09-03-2006, 09:36 PM #176
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
SCBA, which one is the question
I have read many posts on here and have finally decided to post my reply to all who have a concern about SCBA's. I have read all the posts and have the following to say.
First, Many SCBA manufactures spend many dollars wining and dining the prospective buyers.
Second, many members who have input to the purchase have already made up there mind to what brand is best before they start an evaluation.
Third, a large number of firefighters don't take the time to do any real research on SCBA, not all but most.
Fourth, the reason the two manufactures are the most prevelant is due to cost. The lowest bidder wins. 9 out of 10 depatments buy low bid no matter the competition.
Fifth, popularity sells, when you are the biggest name with the cheapest price, you become the biggest. Who really wins the fire department because of saved dollars or the firefighter who needs the best equipment.
Sixth, what is your opinion bases on? Facts, what you believe, or what is proven or real, what you have been exposed to, other personel feel or believe or have you really put all the scba's listed here to the test?
Seventh, who is the biggest and why? Scott is the largest in the USA MSA falls Second, Survivair Third and Draeger is forth.
8th, wh is the largest scba manufacture in the world? Drager
9th, what manufacture is the oldest manufacture in the world? Drager
10th, has anyone ever contacted any big fire departments that use Scott or MSA about the cost of repairs and keeping units in service, Has anyone ever contacted department that use Drager or survivair on how much it costs to maintain them... Some manufactures beat you with a cheap price up front and bleed you with manitenance costs..
I have a personal favorite, I have used the four units listed above and so have several others I know... When it get down to the following items who wins?
1) What is the cost to buy now?
2) What are your NIOSH approved maintenance requirememts in your owners manuals? Not what the salesperson tells you but what is required to be done annually to the SCBA to maintain NIOSH approvals for use.
3) How much does it cost to comply with the NIOSH approved maintenance proceedures each year?
4) What is your warranty period and what are the requirements or exclusions to it?
5) Can your unit be over breathed? What about in buddy breatheing mode?
6) What maintenance or repar parts do fire departments using your product use or buy the the most of??? Provide offical data
7)How much did New York spend maintaiing there unit in the past 10 years broken down buy cost per year? If you can get any of number 6 and 7, I will be surprized
Before anyone makes a decision on an SCBA they should forget what name is on the label. Forget what brand we currenlty use. Forget everything we know about SCBA's except Safety..
Then equally and evenly learn about each unit, its specifications. How trhe units can be used, what are there limitations.
Train on each unit so that you become familiar with each unit.. Some people I have watched get frustrated with good units because they don't want to learn a new unit or are afraid of change from old to new. Just because the manufacutes name is well known does not mean they have the best product.
if you learn each unit then by side by side comparisons you can make a clear choice. But then did you give each unit a run through the training facility doing the same evolution and timing your speed and write down how you were breathing the ease of difficulty of breathing the ease of starting air flow the ease of coming off air.. How did the unit feel while completing evolution we normally do... Did you push the unit in a RIT drill or man down drilll how well did it perform..
I have had 25 years to learn about SCBA's and the fire service. The old saying that the fire service in unempeeded by change is true... We are learning more and more everyday about thing we do that we should not... But we take someone elses word on the one and only piece of equipment that is maintaining our lives while using it... Should we be so opinionated that we don't look any farther than what we have known for years for something that is better???? How did you decised what was the best SCBA, because it is what your department has (LOYALITY) or did you follow alone with everyone else and base your decision about what piece of equipment will keep you tail alive when it gets bad... What do you have on your apparatus and how was it bought???? By its name, by its price or how well it performed under the worst test conditions you could put it through or was it what the chief said we are getting..
I hope this makes sense, I am not trying to put one unit over the other. I did not want this to be a statement based on opinion but based on good solid evalutions. Each unit has its merits. but when you get past the "BS" which one really performs better under a critical evalution is the one you want.... But take a step back and make sure your decision has no bias to it.. Your life may someday truely depaend on your evalution and decision.... Someimes the cheapest may be the best in your situation but if the cheapest willl cost more in the long run was it cheap enough what is it fails when you least expect it too?
Don't bet your life on HYPE, we all have a responsability to ourselves, to our departments, to our communities.. We need the best equipment money can buy, not just what we can afford... My life is of value... what are you worth?
If anyone is interested in what I know please contact me...I did not want this to be another conflict over SCBA's. Hope is has helped.
09-04-2006, 01:24 AM #177
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Bossair - Niosh only requires things to be a certain way before a unit is received by a customer, OSHA has the teeth to fine.
09-04-2006, 11:50 AM #178
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Central Illinois
We Have The Nxg2's And They Have Had Alot Of Small Problems.
1. A Electronic Chip Has Been Replaced In All 70 Of Our Units Twice In Last Two Years. There Only Two Years Old
2. Few Small Problems With The Buddy Breathing System - Free Flowing
3. Quick Connect Freezes In The Winter-hard To Get The Bottle Out Sometimes.
4. Go Through Batteries Like Crazy
5. 20-25 Masks Had Cracks In Them And Had To Be Replaced
If The Would Take Some Of The Electronic **** Off The Nxg2, They Would Be A Good Pack.
09-05-2006, 11:35 AM #179Originally Posted by HOZMAN"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?
09-05-2006, 11:40 AM #180Originally Posted by Bones42
We have had no problems, just routine maintenance battery replacement for the PASS and voicemitters.
The Massachusetts Fire Academy uses the AP-50. Each recruit is assigned an SCBA unit that they are responsible for. These packs are used just about every day in both fire and non fire situations, and they are like the proverbial timex watch.. they "take a lickin and keep on tickin!""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."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
09-07-2006, 12:13 PM #181
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Bossair - how can we contact you?
Currently doing air pack evaluations - and the more info I can get the better.
