

    enough said!

    6. S.C.U.B.A.

    I dunno about you other guys, but I just don't feel comfortable wearing a pack inside a fire that can double for diving!

    7. The reason Draegers are so much more in terms of what you get for your $4500 dollars is because their packs have PLASTIC on them and IMHO they are a lower quality pack! Stick with Scott. They may cost more, but remember, you get what you pay for! You pay the money for a higher quality pack. Scott has been around longer than any other air pack manufacturer still in business today. You can bet they have their stuff together!

    Well everybody...I think you can see how I feel about Draeger. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes. If you like Draeger, more power to you...To each his own! I honestly feel like the pack is crap and you won't catch me wearing one unless it is the most dire of emergencies and it is the only pack left!

    Stay safe everyone!
    LREngine135
    Firefighter/EMT-B


    All things I say...while not always making sense are ALWAYS my opinion and only mine. They do not reflect the opinions of any department of which I am a member.

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    We went to Drager from MSA about 4-5 years ago. They are a lighter more comfortable pack. We have the 45 min bottles and the Sentinel unit. The Sentinels used to turn on all by themselves and Drager replaced them all, we haven't had that problem since. They do eat batteries though. You sometimes have trouble changing bottles because of freezing, especially in the winter. Most of our guys are not as happy with them as we thought we would be. The mask mounted regulators don't seem to be very durable, as we have gone through many of them, now with a redesign. If you turn the bottle on but don't breath air, the regulator pops and starts free flowing with any little jostle. Any brand is going to have some problems. Overall I'd say the Drager is a decent pack though.

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    Default Re: Well...I guess I'm a minority

    Originally posted by LRFireE135
    Yup...I definitely seem to be alone on this. I do not like draeger packs. My department recently replaced our Draegers with Scott Fifty's. I will simply list why I do not like them.

    1. The pack is extremely uncomfortable to wear. All of the criss crossed hose lines and crap on it make it bulky and bothersome.
    ? You must not have been wearing the PSS 100. They are super comfortable.

    2. The mask has an extremely small field of vision compared to the Scott Aviator(R) masks.
    I think the mask is just fine. The difference between the different SCBA masks in this sence is IMO very minimal, they are all about the same. Drager has the advantage of one size maks fits all.

    3. Three words: PLASTIC, VELCRO, & CLOTH.

    This is insane! Who in their right mind (no offense guys! MHO ) would want to enter a burning structure wearing an airpack whose bottle is secured by plastic buckles on cloth straps. Let it get really hot in their and watch your bottle come off and go rolling around on the floor. I don't think you will like those packs for very long after that happens!
    Ummm, I guss that you would have to be insane to use Scott as well. The only ones that dont use Plastic, Velcrow, and Cloth (Kevlar in most cases) to secure the bottle IIRC are MSA and Survivair, and I realy dont like metal hoops.

    4. The PASS devices

    These things were so annoying and located in the worst place. They sit right on your shoulder about 2 inches below your EAR. When that thing goes off it is MURDER!!!
    It might not be MURDER when your PASS goes off, but you may be dieing. I want it loud and obnoxious. And realy, with Scott you have to wiggle your hind end a lot to keep the PASS off. This looks like you are nervous and have to go PEE if you are on RIT duty in the front yard. I would prefer to wiggle my sentinal with my hand once in a while.

    5. The way they rest on your hips and shoulders

    enough said!
    Putting the weight on your hips is the best to aviod fatigue. That is why wildland packs ride basicly completely on your hips. If you carry the weight on your shoulders you dont have as much freedom of movement to use your tools.

    6. S.C.U.B.A.

    I dunno about you other guys, but I just don't feel comfortable wearing a pack inside a fire that can double for diving!
    Is that true??? Can the PSS 100 be taken under water? Or do you mean just that Drager makes a lot of SCUBA.

    Hey, if it works under water that is just that much more safety. What if you get caught in a pools with sharks that have friggin laser beams on their heads!!! At least you could breath with a Drager.

    7. The reason Draegers are so much more in terms of what you get for your $4500 dollars is because their packs have PLASTIC on them and IMHO they are a lower quality pack! Stick with Scott. They may cost more, but remember, you get what you pay for! You pay the money for a higher quality pack. Scott has been around longer than any other air pack manufacturer still in business today. You can bet they have their stuff together!
    The reason Drager (Draeger, but I dont like that spelling ) can give you so much more bang for you buck is because they sell more SCBAs then any other SCBA manufacturer.

    With scott you dont realy buy more quality, you are just paying for the Name, and to be able to say we use the Same pack as the [insert favorite big city here] Fire Deaprtment.

