By Tony Carroll
This is the 9/11 edition of MAYDAY MONDAY. There is no greater example of the bravery of the fire service than the actions of all firefighters involved with the attack on our country 15 years ago. On that day, firefighters reported to work just like they had done many times before, ready to serve. Hundreds of FDNY firefighters responded to the World Trade Center and rescued thousands of civilians; 343 would die in the process. We honor their sacrifice.
The DC Fire Department is beginning a test trial of new SCBAs. The Scott X3 features a 5500 psi operating pressure which enables smaller cylinders to hold the same volume of air. In addition, the new setup has streamlined the placement of the pressure reducing regulator and the electronic cables and hoses. Scott says the new harness results in a better fit which translates into less stress on the wearer’s body. We will see. One of the tests to be performed during the trial period is the treadmill walk to see exactly how much air a member can get out of our current setup, compared to the new design.
This is a good time for all of us to check our air consumption capabilities. So, everyone get your turnout gear on, don your SCBA and climb on a treadmill. Once you start breathing from the bottle, start a stopwatch and time until you can’t get anymore air from the cylinder. Ready, set, GO!!
Tony Carroll is a captain with the safety office of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.