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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Spiromatic S2 SCBA

    Has anybody had any experience with these? I think I have a chance to pick some up from government surplus.

    The Air Force uses them and they seem to have a lot of neat featurs, but Interspiro is one of those brands that doesnt seem to be very popular.

    Comments?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    We have been using Interspiro in Las Vegas for a long time and have been very happy with them.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    I the voice communication pretty clear?

    How well does the air switch work?
    -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
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Spiros...

    I have worked for two FDs that have Interspiros and they are
    just ok to me. They seem more like an industrial type of SCBA
    than for down and dirty firefighting.

    But, if you can get a good deal from uncle Sam, I guess why
    not.

    I like the Scotts. Their face piece option is ideal. And I
    love Las Vegas too. I used to be a Firefighter there.

  5. #5
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I worked as a civilian firefighter for the Air national Guard when the Interspiros came into use. I have held my tongue and pondered if I should respond or not to your question. But I decided I will respond.

    I hated them. It's that simple.

    When we first got them they either had to be on your face and breathing from the tank or completely off your face. There is no simple regulator detachment like the Scott or MSA MMR masks. Then they came out with the Spiro-Hatch modification and we eagerly awaited the arrival of the retro kits and the rep to install them. In my opinion this is a poorly designed attempt to satisfy the breathing ambient air until you need tank air set-up we are all used to. Add to that a rep who had absolutely no clue on how to install them. Fortunately I worked on SCBA for the tech school I work for and I retrofitted all 24 masks.

    The air switch is tiny and poorly located on the face piece. It is difficult to operate with gloved hands.

    I was not alone in my opinion of these SCBA on the department I was on and there was no joy in giving up our perfectly servicable Scott 2.2's.

    FyredUp

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FyredUp
    I worked as a civilian firefighter for the Air national Guard when the Interspiros came into use. I have held my tongue and pondered if I should respond or not to your question. But I decided I will respond.

    I hated them. It's that simple.

    When we first got them they either had to be on your face and breathing from the tank or completely off your face. There is no simple regulator detachment like the Scott or MSA MMR masks. Then they came out with the Spiro-Hatch modification and we eagerly awaited the arrival of the retro kits and the rep to install them. In my opinion this is a poorly designed attempt to satisfy the breathing ambient air until you need tank air set-up we are all used to. Add to that a rep who had absolutely no clue on how to install them. Fortunately I worked on SCBA for the tech school I work for and I retrofitted all 24 masks.

    The air switch is tiny and poorly located on the face piece. It is difficult to operate with gloved hands.

    I was not alone in my opinion of these SCBA on the department I was on and there was no joy in giving up our perfectly servicable Scott 2.2's.

    FyredUp
    Thanks for responding, thats the kind of info I was looking for.

    I assume those were the origianal Spiromatics, and yes I have heard they are hated by most who had to use them. I didnt know that the first ones came without the air hatch, I thought that was Spiromatics claim to fame.

    What I was wondering is if the Spiromatic S2 is any better/different?

    Here is the Interspiro link.

    http://www.interspiro-us.com/

    You can see the S4s there which are the 2002 compliant SCBAs.

    The S2 is 1997 compliant IIRC, but looks basicly the same.

    How is the new style face mask?
    -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.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Ooops,

    Here is the link to the S2 info page.

    http://www.interspiro-us.com/products/s2.htm

    Are these the same units the Air Force/Gaurd uses?

    While we are on it, the a Drager guy I talked to says that the Army NG is using Dragers now days, as are some of the Navy focrces like the SEALS (not fire SCBAs, other things).

    The Navy has switched over to Scott.

    Why the heck does the Air Force use Interspiro? They are not US made, are they?

    Not sure if the Dragers are, maybe PA?
    -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.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    The newer style face piece. This is what would come on the surplus units I am taking a look at. They seem to be in good shape, I dont think they saw much use.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    -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.

  9. #9
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    Having worn both Scott & Interspiro SCBA myself, I can attest to the fact that Interspiro sucks...sorry I can't sugarcoat it but they do...

    We encountered the same problems as the others on here..switch too small for gloved hands, not able to breathe outside air, etc. We also found these issues...90% of the human population is right hand dominant so virtually every SCBA has the low pressure hose/facepiece coming off the left shoulder keeping it out of the way when stored & in use. Interspiro for some reason comes off the right shoulder..now this might sound like a minor point but try being right handed & working with your low pressure hose constantly in the way. Guess a "leftie" designed these to get back at all those "righties"...

    Also, the strap adjustment was kinda goofy...you pulled the waist straps to make the shoulder straps tighten up.. ...real fun when trying to do a reduced profile....

    That's just my opinion...guess if you can get them at a good price & these coupla points don't bother you, then go for it. On a side note, there were a number of FD's here on Long Island (where money is NOT a issue so cost was not the deciding factor) that purchased Interspiro SCBA's in the early-mid '90's...today, there are only TWO depts. left that still use them...why they even have them anymore is any guess...

    Oh well, just my 2 cents..hope it helps..Stay Safe.

  10. #10
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    Pieces of crap, I've used them in the Air Force and they are just that, crap.