    Well everybody...I think you can see how I feel about Draeger. I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes. If you like Draeger, more power to you...To each his own! I honestly feel like the pack is crap and you won't catch me wearing one unless it is the most dire of emergencies and it is the only pack left!

    Stay safe everyone!
    In my area we are realy starting to see a change. Over the last few years most departments have been getting grants to replace or buy new SCBAs. The vast majority of departments were Scott. As each grant comes in, a new Drager department is born. Drager is getting such an impressive reputation in my area that I dont think anybody has bought anything else in the last few years. There are only a few non Drager departments left. We were Scott up until this years grant. There is one department that is still Interspiro, and they HATE them with a passion. They are evaluating Drager against Scott, and from what I hear Drager is leading.

    One department that did get a grant bought ISI Vikings. They just wanted to be different, and the Vikings look cool. They also hate them and would love to go with Drager PSS 100s now.

    I think the US market is kind of swinging more Dragers way, at least the part of the market I see. I dont know which big departments use Drager off hand, IIRC there are some in TX.
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    A visual Comparison of most of the current SCBA, with the NXG2 and the latest Surviveair and ISI missing, cant find pictures.



    Scott AP50.

    Pros: Great facepice. Coolness factor. Metal frame.

    Cons: Expense. Exposed bottle neck. IMO comfort of said metal frame.

    Oh, and those INSANE Plastic, Cloth, Velcrow straps holding the bottle on!

    No doubt, a good pack, but IMO they have been surpassed by Drager. You get more bang for you buck with Drager, and IMO the quality of the Drager and the Scott packs are basicly identical.



    Suriveair Sigma, dont know much about this one.

    Looks crappy.



    Cairns Pioneer, do they even make these anymore?

    Kind of neat looking.

    Supposed to have a good facepiece.



    MSA MMR Extream.

    UG!! It still has a friggin bell on it!!! Seems to me that the mask mounted regulator sticks out there like a sore chin, does it get in the way?




    Interspiro Spiromatic. I have never EVER heard anything good about these. Everybody that I personaly know that has used them HATES them. They are reported to break all of the time. They have that fresh air valve to breath non bottle air, I have heard horror stories of these comeing open in a fire environment.




    Drager PSS 100. Now there is a pack. Just look at it compared to the other SCBAs. Yes, it does use plastic, they all do, but look at the construction of the Drager, they are tough, and lifetime warantied.

    The bottle neck and valve is much better protected then on any of the other SCBAs. The regulator is very easy to use, not half turns or alingment problems, just shove it in.

    It does have a bit of a SCUBA look to it, I like that!
    -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.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Well...I guess I'm a minority

    Originally posted by LRFireE135
    Yup...I definitely seem to be alone on this. I do not like draeger packs.
    Nope, you're not the only one who doesn't like Draeger's SCBAs.

    A volunteer department in NC that I used to be with used the Draegers on their first-out apparatus, and I hated the packs. My reasons are pretty similar to the ones you presented:

    (1) No matter how I tried adjusting the various parts of the pack, it never seemed to fit me as well as most other SCBAs do.

    (2) I didn't like all that dangling webbing, hose and such.

    (3) The facepiece does have a limited field-of-view compared to other masks.

    (4) Way too much plastic holds that apparatus together; seems like every bit of it is far too easy to break.

    (5) Most of the Draeger masks used those hairnet-style mask strap systems, and those never gave me a good seal.

    There are positive things about the Draegers (low cost, easy to operate, very light harness), but I just didn't find them to be very comfortable or convenient.

    Personal preferences: I like Scott SCBAs overall (even the old ones). Best facepiece, however, is the Survivair.

  12. #12
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    A large number of New Zealand Fire Service Brigades use Draeger.

    Bloody big thumbs up to it from this FF. Just remember they are most effective when 80% of the weight is taken on the hip belt. The shoulder belts are designed to restrict swing and slop, NOT carry weight and restrict chest movement by being over tight.

    We use the strap system for the mask, the rule to using this effectively is

    1. when donning the mask put your chin into the chin chip first then roll the mask up onto your face.

    2. Tighten the bottem L and R straps first, then the center straps.

    3. Now pull the top strap firm, not over tight or it will pull the mask of your chin.

    4. Sweep your hand back from the top of the mask over the straps to the back of your head to ensure they are seated correctly.

    Takes about 4 to 5 seconds when you do it a couple of times.

    Ours do not have the damn bells and whistles you folks seem to go for, when I get my digital camera back I will post some picks.
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  13. #13
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    My department started using Draeger about 5 months ago. They are great packs.

    Let me name a few of the things I like about them.

    1. Comfort. The packs have lots of padding so that you don't have metal pushing up against your body. The weight of the pack rests on your hips, not your shoulder. The backplate can adjust to 3 different lengths, so it will fit your torso length better than any other pack. The hip pad pivots from side to side so that you can easily bend sideways. The pack also does not pull up your jacket.

