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  1. #1
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    Default San Antonio SCBA failures

    I read about the problem San Antonio Fire Department is having with o ring failures in their SCBAs (http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...d=46&id=45674). Can anyone tell me what brand they use?


  2. #2
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    Default Answer

    I found out they use Interspiro.
    http://www.interspiro-us.com/

  3. #3
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    Default scba

    They called us to ask about ours since we have Interspiro and yes we have had the oring problems to. It is the very small oring that sits in the tip of the connector to the bottle. Rapidly opening the bottle will sometimes cause the problem. Not a biggy to replace but it has to be done right. Some guys will peel the oring off the seat and try to just slip one back on. The allen head screw has to be removed and then the o ring placed on and then the seated screw put back.

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    Default

    There are a couple of guys from SAFD, on this forum, that could shed some more light on the subject.

    They just recently switched from Scott to Interspiro. I hope no one was hurt because of a crappy pack.

  5. #5
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    Hey guys, I don't want to get too much into this discussion because the city and the SAFD are having ongoing "discussions" with Interspiro to work out a myriad of performance/safety issues. Basicly the main issue is with the o-ring system and high pessure hose coupling working loose and dumping air at inopportune moments. We have had some close calls and there are a few tempers flaring right now. I personally (and I'm sure I'm not alone) really really wish we had stayed with Scott.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Does the department still have the Scott's in storage that they took out of service?
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

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  7. #7
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    Default

    Unfortunatly no. From what I understand we had to "trade in" our old packs and bottles to Interspiro, who probably destroyed them. Most of our bottles were at or near their service expiration date.

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    Default

    If I'm understanding this correctly, this Oring design (being retained with an allen-head screw) is also on our Scott packs. Isn't this a standard CGA fitting? I've had the same problem happen to our packs when guys don't thread the connection on all the way before they open the bottle. 4,500psi will blow that O-ring right out of there!

  9. #9
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by SAFD46Truck
    Unfortunatly no. From what I understand we had to "trade in" our old packs and bottles to Interspiro, who probably destroyed them. Most of our bottles were at or near their service expiration date.
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  10. #10
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    Default

    MSA will blow o-rings as well. Correct me if I'm wrong, but once you pressurize the Scotts and MSAs, and you don't blow the o-ring - you'll be fine. You know immediately with these if you've got a problem, as soon as you turn the bottle on. Is something different with the Interspiro? Our blown o-rings are almost always during truck checks, and always when the connection to the bottle isn't tight.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801
    MSA will blow o-rings as well. Correct me if I'm wrong, but once you pressurize the Scotts and MSAs, and you don't blow the o-ring - you'll be fine. You know immediately with these if you've got a problem, as soon as you turn the bottle on. Is something different with the Interspiro? Our blown o-rings are almost always during truck checks, and always when the connection to the bottle isn't tight.
    That's what I thought. I see it more when guys are in a hurry to change out a bottle - either at a call or doing training, especially the "toxic bottle change."

  12. #12
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    Default Latest Update

    Interspiro has been given until Friday to give us some damn answers to their POS SCBA malfunctions. Talks are already underway about scrapping them and going with a different manufacturer (cough...*scott*...cough). Thank God.

    Fire Dept. Corners Company Over Faulty Equipment
    Interspiro Has Until Friday To Provide Answers

    POSTED: 7:26 pm CST February 1, 2006
    UPDATED: 7:48 pm CST February 1, 2006

    San Antonio's fire chief has given an equipment company until Friday to respond to concerns over leaky air tanks and masks that are supposed to help firefighters breathe.

    The Southwest Research Institute has been investigating potential problems associated with the self-contained breathing apparatus manufactured by Interspiro.

    Fire Chief Robert Ojeda said Wednesday that the initial investigation turned up several problems.

    According to Ojeda, the tests showed leaks could occur with less than a quarter turn of the hand wheel, which regulates the airflow. With more than a quarter turn of the wheel, the study reported, the seal could blow.