    Nothing beats a mask mounted regulator, it drove me crazy with that stupid spiro-hatch. It feels like you're breathing through a straw. Not to mention the positive pressure switch on the mask would never stay in place. The mask straps were also extremely painful after being worn for a while as opposed to the mesh head net that is on the Scott's and a few others. The strap adjustment system was rediculous, as was mentioned before, you had to pull the waist straps to tighten the shoulder straps which resulted in the pack sitting super high. Too many parts and pieces to be taken off, broken, and/ or lost.

    Now it does look as though they've undergone a major redesign and changed their straps and mask around a little bit. Still has the same mask set up though with the spiro-hatch and whatnot. Scott's are idiot proof and can take a good beating, I'll wear a Scott anyday...anywhere. There are other good ones I'm sure, but I haven't used them and can't comment. Interspiro's though are just not designed for firefighting, they are designed for extremely low bid.

  11. #11
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    Another point to ponder...

    Look at the ads for SCBA in the trade magazines....

    How many times have you seen ads for Survivair, Interspiro, ISI and others constantly touting "new, improved designs"....

    Why do they have to keep making it "new and improved"?

    Because "they" are still trying to catch up with the time tested, go through hell, take a beating and still work well Scott SCBA units!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  12. #12
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I was touring the neighboring departmentís new station and we saw a load of them on the workbench:

    > Hey cool, you guys have the scbaís with the air switchy thingy.

    > Yeah, we hate them. We want our Scotts.

  13. #13
    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Default But,

    Free is free.

  14. #14
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    I am sorry I voiced my opinion. We are a well funded deparment with a safety committee that spends a lot of time researching our equipment. We didn't buy these because they are cheap, we bought them because they are a good product. If you don't have enough dexterity to make simple connections with gloves, that isn't my fault. I have always found they are easy to use and reliable. Breathing on ambient air isn't a big deal to me. If I am in an enviroment where I don't need my mask, I take it off. You can voice your opinion and at the same time act professional.

  15. #15
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    lvfireman...

    I was entirely professional in voicing my opinion. I stated that I hated them and gave a few reasons why. Sorry if that offended you. But in my OPINION they are NOT up to par with Scott or MSA as far as ease of operation and ease of donning. And further more the Spiro hatch is a not as comfortable to breath through as the open front of a Scott or MSA facepiece when breathing ambient air. If you like them that is super, but when someone comes on the forum and asks for opinions about something don't get wound up if people disagree with your evaluation of it.

    SamsonFCDES...

    As to how the USAF ended up with Interspiros here is the story I was told. The USAF went out for bids on SCBA and one of the requirements was made in the U.S.A. This eliminated Interspiro even though they were low bid. The rumor was that Scott one the bid. Interspiro had an assembly location in I believe Goergia and since the components were assembled here they claimed they were in fact made in the U.S.A. Hence they won the bid. True or not that is the story that floated around.

    As I stated we disliked them and I am sure that the guys I worked with would take their Scott's back anytime.

    FyredUp

  16. #16
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    I believe the Interspiro's were also picked due to their compliancy with their ratings as a chemical mask. Military firefighters wear them as part of their "J-LIST" gear and I think one of the requirements was to be able to switch from bottle air to filtered air without breathing in any ambient air.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good dicussion guys.

    If money was no object, then it would be Drager PSS 100s or Scot NXG2s.

    But, money is THE object for the department I am trying to help out.

    My VFD got a grant for new SCBA last year, went Drager PSS 100, they are incredible.

    We gave a numboer of our OLD, VERY OLD Scott AP2as to the other department. They are 20 years old and havent been serviced properly for at least a decade.

    But it is better then nothing, sort of.

    We are trying to get them into SCBAs that can be considered SAFE!!!

    The price of these Interspiro S2s would not be free, it would be about 350$. I mispoke when I said they were surplus. They were and a guy bought them at a gov auction now he is looking to sell them. They look to be in great condition (from the picture) and come with 60 minute bottle per pack. My guess is that they were for a Hazmat crew of some sort.

    The bottles have 2-3 years left before they hit 15/out of service date.

    While the S2s are no doubt better then the Scott AP2a paks I dont think its worth it to pursue them.

    From what you guys have said I think I am going to advise them to just try and get by with the old paks and to save their money for a match to next years AFG application.

    Thanks a ton
    -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.

  18. #18
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    samsonFCDES...

    We did get a grant last year and we bought Scott AP-50's. Hence we have 16 Scott 2.2's for sale. These were serviced every 2 years. They come complete with a face piece and a belt mounted PASS alarm. The age varies from about 8 years to close to 20. We are asking $250.

    Just thought In throw that out for you to consider.

    Even if you weren't interested in these there are plenty of other used SCBA available that they could choose from in the trade magazines and flyers that come around.

    FyredUp

    By the way the 1 hour bottles were standard issue for the military Interspiros. Real freaking convenient for working in the cramped cockpit areas of KC-135R's and C-130's where I was at.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-09-2004 at 12:49 PM.

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    To Fyred Up,

    Point taken, your post was professional. If everyone liked the same thing, life would be pretty boring. I can only comment on the experiences of our department, not on anyone elses. I don't care what SCBA people use, as long as they use them, and they are safe.

  20. #20
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    lvfireman...

    We're cool brother.

    SCBA is much like the Dodge, Ford, Chevy argument. We all have favorites.

    FyredUp

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