1. #1
    WFDFire2156
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    Default whats the best type of SCBA??

    I would like your imput on the best SCBA on the market right know. Ive found that Scott, and MSA are good whats ur opionion? I my self have found that the MSA Firehawk with the Heads up Display and voice amps are great.
    Last edited by WFDFire2156; 03-07-2008 at 06:36 PM.

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    I have found the newest MSA scbas to be the best by far

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    SCOTT
    Stay away from SurvivAir, and Draeger.

    Go for Scott, or MSA.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
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    I'd gladly trade my Scotts in to get my Survivairs back.

    Better mask, more comfortable, 10 years of 0 issues.

    But...to the question...what I think is best will be different from what you may think is best and different from what he thinks is best and etc.

    My suggestion to you...try as many as you can, in realistic situations, not standing around in a room. See what local service/support you can get. Go from there.

    What's most common and who has the better sales pitch is not always what's best.
    "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?

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    There are as many answers to which SCBA is best as their are firefighters in the entire world.

    I have personal experience with Scott, MSA. the old Cairns whatever they are now, Interspiro, ISI, Draeger, and even Globe. Oops, forgot to add Survivair to the list.

    I prefer the Scott AP50 and the MSA Firehawk. Both are lightweight, comfortable, easy to operate and easy to breath.

    I adamantly hate the Interspiro with a passion that is almost immeasurable. I used it when I worked for the military and found it awkward, uncomfortable and the controls hard to manipulate with gloves on.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-07-2008 at 08:46 PM.

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    Survivair Panthers are not too bad since they fixed the pesky low-pressure regulator problem. It had a nasty habit of popping-off at the most inopportune times.
    I believe them bones are me. Some say we are born into the grave. I feel so alone, gonna end up a big ol' pile a them bones

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    Whatever is on my back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    Stay away from SurvivAir,
    Why?

    Yes I am fully aware of what happened in Saint Louis. However, there are many large cities who use this breathing apparatus on a daily basis with no problems.

    Conversely I have seen Scott 4.5's so abused by military service members that they are beyond broke. As I pointed out elsewhere, have been handed a Scott 4.5 with only the purge valve attached to the LP air hose to the 2nd Stage Regulator.

    ANY SCBA will be crap if you treat it like crap.

    Having said that, I prefer the Scott for the simplicity of operation. However I have had no problems with the Survivair Panther II and Twenty/Twenty plus mask. Yes there were problems with the inital roll out. Since they have been resolved, they have held up well.
    Co 11
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Scott or MSA. Personally, our Scott 4.5's are good, (45 minute tanks are kinda heavy) but the masks are kinda heavy compared to the MSA, however I found the MSA masks to be too long. But, the MSA's packs seemed a lot lighter, too. I'm more familiar with Scott's packs, and we've had a coupla problems, but nothing too terrible.
    Probationary Firefighter

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    The best kind is reliable, has a good service plan, is tested regularly, and comes battle proven.
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    I have seen and used them all in training over the past few years. As for Survive Air (we call them surprise air) would not recommend on the merit of the St. Louis issue alone. It is like driving a Fore Pinto (I know some of you young pups won't have a clue)and for some reason we in the Fire Service seem to be like the general public's view of us post 9-11 and forgot the big picture. From what I read there was some issue of covering up a known problem with a product.

    There is another famous brand with a exhalation valve built in the the regulator that has been knowingly cross contaminating people for decades so bad that they came up with a new variation they called "the Dayton OH union issue".

    The list can go on and on. Guy's whatever you do research them all. Something I have noticed over some time in my FD experience that if a product has a buzz word in it, for instance a TIC in the past had a "thermal throttle" and in their sales pitch and literature they made us think we HAD to have it. It was truly the weak point as it was a, for lack of better terms, a manual apature, for a visual camera and something you had to adjust while in a house fire. Give me automatic any day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387 View Post
    I have seen and used them all in training over the past few years. As for Survive Air (we call them surprise air) would not recommend on the merit of the St. Louis issue alone. It is like driving a Fore Pinto (I know some of you young pups won't have a clue)and for some reason we in the Fire Service seem to be like the general public's view of us post 9-11 and forgot the big picture. From what I read there was some issue of covering up a known problem with a product.
    Ok. Fair enough. You discount them based only what happened in St Louis.

