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Walk a 200 feet (city block) and count your respirations.
How many breaths did you take?

Now try using a breathing method of your choice and compare your respiration count. Keep track with pencil slashes on a pad.

Keep in mind the longer distance you travel (5 blocks for instance) the more accurate your results will be.

This test is to show how much air volume is consumed, along with distance travelled.

Note: SCBA use is not necessary for this test.

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Walking 600' breathing normaly, I made 56 inhalations and exhalations. Using the skip breathing technique walking the same distance I partially inhaled 50 times and fully exhaled 25 times. Just curiouse about volume.

Any other breathing methods?
Average adult lung capacity is 5 liters (full breath)

SCBA bottle volume is determined by 40+ liters per minute flow.
Typical among manufacturers is:
30 min. bottle = 1287 liters
45 min. bottle = 1887 liters

The less inhalations the less volume is consumed from your SCBA air bottle, which translates into more time you will have.

Did you try the R-EBT (humming method) described in our article?
It is important to hum exhale in a drawn out, consistant manner. When Frank Ricci and I tested a number of firefighters, we recorded an average increase of 28% more airtime.

I know this may sound ridiculus, but it does work.
I just did a skip breath, and drawn down humming method exhale and the 600 feet was completed in 32 partial inhalations and 16 full exhales.

The neighbors are looking now...

What else you got?
Now try it with a sign in your hand that says "On Strike", but seriously...your a good sport, enough today.

Did you combine skip breathing with the humming method, or each separately?

Either way, you covered the same distance (600') with fewer breaths (32 as opposed to 56), which would mean less air bottle volume consumed with SCBA = more time.

Enjoy your Easter!
I combined them. Are there any other methods?

I really hate being a cynic..... The first picture that popped in my head was the breathing technique being taught to a pregnant 26 year old beauty. All is warm and fuzzy and she even has a coach to help keep her focused on her one all important task. When the time comes to deliver this 26 year old beauty who used to love you and was willing to have your child turns into a monster, screams like a shedevil that she hates you and curses loud enough to raise the dead. Where did that skip breathing technique go? When so many things assault my senses in a good fire I think having a focused thought on breathing might help my tank last a couple more minutes yes. If I am trying to focus on that, how many things did I miss while I was humming along in my exhale? The creak of a floor joist? The agonal breath behind the door. Stepped on radio traffic I need to decifer.
Training like a madman (or shedevil) I think i could get it down pat to where it becomes second nature to manage breathing. But when it comes the time to do the job, I think I would fail miserably at that type of concentration. I think there must be studies that talk about energy expenditure and oxygen consumption and skip breathing, but are any in an uncontrolled environment with multitasking thrown in for good measure? Like I said I hate being a cynic. Help me understand this a bit better.

Hi Jonathan,
For starters there is a difference between 'skip-breathing and R-EBT (humming method).
With skip breathing breath is held intermittenly, with R-EBT breath is not held at anytime.
What I found interesting is that when John Van Orden (above) combined both methods, he was still successful with less air consumption.

Training with any type of breathing technique, will enable a firefighter to be familiar with his/her own limitations, and more efficient with air management.

Also, one doesn't have to be in peril to practice good air management. Practicing good air managment skills on the fireground, at all times; especially when relaxed, will provide you with more air later if you get jammed up.

As far as studies are concerned, let me know if you find anything. We haven't been able to find too much in this area, which is why Frank Ricci and I developed R-EBT.

I hope I was able to answer some of your questions. In upcomming April's FE issue, our article goes more in depth about the how to properly evaluate any breathing technique. (It envolves more than walking down the street counting breaths)

Thanks for your comments. /Kev
Good morning folks
We did stationary tests as a group without a D.A.G. just using the cylinder gauge.
We found our members using REBT the air lasted between 5 & 20% longer than normal breathing
Skip breathing did not extend the breathing time except in 1 case and in one other it decreased the time
I would like to try again with a DAG for more accurate results
REBT very simple we all know how to hum


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