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  1. #21
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Bones...

    Believe me I understand the having to do with little resources. But within those limited resources we still have to be safe.

    Samson...

    Thank you for your response. I am glad to see that you don't allow beard wearing FF's to mask up.

    Honestly though, in my opinion that sales person did you a HUGE disservice by that demonstration. He showed that, at least under those circumstances, that it is possible to get a seal with a beard regardless of the fact that it violates all of the regulatory agencies that govern SCBA. I have gone round and round with FF's over the years in regards to this issue and plain and simple, seal or not, it is a clear violation of standards and not defendable. I just wonder if in the long run that demo might open a can of worms for you guys.

    Sorry for going off track. I just had to make 6 guys in an Entry Level FF class shave to be able to take the SCBA part so it is fresh in my mind.

    FyredUp


  2. #22
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I just had to make 6 guys in an Entry Level FF class shave to be able to take the SCBA part
    Ha! Just did the same thing, but with the snowfall today, class is cancelled.
    "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?

  3. #23
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Bones...

    Honestly the beard thing has always baffled me. I guess I look at it as level of committment. Do you really want to be a firefighter or not? If you do, shave off the beard and be qualified and able to do the entire job. I know the old argument is someone needs to drive and they don't need to mask up. Well what if all the beard guys show up and no one else does? Or what if the wind changes and the engine is buried is black, snotty, toxic smoke and you are stuck at the pump panel?

    I had a guy in a class a few years back that had never shaved his beard off ever. I told him the beard goes or he doesn't pass. So he came in the next week and his face looked like somebody went after it with a block plane. big chunks of skin either gone or hanging on his face. I said what the hell happened? Long story short he didn't know he should trim the beard down first with scissors and he attempted to shave roughly 1 inch of beard off from his face with a disposable razor. He was damn near in tears masking up from the pain. I'd be willing to bet he has that beard back and no amount of talking will ever see it gone again!!

    FyredUp

  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    It seems clear from you comments that your perspectives are well to the East of the Mississippi. Understandable given your location of course.

    In the western US we have the curse of ganranteed severe wildfire season, at least as long as drought persists. There are many rural firefighters that join up to fight wildfire and are not that concerned with fighting structure fires since they live well away from any of the towns and have basicaly zero chance of getting to the structure fires on time. Yes yes there is the interface issue. In that case as well you are going to save many more structures with sound wildland tactics then you are with structure tactics. If the structure is already burning then its time to save the next one.

    Our fire district is 730 square miles and about 1.5 hours to drive form corner to corner. We have fire fighters and wildland equipment scattered over as much of it as we can. The small town in the middle is where the structure equipment (and of course 99% of the structures) are concentraited. Not by coincidence the 15 or so FF that live within 15 minutes of the fire hall have no beards while a good many of the truely rural FFs have beards if they so wish.

    We are not about to start turning away FFs because of facial hair. Wildfire is the number one draw for manpower that most western US departments face. They can be major incidents, drawn out over hours for sure, and more often the not days...even months sometimes.

    And like I said, most of the guys that do have beards live to far away from the structure gear/structures to worry about their beards anyway.

    Thats our situation and it is very similar for all of the surrounding VFDs for many many miles around.

    If you want to try it go ahead, but there is no way I am going to tell a chainsaw toting sawyer that he has to shave his nasty/dirty beard...I would be the one that gets the Husqvarna Haircut if you know what I mean!!!



    -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.

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    ...I would be the one that gets the Husqvarna Haircut if you know what I mean!!!

    It looks like a Stihl from here.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  6. #26
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mcaldwell


    It looks like a Stihl from here.
    You are of course correct, but Shihl Hiarcut just doesnt have the same ring to it...

    -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. #27
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    We just purchased new MSA MMR packs with their new airframe harness. MSA has made some improvement over the last 3 years that are very nice. Of course I have always been an MSA fan. NFPA compliant pack, voice amp, intergrated PASS, quick fill on chest strap, swivel lumbar pad, chest strap, and extra carbon fiber bottle (30 min. 4500psi) cost $3500. In our area it either MSA or Scott.

  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Happend across this on the web:

    Global Secure Safety Products Inc. acquired the assets of CairnsAIR Inc., a supplier of a complete line of patented, self-contained-breathing-apparatus ("SCBA") products and accessories for emergency response professionals. As a technology leader for over a decade, the company was one of the first to develop a patented heads-up device (HUD), an innovation that has now become an industry standard.
    --------------------------------------
    Seems like Cairns got bought out.
    -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. #29
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Samson...

    My perspective on the use of SCBA and beards has nothing to do with my geographic location. It has to do with compliance with standards and responsibility to protect the firefighters I serve with.

    Of course there is a major difference between wildland firefighters and structural firefighters and if you are saying that your bearded wildland firefighters are not structural firefighters that is one thing.

    But... if they double as structural firefighters and do mask up and do go interior on occasion just be aware of the liability. There is no way you will ever be able to justify that in a court of law. Especially if there is a well known culture in your area of looking the other way in regards to beards and masks.

    In the volly FD I am a member of it is very simple. No mask if you have any hair that interferes with the seal of the mask. We do have a couple of hold outs that have goatees and once again they are not allowed to mask up. We do not have your wildland issues and perhaps if we did we would have satelite wildland stations to deal with it and seperate wildland firefighters. Today you might be fighting a structural fire, tomorrow wildland and the next doing extrication. Everyone is crosstrained to do it all and mask use is part of that.