    Do you even consider that the City of Virginia Beach has been using Survivair for almost 30 years (the very early 80's) without any death or injuries because of the SCBA?

    Do you even consider that the City of Los Angeles has been using Survivair for, heck I don't know I don't work there, without any death or injury because of the SCBA?

    I agree 100% with you. ANY SCBA that is not maintained will be crap. Scott, Survivair, MSA, Drager, etc etc. I have repaired Scott 4.5's for the Navy that were so bad, you wouldn't give them to your worst emeny. Yes what happened in St Louis should be noted, should be a concern and should be researched. What happened there can happen to ANY SCBA.

    But right now they are more worried about making the darn things more and more fancy with bells and whistles, than fixing or making them simplier to operate and maintain.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Default Best SCBA

    SCOTT hands down. All other brands lose 4 liters of air per minute when the low air alarm goes off which is then expelled out into the atmosphere. With SCOTT you get that air. May mean the difference if you become lost, trapped or disoriented and need those few breaths to get out. The new facepieces are much improved and give a much better seal when your face gets sweaty. If you have the training in Survival you'll have to turn your bottle off and back on only enough to get a breath w/out setting the low pressure alarm off in order to conserve that air.

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    Interesting tidbit about the loss of air to sound the low air alarms. I too am a Scott supporter. I have been a Scott user since the days of the old Pak 2's and have always been happy with them. I have had some opportunities to use MSA and I believe it was either Ranger or ISI. IMO, I thought the Scott was the most user friendly while wearing gloved hands. Although I am not big on the nose cups, I prefer the original 4.5 facepieces.

    I think SCBA fall into the same category of bunker gear. You like what you are used, especially if you haven't had any problems. Like Doc said, he has been using Survivair for a long time with no problems. Others will never look at them twice since the St. Louis incident.

    No matter what you have, make sure you are well trained with it and keep it maintained.

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    I love the Scotts, my #1 choice based solely on past expereince.

    As stated, LA City and County have been using Survivair for years and they are very good. A close 2nd.

    MSA is pretty good too and coming out with new and better stuff.

    And Interspiro- If you pick this brand, sorry to be you. By far...low bid.

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    I agree with the theory that you like what you are used to. i am used to the MSA firehawks now. The HUD in the mask and the voice amplifier help out alot. Plus, they are lightweight. When I first joined the fire service we used the old scott packs. I dont even remember what model to be honest. like someone already said, try a few out and get what fits your needs best. But my vote is for MSA.

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    MSA- heavy bulky facepiece with a neck strap on it, no visibility at your feet, loses air to drive low air alarm, seems like they over engineered everything about the pack.

    Scott - streamlined with no frills, lightweight facepiece with great vis.

    i like the scotts much better

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    Scott's all the way! I wear both Scott 4.5 and MSA Firehawk on a regular basis at two depts, and Scott is simply a better product. It is the simplest to operate, the most streamlined, which is a definite plus, and a little less chinsy in my mind. The Scott masks also work better; the MSA fits awkward and is a little bigger and sticks out farther. Again, only my opinion, but I would grab a Scott over the MSA any day. Whatever you do, stay away from the Draeger.
    NorCal Firefighter

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    Scott or msa

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    I would really like to know why several have said to stay away from Draeger?

    They are by far the dominant SCBA in these parts, and Calgary fire has been using them for years without issue.

    I have used most barnds, and I like Scott and MSA just fine. Each has a plus and a minus. Our Draegers have always been on par with any of them. I am actually quite excited to try the new masks as well. The visibility has been one of the few minor points about them, but the new masks look great.

