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Thread: 45 Second Drill

  1. #1
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    Default 45 Second Drill

    We did 45 second drills last night. We already had our coats and pants on, and we had a SCBA in front of us. We needed to turn on, and don the SCBA, mask, hood, helmet, and gloves, and be breathing air as quick as we could. Being a very new Cadet my time was a blistering 2 minutes 15 seconds. Any tips for doing this alot faster?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    PRACTICE...PRACTICE.....PRACTI CE.......then PRACTICE some more.
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  3. #3
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    Default practice

    all gear and scba one minute/ Its what the rookie does while we watch the tube at night

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    Wren, MS Until the forum gremlins pay a visit!


    Dickey was right, practice.............. Otherwise, make sure the straps are let out all the way (make sure you always let them all the way out after you doff it), put it on the same way every time (doh) and of course, practice some more.
    Last edited by arhaney; 12-21-2004 at 09:34 PM.
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  5. #5
    Member SFD333DFD720's Avatar
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    Default Donning

    Find one setup that works for you and STAY WITH IT. DO IT THE SAME WAY EVERY TIME. I practiced on and off for a month before a competition....got my times down...full bunkers was 24 secs and combined time (breathing air) was 47....The most important thing is to find whats best for you...play around with the layout in the beginning and then stick to one setup. Good luck
    Last edited by SFD333DFD720; 12-21-2004 at 09:27 PM.

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  6. #6
    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Jul 2003


    When you said 45 second drill I thought you were talking about the Black& Decker fire storm.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Co11FireGal's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Country Roads, Take Me Home...


    I agree with every one else....PRACTICE. There are really no tricks or shortcuts. Besides, would you want to take a shorcut where your safety is involved? I doubt that you would...

    When I had to do this to get my FF 1 cert, I did find that I was quicker donning my SCBA when I used the over-the-head method rather than the coat method, but only by a second or two. Hehe, just don't crack your noggin with the bottle. I hear that kinda hurts. Not that I've ever done that or anything.

    Firekid, if it makes you feel any better, we have a new junior that took 2 minutes 18 seconds JUST to put his turnout gear on...

    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap it if we do not lose heart."

  8. #8
    Forum Member Dave1105's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Melbourne, Australia


    The problem I have with these drills are, they aren't very realistic... Don't get me wrong, I can see the importance of donning CABA quickly and properly.... but how often do you have to don it quickly from on the ground in front of you??? It's either going to be stored in the seat of your appliance, which really negates the reason for this drill at all, or stored in a locker.... Either way, do the drill with everyone starting seated in the appliance and start your timer from the time you "arrive" on scene.....

    I understand that you can need to don quickly at other times too (IE. Out here we don't have any formal RIT or FAST principles so if a distress alarm goes off it's likely those who are going to go in after them aren't already donned up).... but it's very unlikely you will don off the ground.

    The only time I have ever donned off the ground at the real event was at a large shopping centre fire where our PPE truck was setup with multiple sets on a large tarp for crews performing overhaul to use.... It wasn't exactly a time critical event.....

  9. #9
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    Dec 2000


    I agree with Dave, this isn't a very realistic drill. Donning it while sitting in the rig would be a better one.

    BUT, since you are a probie you are in no position to change this right now. So, like everybody else said just keep practicing as often as you can. You'll get it

  10. #10
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    Mar 2000
    Dayton, OH


    I'll agree with the practice, practice, practice answer. I expect to see my new recruits (and my students) up at a station praciting until they can do it in their sleep.
    My tips would also include doing it the exact same way every time and laying out you gear in the same way every time. When I do the drill I still set my PPE up the same way I did in Rookie school.
    FWIW- At my Department and at the college I teach for we do 3 different SCBA timed drills. The first is the one you asked about, wearing full bunkers you get 45 second to don and breathe SCBA. The other is 90 seconds from uniform to full PPE breathing air. The last is the most realistic (and probably the easiest) wearing full bunkers with a SCBA on your back, you have 25 seconds to mask up and breathe. That simulates getting off the rig with the pack on and then masking up at the door. The way you actually do it 90% of the time.

    Good luck, welcome to the service and keep practicing.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    More important than speed is correctness. Don't cheat yourself to save some time and only open the bottle a turn or two, open it all the way, it might mean your life. Practice over and over and you will get faster, but practice it the correct way.
    "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?

  12. #12
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    New Jersey

    Default Re: 45 Second Drill

    Originally posted by firekid1234
    We already had our coats and pants on, and we had a SCBA in front of us. We needed to turn on, and don the SCBA, mask, hood, helmet, and gloves, and be breathing air as quick as we could.
    as everyone says, practice!!! however, your hood should be on before you put your coat on. put the hood on, then your coat, then pull the hood back to around your neck. that should help save you a few seconds, as well as you don't need to worry about stuffing yoru hood under the collar of your coat.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!


  13. #13
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    Feb 1999
    Northern, NJ


    Ok, yea so I think you get the point that practice is important?!?

    My gripe with these drills is there necessity. I understand we need to do things with a sense of urgency, but do we need to do it looking like you are doing your best impression of the Tazmanian Devil?

    As an instructor, while I mention speed to an extent, it is definitely not emphasized for a couple of reasons:

    1. Like some others said, where is the realism. Most incidents you are donning enroute to an incident so you have time (and also a whole different set of issues like cramped quarters) The only time I ever don my SCBA in this manner is after a trip through rehab which at that point there is really no rush to get it back on.

    2. My biggest issue is speed sometimes comes with a price.... correctness. If you get all monkeyed up trying to do it as fast as you can and you have to start over again, where exactly is your speed? I would rather a guy take an extra 15 seconds and know he has one of his most important PPE pieces on correctly vs. getting in really fast. Like Bones said, its your life for crying out loud.

    3. As with anything else, if you are really hung up on speed. In time, speed will come with the repetive practice everyone is referring to.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber HenryChan's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Northern Virginia


    My fastest time was 33 seconds, but that was under a testing environment...when it comes to the real deal you have more on your mind than how fast you can gear up.

    Only thing I can say is practice (just like everyone else said ), but also really understand what each item you're putting on does...this helps your mind automatically do things in double time.

    Oh, and never be nervous. Being nervous while doing it makes you slower.
    Local 2068

  15. #15
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Jun 1999


    Speed in donning your turnout gear and breather is good. However, I would rather have a member take 2 minutes to get all the gear on, in the correct place and completely assembled and the breather on correctly and in full operation, than to rush and not have every thing properly assembled. I think the 60 seconds or less is good in instilling the newer members as well as some of the older members who for what ever reason donít get much fire activity as some.

    Taking a written or practical test for certification is one thing. Getting dressed and ready to fight fire is completely different. If you donít have you gear on and you are not properly dressed out, then you are really not ready to enter a structure or environment that is hostile.

    Be sure you have ALL your gear on and it is on correctly.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  16. #16
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    Jan 1999


    The reason you try donning an air pack for a certain time is to add a little tension during practice. Think about going to a fire. You have a lot on your mind. Are people trapped? What type of building? What tools will be needed? Time of Day. Weather. Occupancy of building. There are many other factors going through your mind. It is not time to be thinking about how to put your PPE on. It takes approximately 300 times of performing a routine practice before you can do it without thinking about it. So like everyone else has said

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