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  1. #1
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    Exclamation FAST/RIT Team Mishap

    On March 31st earlier this year, we had an incident that involved simulating lowering an injured FF from a roof. The FF was being lowered when the SCBA backplate failed and the FF fell about 7 feet. The FF was injured slightly, but could have been far worse, had he been 3 or more stories high.

    From investigating the incident, it was found that the live and safety lines were anchored at the same point on the SCBA. As well as the SCBA's involved were used repeatedly, and were infact 'in service'.

    The incident was reported at the firefighternearmiss.com database (#06-308) and was used as an example in the August 2006 issue of Fire Rescue magazine p. 134.

    To view photos of this incident, and the SCBA involved, go to my dept's website at:

    http://nfabfirerescue.pbwiki.com

    Be safe!!

    Crash
    Last edited by crashcrewmarine; 10-01-2006 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Added another reason of the mishap


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for passing this information along.

    I'm not aware of any SCBA designed or rated to be used as safety harnesses, I'm sure they get used as such during well-intentioned training by more departments than just yours.

    While harnesses might be cost-prohibitive for some departments, not using them (as you've found out) might be much more costly. A ladder belt or a full body harness fashioned from tubular webbing would be better than nothing during training.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re:

    I agree. Our dept. uses the FFRED system. We were training with another dept. when this happened. Our dept uses the InterSpiro SCBA, where the shoulder and waist straps are one strap. We certainly don't trust doing this with those. The dept we were training with were using MSA's.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Most importantly, thankfully no one was seriously injured.

    I can't say I'm at all surprised by what happened, considering the MSA frame is made from a lightweight composite material. Clearly the straps held while the frame itself cracked. Had the lines been attached to a metal frame pack, more than likely it wouldn't have happened. Still, using the pack frame for an operation like that should be the very last life-or-death resort, no matter what material it's made of.

    I believe some SCBA manufacturers are starting to incorporate approved harnesses into their packs. I still prefer either an external harness or, better yet, one built right into the turnout gear.

  5. #5
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    Why would you use the scba harness to lower him? Extremely irresponsible during a training evolution. In a dire situation - totally different story- but for training ??

  6. #6
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    Default none

    FirstDue, you really got me. This is being taught at the NYS Fire Academy.

  7. #7
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    perhaps you guys could try using a double figure 8 on a bight. make the loops big enough for the legs to go in. or put up a ladder to the roof?window put the rope through a rung close to the top, run it to the bottom and make like a brake bar with the rungs on the bottom. if FF is unconscious or unable to support himself with legstraps then use a normal figure 8 on a bight and put it under his or her arms. glad nobody got hurt i think their was an airpack that had a rit back integrated into it. i think it was MSA not sure.
    J

  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We have used FF's in SCBA during raising and lowering for years. The frames have held up well. I will admit though, our safety line is secured to the FF by their Gemtor harness and not the SCBA, only the primary line is on the SCBA. Having a hard time imagining having both lines secured to the same point.....kind of defeats the purpose.
    "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?

  9. #9
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    We have used FF's in SCBA during raising and lowering for years. The frames have held up well.
    Just curious, were the frames metal ala Scott, or plastic like the MSA that cracked here? I suspect yours were metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Having a hard time imagining having both lines secured to the same point.....kind of defeats the purpose.
    Indeed. I guess they thought the sole purpose of a safety line is in case the primary line itself fails. Unfortunately, they didn't consider what would happen if the attachment point fails but the line holds up just fine.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Metal. Scott's and Survivair's.

    Never really considered taking plastic into a hot environment.
    "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?

  11. #11
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    Crash,
    After reviewing the article and the pictures several times I have a few questions.

    1) Did the people that took the course say that they were only taught to capture the frame or were they told to capture both straps of the SCBA?

    2) Regarding they safety line, did the people that took the course say that they were taught to use a carabineer on the same harness they were lowering from or were they told a ladder belt or safety harness should be used for the victim’s safety line?

