Rethinking Emergency Air Management: The Reilly Emergency Breathing Technique

Issue 4 and Volume 161.

BY KEVIN J. REILLY AND FRANK RICCI When it comes to SCBA emergency air management, we have found that certain breathing methods are based on opinion and conjecture as opposed to testing and evaluation. The key to testing any method is to build in as many realistic controls as possible and to evaluate the subjects based on their individual performance. Articles and books teach breathing methods but may fail to stress the training and self-comparison necessary for a method to be effective for that firefighter. It’s common practice to take the stopwatch out in recruit class to time a firefighter to don his personal protective equipment (PPE), including SCBA, within 30 seconds, yet no time comparison is done with breathing techniques and use of SCBA. Click here to enlarge image We have all learned that a low-air alarm may not afford enough time to exit a structure and how to…

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