The Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, or S.C.B.A., may very well be the most important piece of firefighting equipment at our disposal. The S.C.B.A. is what allows us to enter toxic smoke-filled environments without succumbing to smoke inhalation. Without S.C.B.A. airpacks, rescues and interior fire attacks would be impossible. It is for this reason that S.C.B.A. inspection and maintenance are of such high priority.
Every truck-mounted S.C.B.A. airpack is to be activated each morning to ensure operational readiness. All S.C.B.A. air bottles are also inspected daily to ensure that the bottles are full of air and ready for use. We also conduct a monthly S.C.B.A. inspection. At this time every S.C.B.A. airpack is not only activated, but is also very thoroughly inspected. Any problems that are found are reported immediately and repaired as soon as possible.
All S.C.B.A. airpacks also undergo an annual inspection, conducted by an outside agency. At this time, each individual fireman is also given a "fit test" to insure that our department issued face masks still fit, seal and function properly. Any problems encountered are taken care of at once. EFD has 2 high pressure air compressor systems that are designed and used specifically for the filling of air bottles. These systems are also inspected and serviced annual by an outside agency. All S.C.B.A. air bottles are hydrostatic tested once every five years to insure the structural integrity of the bottles.