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Thread: SCBA Breathing

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    Question SCBA Breathing

    I've practiced donning/doffing, using the SCBA, but today was the first time I went interior on a fire with it.

    What are some breathing techniques people use? Obviously, being in the best shape would reduce how heavily I breathe.


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    in through the nose, out through the mouth in deep slow breaths.

    or if you are good at it you can try the skip breathing method. this will probably be a very bad description of it but here goes... inhale and hold for about 5 sec. then inhale more and exhale.

    someone else on here might be able to describe how to do it better than i can.

    I've heard stories of guys using 2216 psi 30 minute cylinders and can make them last 45 min or longer using the skip breathing.

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    As you already stated, your fitness plays a key role in how long your bottle will last. Another important element is how keyed up you are. Slow down your breathing and relax. Your air will last much longer.
    Lastly, you enter and exit as a crew. When one of you is low on air, you all exit the building. Before you exit make sure everyone is with you.

    Stay safe,
    Paul Lepore
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    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
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    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Skip breathing....

    Inhale normally, and hold it as to skip the normal exhalation phse, then inhale again as normal...then exhale as normal...the rythym and pattern is the same as normal breathing, however you are only exhaling for every 2 inhalations.

    IN Skip IN OUT IN Skip IN OUT IN skip IN OUT

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikie333 View Post
    I've practiced donning/doffing, using the SCBA, but today was the first time I went interior on a fire with it.

    What are some breathing techniques people use? Obviously, being in the best shape would reduce how heavily I breathe.
    Regardless of whether I'm wearing SCBA or not, I find the technique that works best ofr me is Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out....

    It's kept me going for nearly 36 years!
    Luke

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    Quote Originally Posted by lutan1 View Post
    Regardless of whether I'm wearing SCBA or not, I find the technique that works best ofr me is Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out, Breathe In Breathe Out....

    It's kept me going for nearly 36 years!
    That's the same method I use...What are the odds?!


    As much as physical condition plays a role in breathing, mental/psychological state plays about as big of a role. Try to stay as calm as possible. It takes practice, but if each time you go on air you can extend the life of a bottle by just a few breaths, then after a while...

    Be conscious of your breathing rate. Slow it down by taking deep breaths and not panting.
    I have never been a fan of skip-breathing, but if you try it, and it seems work for you, well...
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
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    Personally, I dont use skip breathing either...but sounded like someone wanted it explained lol. I really think it isnt the process of skip breathing that saves the air, it is the rythmic setof it. It forces you to beath slower and steady and not hyperventilate and such and waste the air.

    So like the other guys say, just stay calm, and breathe as regular as you can, and you will make those cylinders last

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    I remain as calm as possible, and breath in slow, and exhale slow. The more excited you are, the more air you're gonna use.

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    It just takes practice... when ya start out you're gunna suck air.. when ya relax and it seems old hat is when you're going to slow down...

    I've never really had a problem with sucking air, but i've been told singing to yourself also helps ya conserve your air.

    good luck!

    -Damien

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    Since I'm with my crew, I talk to them. Talking will space out your breathing. It helps you relax, and only breathe when you then have to. Just talk in a nice, easy cadence. I know guys that say their ABC's really quiet to themselves, just to get a nice rhythm going for their breathing.

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    Default Humming

    My training company instructor has taught me that if you hum while doing physical activity that it will control your breathing. Nursing rhymes like "im a little teapot" or "you are my sunshine" work great cause their short and easy to remember. This as greatly helped me improve my breathing rate.

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    i use regular breathing to but im going to try the skip method but make sure you know how long u can last on air if ur jsut sitting at he fire house with nothing to do put on your scba see how long it takes for you to run it dry when just sitting around fill it back up and chop wood or do physical activity and see how long it lasts, just make sure you know how long that bottle will last so u dont get stuck in a bad situation with no air

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry4184 View Post
    Since I'm with my crew, I talk to them. Talking will space out your breathing. It helps you relax, and only breathe when you then have to. Just talk in a nice, easy cadence. I know guys that say their ABC's really quiet to themselves, just to get a nice rhythm going for their breathing.
    I find that talking with my crew helps also. It helps 'get me out of my head' and chill out. If I just shut up I find myself getting wound up and breathing heavier than I need to.

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    Building up your Cardio endurance helps, Remain calm and you will use less air, skip breathing is also a viable option for those of us who get more excited.

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