July 7, 2016

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Checking Your SCBA

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Fire

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip is for my friends in the fire service and deals with how you check your Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, or  SCBA, during operational checks.

What I want to focus on today is not IF you check your SCBA, but HOW you perform your checks.

Most firefighters routinely go through operational checks of their SCBA

All of you understand the importance of checking this valuable piece of equipment. You rely on it to function correctly during dangerous, life threatening conditions.  

What I want to focus on today is not IF you check your SCBA, but HOW you perform your checks.

If you have a seat mounted SCBA, many of you will turn it on, and run through the operational checks while the SCBA sits in the seat. 

By doing your check this way, your cylinder valve and your regulator are located opposite of where they are when you wear the SCBA

This may not seem like a big deal but remember, operation of your SCBA is one of the most important aspects of your job. Having the muscle memory to locate the cylinder valve and regulator, especially in low visibility conditions, is vital to your safety and survival.

When you are doing operational checks of your SCBA, get it out of the seat and on to your back. 

Perform all of the operational checks with everything in place and where you would find it when you need it most. 

This is a simple change in your normal routine. But it can make a huge difference in how you will react to an SCBA malfunction or failure if one should occur.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.

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