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interchangability of scba bottles

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  • RFDACM02
    replied
    Guess what folks, you're not going to save any money regardless of the rules. You think MSA, SCott, Interspiro, Draegar, et als will just suck it up when they're told they can't require their bottles on their packs? Let's see, what might they do? maybe raise the price of the SCBA to cover the lost revenue? Is this warranted? I don't know, maybe Congress can tell us if these folks are making record profits and should be banned from raising prices. Their businesses that exist to make a profit, just because we use their products for good things doesn't make them build the stuff out of the kindness of their hearts. They have employees to pay as well. Meanwhile, NFPA forces the apparatus industry to increase apparatus costs by tens of thousands and we just take it, while our budgets shrink and firefighters are put into the unemployment line, but at least we've got our red/yellow chevrons and hose nets, nevermind all the idiotic electronics that are making apparatus less safe in the name of safety because some FD's can't use discipline in todays feel good society. Instead the rest of us pay for the mistakes of a few.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 04-13-2011, 10:32 PM.

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  • RFDACM02
    replied
    Originally posted by Rescue601 View Post
    So, if the tech who hydros the cylinders is trained to remove and reinstall the Scott valve then why couldn't he install said valve in an SCI cylinder?
    Does he work for you or is he an official Scott tech? Like so many other things in business, when a company holds your certificate you must play by their rules. If you violate their rules then any work you performed is outside the scope of your certification. In the end, yes it may be just a way of keeping their margin of profit, but I think there are too many people out there looking to cob together the cheapest parts and still call their SCBA a Scott, MSA or whatever.

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  • DeputyMarshal
    replied
    Originally posted by Rescue601 View Post
    So, if the tech who hydros the cylinders is trained to remove and reinstall the Scott valve then why couldn't he install said valve in an SCI cylinder?
    Presumably because a tech, being properly trained in his job and equipped with a little professional integrity, would know that he couldn't certify the bastard assembly as safe or legal for use in SCBA.

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  • RFDACM02
    replied
    Originally posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    RFDACM02, for the most part spot on. Most manufacture's however, do train fire departments to be technicians for their respective brand. I am an MSA tech for my military unit. My fulltime employer also has about 15 firefighters that are indeed Scott technicians. This is usually done with larger departme ta where it is more cost effective to handle it, instead of sending items out all the time.
    I have seven Scott field techs, but none can install a valve in a cylinder, that's not allowed as I understand it. Some work is meant to be done by field techs, some work is not. We aren't allowed to open pressure reducers or mess with cylinders. maybe that's just Scott?

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  • Rescue601
    replied
    Originally posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    2. Can a bottle be purchased without a valve and have the valve installed and be used as the same as the bottle tested with the SCBA system?
    Answer: No. How can the manufacturer be responsible to guarantee the bottle if someone, other than their authorized service tech, installs the valve. Even when you use the same exact components (SCI bottle and Scott valve) if you're not certified to install the valve by Scott (an your aren't cause they don't allow it) then the bottle is not approved. In fact I think you'd fail to meet the second bottle emergency exception as well as the bottle itself wouldn't meet any SCBA manufacturers spec if they didn't certify the installation.

    That's my take after asking these questions of many people over the years.
    So, if the tech who hydros the cylinders is trained to remove and reinstall the Scott valve then why couldn't he install said valve in an SCI cylinder?

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  • The nots so new FNG
    replied
    BUT - this question is not really for large fire departments. This question is for smaller departments (especially volunteer) where the costs are not easily thrown aside. If you take a smallish career department with a shift staff of 50 FF, you will have 100 bottles. (maybe more but this is an easy number). In your budget, the savings of $500 per bottle ($50,000 total) may pale in comparison to the salary portion of your budget. Now, goto a volunteer department with 15 airpacks and 30 bottles. This is now a $15,000 issue and that has real issues when the total budget may be $20-$25,000.

    As for the valve issue - if the interpretation is that a manufacturer tech must install the valve to be a tested assembly then almost none of the departments around me are in spec. We send our bottles to the local hydro shop. They are not tech's for the various SCBA manufacturers and they pull the valves, test the bottles, and reinstall the valves.

    I hope NIOSH/OSHA will take good look at this and come to a reasonable solution. My personal opinion (submitted) is that they should separate the valve/tank from the SCBA assembly in testing. Basicly require the SCBA to operate within a set of parameters for gas flow, cylinder size and service pressure. Also, in doing this, they should create a new set of standards that a valve/tank must adhere to and each SCBA would then be rated to use a set of 'standard' bottles. This would remove the need for the 'Emergency' use clause and guarentee that the tank/valve used would meet the required size, flow rate, valve configurartion and threading for a specific SCBA when interchangability is required during emergency situations.

