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Air Management We Are Our Brother’s Keeper!. Division Chief of Training & Safety Brian Kazmierzak. AIR MANAGEMENT. When firefighters run out of air, they breathe smoke. When Firefighters breathe smoke they die.

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air management we are our brother s keeper

Air Management We Are Our Brother’s Keeper!

Division Chief of Training & Safety

Brian Kazmierzak

air management

AIR MANAGEMENT

When firefighters run out of air, they breathe smoke.

When Firefighters breathe smoke they die

Why do we routinely allow firefighters to operate until their low air warning alarm activates?

the rule of air management
The Rule of Air Management
  • KNOW how much air you have in your SCBA and manage the amount of air you have so that you leave the hazardous environment before your SCBA low-air warning alarm activate !
who uses air management
Who uses Air Management?
  • SCUBA divers
  • Haz-Mat
  • Confined Space

Why Not OPERATIONS?

why we need air management
Why We Need Air Management
  • Firefighters die in Structure Fires from:
    • Smoke
    • Thermal Insult
    • Structural Collapse
    • Getting Lost or Separated
    • Running out of air

These haven’t changed since Ben Franklin

running out of air
Running Out of Air
  • Running out of air effects all the other categories on the list
    • No air in the toxic smoke environment of today leads to rapid asphyxiation
    • No air during a thermal insult event will result in immediate and fatal burns to the throat and lungs
    • No air during a structural collapse means a lack of time for rescue and asphyxiation.
running out of air7
Running Out of Air
  • No air when lost of separated leads to panic or asphyxiation
  • No air requires the firefighter to breathe the products of combustion – toxic smoke that is proven to be both poisonous and carcinogenic
  • No air means that even if the firefighter survives the initial assault on their respiratory system the toll on their wellness will be immeasurable – NYC Telephone Exchange Fire
the myths of air management
The Myths of Air Management
  • Myth #1 – Training is Optional
  • Myth #2 – It takes too long to check my air
  • Myth #3 – We are too busy to check our air
  • Myth #4 – I’ll do it when the situation calls for it.
  • Myth #5 – Nobody has mandated ROAM
  • Myth #6 – Someone outside the hazard area can manage air for firefighters
  • Myth #7 – If we have a long bell time we can solve the problem
  • Myth #8 – My fire department does not an air management problem
nfpa 1404
NFPA 1404
  • NFPA 1404 (5.1.7, plus appendices) states the following:
  • “Training policies shall include, but shall not be limited to the following:
  • (1) Identification of the various types of respiratory protection equipment.
  • (2) Responsibilities of members to obtain and maintain proper face piece fit.
  • (3) Responsibilities of members for proper cleaning and maintenance.
  • (4) Identification of the factors that affect the duration of the air supply.
  • (5) Determination of the Point of No Return for each member.
  • (6) Responsibilities of members for using respiratory protection equipment in a hazardous atmosphere.
  • (7) Limitations of respiratory protection devices.
nfpa 1404 2007 ed
NFPA 1404 - 2007 ed.

Three simple things:

Exit BEFORE you use your reserve air.

Alarm indicates use of reserve.

Alarm activation is an “immediate action item”

the point of no return
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
  • In ancient lore, sailors associated the Point of No Return with ships sailing too close to the edge of the world and succumbing to the pull of the water as it dragged them over the falls. For many firefighters, the Point of No Return symbolizes that point beyond which you are unable to return from the hazardous environment-in short, the point where you die.
the point of no return12
The Point of NO Return

