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Need a little help? OK, I need all the help I can get? Recently accepted the job of Health & Safety Officer in my 380 member, 18 Fire House Department. I oversee PPE & SCBA purchases and issues. We normally replace 40 - 50 SCBA bottles a year? Need to purchase at this time and want to do research on changing them to 45 minute? This air management being on the forefront lately, I need as much info as possible to make this change. Like your departments, change is very difficult since we have only had 30 minute when SCBA's first purchased? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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You may have to look at your operations at a fire as well. If you have a two bottle policy before rehab you may need to look at switching to a one bottle policy. This may make it an easier sell for the troops, if they see you taking into acount for the extra pounds of the bottle. This maybe one way. We changed from 30 min. to 45 min. with no issues in our department. Our firefighters were excited about the extra air, also all of the departments that we run with on a mutual aid run the same size 45 min. We will go two bottles if we have to however with the great mutual aid that we have we have the extra help so that we do not have to do that very often. We did not use it as a way to keep fire companies in longer but to give the extra air so that we did not work until the bottles were empty. If the IC, and company officers use it right then all it does is provide the extra air for safety. Our work times are still the same as the 30 min bottles esp. in the 100 degree summers, you can have all the air you want but you still have to get fresh companies in there. Hope this helps.
We switched to 45 minute bottles about ten years ago when we swithced SCBA manufacturers. Our staff likes them for the added verstility that they provide. Depending on department SOP you can use the additional air as a safety back up or like in our case we were two minutes from fire control on a good number of our single families when we ran out of air. So our people liked the extra five to ten minutes.

They are larger than the 30's and slightly heavier but at the time we made our switch the new 45 minute bottles were the same size and weight as the "old" 30's we were replacing so the crews did not notice alot of difference in weight or size. Since that time most of the departments that surround us have also switched to 45 minute bottles for a variety of reasons from interoperability to delayed second due resonses in rural areas. We did not acheive a savings in the number of spare bottles that we have and I am unsure about the current cost difference in the bottles so economically I don't know if it makes a difference. I know in our area, 45 minute bottles have quietly become the standard.

Hope this helps a little.
15 extra minutes in the case where you become trapped. IMO its no question.

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