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The Doctrine of SCBA

By RONNY J. COLEMAN From the ancient days of the Roman Empire until today, firefighters have had to deal with nasty atmospheres. The term "smoke eater" was probably coined in those early days. However, not until recently was it recognized that those entering such dangerous conditions were exposing themselves to deadly poisons that could either kill them immediately or cause their untimely death later. Once, firefighters were simply encouraged to wear beards. When required to enter these situations, they were told to soak their beards in water and cover their faces with bandanas, which was perhaps the first filter-type mask. Those improvised filter masks were used for a long time...

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