PM me if you would like.-I have learned people will forget what you said,
-People will forget what you did,
-But people will never forget how you made them feel!
09-07-2006, 03:24 PM #182
Captain Gonzo, a question, as we have just switched to the AP-50s with all their gizmo's in the last few months, are you having any problems with the slotted rings on the waist mounted regulator holder? Of the 20 packs I got, 4 or 5 have come off with the mask, unnoticed by the user until they try to put the regulator on the mask and the "locking" ring is still attached. Guys aren't putting the regulator on the holder anymore and they are getting beat up swinging around. I'm waiting to hear back from my local dealer."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?
09-07-2006, 04:12 PM #183Originally Posted by Bones42
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
09-07-2006, 06:39 PM #184
Originally Posted by Bones42
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
We have had this problem in the past. We have been using the regulator mounts for several years (since they were intorduced) now and I have replaced less than 10 over the years. In examining the problem, the problem is not with the mount, it is with the personnel. After use, they replace the regulator and do not seat the regulator into the mount completly. When they twist the regulator it causes stress to the mount and when removing the regulator the mounting ring comes out with the regulator.
Hope this helps. It is all a matter of training.K-9 hunt, the ultimate challange.
EVERYONE GOES HOME
10-02-2006, 09:00 PM #185
- Join Date
- May 2006
We originally had MSA, you know the ones with the large hose from reg. to mask, then we got some ISI which we had pretty good luck with until they had a ****ing match with their face piece manufacture then we started going back to MSA which are nice, and a few years ago we switched to entirely to MSA, have no problem getting parts we keep certain parts for the face mask on station for repairs and order anything else we need, big problem we have now and is being taken care from MSA is the plastic around the mounting srew for the heads up display on the mask is cracking, other then that extremely nice SCBA's. And also for the point thank you can use them under water, thats fine, but you'll probably need a few guys to hold you down anyway.
Last edited by djgilbert32; 10-02-2006 at 09:10 PM.
10-03-2006, 10:21 AM #186
Four people from my department took a Draeger Level II Tech class a while back. We brought some malfunctioning packs with us so that the instructor (a Draeger developer) could look at them. The sentinels were displaying a goofy code that wasn't in the book, so we got them shipped to Miami to get fixed. A few weeks later, we had them back with new Sentinels, FOR FREE! We've had the packs around 3 years.
I don't remember the gentlemen's name, but he told everyone that he wants us to be satisfied with our products and that he will do whatever it takes to make that happen and that our problems will be solved. He's not a salesman, so it wasn't a sales pitch.
I'm now a Draeger Level II Tech and I can tell you that they are pretty easy to work on if that's a perk to you.TO/EMT CVFD (1219)
Proud Member of IACOJ
9-11-01 Never Forget FDNY 343
10-03-2006, 10:52 AM #187
Not a perk for me,we get the same support from our dealer.In MY OPINION,our packs are just as easy to service as a Drager,and outside of annual bench tests we haven't had to do anything to them anyway.Bossair brought up some good points:I'll address a couple of them.Yes we keep records of repair on our packs.The most commonly replaced part is the little plastic latch clip on the regulator which rounds off over time.Every five years or so you will probably have to replace a regulator diaphram.Yes,we have brand loyalty but it isn't "blind"loyalty.It is developed over many years of dependable service with minimal maintence costs.There is no logical reason at this time to even consider another brand.To do so would be big dollars for what gain? We stock parts for items that can routinely get damaged (like facepieces),O-rings and the like.Our dealer comes up one a year and benches the packs in house so we're never "OOS":. Takes care of any bottle hydros at the same time.One stop shopping,so to speak. T.C.
10-03-2006, 12:24 PM #188
10-04-2006, 12:10 AM #189
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
Samson, I was told by a high-ranking chief from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, that they were switching to Scott Air-Paks in the near future. This chief cited the potential incompatibility issues they have with mutual aid to neighboring departments, Scott's SEMS accountability system, and the fact that Draeger has some details that are very different from other SCBA's such as the regulator being found on the left side, and low air breathing line on the right side, in addition Draeger's style of cylinder connection was also mentioned.
11-21-2006, 10:59 PM #190
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Looking for any dept. or firefighter needing Scott 4500 psi 30 min. NXG2 tanks manufactured 08-2005, we have 8 still new in the box.
11-22-2006, 08:32 PM #191
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
- Shephertown WV
I was wondering if you might conisder donating them to us. WE are a new start up department in rural WV and in need of some air packs. We would like to stay with the scott due to the rest of the cuutny using them. If this is a possiblly please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Chief 7 Bakerton Volunteer Fire.
PS or if you can work us a good deal let me know, thanks
12-20-2007, 07:49 PM #192
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Scott Air Packs
As I read all of this it amazes me as what qualifies as a "sucks" or not. With several years in this business it is scary on how some departments make thier purchasing desicions. What some departments think is important is actualy totaly irrelevant. Only time will tell if the decision was correct or not and unfortunately few will ever admit it when it was not. With Scott, Globe, Bullard, TFT as part of my product line I have nothing to appologize for when suppling my products to a FD. The biggest thing is how department are misslead by information on lesser quality products and they fall for it. Believe me I know that sales people in this industry are not always honest, however in regards to Scott I have alway seen common sense and staight foward information that any FD can trust.
They know first hand every possible problem or situation that a FD will encounter and have an answer for that. They also quickly acknowledge any problems with packs and correct them. As an example the "cracked" face piece issue was with the lense bezel. This crack was not effecting the seal to the face, nor would the face piece fall off. When this crack is noticed the local dealer is fully prepared to correct with out cost. Most of the information you see or hear is third or fourth hand and lacking accuracy. There is always important information that FDs seam to leave out of the conversation. Let keep it relevent guys.
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