It is

NOT

the point when you die

the point of no return13
The Point of NO Return
  • The Point at which you stop being part of the solution and start becoming part of the problem.
factors affecting the point of no return
Factors Affecting The Point of No Return
  • Entry Point
  • Firefighter Physical Condition
  • Firefighter Size
  • Type of work being performed
r e a d y checks
R.E.A.D.Y. Checks
  • Radio
  • Equipment
  • Air
  • Duties
  • YES!
  • You must answer the 1st four to answer YES!
r e a d y checks16
R.E.A.D.Y. CHECKS
  • Are our radios turned on, are they switched to the correct channel, and do we know to whom we are reporting?
  • Do we have the correct equipment, including appropriate PPE for the assignment?
  • Do we know our air status, and is it sufficient to make entry?
  • Do we know what our assigned task is and the overall objective of the team?
  • If the answer to all of the above is YES, you have completed the READY Check and are prepared to tackle your assignment.
factors that affect air supply duration
Factors that affect air supply duration
  • Familiarity with equipment.
  • Physical and emotional preparedness.
  • Know what your air supply is on entry and at reasonable intervals as you proceed into the immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) environment.
  • Ongoing evaluation of your team based on air supply
  • The physical layout of the structure and any variables presented as you proceed.
  • Understanding how far you have advanced into the structure or hazardous environment and the time it has taken you to get there.
rules of air management
Rules of Air Management
  • The heart and soul of air management is knowing how much air you have in your cylinder.
  • Know it when you go in, at intervals along the way, and make sure you have enough air in your bottle to exit the hazardous atmosphere before your low-air warning bell begins to ring.
  • Remember, your reserve air, the air in the red zone of your air pressure gauge, is there only for emergencies.
  • You should be out of the hazardous environment before your low-air warning bell begins to ring. Using the low-air warning bell as a signal to exit the hazardous environment is a recipe for disaster.
  • We want the low-air warning bell to be an emergency alarm, not the false alarm it is today on the U.S. fireground.
  • Exiting the hazardous atmosphere before the low-air warning bell begins to ring is central to the Rule of Air Management.
the breath from hell
Carbon monoxide (CO)

Nitrogen dioxide

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons

Formaldehyde

Acid gases

Phosgene

Benzene

Dioxins

PVC & Hydrogen Cyanide –

Cyanide concentrations were directly related to the probability of death.

Cyanide poisoning may have predominated over CO poisoning as a cause of death in some fire victims.

Cyanide and CO may have elevate each other’s toxic effects.

Elevated cyanide concentrations were pervasive among smoke-inhalation victims.

Acetals-aerosol containers, combs, lighters, and pens.

Acrylics-glues, food packages, and skylights.

Nylon-various household containers, brushes, sewing thread, and fishing line.

Polyesters-hair dryers, computers, and kitchen appliances.

Polypropylene-bottles, diapers, and furniture.

Polyurethanes-shoes, cushions.

Polyvinyl chloride-carpet, clothes, purses, records, and shower curtains.

Thermosets-TVs, coatings, toilets, buttons, flooring, and insulation.

The Breath From Hell
air management sog 209
Air Management SOG 209

Purpose

  • The purpose of this document is to establish Air Management guidelines. Air Management is critical to the health and safety of our members. Firefighters need to manage their air supply similar to SCUBA divers. SCUBA divers are constantly aware of their air consumption and the amount of air they have left in their tank(s).
  • Firefighters should exit the fire building or hazardous atmosphere before their low air warning bell begins ringing. This gives them reserve air should something go wrong. A low-air warning bell ringing at an emergency scene should become an audile warning that a firefighter may be in trouble.

Scope

  • This guideline shall apply to all members of the Clay Fire Territory.

Definitions

  • Air Management: An ongoing assessment of air consumption by individual firefighters and/or teams who are breathing air from their Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). Firefighters in a hazardous atmosphere must continually check their pressure gauges to know how much air they have left in their bottle.
  • The Rule of Air Management: Know how much air you have used, and manage the amount of air you have left in your bottle so that you leave the hazardous atmosphere before your SCBA low-air warning bell begins to ring.
  • Hazardous Atmosphere: Any atmosphere which is oxygen deficient or which contains a toxic and/or disease-producing contaminant. These atmospheres can by immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH), or not.
  • IDLH: Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health
air management sog cont
Air Management SOG Cont.

Air Management Guideline

  • It is the expectation that all Clay Fire Territory members utilizing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) will:
  • Check their air levels before they enter the hazardous atmosphere. Members must have a minimum of 4050 psi in their cylinder in order to make entry into a hazardous atmosphere. This check can be done during the pre-entry buddy check.
  • Follow the Rule of Air Management when operating in any hazardous atmosphere.
  • When the first member of any team has their 50% capacity (225O PSI) Heads-Up Display (HUD) light activate (two flashing amber lights), the officer/team leader shall radio to the proper ICS functionary (Command, Division, etc.) that the team is at 50% air. This allows the ICS functionary to pre-plan for replacing that team in the hazardous atmosphere.
  • If a team member works into their reserve air and their low-air warning bell begins to ring in the hazard area, the officer/team leader shall report over the radio to the proper ICS functionary (Command, Division, etc) their unit signature, their location, that a team member’s low-air warning bell is ringing, and an estimation of how close they are to the exit.
air management sog cont22
Air Management SOG Cont.

