1. #1
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    Default Airpack Donning time

    We recently tested out on our department for our annual airpack donning times. Our training chief wants us to be under 40, preferably closer to 30. Here's my questions though, anyone ever experience an under 20 second time?

    I managed to hit 19 seconds, but the other firefighter on my truck did it in 16 (it took several times and a lot of competitiveness). We started with coat and hood on, pack on the ground and turned off. Time didn't stop until until pack was on with mask and place and on air, gloves and helmet on as well.

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    Is this just donning the pack and face-piece?
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    Ok, I guess I don't really see the point of the timed donning competition. I mean, it's great to be familiar and comfortable with your equipment, but as long as your geared up by the time that apparattus stops and it's time to work...what difference does it make? This is not a slam, I'm just curious I guess.

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    SAFD:

    Back in the day(before my time, mind you), when airpacks used to be in compartments on the sides of trucks and you were hopping down off the back and donning them on scene, I guess it mattered. You know, grandma runs over and is flipping out about little johny, etc.

    It's just a carry over from those days, I guess. It doesn't really matter, unless the fire's across the street now a days.
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    I'm pretty confident that the state here requires donning while in gear, to be ready to go, helmet on, no exposed skin, gloves on and breathing air in 60 seconds to pass all the FFII practicals.

    We had to do it as part of the changeover to our new packs, and our recruits all have to do it. We've had times in the 30's, but I guarantee that the guys doing that would be re-adjusting everything before seeing any real fire.

    Last time we did it was in the rain at a burn tower. 35 seconds to get the pack on and the rest of the minute struggling to get the darned soaking wet gloves on...

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    Originally posted by SpartanGuy
    SAFD:

    Back in the day(before my time, mind you), when airpacks used to be in compartments on the sides of trucks and you were hopping down off the back and donning them on scene, I guess it mattered. You know, grandma runs over and is flipping out about little johny, etc.

    It's just a carry over from those days, I guess. It doesn't really matter, unless the fire's across the street now a days.
    Back in the day, huh? LOL...we still have air packs in compartments of every vehicle we have equipped with them...that's right, NO jump seats in my dept. We do timed drills in Firefighter 1 training (all gear under 60 sec. to pass practicals), and occasionally at the station for in-house refresher/re-cert training. Timing it for us does two things...ensures everyone can do it quickly on scene, and also makes training more fun when there is a little competitive edge to it.

    I've never SEEN an under 20 time, but supposedly we have a couple who have done it, but I'd have to see them do it to believe it. Under 30, yes.
    Last edited by Co11FireGal; 03-30-2005 at 12:05 AM.
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    Unfortunatly, we have our SCBA's in the side compartments in Phoenix also. We get timed on donning in the academy. We throw the bottle, get on air, put on our gloves under 35 seconds I believe. It is commonly done in low 20's, some 19's but probably not done perfectly.

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    Well apparently they already have their mask on, etc in order to get these quick times. State of Florida requires that you do it in 1:45, mask, helmet, hood, gloves, airpack on and hooked in on air. I do it in about 50 seconds.

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    Illinois standard for the minute has been in full gear, typically with your helmet and gloves off, hood aroud your neck, bunkers and coat on and properly closed up. You have to strap the pack on, mask up, put the hood on around the mask with no skin showing, turn the bottle on, check your pressure, put on your helmet WITH strap under the chin, glove up and go on air. Probably not in that order.

    I've heard of the two minute standard used for going from no gear on at all to breathing on air, fully dressed, ready to go. I've never seen that done around here though.

    All I know is you're one twitchy mutha if you can get your bunkers AND pack on in under 20 seconds... I think I may be misunderstanding.

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    He said bunkers were already on for the 20 second times.

    We also do timing for our probationary ff's. They must beat 60 seconds with bunker gear already on. We find it not only ensures we aren't waiting for them on a scene, but it encourages them to go in on thier own time and practice with the gear.

    Best time on record is about 30 seconds right now.
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    We find it not only ensures we aren't waiting for them on a scene, but it encourages them to go in on thier own time and practice with the gear.
    Good advice.


    1 big thing, having it on correctly is just as important as quickly.
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    I managed to hit 19 seconds, but the other firefighter on my truck did it in 16 (it took several times and a lot of competitiveness).
    To fully don an SCBA, helmet, gloves, and hood properly ready to go into an IDLH environment? Yeah, right.

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    1 big thing, having it on correctly is just as important as quickly.
    Exactly. That's why I've never been a big fan of speed races when donning SCBA, or other equipment. I've found that students who get into this habit during training do the same thing when they are on the job (trying to beat each other to the nozzle)...and they are constantly forgetting things like their hoods, checking their air levels, strapping helmets on, waist-belts, fully seating their masks and facepieces, turning their bottles on completely, checking high-pressure lines for tightness...you name it.

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    Department standard is 1 minute for SCBA. Not that critical for us that it be done much faster as ride time for 99% of our district is at least 2-3 minutes, with some areas being 10-15 minutes from the central station (which is the only station with "jumpseat packs"). Most guys can do it a in 30-40 seconds when they are donning them from the high-side compartments on all of our other engines at the scene.

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    Exactly. That's why I've never been a big fan of speed races when donning SCBA, or other equipment. I've found that students who get into this habit during training do the same thing when they are on the job (trying to beat each other to the nozzle).

    While I tend to agree *a bit* on this...

    a) There's a difference between "training" -- when you're learning new skills or refreshing something you haven't formally gone over in a long time...and "drilling" which is practicing a skill you know to become more proffecient. (God I just mangled that spelling, didn't I?)

    b) I think a bit of friendly competetion is fun and for certain people is a good motivator. I would guess this does work better in medium size groups -- say 20 or 30 guys at an evening training drill, then it does with a three or four man company doing their normal weekly drills.

    c) Doing things quickly doesn't mean neccessarily you're cutting corners. If someone hasn't gotten the hydrant dressed right, hasn't donned the SCBA right (including hood, no exposed skin, yadda yadda) they're still on the clock. And they don't get told what they're missing until they finally ask!

