Thanks to www.StudentoftheFireService.com for sharing this CloseCall with us:
As a firefighter, proper knowledge of your SCBA is necessary to help provide a safe working environment. We as firefighters should be familiar with every square inch of our LIFELINE. If you do not properly check your SCBA’s you will be inviting a dangerous situation upon yourself and your fellow brothers and sisters on the front lines with you. The fireground is not the time to find an overlooked mistake. Making sure your SCBA is in proper working condition is a part of being a good firefighter. Proper inspection of your SCBA should include you checking the overall condition of the pak. That means making sure all the straps, hoses harness and regulator are all in good shape. It also includes checking your gauges and making sure there is plenty of the good stuff ("Air ain’t no big thing, til you ain’t got none" -fellow brothers words), activate your pass device and make sure it is in good working condition, always check the facepiece for cleanliness and a good fit, and make sure the buckles are in proper working condition. And don’t forget to check your by-pass valve. This comes natural to great firefighters, but we need to remember the steps and constantly make sure our pak is ready to go.
Trust me SCBA checks pay off! Here are some photos I took after my inspection and finding something disturbing. You can call this a "Close Call" or you can say it would have been found before becoming a close call. Let me remind you this did not happen by throwing a hot pak back on the engine.
Apparently the protective coating over the wires inside the braided stainless steel wire was exposed at the bend near the top left shoulder. The line was heated, heating up the air line running to the gauge as well. I found the left shoulder strap to be melted to our dri-deck material in the compartment. After I opened the cylinder there was no air leakage, but I went to moving the exposed wire and found the air hose melted which could’ve made for a bad day for a fellow firefighter or myself. I consider this a close call because if we would’ve had a structure fire the night before my inspection someone might’ve overlooked what I found and continued on.
Scott has been notified on the issue, and I will be sharing this with numerous fire service brothers to get the word out. If you have any information on past events or similar finding please contact me via e-mail at [email protected]