    Ojeda said a locking device is being installed on the apparatus to keep the wheel from moving.

    The city issued a letter to Interspiro, demanding the company to respond to the issues and requests brought up by the study, and also asked the company to provide a date when solutions would be provided and implemented.

    Ojeda said no injuries have been directly tied to the problems, but firefighters have been told to put their safety before anything else when fighting a fire.

    Many firefighters, including Ojeda, made it clear that they don't have complete confidence in the gear.

    "I have some concerns," said Ojeda. "We have adopted our responses, our procedures in order to enhance this apparatus, so we can be a little bit more at ease with the safety of our firefighters. But, we're not real confident in it."

    The department purchased 403 of the breathing apparatuses from Interspiro for about $2 million.

    They have been in use since June 2005.

    Ojeda said talked are already under way to decide how to replace the faulty gear and purchase new gear, should Interspiro fail to address and correct the problems.

  13. #13
    HNFC FF/President mdoddsjffhnfc's Avatar
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    Default

    we've never really had any problems with the o-rings on our scott packs, glad we got em. Hope everything works out for you.

    Stay Safe
    Firefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001

    CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
    "GOOD GAME!"

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    Default

    No confidence in our equipment? Not a good situation. SAFD46TRUCK, I hope you guys get the answers you need and the problem goes away.

    With the SCBA problem making the headlines right now, what other equipment in service out there is cause for alarm?

    I know we all have our favorites and some of those among us will refer to some equipment as pure junk, but overall, I believe our tools have proven to be worthy over the years. Lately, it seems that quantity has overtaken quality. Will premature equipment failures become more common? I hope not.

  15. #15
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    Default

    Yes, I'm very curious to see where this goes. As anyone can tell you, I was dead set against getting rid of our Scotts. But, I gave Inters. a fair chance, and have seen too many failures to have any faith at all in them. I watched one blow off it's air while the guy was standing on a ladder doing nothing to cause it to do so. I know several people who have had them fail inside working structures, ... I can only imagine how they must feel strapping these junkers on every time they go in.

    We'll have to see what happens.
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    Default

    Check out this story, guys:

    SAFD Says They're Returning Air Tanks
    LAST UPDATE: 3/23/2006 5:52:22 PM
    Posted By: Michael Campion
    This story is available on your cell phone at mobile.woai.com.

    After numerous equipment failures that could've turned deadly, the city of San Antonio announces that they're getting rid of all 400 of their fire department air tanks and are looking for a new manufacturer.

    The city's been working with Swedish based company Interspiro for months after their breathing tanks continued to fail. The company sent solutions to some of the problems, but was often late, and not giving the response the city hoped for.

    The city manager's office also says they'll go after the $1.8 million it spent on the old equipment. And if Interspiro doesn't return the money, the city could sue.

    LINK

  17. #17
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    Hoorayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Default

    Good! Hope you guys get nothing but the best!

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  19. #19
    Forum Member THEFIRENUT's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rhorton45
    Check out this story, guys:

    SAFD Says They're Returning Air Tanks
    LAST UPDATE: 3/23/2006 5:52:22 PM
    Posted By: Michael Campion
    This story is available on your cell phone at mobile.woai.com.

    After numerous equipment failures that could've turned deadly, the city of San Antonio announces that they're getting rid of all 400 of their fire department air tanks and are looking for a new manufacturer.

    The city's been working with Swedish based company Interspiro for months after their breathing tanks continued to fail. The company sent solutions to some of the problems, but was often late, and not giving the response the city hoped for.

    The city manager's office also says they'll go after the $1.8 million it spent on the old equipment. And if Interspiro doesn't return the money, the city could sue.

    LINK
    I know the USAF has a new contract with MSA. We too are getting rid of our Interspiros. Since the AF has a low fire rate, most of the air packs failed during training (thank goodness). Congratulations San Antonio, hope it will be a quick change-over!!! (we can dream can't we?)
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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  20. #20
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    Default

    Are you saying that the MSA's the USAF are using has the same type of failure?

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