    2. Ease of use. Ever had truoble with getting your high pressure line into your facepiece? Well you shouldn't with this pack. The salesman told us to 'look to the sky and shove it up your nose.' That's all you have to do to get on air. The HUD display is located inside the mask, where it can't get damaged. The batteries are easily changed. You can use a penny to turn the cap to the battery holder. The speaking diphragm is inside the mask, not outside like others. All you have to do is press the mic on your handheld radio (assuming you have one and it's in your radio pocket on the left) and speak. Your voice will be clearly transmitted through the radio.

    3. Value. From what my research has shown, no other company can offer you an airpack with all the same goodies for anywhere near the same price. We have the Draeger PSS 100 Plus pack with the Sentinel package. More than likely, you will not get any other dealer to give you all of that equipment for less than $4500, if they even offer it at all.

    4. Reputation. According to Draeger's website:
    For over 20 years, Draeger Safety has provided quality safety products that include detector tubes, portable gas detection instruments, gas detection systems, respiratory protection and diving products to industries worldwide. Industrial hygienists, safety professionals, miners, emergency rescuers, firefighters, and environmentalists have come to rely on Draeger's quality and innovative products to detect, measure and protect against toxic substances in the workplace and environment.

    If you want to do some checking into Draeger's reputation, you will be amazed. I dare you to find another airpack manufacturer that can offer you as much as Draeger can.
    TO/EMT CVFD (1219)
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    Thanks for the input. We went Draeger, turned out to be the most expensive (about $300 more per pack) but the members really liked the Draeger over the others, so thats what they got.

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    Good to hear that Toddman. It seems that Drager is catching on in the Dakotas as well.

    3. Value. From what my research has shown, no other company can offer you an airpack with all the same goodies for anywhere near the same price. We have the Draeger PSS 100 Plus pack with the Sentinel package. More than likely, you will not get any other dealer to give you all of that equipment for less than $4500, if they even offer it at all.

    I think we got an exceptional deal, for our 4500 allowed on the grant we got:

    PSS100 2x45 min bottle with hairnet
    Sentinals
    Buddy Breathers
    Voice amps.

    Our "local" (120 miles west) dealer is a firefighter himself and started his buisness to mostly help poor departments aford quality gear. He still make a living, but he realy slashes prices.

    We are overjoyed with our Dragers. I dont know how we used to use those SCOTT IIAs. My God what a world of difference.

    That can be said of any SCBA compaired to 2-3 decade old technology, but I just dont think we could have done any better then Drager.

    We did a head to head between the PSS100 and the SCOTT AP 50. Both in 45 minute bottles. No real flaws on the SCOTT, they are a great pack.

    But, the Drager was easier to use, had WAY more features for the same price, and offered service and support "localy" where as the nearest SCOTT techs are 200+ miles way.

    We were allowed 4500 on our AFG per pack. The SCOTT bid was for AP 50 2x45 minute bottles for 4300. Just the basic pack, no voice amp, no buddy breather, no sentinal, which I am dont think SCOTT has an equivilent of anyway.

    It was a clear cut choice.

    As far as wearing the SCBAs. The guys rated the PSS100 more comfortable then the SCOTT. The facepiece on the SCOTT is without compair, great unit. But they liked how you dock the regulator into the Drager mask better.

    My general impressiong and experience rates SCBAs sort of like this:

    Top Tier
    Drager
    Scott

    Next:
    MSA
    Survivair

    Brining up the rear:
    ISI
    Cairns
    Interspiro
    North
    Others?
    -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.
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    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Default futura mask

    For anyone whom has the panarama nova mask have you tried the futura mask they have it on there site. It looks a lot more like the scott and msa masks.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    Default Re: futura mask

    Originally posted by sfdlt5
    For anyone whom has the panarama nova mask have you tried the futura mask they have it on there site. It looks a lot more like the scott and msa masks.
    Nope, never tried it, didnt know about it till you mentioned it.

    It looks just like the MSA mask, which I dont particularly care for.

    www.adamsfire.com/respiratory/Masks/Futura.gi

    Have you tried it? what do you think?

