1. #1
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    Default Regulator Failures Have you had one?

    I'm curious just how often SCBA regulators have failed in IDLH situations. Have you ever had one fail? How many years old was the unit? How many years have you been a FF?
    Thanks

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    Have you ever had one fail?
    No, but I can think of at least one time that I was there when it happened to someone else. In his words the whole unit just locked up, and little or no air was moving through. This was in Nov of 98.

    How many years old was the unit?
    Probably around 3-7 years old at the time. I'm not 100% sure though because we got new SCBA's around that time frame. I'm not sure if it was an older unit or one of the newer ones. If it was new, it was less than a year old.

    How many years have you been a FF?
    It will be 14 this spring.


    In my current Dept. there was a case where one FF was doing an interior attack and his regulator was "bumped" off of his face mask. It was a Scoot 50 series, 4.5 , and it was found that the little black slide lock had broke or had rounded corners. I would not place this under reg. failure, I feel that the reason the slide lock was messed up was because of guys either not pulling it back far enough when uncoupling the reg from the mask... or not remembering to pull it back at all. After close inspection of the "locks" on all of our stations reg's we found many that had been rounded off. They were replaced that evening by the SCBA shop guy.
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    Not since we got rid of the MSA units we had. It was only 2 to 3 years old when it locked up and almost coast the member his life. I've been around for over 42 years. I go back to the all service and oba's.

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    Have you ever had one fail?
    Yes, January/February 1998. Sudden loss of air, no alarm, no warning, sucked mask on face 1/3 way through breath.
    How many years old was the unit?
    3 years old. Well inspected. Believe the failure was due to low temperature and accumulated moisture in the regulator. It happened on a boat fire.
    How many years have you been a FF?
    22
    "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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    yes- old Scott 2.2 ........
    old- cant recall the exact age.......failure similar to Bones ....very cold with lots of water...
    comin up on 17 years
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    IDLH situation? What is IDLH?

    Scot AP 2 failure, the OLD OLD ones, chest mounted regulator.



    Those were our frontline SCBA up until just this month when we took delivery of our Drager PSS 100s.

    I have no idea how old they realy were, just that they have been on earth longer then I have! The majority of them were dontated to us many many years ago from an oil company that needed to up grade their SCBAs. We recieved 12 of these, and about 30 bottles, which for the most part had not been hydroed to this day. Good steel bottles, tuff... and heavy.

    There was basicly no maintenace on them for about the last 15 years, no money to do so. I would guess that most of the packs were about 20-30+ years old.

    The failure happened at a grain bin fire. The grain bin was 1/3 full of corn guleten which combusted and was putting off real horrid smoke.

    After cooling it down, we went inside to place a garden sprinkler in the middle to keep it cool unitl we figured out how to clean it out.

    The regulator failed in the open position after I had used about 25% of the bottle. The remainder of the air came rushing through my mask in about the next 3-4 minutes. I had no trouble getting out of the bin or anything, but it was annoying as hell.

    I had been fighting fire for about 8 years when it broke, comeing up on 15 total.
    Last edited by SamsonFCDES; 02-24-2004 at 08:56 PM.
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    Ya know what Sampson, I remember UPGRADING to that model!
    "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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    those are them Sammy !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    IDLH situation? What is IDLH?
    For some reason I think he was kidding here... but in case some poor explorer didn't know: IDLH=Immediate Danger to Life Safety and Health. This term in heard used more in Haz-Mat situations. For example Carbon monxide has an IDLH level of 1,500 ppm.

    Stay safe out there!

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    I've had two failures in 11 years.

    One was a belt mounted MSA regulator that went into "demand-only mode" in the middle of a fire in a mobile home. I have no idea as to the age of the unit, but it was probably not maintained well. I suspect the cause may have been temperature-related as it was close to 0 F that night. It wasn't a complete failure in the sense that I never lost air, but it wasn't a good feeling, either.

    Second incident was an ISI Viking facepiece. I flipped the airswith as I entered a house to knock down a kitchen fire and got room air. As in hot smoky bad stuff. Cause was determined by the department mechanic/SCBA tech to be a "piece of trash" holding the air switch open. A more recent test of my mask by a different tech revealed air flow below tolerance requiring an overhaul of the regulator.
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    never had a regulator fail but this weekend my partner
    had a major air leak in a room and contents. after we
    came out I checked his ISI unit the o ring on the end of
    the hose where it screws into the tank was gone.
    he used up a full tank in 5 min. unit is approx
    4 years old. thats my first failure in 17 years.

