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SCBA PASS and Hazmat Ops

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  • SCBA PASS and Hazmat Ops

    Just wnated some opinions on how you guys deal with PASS and Hazmat response packs. Ours are just for HAZMAT operations and are not used for firefighting. When your stuck in the suit and its the real deal its a little intense already right? Well then add a situation where movement is not a good plan in a particular operation and you get the good ol pre-alarm. Say if you move you blow yourslef and your partner to bits. Not good right? So it takes a little longer than you thought to put the genie back in the bottle and the PASS goes into full alarm. Well now all you hear is "WEE WEE WEE DOO WEE WEE WEE!!!!" in your suit. Your communications link has gone bye bye and your partner is trying to tell you the genie is crawling up your leg, but all you know is "WEE WEE WEE DOO WEE WEE WEE!!!!".

    My opnion is to kill the PASS on HAZMAT packs and label them as such, well so if any of my guys that jump in the HAZMAT truck grab a pack with a 45min bottle that wieghs 900lbs to fight fire they are fore warned.

    Anyway enough bla bla, let me know.

  • #2
    We spec'ed our hazmat SCBA's without PASS devices for exactly the reason you stated. It has worked pretty good. We use a different pack for hazmat and only hazmateers are issued the mask that is used with the pack. We have another brand of pack for fires.
    Fire Captain


    • #3
      I could not agree more. I'm a big advocate for wearing the propper ppe and this falls into that category. As a tech you are often in plain site of other crew members so we will know if you go down.
      The pass is just another thing to get in the way and distract you.


      • #4
        I just took a tech class and it was the only class that the academy supplies the packs for. This way there are no alarms going off while they are trying to teach.


        • #5
          PASS devices

          Just curious. I have heard this conversation several times before. Where does this issue fall within NFPA codes? Are we not required to have PASS devices on while going into IDLH environments?


          • #6
            I'm sure NFPA says that we should be using PASS devices in an IDLH environment. The problem is the PASS is more of a hassle than its worth. Most hazmat entries are done with good visibility. I have only been involved in one entry where we were unable to have a visional on the entrants the whole time.
            Fire Captain


            • #7
              The PASS on our hazmat packs is disabled. The units have a tag securely attached to them indicating that they are for hazmat use only and that the PASS is not active.


              • #8
                Hello all.... I see this is an older post, but am looking for any help at all. We are looking into purchasing HAZMAT-only SCBAs for the same reason-- PASS devices are distracting and potentially dangerous in HAZMAT scenes. How are your departments handling this situation? As far as NFPA compliance goes? Are you just ignoring it? Or what is the work around...Marking/tagging the units...storing them on separate apparatus ?
                Any help/advice would be great! We are a suppression& HAZMAT station, running separate vehicles depending on the incident type.

                Thank you,


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