    SCOTT has the NXG2 as it next generation SCBA, Drager has this...

    http://www.draeger.com/ST/internet/C..._er_pss500.jsp

    I would like to try it out.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 04-30-2004 at 07:32 PM.
    -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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    No I have yet to try it but from what the salesman siad it is very comfortable but not as cost efficient as the nova. I would have to say that the nova sure does seem to have a good field of vision. your eyes are closer to the glass. That is what I was told.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    Default Re: Re: Well...I guess I'm a minority

    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    Ummm, I guss that you would have to be insane to use Scott as well. The only ones that dont use Plastic, Velcrow, and Cloth (Kevlar in most cases) to secure the bottle IIRC are MSA and Survivair, and I realy dont like metal hoops.
    Our Scotts have very few pieces of plastic, and all of those are high temp rated else they wouldnt have passed NFPA standards. The pack itself is wire frame with kevlar shoulder straps wrapped around it, the base that rests on your lower back is plastic, but the pack is still usable if that were to fail on you, you just wouldn't be as comfortable. The parts that really matter, the straps, adjustment clamps and bottle retainers are all metal, so regardless of what melts/breaks you still have a pack on your back.

    I've never seen any velcro on the packs, and the bottle strap is made of kevlar I believe, though some of the newer ones do use a plastic buckle unfortunatly, though we've never had one break.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Well...I guess I'm a minority

    Originally posted by FYRHWK1


    Our Scotts have very few pieces of plastic, and all of those are high temp rated else they wouldnt have passed NFPA standards. The pack itself is wire frame with kevlar shoulder straps wrapped around it, the base that rests on your lower back is plastic, but the pack is still usable if that were to fail on you, you just wouldn't be as comfortable. The parts that really matter, the straps, adjustment clamps and bottle retainers are all metal, so regardless of what melts/breaks you still have a pack on your back.

    I've never seen any velcro on the packs, and the bottle strap is made of kevlar I believe, though some of the newer ones do use a plastic buckle unfortunatly, though we've never had one break.
    I think you missed my point. I was replying to the guy that said you are nuts to use anything but SCOTT beacuse SCOTT desont use straps and velcrow.

    This of course is complete BS. SCOTT, as well as all SCBAs, use plastic, cloth, and metal in various combinations.

    So what if the kevlar strap with plastic buckle fails from high heat and your bottle wiggles around...every other piece of plastic you have on...your mask, regulator, in SCOTTS and other case facepiece, etc...will also be failing from high heat.

    And yes you are correct, SCOTT, as well as all SCBAs, must pass the testing to get the NFPA NIOSH compliance.
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    I am not endorcing or condoning any SCBAs here I am just saying that after our reviews we bought Draegers. You need to purchase equipment that your FF like. All SCBAs have their pros and cons.

    MSA: I liked the fact that the regulator latched to the mask when not in use.

    Scott: I liked the HUD on the regulator

    ISI Viking: Nice integrated pack

    Draeger: Simple and good service in our area.

  22. #22
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    Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    So what if the kevlar strap with plastic buckle fails from high heat and your bottle wiggles around...every other piece of plastic you have on...your mask, regulator, in SCOTTS and other case facepiece, etc...will also be failing from high heat.
    Very true, which means that you shouldn't be in the area. In the Sentinel package that our packs have, an audible alarm will tell you that you need to leave the area. It also has a temperature display in your mask (on the HUD).
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  23. #23
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    We purchased 16 new Drager PSS 100 4500 psi with the sentinal and carbon fiber tanks this past winter. Looked at MSA, Scott, ISI, and Drager. We had all MSA before. Wish that we could take features from each brand of SCBA and make one excellent pack. They had all nice features but to us the Drager seemed to be a better designed. We really like the back pack on the Drager, seemed like the only SCBA that would prevent damage to your back if you were to slip and fall on your back. Scott and MSA might be the number one packs in the US but I believe Draeger is #1 in the world. I was in some training with other departments with the new Scott, they have a excellent PASS and low air alarm. Scott and MSA did have a wider mask view until you mount on a voice amplifier and HUD, then it seemed like they all had the same amount of visability.

  24. #24
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    We recently went to the Drager packs. I have been fairly happy with them in many regards, however, have a few issues with them also. The movement of the hip straps is nice, however, sometimes it gets twisted upside down and is then a mangled mess when you try to put it on. Second problem is the mask themselves. We opted for the voice box on them, unfortionatly, many of the masks have had the button to control the box break off. Also, other parts of the mask seem to break off at random times, none of those parts have been necessary to the integrity of the mask, but none the less, still broken.
    I do like the temperature and time gauge on them. They are fairly comfortable, the masks seal well. Overall, pretty happy with them, wish the masks were better quality.

  25. #25
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    CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default SCBA's...

    SCBA's are like anything else. You get what you pay for.

    As for SCOTT, I still say they are the best. I have always
    loved their mask. Just click on when needed, click off and
    walk around when not. Always very comfortable.

    Interspiro- Someone summed it up the best. Avoid. They
    are mainly for industrial firefighting.

    Survivair- Makes a good product. I liked the Panther
    model, but cant give you much info.

    MSA- Used them. They are ok I guess.

    Will always be a Scott fan.

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