    I don't wish for this to become another major battle between us. I don't run your FD and you don't run mine. I can tell you Wisconsin is quite specific about COM 30 and the adoption of the NFPA Standard applying to SCBA. So we choose to be as complient as we can be. Do all of the FD's in this area? Nope. But again I am not an officer in those departments.

    FyredUp

  10. #30
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    We have had ISI Vikings for ever we are a low call volume dept. If you want to you can email me and ask any questions you want. iceman_87_o5@yahoo.com
    "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.

  11. #31
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FyredUp
    Samson...

    My perspective on the use of SCBA and beards has nothing to do with my geographic location. It has to do with compliance with standards and responsibility to protect the firefighters I serve with.

    Of course there is a major difference between wildland firefighters and structural firefighters and if you are saying that your bearded wildland firefighters are not structural firefighters that is one thing.

    snip...

    FyredUp
    Yes, thats what I am saying. We have need of a literal army of wildland FFs some years. A lot of them have no interest and often no training in structure firefighting.

    However the lines are starting to blur as the urban interface continues to expand. We are starting to get more and more dual dicipline FFs each year, not just in my specific area, but in the State of MT as a whole.

    Dont worry though, if people are going to be packing up they are not allowed to do it with beards.

    On the interface thing. There have been more then a few times where SCBAs have been a very nice thing to have when making a defensive stand against a wildfire running into a set of structures. You can only eat so much smoke, even natural smoke. We have made the move to 45 minute bottles. That is enough air to get you through the realy thick stuff. We have hot shields as well, but the SCBA is the next level of course. Its incredible how much more effective you can be when you eyes and lungs arent burning from inhaling a few pine trees worth of smoke!!!
    -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.

  12. #32
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    As for your questions. We have the Dreager PSS100 and hate them.
    This pack does not hold up and we have had problems with back frame breakage and masks freezing up. The masks fog up almost instantly and work is difficult. From a RIT standpoint I understand they are making changes but the model we have is almost impossible to utilize for RIT. We looked at Scott and MSA and decided against both. The dreager was more comfortable. We didnt look at ISI but feel it was a mistake. Neighboring Departments have ISI and have had no problems with them.
    Along with many in the state of Michigan. With minimal moving parts to fail the unit is nice and workable. The BB is conceiled inside for protection. With the airswitch mask the key is to keep it clean. If you do that it will continue to work. Best thing to do is to get eval units from the different manufactures and try them out. Use it and abuse it to find what works for you. Every department is different and what works for me might not suit you. I would reccommend at least two eval units from each that you choose to try.
    Keep the two together and work as teams to reduce problems with different packs. If you turn on the MSA's next to each other in the truck you might get communication problems from the blue tooth tech. Also realize that the batteries are different some have up to 3 or 4 different batteries. What a pain!!!

  13. #33
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Out of curiousity,why did you not consider Scott or MSA, two of the top rated packs in the country? I'm always interested in why someone doesn't "consider" a battle proven pack. T.C.

  14. #34
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    Default looking at all of them

    we are looking at all the brands. Have only seen scott and ISI so far. Got a date with the draeger guy and the MSA guy. I just have no knowledge of the ISI pack. The pack looks ok but I just dont want to take the sales persons word. I want imput from the guys that have used them.
    David Jacobson
    Chief Fairmount Fire dept.
    Faiirmount ND 58030

  15. #35
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    IMHO stay the heck away from ISI, we have had them (Magnums) for about 8 years now and have had continual problems. Air switchs break if you look at them the wrong way, exhalation valves stick big time the bottle retaining latch is garbage, since been replaced by a plastic flip catch thats junk, wistles freeze up, regs freeze up leaving you gasping for air, turnaround time for parts is brutaly long, and now getting very expensive. What else do you want to know about ISI???? We are changing out this year and are only looking at MSA and Scott. Looked at Dreager but did not like the big peice of crap that they had hanging off the bottom left side for the RIC connection. If you want my advice stick to the 2 manafactures that have been around and have proven themselves.

  16. #36
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by LACAPT
    If you want my advice stick to the 2 manafactures that have been around and have proven themselves.
    I can't/won't knock either Scott or MSA because they are excellent systems, but to correct you, Draeger is actually one of the worlds largest manufacturers of industrial and firefighting SCBA. They are over 100 years old (older than both MSA & Scott), and I'd say they are established.

    I don't know where to find the numbers, but I'm sure there are just as many FF's around the world using Draegar as either of the other two.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  17. #37
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    Mcaldwell you may be right about the numbers on Dreager around the world, I don't think they are as popular as Scott or MSa in North America. Regardless, I still don't like Dreager much.

  18. #38
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    Default isi digital viking

    we got those last year and when they work you can't beat them. however we do weekly maintance on ours and we don't even use them in real situations maybe once a month and we have problems with the batteries dying and we have used all types of them. and the straps break alot. but like i said when they work you can't beat em. if you do go with the isi, just make sure to get the cable to hook up to whatever type of handheld radio your dept. uses we have a problem with the voice vector and our radio's. either one of them or both will become complete static during fires and you lose all radio communications.

  19. #39
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Late...

    Sorry I am late to the party, but SCOTT is #1. DONE DEAL.
    Please dont waste your money on the copy cat, new to the
    market SCBAs.

    Scott is the way to go for comfort and function. I like the
    fact I can have my mask on enroute and sTEP off of an engine
    and click in if I need to. Or just go to work and have the
    option to click in when I need to. The picture below will
    show what I mean.

    "TIME TO SCOTT UP BABY!"

    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 02-28-2005 at 07:34 PM.

  20. #40
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    CALFFBOU, the new MSA's do the same thing.

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