How Air Management Works

  • Air management is each firefighter’s responsibility and is closely related to situational awareness. Firefighters must make sure that they have a full cylinder before they enter the hazardous atmosphere. Once inside the hazardous atmosphere, firefighters must look at their pressure gauges at intervals and inform their officer/team leader what their air situation is.
  • The Officer/team leader should take the lead in air management. Officer’s and team leaders must make the decision when to exit so that the team is out of the hazardous atmosphere before their team’s low-air warning bells begin to ring. There are many factors that affect the duration of the team’s air supply, such as: fire conditions, work rates, aerobic fitness of the team members, and stress.
  • Officers and team leaders must notify the Incident Commander (IC) or their ICS functionary (Command, Division, etc.) when their first team member’s 50% HUD light activates or their bottle is at 50% capacity (2250 PSI). This allows the ICS functionary to be informed of the team’s air situation and to pre-plan for replacing that team in the IDLH environment.
  • All firefighters are expected to be out of the hazardous atmosphere before their low-air warning bells begin to ring.
  • If members hear a low-air warning bell ringing in the hazardous atmosphere, and there is not an immediate radio report from the team whose bell is ringing, that bell should be considered an emergency alarm until proven otherwise.
situational awareness
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
  • Situational awareness, If firefighters conducting interior operations are ignoring situational awareness, they are ignoring safety, and they will pay a dear price sooner or later.
  • 20 Minute MARC’s
situational awareness24
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
  • Firefighters must know where they are in the hazardous environment in relationship to the entry/exit point and must constantly monitor conditions, such as heat conditions, fire growth, the interior layout, the air supply of the interior team, secondary means of egress, locations of potential victims and how the fire attack/search is progressing.
disorientation sequence
Disorientation Sequence
  • Fire in a hazardous “Enclosed Structure”
  • Aggressive interior attack/search
  • Prolonged zero visibility conditions
  • Handline separation or tangled lines
  • Disorientation
  • Serious injury or firefighter fatality
handline separation
Handline Separation
  • Loss of balance or footing
  • Collision with firefighters or unseen objects
  • Entanglement
  • Exposure to falling contents
  • Floor collapse
  • Caught in flashover or backdraft
preventing disorientation
Preventing Disorientation
  • “Enclosed Structure” tactics/SOP’s
  • Thermal Imaging Cameras
  • Bernard Easy Exits or other safety directional arrows
  • Properly trained, positioned and staffed Rapid Intervention Team
  • “May Day” and “Abandon the Building” training programs
the conclusions
The Conclusions
  • Allowing yourself or anyone else under your supervision to inhale the smoke of the modern fireground is a dereliction of duty.
  • Ignoring the need for air management training increases the chances that your members will be involved in “close calls,” “near- misses,” and tragedies.
  • Staying in the hazard area until your low-air warning alarm activates makes it virtually certain that your crew will eventually be exposed to the Breath from Hell.
  • Using “filter breathing” or “sucking the carpet” as anything other than a last resort is foolish and deadly.
special thanks
Special Thanks:
  • MIKE GAGLIANO is a Captain with the Seattle (WA) Fire Department, assigned to the Training Division, and a member of the department’s Operational Skills Enhancement Development Team. He has 19 years of fire/crash/rescue experience with the Seattle Fire Department and the United States Air Force.
  • CASEY PHILLIPS is a captain with the Seattle (WA) Fire Department, assigned to Engine 40. He has served 13 of his 18 years in the fire service with the department and is a member of its Operational Skills Enhancement Development Team.
  • PHIL JOSE is a captain and a 17-year veteran of the Seattle (WA) Fire Department, assigned to Ladder 5. He has served as a training officer and is a member of the Operational Skills Enhancement Development Team.
  • STEVE BERNOCCO is a lieutenant and 14-year veteran of the Seattle (WA) Fire Department, assigned to Ladder 10. He has served as a training officer and is a member of the department’s Operational Skills Enhancement Development Team.