Firefighter Training

COPING WITH LOSS OF AIR SUPPLY IN CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE SUITS

Issue 3 and Volume 151.

COPING WITH LOSS OF AIR SUPPLY IN CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE SUITS BY ALAN VEASEY As any haz-mat trainer will tell you, an important competency for hazardous materials technicians is the ability to work safely in a Level A ensemble of personal protective equipment (PPE). The definitive component of the Level A ensemble is the totally encapsulating chemical protective (TECP) suit, which completely encloses the wearer. Responders working in TECP suits typically use self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for breathing air supply. TECP suits are fitted with exhaust valves that release exhaled air from inside the suit but do not allow outside air to enter. Thus, the Level A ensemble is designed to provide for the wearer a safe microenvironment within a chemically contaminated area. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT HAZARDS The protective equipment itself, however, may also pose hazards to the wearer. Haz-mat trainers have long recognized the importance of teaching responders to cope with…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now