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30 minutes vs. 60 minutes

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  • 30 minutes vs. 60 minutes

    I was just wondering what your opinions were related to 30minute air bottles vs. 60minute bottles. Our dept. just purchased a few new scott air packs (4.5) and only got 30 minute bottles, i wanted to get the sixty minute bottles, but maybe that is because i still have some of my youth left in me. I would really appreciate some feedback on the pro's and con's of 30 or 60 minute bottles.

    Thanks
    Patrick Marks
    FF/FR
    Spring Hope Fire Department
    Sta. 6

  • #2
    Well, my department policy is three bottles you're out. I don't think three hours of straight interior firefighting is a good idea. Hour and a half sounds much better.Just my thoughts...

    Althea

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    • #3
      We use the 30min all the time. They are lighter on your back. I think the hour bottle on a typical residential fire is a little over kill. Can remember the last time i needed to change my bottle in a fire.

      ------------------
      ** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**

      Comment


      • #4
        We are a small department and we respond with a minimum of five personnel. We have been using the 60 min. bottles for the past 10 years and they definately get heavy after awhile. After knockdown we usually come out and change bottles and then go back in for overhaul. I wish we could go to a lighter 30 min. bottle for the overhaul but everyone of our bottles are 60 min. I'm currently trying to talk the chief into buying some of the 30 min. carbon fiber bottles for overhaul purposes.

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        • #5
          My department uses 60 min. bottles . We currently have fibreglass wrapped and in the next year will be switching over to carbon fiber. I am a strong supporter of the 60 min. bottles. The extra cushion of time for an emergency(ie. if lost in a structure) is well worth the extra weight. Many line-of-duty deaths are attributed to a f/f running out of air. Maybe the extra time in a 1 hour bottle would help. With the comfort of the new SCBA I don't feel that the extra weight is a hazard. Just my feeling , though!

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          • #6
            For those of us who started with steel tanks (and didn't always wear those), ANY size wrapped or especially carbon tank is nothing. I'm definitely not the one to ask though. I have the truckie / mule mentality. My pockets are full of tools, my big butt already weighs in at over 300 when I'm bunkered and BA'd. What's a couple extra pounds at that point? If I were a normal sized person I could see where the weight difference would make a difference.

            Our firefighting situation is a little different here too, though. If we were to actually have a fire, we would be radioactively contaminated. Once we go in, we pretty much need to stay in until the job is done. Our packs have a quick fill connection on the back next to the valve that allows us to top off without coming out of the contaminated area. Since we never get another full tank after the first one, the bigger the tank, the bigger the "half" if you understand what I mean.

            [This message has been edited by pyroknight (edited 02-06-2001).]

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            • #7
              I like the 3000 psi bottles. They have a 40 minute rating I believe. More time and not as heavy as a 60 minute bottle. We don't have them but wish we did.

              Comment


              • #8
                We have both 30 and 60s. The 60s only get used for Haz-Mat, Decon, FAST assignments or some activity where we would be required to wear them for a while. These are only carried on our Rescue. All other packs are 30s. I like the 30s because they are lighter, they give you a lower profile for climbing in or out of windows, breaching walls, climbing under things, etc. Plus, I am a big beleiver in if you are doing interior firefighting for more than 30 mins., and not making progress, you probably shouldn't be interior.

                ------------------
                Mike DeVuono

                "There are few atheists inside a burning building."

                These are my opinions and not those of my department.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Our dept. just got the new MSA with 3000 psi carbon fiber bottles. We still have the 2216 fiberglass for spares and fiberglass 4500psi 1 hr bottles for the Hazmat. The 3000psi bottles are about the same size and a pound or two less than the 2216. While I personally would rather have the smaller and lighter bottle (ie 4500 30 minute), the 3000 is a good compromise. The 4500psi/1 hour bottles belong in Hell.

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                  • #10
                    HarleyGump -

                    I understand your reasoning, I guess, but your argument about "Many line-of-duty deaths are attributed to a f/f running out of air" is just a bit weak. One could make a similar, better argument *against* 60 minute bottles by saying, especially in the last 8 months or so, that anything that adds stress to a firefighter's body (i.e. extra weight, further "encapsulation", etc.) is a very bad idea, based on the recent causes of firefighter deaths - heart attacks and so forth.

                    If you're inside for more than 20-30 minutes on a normal dwelling fire, or even a commercial building, you're probably in too long. Stick with the 30 minute jobbies until they make the 60s much lighter. You need that time outside while changing your bottle to get rehab-ed anyway.

                    Tech rescues, haz-mats, and things of that nature, that will probably result in a lot of time spent on scene in an inhospitable atmosphere, are a different matter. That's the only time I'd consider using a 60-minute bottle.

                    ------------------
                    J. Black

                    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good point Buck, But,
                      We recently had a f/f lost in a factory and that extra time enabled us to find out where he was and access the exterior roll up door with a saw and let him out. Maybe a 30 min. bottle would be fine and will still would have found him but it was nice to have that cushion. Also, we obviously have scheduled rehab at an accepted interval (ie. 20min./30 min.) and I agree that a heat dump and fluid break is important. I guess it is just a personal preference. Good to hear how everyone else operates!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Gump -

                        Yeah, RIT teams and things of that nature, they should probably carry 60 minute jobbers. I'm just saying that the problem of running out of air because you become disoriented is not necessarily addressed by adding more air. It's best addressed by training and drilling, and adherence to a sound and safe search procedure. To me, the extra 30 minutes is not a good tradeoff.

                        Take care and stay safe!!

                        ------------------
                        J. Black

                        The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          good to see replies that aren't slamming each other for their own thoughts or preferences. I come from a small career dept. who only has 10 men on at one time. with limited manpower you could use a short bottle change/fluid break after 30 mins of hard interior work. hour bottles do have their place as well. hazmat is a good example. but for structural use, how many people do you think are going to start thinking it's time to get out after they've used up 30 mins. of air knowing they still have another 30 left. they're going to continue to work up until the service alarm sounds as they do with the 30 min. bottles. I do agree that in a situation such as a lost man, i myself would like to have the extra time. at any rate, let's all stay safe and pray we don't get into a situation where you need to use your last couple puffs of fresh air before you run out. good topic, but as usuall, just a matter of preference. good luck all and stay safe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Our Heavy Rescue and our Air/Light unit carry both 60min and 30 minute bottles. We use the Scott 4.5. The 60 minute bottles are for HazMat workers and confined space workers because of the duration of time we may be at those types of calls. We have packs set up with those bottles for that purpose. For everything else we use the 30 minute bottles. I wouldn't want to be in a fire more than 30 minutes anyway!

                            I would say that the 30 minute bottle is sufficient enough. Our department has a two bottle limit before you are supposed to take a blow. That rule was applied to the 30 minute bottle. I wonder if that still holds true with the 60 minute?? I'm kidding. It shouldn't.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It is great to see the great replies to my question and that you guys aren't talking s&*t like i have seen i some other forums, but I have another Question for you guys, How many of you actually can get a full 30 or 60 minutes out of a bottle? I know that I can't 24 minutes is the most that I have ever got out of a 30 minute bottle and that was running it bone dry in a training situation. Keep the replies coming!!!

                              Comment

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