Thread: Oxygen Usage?

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    Default Oxygen Usage?

    Hey all, seems my latter posts have been kinda silly, but heres a serious one. I'm having some concerns when it comes to the drills we've been doing lately. When we do oxygen drills,and I'm using a 30 minute tank, I usually use up half of the tank in about 6 minutes (The time it takes me to run the course). The course usually consists of climbing a series of ladders to the thrid story of the fire house, climbing down the ladder of our Quint, running through a small course, crawling under tables, etc. Anyways, I assumed the only way I can work on regulating my breathing is excercise more and build up stamina, I also know that at my age I have no worries about ever needing to use the tanks for real, but we do drills every other week and occasionaly we are scored for performanceand oxygen use, again this is training for us, not just horse play. What types of excercising is best to increase lung capacity etc? I've began cycling 2-4 miles a day to keep my heart going, but what else? I mean breathing with a mask on isnt as easy as it looked, air only comes in when you suck in, which is tiring.
    Any help would be great, thanks, SAM

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    Default Re: Oxygen Usage?

    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay
    Hey all, seems my latter posts have been kinda silly, but heres a serious one. I'm having some concerns when it comes to the drills we've been doing lately. When we do oxygen drills,and I'm using a 30 minute tank, I usually use up half of the tank in about 6 minutes (The time it takes me to run the course). The course usually consists of climbing a series of ladders to the thrid story of the fire house, climbing down the ladder of our Quint, running through a small course, crawling under tables, etc. Anyways, I assumed the only way I can work on regulating my breathing is excercise more and build up stamina, I also know that at my age I have no worries about ever needing to use the tanks for real, but we do drills every other week and occasionaly we are scored for performanceand oxygen use, again this is training for us, not just horse play. What types of excercising is best to increase lung capacity etc? I've began cycling 2-4 miles a day to keep my heart going, but what else? I mean breathing with a mask on isnt as easy as it looked, air only comes in when you suck in, which is tiring.
    Any help would be great, thanks, SAM
    Wow, you guys use oxygen for your SCBA??????

    We just use regular air........


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    First, please don't refer to breathing oxygen from an SCBA. That's a misconception that is common among the public and news reporters ("Firefighters wearing oxygen tanks entered the building, etc"....) You're a firefighter (or maybe a junior?), you must (should?) have been taught better than that. It's compressed air, not oxygen.

    Second, besides improving your physical condition (something I need to work on myself), you will find that you will extend your work times in SCBA with experience. You must make a conscious effort to control your breathing rate. New firefighters often struggle with this....the act of breathing through a regulator is unnatural at first and new people have a tendency to "overbreath"...either through nervousness, excitement, or mild claustrophobia. Be aware of your breathing and try to control it....make a conscious effort to breath slowly and evenly.

    air only comes in when you suck in, which is tiring.
    Not true, assuming you're using a modern positive pressure type of SCBA. You only have to breath normally. The mask is always pressurized with air....If you are trying to "suck" air, you're definitely working too hard...Barring some problem with the unit, it will give you all the air you need.



    When we do oxygen drills,and I'm using a 30 minute tank, I usually use up half of the tank in about 6 minutes (The time it takes me to run the course). The course usually consists of climbing a series of ladders to the thrid story of the fire house, climbing down the ladder of our Quint, running through a small course, crawling under tables, etc.
    First, don't assume that a "30-minute" SCBA is good for 30 minutes. Heavy physical exertion will cut that time down considerably...you may get 30 minutes out of it sitting in a chair, but during heavy work (such as you describe), that time may be cut in half. So if you're using half the tank in 6 minutes, that would mean the whole tank would last you about 12 minutes...under the kind of exercise you're describing, that would not surprise me....I wouldn't expect more than 15 or 20 minutes at the very most. Don't feel too bad, I've seen some bottles sucked down a lot quicker than that (by me, for example)

    I encourage you to read up on SCBA use...does your department have a training library of IFSTA manuals? Check it out, there is a whole book on SCBA's that may help you. Then you can go back and show it to whoever told you there was oxygen in those tanks....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I also know that at my age I have no worries about ever needing to use the tanks for real
    At MY age it might not hurt to have a little oxygen added to the cylinder.

