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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Default All SCBA's to be obsolete in 2007?

    An article published in the October 2005 Fire Apparatus magazine states that FEMA/IAB is railroading the NFPA 1981 technical committe to standardize all SCBA bottles beginning in 2007. The short version would be that all bottles will be limited to 2216 psi with standardized threads (no Scott quick-connects), and baby blue (like that matters). I don't know if the proposed threads will be compatible with present bottles or not.

    The potential impact of this would be huge on all departments large and small. Anyone else have news on this?
    ullrichk
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  2. #2
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    If anyone feels strongly on this issue, they should be aware that you all have a voice on the NFPA Standards making process. Here is the revision cycle from the NFPA website:

    Revision Cycle Information:


    Proposal Closing Date: 1/7/2005
    Report on Proposals Mailing Date: 12/23/2005

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment Closing Date: 3/3/2006
    Report on Comments Mailing Date: 8/25/2006

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notice of Intent to Make a Motion Closing Date: 10/20/2006
    Posting of Certified NITMAM: 11/17/2006

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Revised Edition Date: 2007

    You can submit your proposals and comments online.
    http://forums.nfpa.org:8081/pcsubmit/pctop.html

    Here is how the code process works:
    http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp...rocess%20works

    Every single proposal or comment is read by the entire committee. Every single proposal or comment is discussed. Every single proposal or comment is voted on. You will recieve a letter stating the disposition of you proposal or comment.

    Word to the wise: DO NOT write a comment that says: "This sucks!". It will be voted out very rapidly. If you are submitting a proposal, make sure it is for specific language and has a strong rationale. If you are submitting a comment, make sure you have researched your answer and provide concrete reasons either supporting or going against the proposal. It helps to provide alternative language.

    NO ONE should bitch about this if they have not taken the time to participate int he process. Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 10-17-2005 at 10:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    FEMA couldn't find an elephant with diarrhea in a foot of snow. This would be another unfunded mandate by the feds that would cost the taxpayers of this country at $240 Billion to bring each and every FD into compliance.
    ‎"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

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk
    An article published in the October 2005 Fire Apparatus magazine states that FEMA/IAB is railroading the NFPA 1981 technical committe to standardize all SCBA bottles beginning in 2007. The short version would be that all bottles will be limited to 2216 psi with standardized threads (no Scott quick-connects), and baby blue (like that matters). I don't know if the proposed threads will be compatible with present bottles or not.

    The potential impact of this would be huge on all departments large and small. Anyone else have news on this?
    Brother ullrichk..

    Do you have link to the story or to Fire Apparatus magazine?
    ‎"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

  5. #5
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    If anyone feels strongly on this issue, they should be aware that you all have a voice on the NFPA Standards making process. Here is the revision cycle from the NFPA website:

    Revision Cycle Information:


    Proposal Closing Date: 1/7/2005
    Report on Proposals Mailing Date: 12/23/2005

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment Closing Date: 3/3/2006
    Report on Comments Mailing Date: 8/25/2006

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notice of Intent to Make a Motion Closing Date: 10/20/2006
    Posting of Certified NITMAM: 11/17/2006

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Revised Edition Date: 2007

    You can submit your proposals and comments online.
    http://forums.nfpa.org:8081/pcsubmit/pctop.html

    Here is how the code process works:
    http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp...rocess%20works

    Every single proposal or comment is read by the entire committee. Every single proposal or comment is discussed. Every single proposal or comment is voted on. You will recieve a letter stating the disposition of you proposal or comment.

    Word to the wise: DO NOT write a comment that says: "This sucks!". It will be voted out very rapidly. If you are submitting a proposal, make sure it is for specific language and has a strong rationale. If you are submitting a comment, make sure you have researched your answer and provide concrete reasons either supporting or going against the proposal. It helps to provide alternative language.

    NO ONE should bitch about this if they have not taken the time to participate int he process. Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
    Excellent advise George. I have sent in my comment.
    Now I will start growing a beard really long so I can wet it and use it to breathe through.
    IAFF

  6. #6
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default

    I am pretty sure this will have a hard time coming to fruition. We just bought brand new Scotts. We won't be replacing them anytime soon.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  7. #7
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    Default

    Answer: You know everything about everything...find them yourself.

