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Thread: MSA Firehawk

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    Default MSA Firehawk

    I believe my department has narrowed its search down to the MSA firehawk. The 2 opitions we are looking at are the CBRN certifacation and the ICM 2000 plus integrated pass.(not sure why we are getting these) 4500psi 30 minute bottles. Knowing this can anyone give me feedback on the firehawk and the opitions. Would like feed back good or bad.


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    Integrated PASS devices are nice, forces them to be used, can be somewhat of a pain at times, but all in all, they are a good thing to have.

    The CBRN stuff, I wouldn't worry about that. Extra money that is going to be charged for something that's pointless to have. If you're in that type of an environment, you're going to have more problems than just an airpack. What are the chances of your department ever being exposed to those substances anyway?

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    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    We have firehawks and love them. Don't know if I would want the ICM plus, seems like all it offers extra is data logging. I wouldn't spend the extra money on the CBRN. I like the way that the regulator stays on the mask and the ability to plug it back in quickly.
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    We just went with these packs over Scott simply because of pricing. Scott couldn't (or wouldn't) compete with the MSA pack price wise in our area. I liked the Scott better, the majority of the department liked MSA better, neither is a bad pack.

    We don't use the slide-to-connect MMRs but instead the push-to-connect MMRs, which we liked better. Overall, they're lightweight and comfortable, so we'll see how they hold up over the upcoming years.

    One of the selling points was that we wanted an accountability system similar to Scott's (SEMS), and MSA's pricing to us included this unit as soon as it hits the street (we're supposed to see an introduction at the next FDIC). If MSA hadn't guaranteed that we would have this installed (in writing), Scott would have received our business. Our chief was set on this type of accountability system.

    We don't currently have the ICM plus, but I believe that the accountability system will integrate this feature when installed. It doesn't seem necessary to me...

    Shortcomings? The voice amp and HUD really increase the "size" of the facepiece. However, coming from belt-mount regulators, none of us are really complaining yet.
    Last edited by npfd801; 11-26-2004 at 09:12 PM.

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    Good stuff anyone have anythings else to add?

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    Update: We ran a ton of evolutions with the new packs this weekend. One o-ring failure (typically a user problem with not tightening the pack-to-bottle interface tight enough), and a couple of times the real heavy breathers managed to get their bells to not ring due to freezing, though the redundant alarm on the pass also warns of low air, so not a real big deal. It was very wet on Saturday, and that area of the bottle really gets cold with heavy use of the pack, but we'll still have the dealer check the packs out to make sure nothing is wrong.

    Overall I'm happy with the packs. I'll be really happy when all of the old MSAs come off of the trucks next Monday and I can start fresh having to maintain new stuff.

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    My dept went with the MSA's a little over a year ago, one thing that we had a problem with for a short time was the o rings. We were blowing them it seemed like once a month and was happening when we arrived at scenes. We now keep some in our truck so we have some at the scene.
    Lilyogi

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    We looked at MSA and ISI, we went with ISI. The things i can remember that we didn't like with the MSA is the fact that the HUD and voice amp are not inside the mask. Another is that there is more than one place for the batteries to go. The big kicker was that ISI is what everyone around us has so we wanted to be compatible. ISI regulators stay on the mask and all u do is slide it down to go to bottle air, and up for ambiant air. The firehawk slide didnt seem like it was all it was cracked up to be either.
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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    You know, I've heard bad about the ISI from some sources, but our ISI local dealer is so good with everything else he sells, I don't think he'd tolerate problems with anything he sold us. Unfortunately, he had just started selling the ISI stuff when we were well through our pack evaluations.

    The slide to connect regulator on the MSA is a bad idea in my opinion as well, and I like the push to connect that we use much better. Does anyone out there really like the slide to connect style? I'm not familar with ISI's setup at all with their regulators.

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    MembersZone Subscriber lilyogi's Avatar
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    We really like the slide to connect. You can slide it on and not connect until you are ready to go on air. It works out good. This is at my Volunteer dept. At my paid dept we do not have this and it is a pain having to find it on your belt and hooking it in.
    Lilyogi

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    Did you try Drager PSS 100s with sentinals in your evaluations.

    We went with these over Scot AP 50s.

    The Dragers is truely a great pack, as is the Scott.

    The overriding factors was the after sale service, we had a local Drager connection, the lifetime warranty, and the very very low maintenace of the Dragers.

    ISI has been reported to have some problems but I do like their design.

    I dont know a lot about the MSA Firehawks so I can comment much there.

    I urge you to check out the Dragers if you have the chance though.
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    We went over to the Draeger PSS100 a couple of years ago, after using the PA94. A great system, with lots of extras thrown in, (not withstanding the factory is in our brigade area), they offer a very good service and I am aware they are looking to equip more and more services in the US, so it may be a good time to talk to them.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    We have completly switched to the firehawk models. If your spending FEMA $$ its a good idea to meet the CBRN standard. Only 1 negative that we found THEY EAT 9v BATTERIES!

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    We went with ISI cause no one around here has had problems in the last 2 yrs, and then this way all bottle would be compatible because we have many fires where we take our mobile cascade and refill everyones bottles so they just get mixed up. this way there is no sorting for certain bottles for certain packs. Also we liked the fact the regulator is always on the mask, no searching for it on the belt, and just the compactness (not sure if thats a word) of the mask and pack. Also the fact that the voice amp and Hud are inside the mask.
    "Let's Roll." Todd Beamer 9/11 first soldier in the war on terror

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands ONE NATION UNDER GOD indivisible,with liberty, and justice for all.

    I.A.C.O.J. Probie and darn proud of it.

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    Originally posted by pennsouthfd
    Only 1 negative that we found THEY EAT 9v BATTERIES!
    Us too! The integrated pass is powered by a single 9-volt battery that always seems to be getting replaced. I tried the 'change your clocks, change your batteries' theory we use during Fire Prevention, but that doesn't even cut it.

    The good part is the units operate similar to a smoke detector and they give you a single chirp and a scheduled interval when the battery is low.

    Other than that the units are great. On the integrated PASS? is that not a requirement? I was under the impression that it was. In either case, I like having it because like someone else said it forces you to turn it on. On the other hand, we have become the dancing FAST team because our SOP states have the cylinder will be turned on and you just have to clip in the MMR if you are activated. But I will take that inconvenience vs. knowing all the guys have theirs turned on when they are inside.

    We don't have the HUD or the CBRN regs so I can't comment on that. The only other option we got was the voice amplifier which again is good and bad. It does make it easier to understand radio traffic (assuming you talk clearly ) however keep in mind that while amplifying your voice, at the same time it is amplifying your breath sounds as well. So if you thought you sounded like Darth Vader before, you really do now.

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    We looked at MSA, ISI, Scott, and Drager at this time last year. We ended up buying PSS100 Drager. What we didn't like about the firehawk was all of the added equipment on the outside of the mask(hud and voice box) and when we asked the dealer to disassemble the mask so that it could be cleaned he needed a screwdriver and the fact that the dealer said that MSA could still freeze up in the winter. Things that we liked about the Drager - Frame, its adjustable, has protection for your back bone if you fall backwards, and moves with your body(I see that MSA now offers this). The mask is simple to disassemble and seals around your face extremely well, the warranty, and service. All in all I think that each company has a good SCBA. Buy what will work best for your department.

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