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  • JTFIRE80
    replied
    RFDACM02, for the most part spot on. Most manufacture's however, do train fire departments to be technicians for their respective brand. I am an MSA tech for my military unit. My fulltime employer also has about 15 firefighters that are indeed Scott technicians. This is usually done with larger departme ta where it is more cost effective to handle it, instead of sending items out all the time.

    Leave a comment:


  • RFDACM02
    replied
    There seems to be two issues here.
    1. Can any other bottle be used with an SCBA other than the ones specifically tested and approved by the manufacturer?
    Answer: Yes, in an emergency any replacement bottle certified for SCBA use may be used. This means the SCBA must start with an approved bottle in it and go back into service on the truck with an approved bottle. This alone proves some willingness of the regulatory bodies to accept another certified bottle for use. Otherwise there would be no interchangeability rules. One might be questioned as to whether buying spare bottles from another brand/not tested specifically with your SCBA, constitutes the emergency. I believe they intended the emergency to be for mutual aid situations.

    2. Can a bottle be purchased without a valve and have the valve installed and be used as the same as the bottle tested with the SCBA system?
    Answer: No. How can the manufacturer be responsible to guarantee the bottle if someone, other than their authorized service tech, installs the valve. Even when you use the same exact components (SCI bottle and Scott valve) if you're not certified to install the valve by Scott (an your aren't cause they don't allow it) then the bottle is not approved. In fact I think you'd fail to meet the second bottle emergency exception as well as the bottle itself wouldn't meet any SCBA manufacturers spec if they didn't certify the installation.

    That's my take after asking these questions of many people over the years.

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  • Rescue101
    replied
    Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    The answer is that it's an irrelevant question.

    But, it if it'll make you feel any better: Of the three, OSHA is the only one that has regulatory authority. To the best of my knowledge, my department isn't intentionally violating any OSHA regulations.
    Not really. The point is VERY few depts are in 100% compliance will ALL rules and reccomendations. Mine included. Now the cylinder issues is another can of worms entirely but it still leads back to the big three regulatory agencies. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 04-13-2011, 02:31 PM.

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  • JTFIRE80
    replied
    Like I said in my original post, I would not use them in my department. I was simply pointing out the fact that there is no one out there that can follow every rule, regulation, standard, code, etc...

    That said, I always look at the worst case scenario. If it goes to a lawyer, like almost anything can anymore, you will lose hands down. As was mentioned about the "consensus standards" (NFPA), you won't get a fine, but very well lose in a potential civil suit. In the eyes of the law, weather you know or don't know you are going against what is the consensus standard, you will be found at fault. Try to claim ignorance (which IMO is an excuse for laziness), and you will again be spanked.

    Wasn't trying to start an argument, just stating that there are many different Acronym's that we should be following, but we can't follow them all.

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  • DeputyMarshal
    replied
    Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
    The question was: DOES YOURS(follow ALL nfpa.Niosh and Osha)? T.C.
    The answer is that it's an irrelevant question.

    But, it if it'll make you feel any better: Of the three, OSHA is the only one that has regulatory authority. To the best of my knowledge, my department isn't intentionally violating any OSHA regulations.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rescue101
    replied
    Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    First to fall, you mentioned 3 organizations. Only one of them creates laws and only indirectly at that.

    Secondly, intent requires knowledge. It's possible to break a law unknowingly with all the best intentions. There's a distinct difference between breaking the law unintentionally and doing so with the full knowledge of what you're doing.



    Most don't. But then the ones that they're legally bound to follow are just the ones that are actually law. All of them should be following all of those and most certainly shouldn't be willfully breaking any of them.
    The question was: DOES YOURS(follow ALL nfpa.Niosh and Osha)? T.C.

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  • firepundit
    replied
    Originally posted by Capt387 View Post
    Where do you get that? It plainly states directly in the link:
    My bad. Should have been paying better attention.

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  • Capt387
    replied
    Originally posted by firepundit View Post
    Well, what do you know:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/revi...1/default.html

    NIOSH is currently taking public comments on 42 CFR Part 84 until the end of the month. Follow the link and let them know your thoughts.
    Where do you get that? It plainly states directly in the link:

    Public Comment Period
    Interested persons or organizations are invited to participate in this process by submitting written views, recommendations, and data. Written comments on the document will be accepted through March 31, 2011 in accordance with the instructions below. All material submitted to NIOSH should reference Docket Number NIOSH-221. All electronic comments should be formatted as Microsoft Word and make reference to docket number NIOSH-221.

    Comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. EDT on March 31, 2011

    Leave a comment:


  • firepundit
    replied
    Well, what do you know:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/revi...1/default.html

    NIOSH is currently taking public comments on 42 CFR Part 84 until the end of the month. Follow the link and let them know your thoughts.

    Leave a comment:

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