  8. #8
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    I can sort of see two things at work here...one of them is that SCBA bottles of similar pressure are already sort of standardized. A lot of people will tell you that putting one manufacturer's bottle in another's pack is mixing and matching a rated assembly and it is true. But that is only one piece of the puzzle, next there has to be a failure of some sort. The obvious question is what sort of failure is likely to come of it? The only two I can see is the strap(s) not fitting tight enough, which should be prevented by observation before hand, and something going wrong with the connector, which should be a standard CGA (except quick connects of course). If there is no failure in either of those places, which there will likely not be, and the SCBA still fails, due to a product defect, then the SCBA manufacturer will likely still try to get out of it citing the mismatch but they won't have much of a leg to stand on. Their product would have failed no matter whose bottle was attached...don't misconstrue this to say I am advocating mix and match but I am trying to point out what I see as a misconception. These new bottles will likely fit where the old did so long as the SCBA is 2216 or 3000 psi and manufacturers will probably certify their SCBA to work with the new bottles either as-is or with minor modifications.

    Next there is the broader issue of NFPA mandating or "suggesting" more and more stuff that is unattainable, off the top of my head I think of staffing levels, replacement of apparatus, probably 1901, etc. If they go on doing this their status as a nationally recognized standard will become compromised, as a good lawyer in a court case will point out their many standards that are not adhered to, unattainable, or were designed by apparatus and equipment manufacturers to increase their own sales volume by artificial obsolescence.

    Also this would be a gross regression in technology for many of the more agressive (well funded) departments who have gone to 4500 long ago. It would compromise the safety of their firefighters and so they would have a great reason not to follow this proposed section.

    Personally I think it would arouse the ire of a lot of chiefs and higher ups and will be shot down in committee before long. It might be nice to have a stated standard for all bottles of a certain pressure though, that they must be interchangeable regardless of manufacturer, so long as the pressure is the same and then just stick with the current color code. That would leave out the quick connect people though but I think the intent of this proposed reg is to have some form of standardization so on larger incidents which call for mutual aid to large cities that aren't used to calling for mutual aid, things could still be made to work.

    Birken

  9. #9
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default

    Time to buy shares in Scott/Draeger/Interspiro methinks. As the Gonz says, this will cost the taxpayer millions to implement and for what benefit? Why not implement stockpiles of relevant sets and ancilliary equipment with those Depts percieved to need it? Large cities such as NY, LA, etc will be better off with these than a small, one engine Dept which is never going to get a call to assist a city on the other side of the country. The UK has gone down this route with "New Dimensions" equipment, which include Mass Decontamination Units, High Volume Pumping Units and for metropolitan Fire Brigades, BA Support Units, which provide a large number of BA sets on a truck, with refilling capability.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  10. #10
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    I have looked at the membership of this Technical Committee. It is, as all NFPA Committees are, evenly split among the various disciplines. I am a member of a Technical Committee. It is not uncommon for a small segment of the membership to come in with a proposal they feel very strongly about and try to persuade the committee to accept it. Most, if not all, of the members take their responsibility seriously. I have not seen any evidence of a member putting profits or special interest ahead of their vote on the committee.

    They will listen to reasonable, well researched comments with a basis in fact. They are turned off completely by comments based on emotion. Remember, none of you have actually read the proprosal yet. It has not been published.

    I would not hold my breath that this proposal will pass the comment phase. That is, unless there an articulable, rational reason for it to be passed.

    Let your voice be heard.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    I have checked Fire Apparatus magazine's website and there is no link to the article in question. If I have time, I'll try to post more of it some time today.

    According to the article, the proposal is not up on the NFPA website yet because the offical proposal/comment period is not open yet. Also stated was that attempts to get this approved as a TIA were not successful. I didn't find anything at FEMA, DHS, IAB, or USFA websites, though my searches were only cursory so far.

    We're scheduled to replace all our SCBA with 4500 psi models with a FIRE Act grant this year and I'd hate to see the money wasted on equipment that will be obsolete before it's delivered.

