Bottle cart betters firefighters’ efficiency
photo by James E. Davis
To better conserve firefighters’ energies for firefighting operations rather than expend them on carrying equipment into the fire, the Winter Haven, FL, Fire Department designed a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) bottle cart.
Like the department’s elevated emergency load cart (see FIRE ENGINEERING, April 1984), the bottle cart is a compact, two-wheel, portable unit constructed of lightweight aluminum. Costing approximately $100 to manufacture, the cart weighs 31 pounds empty, 82 pounds when carrying four lightweight composite air cylinders.
The three walls of the cart are about Vg-inch thick to provide extra protection from possible flying fragments in case of tank rupture. A sixinch front metal hinged strap allows enough open area to check the gauges without having to remove the bottles.
The cart allows one firefighter to advance four air bottles, leaving one hand free to operate a portable radio. The compact design allows the cart to be stored in large compartments, under squad benches, or strapped on the tailboard. —James E. Davis
Winter Haven Fire Department Winter Haven, FL