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    Look into skip breathing.

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    Thanks for the help guys. I was unaware as to the fact that our tanks contained merely compressed air, but that would make far more sense, considering how flammable oxygen is. We learn new things everyday don't we... Yes, I'm a junior, I actually just got accepted 2 weeks ago, so I'm REALLY new to all of this. What does SCBA stand for? For future reference.

    Thanks again,
    Sam

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    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay
    Thanks for the help guys. I was unaware as to the fact that our tanks contained merely compressed air, but that would make far more sense, considering how flammable oxygen is. We learn new things everyday don't we... Yes, I'm a junior, I actually just got accepted 2 weeks ago, so I'm REALLY new to all of this. What does SCBA stand for? For future reference.

    Thanks again,
    Sam
    SCBA = self contained breathing apparatus
    Last edited by pengman; 04-28-2005 at 12:55 PM.

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    Stands for:

    Self Contained Breathing Apparatus
    Some Chief's Big @$$
    Some Can't Breath Air

    there are several others, can't think of them.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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    O2 is not flammable, it is an oxidizer ( maybe consideered an accellerant) that might be wrong , but O2 being one side of the fire tetrahedron will make a fire burn more intensely. But oxygen is not in of itself flammable.

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    Ah, newbie. I guess that's a legitimate excuse

    Here's a few little tid-bits of information:

    SCBA = Self Contained Breathing Apparatus

    The tanks a filled with simple compressed air. Usually the compressor that fills the tanks has it's intake piped to the outside so it is using fresh air to fill the bottles. Precautions need to be taken to make sure it doesn't suck in vehicle exhaust or other contaminents.

    Oxygen is not "flammable" persay. However, fire needs oxygen to burn and when you add more oxygen, it burns more. Hence why you don't want a tank of it strapped to your ***. It would sure be nice if we could have a higher O2 concentration, but oh well.

    I don't know what they use to measure the time of a bottle. The frist thing you will learn about a 30 minute bottle is that they don't last 30 minutes when your working. Don't worry, it isn't just you. If you sit in a chair, it might last 30 minutes.

    You sound like your on the right track. Exercise and practice is the best you can do for yourself.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay
    Yes, I'm a junior, I actually just got accepted 2 weeks ago, so I'm REALLY new to all of this. Thanks again,
    Sam
    So you just got on 2 weeks ago, but you were more concerned about putting lights and a siren on your bicycle than you were about actually learning about firefighting??????????
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    So you just got on 2 weeks ago, but you were more concerned about putting lights and a siren on your bicycle than you were about actually learning about firefighting??????????
    That was all a big joke! I wanted to see if it was even possible, I never actually planned on doing it, unless it was a joke. And it would be very funny to come rolling in on a bike with all sorts of flashers and silly lights. It would get a good laugh, that's all.

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    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay


    That was all a big joke! I wanted to see if it was even possible, I never actually planned on doing it, unless it was a joke. And it would be very funny to come rolling in on a bike with all sorts of flashers and silly lights. It would get a good laugh, that's all.
    Again, 2 weeks and you are concerned with making people laugh instead of learning??
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Again, 2 weeks and you are concerned with making people laugh instead of learning??
    Boy, you really are TOUGH! The fire cheif is my nehbor so I know him well. The "joke" would be on him. But of course yet another thing I wouldn't dare do now that I know it would be frowned upon.

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    Hero...Remember those IFSTA manuals I was telling you about? Please seek them out and study. It concerns me that they have you donning and working (training) in SCBA but no one has pointed out to you A) that they do not contain pure oxygen, and B) what SCBA stands for.

