Firefighters: How to Avoid Resistance to New Technology


For firefighters, breathing apparatus was once viewed as a cumbersome delay to fighting fires.  From dismounting the apparatus, removing the SCBA from a cabinet, and then donning a heavy steel cylinder, many fighter fighters would resist wearing them, or dump them once inside the front door of a burning building.

However, technology has now provided breathing apparatus that is lighter and more reliable.  Not many fire fighters doubt its value.  Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) were introduced years ago as stand-alone devices.  Just as SCBA was considered a nuisance, PASS was also.  Eventually, the Nation Firefighters Protection Agency (NFPA) developed a standard in 1982 which led to a hybrid SCBA with an optional integrated PASS alarm.    The value of this device has been realized over time.

 Air Compressor Filters – Do No Harm

The risks involved in using a filter-type respirator in low-oxygen-level areas are reversed with the Last Chance device.  No harm is done by wearing the Last Chance and if there is enough oxygen present, the chances of survival are greatly increased.  This is especially true if a fire fighter runs out of air and there is not enough oxygen in the room.

For a lost firefighter, there are particular tactics that can be performed to increase the ventilation to the structure.  Several studies have indicated that ventilation has a direct impact on the inside environmental conditions.  Proper ventilation can decrease the spread of fire, reduce the presence of toxic gasses, and increase oxygen.

Compressor Parts – Oxygen Availability

A 2006 Yale University study found that in residential structure fires, Carbon Monoxide (CO) poses a greater threat to a firefighter’s life than oxygen deprivation or even heat.  The most recent study found that out of five fires tested, the oxygen level data were consistent with the earlier studies.  The lowest level of oxygen on the floor registered at 19 percent, while the lowest oxygen reading at ceiling height was only 8.7 percent.

The Importance of Filters

Smoke inhalation can elicit cognitive dysfunction and drowsiness.  Reducing CO in the bloodstream always improves survivability, even when oxygen is deficient in the atmosphere.  Therefore, the importance of having properly working filters is vital for survival.

Regular maintenance of filters can mean the difference between too much CO in the bloodstream which can result in dire circumstances and even death.  Replacing air filters on a regular basis is sound advice.  High-quality air filters, such as the ones sold at Discount Lawrence Factor, can give every firefighter the peace of mind in knowing that their equipment is ready for use under any circumstance.