Someone, yourself included, may in fact need to change a bottle at a fire.
We are supposed to go on air on CO incidents if it's over 50ppm. Doesn't always happen, but we're working on it.
Guys generally don't go on air for trash cans, dumpsters, lawnmowers, rubbish in the alley or anything else out in the open, where it's easy to stay out of the crap. But, if someone wants to, cool.
Car fires are hit and miss. Usually we'll just pull the trash line and knock it down, but if I have to get up close and in the fumes and sh-t, I'll wear one, no problem.
All our stations have exhaust systems, and I'd say they get hooked up when backing in 75% of the time at a minimum. This has nothing to do with air management, but I'll play your little game.
Go ahead and be a bad-***, and talk about how little air you use. The air is free, and I like my lungs clean.
Well said SFD,
i believe its safe to say that everyone here knows when they should use an SCBA...whether or not it gets used when/where it should is a different story...there will always be the "smoke-eaters" way of fighting fire instilled in people minds...if you roll out to a house fire and need to do some overhaul or open a trash line on a car fire when you are too close and in the smoke and dont feel like wearing your SCBA even though you KNOW that you should, so be it, you will be the one to pay for it in the end...i, on the other hand, know that each one of us has our days numbered so i dont want to do anything that will speed that up lol...lets get beyond that aforementioned 56 1/2 year mark!
We operate closer to SFD than WhoCares.
And yes, we have exhaust systems as well. And yes, they are connected.
Generally I go on air when I need it. The idea of air managment sounds good, but in all my experience the individual decides. I have to wonder what goes on when "experienced" firefighters don't know when it's time to go on air or leave a hostile environment and that needs to be regulated. I'll make a few enemies now or be accused of being all manner of stupid, but I have to say that while safety is paramount we seem to be regulating our way right out of the fire area. What's next exterior attacks only so that we can guarantee air management, or 2 in 2 out, or a host of other safety regulations that reduce effective and aggressive interior operations. Maybe if a little more time was put into studying building construction, fire behavior and using actual class A fire for training as opposed to "gas grill" training centers, our firefighters would have the knowledge they need to make the right choices. What ever happened to the value of experience? If firefighters don't know when it's time to go on air or worse when it's time to get out...their training has failed them big time.
Bash away guys.
Lt, if using an SCBA during overhaul makes me a pu$$y, so be it. Like I said, air doesn't cost anything, and there's still plenty of nasty sh-t in the air during overhaul.
We have guidelines for air standards in overhaul, but they are rarely followed. We generally stay on air until the air is comfortable to breathe. Not the safest or best. I am on air any time I feel like I'm breathing more crap than I want to, regardless of others' air status. If I'm overhauling a vehicle fire, I might still be on air. I value my lungs. When I retire, I want to be healthy enough to enjoy it.
I have no idea how a low-air alarm would equate to a mayday-level event. Maybe an urgent item, but would you sound your PASS device, call a mayday, give a LUNAR, send in RIT, or bail out of a window? That's ridiculous. I am all about standardizing larger bottles and more attention to air management, as well as making low-air alarms IMPORTANT. But mayday-level? No. We also have guidelines stating that no one shall work in an IDLH environment with a low-air alarm. It does not say that you've got to treat a low air alarm like a mayday.
Enjoy your cancer.
I'm fine with guys breathing air during overhaul if that's the policy or their choice, but I find policies generally lack the ability to address all the hazards so they become a false sense of security. Measuring for CO is only one of many toxic gases you maybe exposed to. Many recent studies show hydrogen cyanide presence maybe more dangerous. Who's measuring for that? What other gases affect your gas meters? I know many FD's have far too little knowledge of their meters to be safe.
We have no policy and probably breathe more crap than we should, but short of an "on air always" policy we'll continue to leave a lot up to what we can see, the individual and chance.
Go ahead and be a bad-***, and talk about how little air you use.
Not going to bash anyone either
It's not about being a "bad ***". I posted, was questioned about it, and posted my answer. My "little game" with you was to find out if you were criticizing me because you are from a 100% safe department that always uses the safest tactics, or if you were a hypocrite that picks and chooses his safety issues by whim. By your own admission your department is hit or miss when it comes to wearing your tanks, and have no monitoring during overhaul with the exception of CO. I guess I'm not alone in "Not getting out much"...
If you're afraid of getting wet, then do it inside and quit ******ing and moaning about the exhaust, at least you'll stay dry.
Easy answer for our air management policy. If there is a fire in the building we go on air outside the door.
Makes no difference if the fire is in the back of the supermarket and we go in the front. On air outside the door.
SCBA stays on for overhaul until CO drops below 20 ppm. Officer or senior man supervising ioverhaul inside the structure always has a CO meter. When it drops below 20, he gives the IC a shout. He will then usually check it out personally and make the final call on losing the SCBA.
Not following the policy will get our paid guys a shift or two off. Volunteers will find themseleves suspended for a few weeks. It's enforced and everybody knows it.
Reality is firefighters will always try to do things the easy way. it's the department's responsibility to mandate that they do things the right way.
At this point we are realigning our training and SOPs to address this new standard.
Interesting old chatter... I'm curious if the guys still feel the same way about how they wear their BAs and their air management.
Read an article that stated the new standard for SCBAs is going to require the low air alarm (vibra-alert for our Scotts) to start to activate at 50% of the bottle's capacity. If this is true (which I am presuming it is) then having to call the MAYDAY when the low air alarm goes off is going to cause a lot of MAYDAYs to be called, FDs will go to larger bottles (just like we did in the past) or for SOPs regarding air management to be adjusted or ignored. I completely agree with my west coast brothers up north and I've seen their air aware/air management policy and their documentation to support their operations (the binders are HUGE).
When I teach guys about air management I use the 1/3 rule that's been adopted from SCUBA. I also teach that if your vibra-alert goes off, make the LUNAR report immediately. We focus on this, train like this and I've seen it implemented on incidents (F/S, armored vehicle fires and haz-mat) which is awesome because we definitely needed a change in our FD.
As far as wearing BAs during overhaul... Do what your SOPs say you can do. We're in the process of changing our tune and are ordering filters for our masks specifically for overhaul.
"Another big change to the standard is the standardization of the personal alert safety system (PASS) alarm sound and pattern, as well as possible telemetry performance requirements based on National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST) research (the latter not determined as of press time).
Shipley says the PASS alarm change moves the activation from 25 percent of air remaining to 33 percent, which will require modification on most manufacturers' SCBA units.
Shane Bray, product manager for MSA Fire, notes that public comment has been taken on the end-of-service alarm setpoint, and although the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) currently sets it at 25 percent, the change in the NFPA standard is the better rule. "The functions of PASS alarms are mechanical and electronic, whether they be bells, whistles, or vibration," Bray says. "The PASS device sound is changing to a standard sound for prealarm and for full alarm where the device can be tracked and located electronically by its sound."
My bad... It's being moved from the current 25% to 33% (not 50%).