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  • Need gear advice.

    Our dept. just received a grant and we are purchasing new gear for the first time in about 10 years. We have narrowed it down to several options but we need advice from you guys.

    Turn outs: Globe or Sperian

    Air Packs: Scott, MSA or Interspiro

    Any feed back would help greatly. Pros, cons or whatever.

  • #2
    Here is my advice:

    Do not limit your options.

    1. Find every make of gear and airpacks that are represented near you and have the sales reps come in. They will all give you the dog an pony about why they are great and the rest are crap.
    2. Find out LOCALLY who provides the best service and support.
    3. Get samples to try (of the air packs) and put them through some tough tests (mazes, ladder climbs, using tools, and anything else that you can think of) and do them so that you are tired at the end so that you are testing the air flow of the units.
    4. Have everyone in the department rate the units based on some tangible criteria, i.e. fit of mask, seal, ease of strap use, weight of facepiece
    5. Determine what will work best for YOUR department and your BUDGET
    6. Ignore anyone that says "we use ***** because they are the only real units out there" or "we use **** because that is what we have always had". If they don't have good reasons such as fit, support, and usefulness, they aren't really helping.

    Everyone has their favorites and their own opinions. When it all comes down to it, every manufacturer has to meet NFPA. Anything past that is bells and whistles. It is up to you and your department as to what bells and whistles are important and what costs will fit your budgets.

    When we wenth through this process, we determined that Draeger was by far the best unit out there, but the cost (batteries and up front) did not make it that much superior to ISI. We went with ISI because it was a better fit to our department and financial situation than the Draeger. The support was closer (as in the rep) and we got a better feel with him than the Draeger rep (not that he was bad). But we first put all of the packs we could find through a series of tests to determine what we felt was the best pack.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by caveman205 View Post
      Our dept. just received a grant and we are purchasing new gear for the first time in about 10 years. We have narrowed it down to several options but we need advice from you guys.

      Turn outs: Globe or Sperian

      Air Packs: Scott, MSA or Interspiro

      Any feed back would help greatly. Pros, cons or whatever.
      Wow, this is easy. Yes.

      Get the manufacturers (and there a lot more out there) together. Have them bring you some demo gear. Try it on - have your firefighters there to try it on also.

      Same with Airpacks. Let the people using them decide.

      Personally, we went with Globe and Draeger, but that was only after considering service and support on the airpacks. Then our guys tried everything and made their decisions. Being a benevolent dictatorship, I took their recomendation and made my decision. Luckily for everyone it was the same that my firefighters wanted.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
        Here is my advice:

        Do not limit your options.

        1. Find every make of gear and airpacks that are represented near you and have the sales reps come in. They will all give you the dog an pony about why they are great and the rest are crap.
        2. Find out LOCALLY who provides the best service and support.
        3. Get samples to try (of the air packs) and put them through some tough tests (mazes, ladder climbs, using tools, and anything else that you can think of) and do them so that you are tired at the end so that you are testing the air flow of the units.
        4. Have everyone in the department rate the units based on some tangible criteria, i.e. fit of mask, seal, ease of strap use, weight of facepiece
        5. Determine what will work best for YOUR department and your BUDGET
        6. Ignore anyone that says "we use ***** because they are the only real units out there" or "we use **** because that is what we have always had". If they don't have good reasons such as fit, support, and usefulness, they aren't really helping.

        Everyone has their favorites and their own opinions. When it all comes down to it, every manufacturer has to meet NFPA. Anything past that is bells and whistles. It is up to you and your department as to what bells and whistles are important and what costs will fit your budgets.

        When we wenth through this process, we determined that Draeger was by far the best unit out there, but the cost (batteries and up front) did not make it that much superior to ISI. We went with ISI because it was a better fit to our department and financial situation than the Draeger. The support was closer (as in the rep) and we got a better feel with him than the Draeger rep (not that he was bad). But we first put all of the packs we could find through a series of tests to determine what we felt was the best pack.


        I'll say that what he said is correct.

        Get sets of gear and scbas for field testing. You will not be sorry.

        You don't by a pair of shoes or a suit with out trying it on and walking around in the mens department to see how it feels. Why buy fire gear off a shelf and not try it out. Sames goes for a car. You test drive it before you sign your life away!!
        Stay Safe and Well Out There....

        Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

        Comment


        • #5
          Nah.. just go with what some nameless guys on the Internet say.. how could that be wrong?

          Seriously, the above posters nailed it. My only contribution (other than snark) would be to maybe cull your list down based on paper specs and requirements and then bring the top 3 in for field testing. Otherwise you're going to have a lengthy process field testing every unit.
          So you call this your free country
          Tell me why it costs so much to live
          -3dd

          Comment


          • #6
            Like the other guys said, get demos and have the reps come out with their equipment.

            We just switched to Globe gear and I seriously doubt we will ever purchase anything else. Everyone loves it.

            We got new MSA's just over a year ago and I like them, but would not mind having the new Scott paks.... I've used them in teaching some classes and they seem great.
            ------------------------------------
            These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
            ------------------------------------

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
              We got new MSA's just over a year ago and I like them, but would not mind having the new Scott paks.... I've used them in teaching some classes and they seem great.
              Just put new SCOTT packs in service. They're heavier then the old SCOTT packs but seem to sit better so the weight is less noticeable. My only complaint so far is that the new mask is bigger/heavier then the old one. I feel like Darth Vader wearing it.
              So you call this your free country
              Tell me why it costs so much to live
              -3dd

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by caveman205 View Post
                Our dept. just received a grant and we are purchasing new gear for the first time in about 10 years. We have narrowed it down to several options but we need advice from you guys.

                Turn outs: Globe or Sperian

                Get test sets and have YOUR guys tell you which brand they like. Personally, I prefer Bristol and Morning Pride.

                Air Packs: Scott, MSA or Interspiro

                Same as above. I have used all 3. I prefer Scott, the MSA Firehawk is a VERY close second, HATE interspiro. I used Interspiro when I worked for the WiANG. I found it heavy, uncomfortable on my back, the face piece regulator controls small and difficult to operate, and that damn Spiro hatch was like sucking air through a straw.

                Any feed back would help greatly. Pros, cons or whatever.
                Get samples, try them out, buy what your guys like.
                Last edited by FyredUp; 03-04-2011, 04:09 PM.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with the other guys. You should really have the distributors come out and demo what they can offer you.

                  With that said, I will answer your question....

                  We chose Globe gear, over several others but the closest in comparison to them was sperian. Sperian gear has a GREAT fit, although I had just recieved a new set of sperian gear a year prior to recieving our grant so I was familiar with it. The only complaint that I had was that the built in DRD sits too high on the neck of the coat. I could not bend my head backwards comfortably with the coat zipped and velcroed all the way up (which made interior tasks VERY difficult and usually left me with a sore neck for a few days after a big call)

                  They say that the issue I experienced with Sperian has been addressed, so if you like it and don't see the issue I had, Sperian was cheaper for us but we couldn't pass up the superior comfort of the Globe gear. Above all else, TRY IT OUT!

                  Now as for SCBA...

                  We chose MSA, basically because we had mostly MSA before with Dragers as our back ups and we wanted everything to be the same, so that is our reasoning, nothing more. SCOTT makes a good pack and all the guys seemed to like it but we had no issues with MSA and the service was better for us.

                  GOOD LUCK!

                  Congrats on the grant and...

                  STAY SAFE!

                  FD5
                  "EVERYONE GOES HOME... ALWAYS"

                  "Let no mans ghost come back to say his training let him down."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have had demos. I just wanted to hear what people who have used these products in the filed have to say. All of our gear is very old and very used, so I am just looking for some help from people who might have used this stuff.

                    Does anyone have any info on Interspiro? Everyone loved the packs during the demo, but I have read bad things on the net.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We put in 11 ISI packs into service in the last 6 months and have no complaints. The factory rep did have to come out and update the software.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by caveman205 View Post
                        Our dept. just received a grant and we are purchasing new gear for the first time in about 10 years. We have narrowed it down to several options but we need advice from you guys.

                        Turn outs: Globe or Sperian

                        Air Packs: Scott, MSA or Interspiro

                        Any feed back would help greatly. Pros, cons or whatever.
                        Curious to what grant you got?

                        Comment

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