1. #1
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    Default MSA SCBA Harness

    Can the harness/backpack on a new MSA be used as a rescue harness? The dealer claims that it can be but when he started to show us the SCBA he only talked about the thermo plastic backpack rating and the hand holds that you can drag a downed fire fighter with. He never said how much if any weight that the harness straps will hold. Is there one SCBA harness more durable than another?

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    Don't quote me but I think the side handles are rates at 500 lbs., the top beaner hole is 750lbs. I'm hoping these are correct. We were told when we bought ours about 3 months ago, just trying to remember of the top of my head.

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    Shank,
    We just demoed the new MSAs last week(our grant app was for Scott, that's what the guys wanted, though).

    You remember correctly about the ratings. Sides are 500 each, and the top is 750(I thought it was 800, but it's around that area)....

    If you're lifting 1,750 pounds of firefighter, though, I think you have issues other than just a rescue
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    Everything is assuming that the harness is properly donned. Check around to see how many take shortcuts in donning their packs. I used to not use the chest strap, but now I do.

    Proper donning is essential.


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    Anything can be used in "emergency situations." You can hook up a rope to a firefighters belt if you'd like to. The point is that the MSA backframe is not approved by NIOSH nor NFPA as any type of fall protection or rescue harness. Anyone wearing any SCBA can hook up a carobine line to the backframe (I bet the Scott has a much higher threshold than 800 pounds as their backframes are a much higher quality than MSA) and drag out a down firefighter as long as it is considered "emergency use." I would check out the company R.I.T (I think). These guys specialize in the equipment that you're referring to and are probably much more reliable than hooking up to an MSA backframe. In all reality, companies like Globe, Lion, etc... should be desining gear that has this kind of stuff incorproated into it. I would feel much safer being dragged or dangling out of a window from my gear rather than my SCBA. just an opinion.

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    ryan, the inferior MSA's do have a rescue rope built into their harnesses as a option. 50 and 75 ft. I think. Morning Pride also has this kind of stuff.

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    Funny how if it isn't Pierce, Scott or Morning Pride - it must be inferior.

    Anyhow, MSA's point with the handles and ring for a carabiner is ease of use. Can you do it with other packs? Sure, why not. I will say that in doing some Denver drills with our probies (which included using an older BA as well) yesterday, the newer MSA pack was much easier for the newbies to manipulate a victim with than others.

    I know third parties also make kits that can be incorporated into/attached to SCBAs for RIT and such, but I'd be leery of adding anything to another manufacturer's product in such a manner.

    Best solution in my opinion has already been suggested, get Morning Pride or Globe (I'm sure others do it as well) to sew a proper harness into your bunkers, and be done with it. You'll have the added advantage of being able to high angle dangle without having a B.A. on...

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    I belive that everyone that has responded has good thougths. Keep in mind the only part of the SCBA being tested in the back frame. Ask what the hardware, adjusters and attachment points are rated for. also keep in mind that you have to keep the SCBA attached to the firefighter for all this to work. Several documented cases of firefighters being dragged out of buildings have resulted in not only the SCBA being pulled off but his bunkeer gear as well.

    I have tested all major SCBA and most of the others SCBA's as well and have found the hardware or the attachment point where the webbing attaches to the frame will break between 300-900 pounds. In addition i have broken frames, attachment points and hardware on all makes with a simple 300 pound drop test of 1 foot. I know that we are talking about dragging a firefighter out of a building but what are you going to do if you are several stories up and by a window? Drag the firefightere down several stories of lower him out the window?

    The question of putting a harness into turn out gear. This has been in the works for some time. the NFPA 1971 commitee is trying to push through a mandate for such a harness. The only problem is that they are calling it a DRD Drag Rescue Device. It is call this and not a harness to get around the NFPA 1983 requirments for harness certification. It is nothing more that a loop around the arms and a loop out the back of the coat. There is no certification for a harness, the requirment is to pull a 175 pound manikin 3 feet on a smooth surface. I can't remember being in a fire where i would only have to drag a firefighter 3 foot on a smooth surfice.

    Harnesses, hardware and attachment points are all part of the certification process for life safety harness systems. There are products on the market that are certified that will do the job. Should we not make every attempt to have the safest equipment possible? In the mean time we will continue to adapt and adjust the equipment that we have to do the job. Omar Jordan

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