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    I had a regulator fail on an MSA low pressure. It happened while doing training in the tower at the academy. We were doing a blackout drill. We were having to crawl under a simulated bed. It was actually a peice of plywood sitting on rolls of hose. We were told to crawl under it, and about half way through, the instructor would sit on the board, crushing us inbetween the floor and the board. While I was being crushed, my hose collapsed. I couldn't get much air. After the instructor let me out, I was breathing so hard that the unit could not keep up with me. Even though it was only training, it's a terrible feeling not being able to breathe. The unit was probably over 15 years old. The units were donated to us over 11 years ago.

    Samson, we still have some of those units. I actually got to use one during training a few different times. We also just took delivery of Draeger PSS 100s recently.

    We recieved 12 of these, and about 30 bottles, which for the most part had not been hydroed to this day.
    If they had not been hydro tested, then why were they even filled? That's the first thing you are supposed to check before filling the tanks.
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    We were told to crawl under it, and about half way through, the instructor would sit on the board, crushing us inbetween the floor and the board.
    Side note: Could you please enlighten me as to what the he$$ is the purpose of this? I can understand crawling through a confined area but I'm having a hard time figuring why I would push a plywood board down on a guy.
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    Years ago, I had a "Surprise-air" fail on me during a live fire training event at our academy. Didn't shut my air off; however, the darn thing hung wide open, lifting my mask off of my face. I had so much air, I couldn't breath. Sort of like sticking your face out the window of a car doing about 90 mph and trying breath. Luckily, I hadn't gone but about 10 feet into the building, and was able to get out quickly. It's been Scott for me, ever since.

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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman
    Years ago, I had a "Surprise-air" fail on me during a live fire training event at our academy. Didn't shut my air off; however, the darn thing hung wide open, lifting my mask off of my face. I had so much air, I couldn't breath. Sort of like sticking your face out the window of a car doing about 90 mph and trying breath. Luckily, I hadn't gone but about 10 feet into the building, and was able to get out quickly. It's been Scott for me, ever since.


    It was a Scott that did that to me (story above), maybe thats why I wanted Drager!
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    Originally posted by Firefighter1219


    If they had not been hydro tested, then why were they even filled? That's the first thing you are supposed to check before filling the tanks.
    We filled and used them because that was all we had. There was not even enough money to hydro the SCBAs up until fiarly recently, grants, lots of hard work localy, hours and hours of fund raisers, and good luck have put us in PSS 100s and much other badly needed and much much SAFER equipment.

    We used to be flat broke.
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    -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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    Thanks for your input, and keep it coming. So far, it looks like the newer units have had more problems in IDLH (Immediatly Dangerous to Life and Health) and calls (vs. training) than the older units. I'm trying for a grant to replace our 30 year old Scotts. And the 30 years is how long we have had them, they were dontated to us! But we have hydro'ed them.

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    bump.............
    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)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    Old Scott 2.2 in training last year. (The new bottles were being used.) It just cut off. No bell, no warning. Hose collapsed at the regulator. I couldn't feel it when tracing the line. Bypass gave me 1/2 breaths. I made the universal NO AIR sign twice to the T.O. and pointed to the bail out door 10' from me and headed that way in a duck walk. He pushed me to the ground and made me crawl out back down the hose through 3 rooms!!! Was I torqued.

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    Did you ever find out what caused the failure?

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    Hose collapsed at the regulator.
    The old "elephant trunks" had rings in them to prevent this. If the rings did not do their job and the hose collapsed, that would lead to low flow of air into the mask with no other warnings/alarms.

    IMO.
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    universal NO AIR sign
    .........uhm I think I know but I am askin for clairifcation ......choking sign ?
    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)
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    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

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    I had an MSA fail on me in an attic years ago (probably very early 90's). It didn't cut my air supply, it started venting at the regulator (old belt-mounted style). I don't know how old the pack was at the time. I was able to extricate myself from the attic before all my air vented...fortunately there wasn't much smoke so even if it had failed completely I think I would have been OK.

    At the time there was no regular maintenance being performed on the units themselves, only hydrotesting of bottles. Since then we have every unit flow-tested, checked, and serviced annually.

    We've had a couple of other failures in recent years, but more like finding the problem while attempting to don it, not failing while in use.

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    universal NO AIR sign
    (supposed to be a big blue face, but not working for some reason)
    "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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    Partner had one at a live fire training session - when new cylinders are shipped from the manufacturer, there are small desicant beads in the cylinders to absorb any moisture that might get in there. Unfortunately one of these beads stayed in when the department received the cylinder and put the valve in (cylinder was a replacement for a damaged one), and that bead became stuck in the valve and blocked it. This WAS supposed to be a session to help restore my partner's confidence after a fall through a floor, but instead it turned into a half mask sharing, half coughing and hacking exit (we were too far in for a hold-your-breath retreat).

    My own regulator failure was on SCUBA - regulator seat fractured while 230 feet below - thankfully I had a redundant system.
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