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  • "SCBA" research & purchase

    We are looking at a possible purchase of approx. 30 scba's to replace our existing. I am currently in the process of gathering any helpful information in regards to the "Scott 4.5" scba. Of course this is a very hefty expense and is something that doesn’t happen very often for us. With this in mind I would just like to know if you were organizing a "SCBA Purchase Committee" what scba's would you concentrate on researching for purchase and why! (Personally I prefer Scott) Any pricing info would be helpful as well.



    [This message has been edited by T.D / 1122 (edited April 27, 2000).]

  • #2
    We too are in the process of purchasing approximately 30 SCBA units. We have looked hard at Scott, MSA, and Survivair. Our members didn't like the Scott because of the location of the regulator on the mask. It seemed that your field of vision down and to some degree outward was obscured. We thought the MSA had the best mask including the ability to communicate in the mask. We haven't chosen a final vendor. We are awaiting "package" deals from both MSA and Survivair to evaluate which one to select.

    Oh, to answer your question, we use our line officers to select the major equipment purchases (SCBA, trucks, etc.) with lots of input from all of the members.

    We had each vendor give us a unit to try out.

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    • #3
      WE have always used Scotts with over 50 units in service. While not a scba tech myself in 25 years I can not recall any Major problems with any of our units. We progressed from the 2a's to 2.2's to 4.5's all with 30 min bottles. we just recently had 6 men complete the scott service training and now do all service and repairs in house. One major item you need to consider is how close is your nearst dealer or service center for the selected bidder and what is there average turnaround time, very important. With the new NFPA regs on SCBA,s for service testing every 2 years etc turn around is going to be a major issue. already dealers are being swamped which is one reason our dept started doing our own work, cost was an other major factor. If I were you I would also look into the service and reliability of each ie.parts availablity, recalls service problems, compatibilty with other depts,mutual aid getting your tanks filled at major incidents,
      Also what is compatible with your existing fill station if you have one. If you currently have Scott 2.2 you don't necessarily have to do all the units at once. we did 5 or 6 at a time 1 vehicle at a time as funds allowed with the first out units first. Whsat ever you do , research it long hard and careful, pick it apart and beat it to death, and ask a lot of what if's.If you can think of any sencario or situation it's important. Good luck and be patient till you are totally satisfied.

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      • #4
        Scott, MSA, Survive Air, Let them fight over which is best, have them come out for a presentation each and convince you which way to go.

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        • #5
          Thanks alot for the input thus far! "Wrench" do you have any idea as to what the cost was to send a person to the training which would enable him to service the packs "In house"?

          One more thing.. how long will they issue a "Loaner" to a dept. to check out? I am under the impression that we will be able to purchase sometime in early January; however I'm making a big push to get it done before then. I agree 100% with taking the time to check them all and would like to do so over a lenght of time so that all can get a chance with the product.

          "Anybody interested in some used ISI's"??

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          • #6
            TD, I'll have to check into the figures when I go to work tommorow and I will let you know. The training did not cost the dept any thing as we sponsered this multi state training and as a result our 6 people got in free.

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            • #7
              TD, I talked to the SCBA officer today and found some info for you.
              The turn around time as well as the labor was the big facter in deceiding to do are own work. It cost the dept about $8000 to by the test equiptment, the computor and the Scott software. tthey also spent about another $2000 for things like a work bench , special tools and some plumbing changes to our old refilling setup to supply air to the test setup.some of the electrical work such as extra outlets and lighting was done in hose by one of the men who is a licensed electrician. also in that number was the cost of purchasing spare parts such as o-rings and other small service kits. I was told that the cost of the training would have been about $600 per man if we had to pay.It will take a little time to recoup your cost but inthe long run you will come out saving on the labor which is the biggest part. Each of the 6 men are assigned 1 rig to maintain it's SCBA. so far in 1 month they are about half done with the 60 units with about 10 or 12 units requiring some minor repair of some sort or other. They usualy get 1 or 2 units done on a shift and many times do them when we work nights which would be time lost if they were sent out. Do't forget that you will also save shipping costs if you are not close to a dealer. If you do deceide to go with Scott , My officer said to call a Bill Verry who is the Scott Training rep at 973-635-7376.
              The one requirement is that there is a ccontract which states that you are doing this work for your own dept and not setting up your own shop to do service on other depts units for a fee, or as side business.
              Hope this helps you and if you have any other questions we can help you with e-mail me at
              [email protected]

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              • #8
                Our department has over 100 Scott packs, and most everyone I know loves them. We have been using them for years with all the updates. The only other pack that compares is the Interspiro with the Hatch system which my volunteer has used for over ten years (we just got the Hatch part) Everyone there loves them too. When we bought the Inters we tried every pack known to man and most did not work like we wanted or were not fireman proof. Scott and Inters are or seem to be. Don

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                • #9
                  Now I'm partial to Scott. However another consideration may be what your mutual aid companies use. Consider that in the selection process as well.

                  I've used extensivley, Scott, Interspiro, Surviveair, MSA, and Drager packs. Their all really good. They all have their problems. They have all copied Scotts Mask Mounted Regulator (MMR). The problems I have found with the MMR from MSA, Survive Air and Drager is that operating it with a gloved hand is very,. . . No, VERY! difficult. Above all the ability to "plug in" is the most difficult on the MSA. Drager is the next hardest followed by Survive Air. Interspiro has the regulator built in to the mask. The only problem here is cleaning.As far as serviceability I've only had 1 Scott 2A fail on me and that was fixed in the field, by me, with my leatherman and the exhaust from an engine to de-ice the thing.
                  I have had numerous failures with MSA, none of which were field fixable. I had 2 failures with Drager and Interspiro both MMR problems both fixed by the factory rep. I can't count how many problems I had with the Survive air, evrything from bypass failures to broken primary regulators to 2nd degree burns beacouse of the stinkin face piece material. But it could just be me.
                  My recommendatrion in ranked order is:
                  1. Scott
                  2. Interspiro
                  3. MSA
                  4. Drager
                  5. Survive Air ----> or Survive Scare as I call them.
                  Just my opinion. By the way,Chief taylor is right make them sell you their products. Get them all out and play with each of them, under live fire conditions if possible.

                  Alex C.

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