It is so important to know how to use an SCBA properly!
It is the basic piece of PPE that we all wear to protect our respiratory system from exposure to Immediate Danger to Life or Health (IDLH) environments.
Recently, I was conducting a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus training session at a local fire department. This particular department was being trained at the User-Level operation of SCOTT® SCBAs. Each member of the department had been previously trained on the use of the SCBAs and had used the same type for a lengthy period of time.
The one common theme I witnessed that night was the uncertainty of how to use the SCBA. Here’s an example – the PASS alarm. Every SCBA manufacturer has its own method of resetting the PASS alarm after it’s gone off. In reference to the SCOTT® equipment this department was training with, two pushes of the yellow reset button are required to stop the PASS alarm and reset it. There were many users during the training who pushed the reset button twice for everything – including the manual PASS alarm activation button. By doing this, it not only can cause the SCBA to work improperly, but can also create other issues that need to be dealt with. When the SCBA goes into its pre-alert alarm, the user simply has to either move the SCBA itself or push the yellow reset button once. After that, the PASS alarm resets back to its normal operation mode.
Knowing how to use equipment properly is key to its effectiveness.
Make time to get to know your equipment inside and out. Your life depends on it.