    When you wear SCBA you are going into an atmosphere that is dangerous to your life and health! It's not a game. Yeah, training can be fun if you make it, but remember that this equipment is all that stands between you and a poisonous, deadly atmosphere. Don't take it lightly! You need to know your equipment backwards and forwards, especially something that your very life depends on like SCBA!

    Hopefully as you work your way up the junior ranks you will have the opportunity to do some more detailed training so you can understand how the equipment works and why it's important. Have fun as you learn, but remember that right now all you're there for is to learn....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    dmleblanc- I completely agree with you, I'll have to take a plea of ignorance here. I'm in the process of spending as much time as possible around the firehouse and asking as many questions as humanly possible. I'll pick up that manual ASAP, believe me I don't want/need to look any less knowledgable.

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    As far as asking questions, read the IFSTA manual first. Ask questions that are relevant, but you need to start out with basic knowledge first. There are no dumb questions, but read the book. That way you will have appropriate questions.

    There are many ways to do everything, IFSTA will give you the basic 'standard' knowledge. If you ask your questions to someone that has never had the basic concept, it doesn't do you much good to learn the wrong way.

    Slow down. If this is your calling, you have a lot of time to learn and should never stop the quest for knowledge.

    I don't want to discourage you in your endeavor, but your school comes first. Then your Jr. learning.

    When I read some of your first posts, I felt like smacking you on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. I waited to reply. Learn, read!

    This post started by your SCBA breathing on your bi-weekly drills. You have be a junior for two weeks which you have been to two at the most. READ THE BOOK!

    Good luck and I'll hold my temperment down.


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    Correction, 4 drills!

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    Haha, the complete set of IFSTA books is 850.00- I don't think so!!

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    I guess I just want the "Basic Essentials of Firefighting" one right? Even that's 40.00, but I'm sure it's worth it.

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    if that "basic essentials of Firefighting" is made by delmar, its a good book, its the book im using for FF1. (what they issued) if someone could elaborate on that skip breathing thing, that would be great. is it anything like taking one deep breath, and holding it for as long as possible then repeat? i did 3 SAR revolutions on a large mens locker room,at the academy and dragged 3 people out and didnt get to the low air alarm so idk how good that is.

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    that kinda describes skip breathing. all it is is a normal breathe and you hold it for one additional breathe. then repeat. singing a song in your head is another way to control breathing. most of it comes down to experience and not getting excited.
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    What does SCBA stand for?
    Sit down.
    Close your mouth.
    Beg for forgiveness.
    Ask a few questions.

    "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?

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    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay
    Haha, the complete set of IFSTA books is 850.00- I don't think so!!
    I wasn't suggesting that you go out and buy the set, or even the Essentials manual. Ask around, see if your department has them (every fire department should, although I'm sure many do not). Just ask if you can borrow a couple of them. And to agree with jerrygarcia, kid, slow down a bit. You're young. There's plenty of time to learn all you have to learn. The day you leave is the day you stop learning.

    I applaud you for your interest, though. Sounds like you really want to learn. I think once you've been around a while you'll come up with some much better questions to ask than how to hook flashing lights up on your bicycle. Seems like you're already making that transition

    Remember, there are four levels of competence in any field...these are particularly true for the fire service:

    Unconscious Incompetence - you don't know anything, and you aren't even aware of how much you don't know (about where you're at right now....)

    Conscious Incompetence - you still don't know much, but you're beginning to be aware of just how much you don't know (where you'll be in maybe a couple of months)

    Conscious Competence - you know enough stuff to be good at the job, but you still realize how much you still have to learn (where you'll hopefully be in a year or two. You'll spend the majority of your fire service career at this level)

    Unconscious Competence -you know so much stuff that you sometimes don't even realize how much you know (you have attained true crusty veteran status )
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Originally posted by HeroOfTheDay
    I guess I just want the "Basic Essentials of Firefighting" one right? Even that's 40.00, but I'm sure it's worth it.
    If you look around the station or ask, someone will have one to loan.


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