    I suspect at least part of the story must be accurate to make it in a nationally distributed trade journal. Before I start on a rant with NFPA or anyone else I'm trying to find out the whole story.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    George - can you clue us that don't know everything into how to review the proposed document? I've found where I can preview the existing edition, but haven't found the newly proposed document. Perhaps it isn't even available yet for review?

    PM me if necessary. I'd appreciate it...

  13. #13
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    Perhaps it isn't even available yet for review?
    That is exactly correct. The ROP appears to be scheduled for release in 12/2005 or 1/2006.

  14. #14
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    At FRI in Denver this year, the Air Force was exhibiting a prototype SCBA that will make whatever you have obsolete in a couple years anyway. It was a vest with 15 egg shaped mini cylinders imbedded in it-each holding about 2 minutes of air. It weighs about 3 pounds and could fit UNDER your bunker coat. No changing the bottles, it's got a fill port for refills. It's just a technology demonstrator at this point, but WOW. If I could ever figure out how to post pics, I would

  15. #15
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    Here's a hypothetical question...

    If a troll posts and nobody answers, did the troll really post?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Here's a hypothetical question...

    If a troll posts and nobody answers, did the troll really post?
    I bet I know who has the answer to that.....

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    FEMA wanted to abolish 10 codes too, and they did real well getting that accomplished.

    Whatever happens, our 4500s are brand new. I suspect we'll have them for a good 15-20 years more, regardless of what NFPA says is proper.

    While the magazine doesn't have the article online, the front page of the October issue is, and it clearly shows FEMA is the culprit looking at change.

    Fire Apparatus Magazine
    Last edited by npfd801; 10-17-2005 at 02:11 PM. Reason: spulin'

  18. #18
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    Are we sure that we are talking about the Federal Emergency Management Agency and not the Fire Equipment Manufacturer's Association?

    I'm having trouble figuring out where the feds have a dog in this fight. It's going to effect them, too.

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    Im not at all an expert at this, but isn't the NFPA written as a STANDARD and not a law? With this being said, there are many fire departments that currently do not follow some NFPA standards and continue to operate just fine. The NFPA has standards for wildland fire fighting and I still see photos of firefighters in parts of the country wearing bunker/turn-out gear during wildland fire. My point is that just because the NFPA makes it a standard, does not mean that the agencies have to follow it...

    Who knows, my comments may be wrong and out of line. Help me understand.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    A reply to an inquiry to the publisher of Fire Apparatus magazine (and a speedy one I might add):


    We will be putting it up on our website soon, but it is OK with me for you to
    reprint it for the Forum members as
    long as you mention that it's a front page story in Fire Apparatus Magazine
    (and let them know where they can e-
    mail to get a free copy sent to them & a subscription form.) The address is
    "administration@firemagazine.co m"
    Or, send them to our web site at www.fireapparatusmagazine.com. The story
    should be up on the site sometime
    Tuesday.


    This SCBA thing is a real can of worms. Some manufacturers think they will
    make a "killing" on selling all new
    packs and air bottles but they don't want to take a position one way or the
    other because they know what a mess
    it will cause for fire departments. The net result will be that "nobody" will
    have compatible bottles even in their
    own fire department for several years to come.

    Anything you can do to get some attention would be helpful. The NFPA Technical
    Committee is really split as they
    don't want their "authority" to write standards taken away by FEMA/Homeland
    Security which has threatened to
    issue "Federal Administrative Rules" under if NFPA doesn't conform to their
    request.


    C. Peter JÝrgensen
    Publisher



    Karl A. Ullrich" said:

    > I commented in the Firehouse forums at Firehouse.com on the October 2005
    front page story on FEMA's
    proposed changes to the NFPA SCBA standard. The article has generated a
    considerable amount of interest
    already. Would it be possible for you to publish the article on your web site,
    or would you consider granting
    permission for me to reproduce the article for the forum members?
    >
    > Your consideration is greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Karl A. Ullrich
    > Lieutenant, Union City Fire Department
    > Union City, TN
    If we don't get any calls this evening, I'll try to post a copy. It's long and I don't have a scanner or OCR software. If you're patient, you can check out their web site tomorrow.
    Last edited by ullrichk; 10-17-2005 at 05:13 PM. Reason: minor formatting change for clarity
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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