Low Air Consumption Drill
 
By Captain Jeffery Daday Jr.
March 27, 2018
 

Conserving air was the topic at the Department's weekly Monday night drill on March 26, 2018.

During the drill, each firefighter donned a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) that had been drained of air until the low-air alarm activated. This alarm is a vibrating, audible warning to the firefighter wearing the SCBA that the air supply has reached a low level and it's time to exit a dangerous environment.

The objective of the drill was to reinforce to firefighters the importance of monitoring their air consumption and how much time they have to exit a building when their low-air alarm activates. As important, the drill gave firefighters a chance to practice relaxed breathing to prolong their air supply in the event there's a catastrophic incident at a scene that prevents immediate evacuation to a safe area. In normal working situations the average firefighter may see 12-16 minutes of air consumption prior to the low-air alarm activating and typically between 5-10 minutes of air after the low-air alarm sounds. During the drill, firefighters saw a range of 18-30 minutes of additional air time after the low-air alarm activated with the variable time attributed to different breathing patterns and physical fitness.

 
Firefighter relax to conserve air
Firefighter relax to conserve air
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