    What you should be trying for on these timed-drills is unconcious competency -- you know the skill so well, you're not even thinking about it as you do it. If you can get to the point that you're not conciously thinking about how to don gear, how to don an SCBA, how to raise a ladder -- you can spend more time mentally sizing up the incident while gearing up or looking for hazards as you place & raise the ladder.

    Part of the key there, of course, is to know the difference between unconcious incompetence -- you don't know you're screwing up -- and unconcious competence -- you do it right and don't even have to think about it.

    But if you truly have some of the "manual" skills down cold, it lets you focus your attention on what is more important. And I believe timed-drills like this for the right subjects in the right situations can really help build up that complete competence & confidence.

    ========
    I think my personal best was 24 seconds for donning SCBA, and I was being beat by someone who was doing it in 21 seconds. I still can today go from street clothes to SCBA in operation is less then a minute.
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    idk about just the pack and mask, so far ive had to time myself for practice for FF1. they require EVERYTHING on in 2 minutes. basically you go from no gear whatsoever to being fully geared including SCBA. my best was 1:54 after only practicing a few times.

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    I am of the "get it on quickly and prudently" vs "speedy and shotty" .........we do this occassionaly at drill .......but no set standard.
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    1:45 like they said above for florida.
    but that includes a 10 second seal check

    I do mine close to 50.

    Thats turn on, don, 10 secons seal check, hood up, helmet, gloves on air, everything perfect.

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    I know you will all think that I am lying but the fastest time that I have done it in was 14 seconds and that was cutting no corners. It was in Smoke Divers class which is a week long course for advanced SCBA training at the Illinois Fire Service Institute. I had the fastest time in the class but there were several others under 20. That was tank on the ground in the ready position, do your check put mask on, hood on, helmet and gloves and by on air. It helps you become more familiar and comfortable with your airpack. I hate when you see people fumble **cking with their masks when you are ready to make entry, so speed WITH correct donning is important on the fireground. Now the toxic bottle changes we had to do in smoke divers class that really sucked, but that is something else.

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    One can be "speedy" when donning their SCBA, but what good is it if it isn't quite right and you go into an IDLH atmosphere and flop?

    Can you say RIT?

    Timing the donning of SCBA enables a firefighter to realize just how long 60 seconds actually is and it is a confidence builder. In the real world, nobody is standing over you with a stopwatch, and taking a few extra seconds to don the airpack enables you to take a look at what you are coming up against instead of rushing in without a clue.
    ‎"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."
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    I understand your point in that you dont want to rush putting on your pack and mask just to make time. I dont think that is wise either. But having said that, although there isn't an actual person with a stopwatch hovering over you timing you while you are masking up the situation acts as your timer. When you are getting ready to enter to search a building with victims needing rescue that is the stopwatch. I completely agree that you should take time to size-up the building, the fire, etc.. on your way up to the structure (I have never understood the rational of donning your mask in the truck in route) You should also wait and let the fire room blow once you force the door and watch the smoke to see what it tells you, but then you need to be able to mask up quickly and correctly. We shouldn't be fumbling with mask straps or taking our sweet time because the stop watch is in fact ticking based on fire conditions and victims in need of rescue etc....

    We shouldn't try and go faster in masking up than what we are capable of, but we should in training become proficient enough in masking up when the situation dictates the need for quick entry into a structure we have the capabilities of doing so quickly and safely. And repeated drilling for time in correctly donning your SCBA will help in doing that IMHO.
    Last edited by Squad1LT; 03-31-2005 at 12:15 AM.

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    As with all equipment the firefighter should be well versed in the use of scba. Speed along with efficiency is neccessry in donning scba. 20 seconds on with a bad seal isn't as time saving as 35 seconds and a proper donnng. I tell my firefighters to take time to look around at the scene while donning and pulling hose or setting up operations. A few seconds to see what your dealing with and to curb tunnel vision could save your life and contribute to a more efficient job done. I'm against hurrying in an emergency situation.

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    Here in florida we have a minute and forty five seconds to don the pack , mask , hood , gloves , helmet and be on air for the state test . My quickest was 65 seconds to put it all on oh and also you would have to do a 10 second seal check. No skin showing and clap your hands once you stand up. I don't really understand how you could don all this so fast quicker than 65 seconds I was one of the fastest in my class. Just asking.
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    To get your Scba card in the State of Maine,you must go from street clothes to fully geared and on air in UNDER 2min 5 sec.THIS is PROPERLY geared,valve fully on,low air alarm checks,gauges match,proper seal,all snaps and hooks fastened,no skin,collar up,gloves on etc.These are checked by senior instructors that miss NOTHING.The crews must quality check each other too.Safd asks why?When the call comes for FF down or emergency line relocation to protect another crew,you'll be damn glad to have personnel who can PROPERLY gear up and get in operation in under a minute and forty five.All of my interior people are trained and retrained on this constantly.As Dal says,it's a confidence builder along with friendly competition. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-31-2005 at 09:29 AM.

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    Ok, from all the posts I see here, I have a big question. Who actually practices putting the SCBA on as you would during a fire call? I see a lot of people talking about it being on the ground, fully spread out, etc. Is that how you store your SCBA's? Being able to get it from the ground all laid out and on your back is different than sitting in the seat fumbling for straps, or backing up to it on a wall mount, or pulling out of a compartment.

    How many people spend the time practicing real world?
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