    3) Looking at the picture when the FF was making the transition over the edge, did the break occur when the load was shocked or was it later?

    4) What corrective action was taken to your procedure after the accident?

    I use MSA and your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
    IACOJ

  12. #12
    Forum Member clancyxdogg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcfd45
    perhaps you guys could try using a double figure 8 on a bight. make the loops big enough for the legs to go in. or put up a ladder to the roof?window put the rope through a rung close to the top, run it to the bottom and make like a brake bar with the rungs on the bottom. if FF is unconscious or unable to support himself with legstraps then use a normal figure 8 on a bight and put it under his or her arms. glad nobody got hurt i think their was an airpack that had a rit back integrated into it. i think it was MSA not sure.
    J
    I just hook carabiners to the big holes in my ears.

  13. #13
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    Talking

    Don't you mean the holes in your head.
    J

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    Metal. Scott's and Survivair's.

    Never really considered taking plastic into a hot environment.
    If it's hot enough to melt the thick hardened plastic on an SCBA backplate, you're F#@$-d anyway my friend.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  15. #15
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    Default none

    Mulldog,

    Our dept doesn't do this type of FF evac. We were training with another dept. that does do this, or well used to now; merely for training purposes. My dept uses the FFRED system which is incorporated into our bunkers, but it's a 'one time use' until it's inspected and tested for service again. I originally went there to use my FFRED device, but was quickly told that. I was geared up and going to head up the ladder next for my turn, but since this happened, training was stopped. But, the FFRED system needs the FF to be concious to use it. A downed FF would have to be lowered another way, which is why we were training like this.

    Our dept uses the InterSpiro, which does have a metal backplate, but with the straps on it, I wouldn't even think about using it for this. I've done SCBA work on older BMR MSA's, and I knew that their packs incorporated a cable in the harness straps, which I had enough confidence that they'd support atleast my weight. I really didn't give it a thought on the backplate failing at all.

    I wasn't real keen on this type of FF rescuing operation before this, and definately not now. But, this training is curriculum of the NYS Academy, and has been done several times before. There was a NYS Instructor there teaching this class.

    We all put our trust into the equipment, but also the into the training system.

    The caribineers were anchored at the same spot. The full weight of the firefighter was on the live and safety lines.

    In my opinion, I don't think any dept should be doing this. The SCBA Manufact.'s have all said it - the harness' are to support the SCBA to the FF, not the FF to the SCBA. I understand that there are SCBA's out there now that incorporate harness' that are made for doing this. But any dept that can't afford them, or afford any life safety harness', how are you going to afford to lose one of our own?

    I reported this to FFnearmiss so that some sort of awareness came out of it. And it seems like it's paying off, and hopefully preventing any LODD's. Sharing the photo's of it definately reinforces the nearmiss report.
    Last edited by crashcrewmarine; 10-03-2006 at 02:02 AM. Reason: missing words

  16. #16
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    Consider making the "Hastings" harness out of webbing and putting it underneath the training victims gear. Use that as your safety point. For a "ladder as a high point" or similar rescue in which we will use the SCBA shoulder straps, we try and hook through both shoulder straps behind the victims neck. When lowered, it is almost like a confimed space type lower. Having that Hastings harness under his gear, the two lines (live and safety) would be next to eachother and allows the simulation to proceed. You ensure more safety on the training victim. I hope that this is helpful.

  17. #17
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    the new style of msa backplate has been redone so that it is much stronger. our department experienced some similar problems doing nance drills, pulling guys up through the floor. while we didn't have a full failure like this one we did crack some back plates, sometimes just from guys grabbing them and pulling on them. i think that a slink link mast device is perfect for a situation like this because it is a quick full body harness. it is also possible to use multiple times unlike the ffred.

  18. #18
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    Default not a harness

    MSA backplates have built in grab bars on the backplate and a place to hook on a carabiner to help facilitate in dragging a downed firefighter. Not all turnout gear being used has a DRD. I don't believe MSA or any other industry that makes SCBA's intends for firefighters to use a backplate to replace a harness.

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