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FireRescue1 Survey: SCBA/Air Products


In April 2013, FireRescue1 conducted a survey on SCBA/Air Product use and trends in the industry. We have posted the results to the survey below.

Highlights:

86% of those polled say the majority of firefighters in their department wear SCBA during overhaul and vehicle fires.

66% of those polled say the functions of their SCBA are very easy to use.

73% of those polled say they would not change to a different SCBA brand if they had the chance.

32% of those polled say their SCBA has experienced a minor failure.


See the rest of the survey results below:
 

Question 1: How many active members does your fire department have?


SUMMARY: 60% of respondents have less than 50 active members in their fire department.
 

Question 2: Is your department:


SUMMARY: 57% of respondents work at volunteer departments.
 

Question 3: Do the majority of those in your department wear SCBA during overhaul and vehicle fires?


SUMMARY: 86% of respondents say the majority of those in their department wear SCBA during overhaul and vehicle fires.
 

Question 4: How would you rate your harness for comfort?

SUMMARY: 68% of respondents rate their harness as somewhat comfortable.


Question 5: How often do you perform SCBA inspections?

SUMMARY: 30% of respondents said they perform SCBA inspections weekly.


Question 6: How old is your department's SCBA?

SUMMARY: 35% of respondents said their department's SCBA is between 5 and 10 years old.


Question 7: When will your department likely purchase new SCBA?


SUMMARY: 31% of respondents thought their department would likely purchase a new SCBA between 1 and 3 years.


Question 8:  Has your SCBA ever failed?


SUMMARY: Over 30%
of respondents said their SCBA has experienced minor failure.

 

Question 9:  How much confidence do you have that your SCBA will work as it is supposed to?


SUMMARY: 73%
of respondents said they have 100 percent confidence that their SCBA will work as it is supposed to.
 
 

Question 10:  What major component would you most like to see improved on SCBA?


SUMMARY: 35%
of respondents said the pack and hardware is what they would like most to see improved on the SCBA.

 

Question 11:  How easy are the functions on your SCBA to use?


SUMMARY: Over 65%
of respondents said the functions on their SCBA are very easy to use.
 

Question 12: If you could change to a different SCBA brand, would you?


SUMMARY: 74% of respondents said they would not change to a different SCBA if they could.
 

Question 13: Which SCBA would you most likely change to?

28 of 34 respondents said they would most likely change to Scott Safety Systems.

3 of 34 respondents said they would most likely change to Draeger.

3 of 34 said they would most likely change to MSA.


Question 14: How important are the following features or characteristics of your SCBA? (rate 1 (not important) – 5 (very important))

SUMMARY: 89% of respondants thought that Durability/Reliability of SCBA was very important.


Question 15: What features or technologies would you like to see included in future SCBA designs? 

Sample answers include:

"Lighter, lower profile, greater capacity cylinders."

"GPS location device to see where all members are on the fire scene and integrated voice amplifier."

"Helmet, face piece and communications should all be integrated into a seamless unit."

"Built in thermal imaging and built in heads up displays ."

"PASS device temperature sensor that beeps when it gets too hot."

"Low profile bottles for easier maneuvering in confined spaces."

"A better placed knob for unscrewing the bottle from the pack. They are hard to unscrew, especially in the cold weather."

"A radio harness for easier communication when inside the structure."

"5-10 minutes of back up air in case of an emergency."



Question 16: Are you aware of the upcoming NFPA Standard changes for SCBA (NFPA 1981 / 1982 2013 Edition)?

SUMMARY: Less than 50% of respondents were aware of the upcoming NFPA Standard changes for SCBA.
 

For even more information and resources on SCBA/Air Products, visit the FireRescue1 SCBA and Air Products sections.

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