Fire SCBA Tips

  • Clear communications wearing SCBA

    By Mark van der Feyst When wearing SCBA, it can be very difficult to communicate through the facepiece and more so through the radio. All SCBA manufacturers have built into their facepieces a way t...

  • Ensure your regulator is snapped in

    By Mark van der Feyst The majority of SCBAs have a Mask-Mounted Regulator that connects the low-pressure air hose to the face piece and initiates airflow when the firefighter takes a breath. A prob...

  • Ensure your SCBA cylinder is snapped in

    By Mark van der Feyst Some SCBA manufacturers are designing air packs with a quick-connect attaching the cylinder to the high-pressure hose feeding the reducing block. This quick-connect makes it f...

  • Ensure the SCBA regulator seats

    By Mark van der Feyst For those who use SCBAs with a detachable regulator, give a little tug on the regulator to make sure that it is firmly and securely locked in place once on air. Too many times...

  • Wash your face piece

    By Mark van der Feyst Wash your face piece after live fire trainings, actual fires or any calls where you used your SCBA face piece. Removing contaminates reduces your risk of exposure. It also sto...

  • Turn off your PASS

    By Mark van der Feyst During a training session last week, it was very noticeable that everybody's PASS alarms were working. Most forgot to disengage the PASS alarm when doffing their SCBA. This se...

  • Keep a clean face

    By Mark van der Feyst I recently conducted a live burn class for an outside department. I noticed one participants had about a two-day's amount of growth on his face. He was under the impression th...

  • Clean the SCBA face piece

    By Mark van der Feyst The SCBA is face piece is easily overlooked when it comes to cleaning. The face piece is exposed to all kinds of dirt and grime from the fireground and exposure in the station...

  • Check your batteries

    By Mark van der Feyst Most SCBAs have battery-powered components. These items can include the heads-up display, the chest gauge and the voice communicator. The lifespan of a battery can vary, but t...

  • Wear PPE, SCBA on all car fires

    By Mark van der Feyst We mentioned last week about the possibility of dangerous products and materials being present in an intermodal container. The same possibility exists within a motor vehicle. ...

  • Wash SCBA regulator to prevent disease spread

    By Mark van der Feyst Communicable diseases can be transmitted from one person to another by various means. One way that this can occur is through shared equipment such as the SCBA regulator. The r...

  • Refresh the air in stored SCBA bottles

    By Mark van der Feyst How often do you drain the air in the SCBA cylinders? It is good to do so on regular intervals. When a cylinder is stored on a rack or on a fire apparatus, the air inside will...

  • Disinfect the regulator

    By Mark van der Feyst When there are shared resources within a fire department, you must make sure that germs are not shared. Decontaminating the regulator will stop the spread of germs from one fi...

  • Check the date

    By Mark van der Feyst Another aspect of the SCBA check is the hydrostatic date and the manufacture date. The manufacture date will let the firefighter know if the cylinder is within its current lif...

  • Check the RIT connection

    By Mark van der Feyst Whenever an SCBA is checked in, it goes through an inspection process to verify its working condition. This inspection only takes five minutes. There are some small components...

  • Check the battery

    By Mark van der Feyst Every SCBA is equipped with batteries to help it operate vital functions. Batteries can be located within the face piece, the chest gauge, the harness and also in any attachme...

  • Check for the "O" ring

    By Mark van der Feyst During SCBA inspections, the “O” ring should always be thoroughly checked. It’s found on the high pressure hose that connects to the cylinder. This ring plays a significant ro...

  • Air condensation

    By Mark van der Feyst Cold weather operations create problems with SCBA cylinders. When they are stored on an apparatus, the air inside is kept warm and will sustain itself in volume. Once the cyli...

  • Secure the SCBA

    By Mark van der Feyst Most apparatus have jump seats that allow an SCBA to be housed for quicker donning. This innovation is useful, but it’s also a hazard if the SCBA isn’t properly secured. Some ...

  • Extend the straps

    By Mark van der Feyst It is common to find an SCBA without the straps fully extended. This happened because how the previous user doffed the unit. Taking an SCBA off with the straps retracted is no...

  • Dock the regulator

    By Mark van der Feyst Every SCBA has a docking device to hold the regulator when it is not being used on the face piece. By docking the regulator in this holder, we are ensuring the regulator is be...

  • Ensure the regulator is snapped in place

    By Mark van der Feyst The majority of SCBAs have a Mask Mounted Regulator (MMR) that connects the low-pressure air hose to the face piece allowing the firefighter to breathe. The MMR is a technolog...

  • Ensure your SCBA cylinder is snapped in place

    By Mark van der Feyst Some SCBA air packs to have a quick connect attaching the cylinder to the high-pressure hose feeding the reducing block. This quick connect reduces the time and effort it take...

  • Proper PPE use protects firefighter health

    By the NVFCOne of the NVFC's Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities for departments is: Provide and require the proper use of full personal protective equipment (PPE). There are obvious safety re...

  • Best practices for safe and effective communications

    The IAFC recommends that agencies implement the following practices to promote safe and effective communications: 1. All personnel must be trained to use their radios in conjunction with other prot...

  • Portable Radio User Guide

    By the USFA/IAFFRelated Resource: Voice Radio Communications Guide for the Fire Service, Section 4 - Portable radio selection and useUsers and their behaviors have an impact on the effectiveness of...

  • Top 5 Reasons Why Applications Do Not Make it to Panel Review

    There are many reasons why Assistance to Firefighters Grants applications do not make it to panel review. The following five reasons are the most common. 5. Applicant's request does not match progr...

  • Cold weather basics

    During cold,wet winter weather, it's obviously important to stay as dry and warm as possible. Remember that the outer shell of protective clothing absorbs water and can freeze, while protective hoo...

  • Recognize the Hidden Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is a product of incomplete or poor combustion. It's a direct and cumulative poison. Many people encounter CO regularly and never know it because it's invisible and odorless. Un...

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