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Do your chiefs/first-out units carry multi-gas monitors?

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  • Do your chiefs/first-out units carry multi-gas monitors?

    We posted the following story today and it got me wondering if your department equips its chiefs and/or first-out units with multi-gas monitors to check the atmosphere on arrival of a "man down" or "unconscious person" call.

    In two of my former departments, we had a monitor on the officer's radio strap and both would be turned on as we arrived at the scene to monitor the environment.

    Kansas Men Killed by Fumes; Responders Back Off
    ...The call initially came in as a possible drowning at a rural saltwater disposal lease about 3 miles north and a mile east of Claflin, but investigators later determined it to be an oil-field accident, Bellendir said.

    Emergency personnel arriving on the scene first found Myers deceased on the steps of a flooded underground cellar-type structure that was part of a saltwater disposal system.

    Emergency personnel were unable to enter the structure because of high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas, which can be a byproduct from the production of oil and natural gas.

    Full story: http://www.firehouse.com/news/109843...nders-back-off

  • #2
    Our first out Engine carries an MSA 4-gas meter. Our second out engine carries a CO meter.
    "A fire department that writes off civilians faster than an express line of 6 reasons or less is not progressive, it's dangerous, because it's run by fear. Fear does not save lives, it endangers them." -- Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    "Because if you don't think you're good, nobody else will." -- DC Tom Laun (ret) Syracuse

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    • #3
      All ladder companies and Battalion Chiefs carry a detector for [I]combustible[I] gases only. They are routinely used for locating natural gas leaks, but can be used for any combustible fumes/vapors. More specialized gas detectors are carried by Squad and Rescue companies.

      The "underground cellar type structure that was part of a saltwater disposal system" mentioned in the article would in all likelihood fit our guidelines for "Confined Space Operations". These are ALL assumed to be hazardous atmospheres regardless of metering. Metering will still be done upon arrival of proper resources and information-gathering from on scene employees should begin immediately. It is very common for both civilian and FD rescuers to automatically enter such an area in order to make a rescue. This can and has led to rescuers being overcome and even killed by the same hazard that affected the victim. Full PPE including use of SCBA is absolutely necessary for members entering the area. Mask sharing with victim is not acceptable. If they are breathing, getting SCBA to victim may be best option as removal will probably be difficult. It will take time and staffing to get a single victim out, never mind multiple victims. Confined spaces don't generally have stairs leading to them. There are often other obstacles to removal.

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      • #4
        We don't have a Chief's vehicle but we carry a multi gas in our first out Engine and in our Rescue since it responds to medicals as the only unit a lot of times.

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        • #5
          Every unit except for the ambulances carries a multigas monitor.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MidazoWHAM! View Post
            Every unit except for the ambulances carries a multigas monitor.
            Same here - 4-gas meters for us.
            Career Fire Captain
            Volunteer Chief Officer


            Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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            • #7
              Fairly progressive gas meter program

              We recently began clipping CO monitors (single gas function) to the "first in" bag on each ambulance and on the bags of each of the town's two other first response vehicles. These stay on at all times (long battery life). They alarm at (I believe) 30 ppm. The primary ambulance has a four gas meter and all first-due engines have four gas meters (one is actually a three gas, but small difference).

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              • #8
                Our department has a 4-gas meter on all of our fire apparatus, ambulance and Battalion Chiefs vehicle, also one HCN detector on a response vehicle stationed at each engine house.

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                • #9
                  Our engines, ladders, and rescues carry 4 gas moniters. The medics (ALS ambulances) do not. I see no reason for a chief to carry a 4 gas moniter because they should be doing incident command not entry, not to mention they are usually a single person unit, so there is no one backing them up, let alone the 2 in, 2 out standard.
                  As for a "person down" call, that's a pretty generic dispatch, 90% of the time it's an intoxicated person in the absence of more detail info.

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