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S.C.B.A. MAINTENANCE. By: Lt. Eric Miller Parksville Fire Department. Objectives. Review of SCBA system Review the maintenance of the system and it’s components Hands on experience checking over and maintaining an SCBA system Review of the fill station and how it works.

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s c b a maintenance


By: Lt. Eric Miller

Parksville Fire Department

  • Review of SCBA system
  • Review the maintenance of the system and it’s components
  • Hands on experience checking over and maintaining an SCBA system
  • Review of the fill station and how it works
parts of scba system
Parts of SCBA System
  • Air cylinder
  • Regulator
  • Backpack frame
  • Facepiece
  • PASS Alarm
maintenance of the scba system
Maintenance of the SCBA System
  • The five components of the system combine to allow a firefighter to safely operate in a dangerous environment.
  • Proper maintenance of all parts is required to ensure the system does not fail.
air cylinder
Air Cylinder
  • Visual inspection of the cylinder, gauge, and valve to check for damage, dents, cracks or other anomalies.
  • Check the cylinder to ensure it has at least 4000 psi. If below, have the cylinder filled.
  • Prior to filling, check the hydrostatic test date to ensure within limits. All cylinders we have must be hydrostatically tested every three years.
  • Takes the high pressure air of the cylinder, and steps it down to a usable pressure.
  • 1st stage or pressure reducer connected to backpack frame, and is not serviceable by field level technician.
  • 2nd stage mounts to the face piece.
  • High pressure and low pressure hoses can be checked for nicks, cuts, or abrasions that could cause failure. Check “O” ring at cylinder connection.
  • Hose connections can be checked for air leaks.
  • Leaking or damaged hoses or “O” rings can be serviced by field level technician
  • Minor repairs can be done to regulator, ie: replace gaskets, springs, diaphragm
backpack frame
Backpack Frame
  • Provides the mounting platform to hold the air cylinder in place, and attachment for pressure reducing and regulator assembly, and remote pressure gauge.
  • Shoulder and waist straps allow the system to be carried comfortably on the body
  • Two styles – wire frame model, and solid aluminum frame contoured to wearers back
backpack frame10
Backpack Frame
  • All straps should be checked for cuts or abrasions that could result in failure
  • Heavily worn or damaged straps should be replaced
  • Frame should be inspected for broken welds, and worn or broken mounting hardware
  • Protects the wearer from exposure to heat, toxic gases, and unburned products of combustion
  • Allows the wearer to see in a smoke filled environment
  • In conjunction with the regulator, provides a source of fresh air
  • Examine face piece for cracks or scratches that could cause failure, especially around the regulator mount
  • Check temple and neck straps for excessive wear, or loss of elasticity. If worn, or no stretch in them, have them replaced
  • Check skirt of mask to ensure no cuts or tears that could cause failure
  • Check nose cup and inhalation check valves
  • Check voice amplifier for operation
  • After use, clean by spraying disinfectant on the interior and wait at least 10 minutes before wiping the mask dry
pass alarm
PASS Alarm
  • Audible warning device that signals for assistance when a fire fighter goes down or becomes incapacitated.
  • Should always be activated BEFORE entering an IDLH environment.
  • Operation should be tested weekly and battery replaced at regular interval.
field function test of air pack
Field Function Test of Air Pack
  • Ensure that the unit is clean – no loose debris, system wiped down to clean off any debris or unburned products of combustion
  • Turn on air cylinder – ensure pressure at cylinder gauge and remote gauge is equal or fairly close – if big difference tag and take out of service
  • Listen for activation of low air warning system
field function test of air pack16
Field Function Test of Air Pack
  • Attach mask to regulator
  • Place mask on face and inhale to start air flow, ensuring smooth air flow in system
  • Check purge valve to ensure proper operation
  • Turn off air cylinder and bleed down system – listen for activation of low air warning system
  • Activate donning switch
field function test of air pack17
Field Function Test of Air Pack
  • Extend all straps.
  • Check PASS alarm for proper function.
  • Extend straps on face piece.
  • Check voice amplifier for operation.
  • Bag face piece to keep it clean and dust free.
  • Log inspection in the SCBA log book.
fill station
Fill Station
  • The fill station is located in the workshop area of the hall.
  • The actual compressor is located in the back room.
filling an air cylinder
Filling An Air Cylinder
  • Turn on compressor.
  • Open main valve on fill station. Allow system to charge.
  • Adjust Regulator Output Pressure to 4500 psi.
  • Open door to fill station and place bottle in fragmentation container. Secure bottle with retainer clip then attach whip to bottle. Ensure that bleeder valve is closed.
filling an air cylinder20
Filling An Air Cylinder
  • Open valve on fill station and slowly fill to 4500 psi.
  • When all bottles are filled, shut off valves.
  • Open fill station door. Shut off air bottle valves, and open bleeder valve allowing excess air pressure to drain down.
  • Remove air bottles, and repeat filling process as required.
filling an air cylinder21
Filling An Air Cylinder
  • Once all cylinders are filled, shut off compressor.
  • Drain the system down to ensure all pressure is taken off of springs.
  • Ensure all filled bottles are entered on the log. Place completed log in SCBA Committee basket in training office for entry into computer.
fill station safety
Fill Station Safety
  • Always wear safety glasses when using the fill station. High pressure air, along with dust or other airborne particles can harm your eyes.
  • Secure the bottle in the fragmentation container with retainer clips. Should an air bottle fail while being filled, the retainer clips will confine most of the debris within the container.
  • The SCBA system contains five components:
  • Air cylinder
  • Regulator
  • Backpack
  • Facepiece
  • PASS Alarm
  • Proper care and maintenance of the system will reduce or eliminate the possibility of failure when being used in a hazardous environment.
where to get more information
Where to Get More Information
  • IFSTA Essentials of Firefighting Manual
  • IFSTA SCBA Manual
  • Scott Field Level Maintenance Program
  • SCBA Edukit
  • SCBA Committee
  • Senior members of the department.