    They are the most common FF'ing SCBA in the WORLD after all. Can't be that bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell View Post
    I would really like to know why several have said to stay away from Draeger?

    They are by far the dominant SCBA in these parts, and Calgary fire has been using them for years without issue.

    I have used most barnds, and I like Scott and MSA just fine. Each has a plus and a minus. Our Draegers have always been on par with any of them. I am actually quite excited to try the new masks as well. The visibility has been one of the few minor points about them, but the new masks look great.

    They are the most common FF'ing SCBA in the WORLD after all. Can't be that bad.
    I HATE the way they fit.
    I HATE the mask.
    I HATE the way the bottle is attached.
    I HATE that we are the only ones that use them.
    How much competition do they have overseas?
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell View Post
    I would really like to know why several have said to stay away from Draeger?

    They are by far the dominant SCBA in these parts, and Calgary fire has been using them for years without issue.

    I have used most barnds, and I like Scott and MSA just fine. Each has a plus and a minus. Our Draegers have always been on par with any of them. I am actually quite excited to try the new masks as well. The visibility has been one of the few minor points about them, but the new masks look great.

    They are the most common FF'ing SCBA in the WORLD after all. Can't be that bad.

    I heard from some other sources Memphis isn't as happy with them. They are supposed tobe one of the US largest users. Maybe MemphisE34a can add a bit of the guys in the field, not chief's position on them.
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    My fire company and hazmat team both use Scott SCBA's and I haven't had any problems with them yet so I prefer using them over any other SCBA's.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
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    wow, I had no idea about the low air warning air loss. Good info. I was completely sold on the new Survivair Warriors. Such a comfy pack. I guess the salesmen aren't going to tell you the negatives though. lol

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    My department is going through an evaluation of SCBAs right now for an AFG grant. We are going to replace 100% of our current air packs.

    We brought in Scott NGx7s (with new quick connect), MSA Firehawks, the new Survivair (changed the company name to Sperian?), and the new Draeger pack.

    We have been using Draeger for over 15 years.

    Draeger - Pro most comfortable pack, better field of vision than old mask. New mask very streamlined, new straps can be deconned easily. Backplate very easily adjusted for different sizes of fire fighters. New quick change bottle very easy to change with gloves on, 10 sec to remove, replace bottle. Improved ease of connecting regulator to mask Con 2nd most expensive quote, few departments in area using, makes getting service more difficult, low-air whistle uses air, quick change connector requires an adaptor for compressors, cascades to fill them. This would create an additional thing we would have to make sure we took with us when we mutual aided or went for outside training. Brand new design, having difficulty getting 2007 compliance, no field history with new design, don't know how it will hold up long term

    Scott - Pro - Tied for lowest bid, best field of vision, easy to get serviced, best pricing, easy to operate, low air alarm is uses little air, quick change bottle very nice, doesn't require an adaptor to fill from compressors or cascade systems. Comfortable mask, easy breathing, one set of batteries powers all the electronics, proven design with good track record Con 2nd heaviest pack, not quite as comfortable as our current packs, cross contamination potential for 2nd stage regulator (Scott swears everyone has this problem, not sure I believe them)

    MSA - Pro - Tied for lowest bid, lightest weight pack that we tested. Good field of vision Con no local service (like Draeger), not very comfortable compared to Scott, Draeger. Old style screw on bottle changes

    SurviveAir - Pro Other departments in area use older SurviveAir Con Most expensive pack quoted (over $1000 more than Draeger) Heaviest pack we tested by far, most uncomfortable pack by far. Old style screw on bottle changes, no local service center, New design with no track record. Most uncomfortable nose cup, fogged up when not on air the fastest.

    We are strongly considering switching to Scott after doing our evaluation. We would like to stick with Draeger for comfort/training reasons, but their difficulty getting 2007 compliance, no local service, unique quick change connector is giving us 2nd thoughts.

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