The cylinder is a 9 litre water capacity or 1800 litre air charged to 207 bar or 3000psi. Brigades have at present only one cylinder on each set. The contents is 45 minutes usuing an average of 40 litres a minute.
Cylinders are at present changing to carbon composite lightweight throughout the country. A slip on cover made from nomex or plastic is placed over the cylinder to prevent scuffing and general marking of the cylinder.
Newly introduced to Carlow Fire Brigade is a cylinder valve handle which is on a spring and has to be pulled out to turn off the cylinder. This was introduced after air had been turned off when a valve rolled closed while coming down a stairwell with the valve wheel rubbing on the railing.
Previously made from stainless steel but changing now to polycarbonate heat resistant plastic.
The cylinder is held on via one or two straps. The backplate is designed with the comfort of the wearer in mind.
Made from black nylon webbing. The waistbelt incorporates a stiffener so that it comes easily to hand when donning the set. Buckles are snap fit glass reinforced plastic. The shoulder harness is padded with loops for the air hoses.
A Bourdan type gauge, this is measure in bars ( 1 bar =14.7 psi) and reads up to 250 bars( 3675 psi). It is luminous and waterproof with a blow out back which will vent full cylinder pressure in the event of a failure of the pressure system.
In addition to the set and cylinder each set must have the following items attached before entry into an incident. It should be noted that wearers will be refused entry if these any of these items are missing.
Distress Signal Unit
A device which signals that a firefighter is trapped and needs assistance. Also incorporated in some models is a evacuation signal in case of possible building collapse etc.
The Dixtron DSX Mark 2 is the one described here. This is an electronic device permanently attached to each set. Before going into the incident a magnetic key (attached to a tally) is slid from the device which activates the D.S.U. If after 30 seconds the device does not sense any movement it go into pre-alarm mode activating a alarm. If after another 10 seconds the wearer has not moved it then goes into full distress alarm and cannot be switched off until the wearer is returns outside and the key re-inserted. This ensures that even an unconscious firefighter can issue an alert.
Once activated the crew begins an entrapped procedure and begins to relax and conserve their air to wait for rescue.
The evacuation signal is a manual button and when the wearer hears or receives an immediate evacuation signal he presses his alarm and retreats outside. Other wearers will do the same.
The tally is a yellow plastic strip attached to the distress signal unit key.
station Comp air no.
Name Cyl press Time in
Before entering the incident he hands it to the Breathing Apparatus Entry Control Officer who puts it in the breathing apparatus incident board. On the tally is the Firefighters name / time in / contents of cylinder and station. This allows the B.A.E.C.O. to determine when the crew should be out and who and where they are.
Small diameter line of 6 metres in length. It is in two section with a clip which releases to extend it to full length. The first section is 1.25 metres and the second 4.75 metres. it is used for firefighter to attach to each other or to a guideline or both.
Intrinsically safe, used to see in the dark!
A small dia. line for the purpose of allowing subsequent BA teams to proceed directly to a fire in a smoke logged building by following the route of the line while attached to it via a snap hook.
The line is housed in a small bag which pays out the line as the team advances. It is 60m (200’) long with 2 separate knots every 2.5m. These knots allow the team to tell by touch if they heading to the fire or the exit. Personal lines are used to attach to this line.
Breathing Apparatus Procedures
Main Points Minimum 2 maximum 5 on a breathing apparatus team. Must maintain physical contact via touch or personal line. Must be out before low pressure air whistle sounds Must deposit and collect tallies from B.A.E.C.O. Must don masks in fresh air and not remove until returned outside. Air and time out calculated on the lowest team members cylinder contents. Minimum contents on entry is 80% of a full cylinder i.e. 160 bar (taken as 170 on station level)
Working duration on full cylinder is 35 minutes with 10 minutes safety i.e. total 45mins.