Thread: SCBA Facepieces

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    Default SCBA Facepieces

    Since it looks like the Gator that I had asked about earlier is a low priority, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on SCBA facepieces. A few years ago a few new SCBA's were purchased with facepieces. However, the facepieces were never fitted and we ended up with all larges. These facepieces truly only fit a few members of the department. I was wanting to get others' thoughts on applying for fitted facepieces w/ voice amplifiers for everyone on the department that is currently not properly fitted as well as getting the equipment to do the proper fit-test. Has anyone been successful or heard of departments applying only for the facepiece portion of a SCBA? Thanks for your inputs.

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    Lots of folks have gotten/are going for that project. Fit testing is the only way to meet the compliance for face pieces. Depending on the situation, you may not be very competitive for the machine ($7000 I believe), but most vendors have a machine and charge for doing it. You can include those costs in the project instead of the machine.

    - Brian

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    we got 22 new facepieces last year. One for each fireman. With 10 voice amps and brackets for each.

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    You could always just save yourselves the trouble and get Drager SCBA's. We have NEVER had a problem with them fitting anyone!!!

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    But to be compliant you still must have documentation of a fit test. Otherwise the department is liable if something happens because the standards were not met.

    And regardless of manufacturer, no single mask fits everyone. I've used about 6 different brands included Drager and not everyone's standard sized mask fit me. They are made for average faces, and it doesn't take long to find a pile of non-average sized faces, be they smaller or larger. Fit test is the best way to put the right sized mask on the right firefighter.

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    I don't think it matters what brand you go with, everyone should be fit tested and this is why we are where we are now. Several years ago when these were purchased, everyone was just happy to get away from the demand SCBA's that they didn't care whether or not the facepieces fit properly. This is why we are stuck with all large masks and after several years of forcing them to fit everyone they probably now fit nobody correctly, we need to take the proper steps and be fitted appropriately.

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    Now hold on and please don't call me stupid!! I wasn't trying to say don't fit test, I was just telling you that Drager has a double seal and fits 85% of it's users with the one mask... I absolutly agree with fit testing!! I was just saying that most mask come in 4 or more sizes and drager only has 2 Regular and XL.

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    We have 2216 Scott which have been problem free except for improperly fitting facepieces and at the current point in time, it would no sense to switch brands (just got 12 new carbon fiber bottles). Drager may be better, but I think if we can get the funds to get properly fitted facepieces, $15k-$20k will solve our problems for a long time.

    Does anyone who has been successful have a sample narrative? We would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks

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    JD, wasn't suggesting you're stupid by any means. But we have more than Regular and XL sized faces in our department and even with the double seal it doesn't fit everyone. We have a good range of people sizes with 120 folks.

    ia - www.firegraphics.org. I have a few SCBA ones that people sent me with personal masks as part of the project.

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    I agree fella, do the fit test and get it right the first time.

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    iavolff,

    Are you applying for any other items besides facepieces? Based on what we are charged for facepieces (state bid price), you would be looking for 75-105 facepieces.

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    Voice amplifiers as well

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    I'm assisting with a regional project this year where 7 out of 11 fire departments in the county are going to request around 70 SCBA's. The other 4 departments (mine included ) have already received new SCBA's from AFG. The grant committee decided at the last meeting not to request fit testing and individual fit testing. From everything I've read above it sounds like that is not the way to proceed. Any advice anyone would like to offer will be forwarded onto the committee for reconsideration.

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    Default Facepieces and Voice AMPs

    Our situation is a little different than yours, but the much the same also. As part of our grant we revamped our entire SCBA system from a combination of Scott 2.2's, Survivair Panthers, and Survivair Mark 4's? To entirely Scott Air-Pak 50 4.5's.

    As part of that revamp we conducted a fit test for everyone through our sales company. They came down to our station and in about 4 hours fit tested 16 guys for $40 something a pop. Obviously this is the only way to be compliant, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Knowing my guys are wearing masks that they won't have to fight to use and that will seal properly. Before we had three different types of masks, and all were larges, I fit tested for a small, what does that tell ya.

    We also got the voice Amps’, they were $250 or so a piece, but well worth money. Solid Communications is the foundation of a safe and effective fire ground, and the Amps’ help to facilitate those communications.

    Even though you aren't applying for the entire SCBA (or are you?) I don't see why you couldn't apply for the masks and the Amps’. Emphasize your desire to be compliant and facilitate better communications.
    Some people may have 30 years experience; others may have had only one experience, repeatedly, for 30 years.

    "Follow Me"

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    One of the things that you can do is have the committee review NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1981 2002 edition. They need to have an understanding of what is required especially in regards to firefighter safety. After reviewing the 2 standards hopefully they will change their minds, that individual facepieces and fit tesing is needed.

    This is one quote that I used in my PPE narrative. NFPA 1500 states,
    "The fire department shall provide each member with the appropriate protective clothing and protective equipment to provide protection from the hazards to which the member is or likely to be exposed”
    (NFPA, 2002, 1500-7.1.1).

    Another route that you could go is that of liability. They would be held responsible in a court of law from deviating from a known standard if something tragic happened to a firefighter. Even though NFPA standards are consensus standards (unless adopted), we are held to those standards.

    9 years ago we converted to Scott 4.5's. At that time all members were issued facepieces that were fit tested to each individual. Just as it has been stated in other posts, you'd be surprised what size mask fits each firefighter. The company looked at me and thought a large, I was tested and fitted to an Xlarge.

    Another advantage to individual facepeices is that you are not spreading germs to one another. If you share facepieces, how do you know it was cleaned and disinfected properly after each use.

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    We received $$ this year for a portacount plus and a computer to operate it. This was in conjunction with SCBA upgrades that we are doing.

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    WrightofGCVFD

    Even though you aren't applying for the entire SCBA (or are you?) I don't see why you couldn't apply for the masks and the Amps’. Emphasize your desire to be compliant and facilitate better communications.
    Yes they are going to ask for the complete SCBA.

    The grant committee decided at the last meeting not to request fit testing and individual fit testing.
    I messed up here this should have said they were not going to request individual fit testing and individual facepieces.
    Thanks for the replies

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    you said you've purchased a few new pacs , are any of your pacs 2002 compliant if they are not i would request to upgrade all your scba and include individual facepieces and price the test cost into the grant (most port-a-count tests will be $30-40 each . we got an 03 grant to do this and after fit tests ,ordered 4 small , 12 med and 6 large for our scba crew the new pacs are quite an improvement over pacs just a few years old

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    NCC328C,
    You said you recieved $$ for a fit tester, was this from a AFG grant? If so could I get a copy of your narrative section for reference. I would like to apply for one this year and could use some help.

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    Last year was awarded SCBA, spare bottles, individual masks, mounting brackets, fit test unit, and face peice adapters for fit test unit. Send me an e-mail.

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    Send me your email address


    Quote Originally Posted by ccmfcchief
    NCC328C,
    You said you recieved $$ for a fit tester, was this from a AFG grant? If so could I get a copy of your narrative section for reference. I would like to apply for one this year and could use some help.

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    NCC328C,
    Please send it to chiefseitz@mercerfire.org
    Thanks

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